Forging signatures? Bad idea.

I’m in a blogging slump.  Only two posts since June 22nd.  Perhaps writing about a lawyer who may someday end up in a Was That Wrong? column will help to break me out of my slump.

The story comes via the ABA Journal.  Click later.  For now, imagine this:

  • You’re a criminal defense lawyer.
  • In January, the court issues a Bond Order that requires your client to wear an Electric Home Monitoring (EHM) device.
  • On March 9, a modified Bond Order issues.  Your client no longer has to wear the EHM! The modified Bond Order includes signatures that purport to be yours, the prosecutor’s, and the judge’s.
  • On March 10, the court, sue sponte, holds a conference call to discuss concerns that the prosecutor has raised about the modified Bond Order.  Specifically, the prosecutor informed the court that she never agreed to modify the Bond Order and that the signature isn’t hers.
  • You reply by conceding that you signed the prosecutor’s name.

At this point, readers likely realize that things aren’t going too well for you.

Alas, you realize that things are about to get a whole lot worse.  Well, now, it’s time to share what you and I know with the readers.

Here’s language from the order that the court issued after the conference call:

  • “This Court also has concerns about what is purported to be its signature. The signature does not resemble this Court’s signature. The Court does not recall signing the Order. The date the Order was purportedly signed, March 4, 2020, the undersigned was not in the circuit and was unavailable to sign the Order.”

I think readers are starting to understand how bad things are getting for you.

  • “Defense Counsel . . . stated in the conference call that he presented the Order to the Court on Monday. The Court understood that [Defense Counsel] was referring to Monday March 2, 2020.  Out of an abundance of caution, this Court had the security tapes reviewed for Monday, March 2 and Monday, March 9, 2020.  [Defense Counsel] was not seen in court on either of those days.”

Drawing on my basketball experiences, coaches sometimes respond to a player’s mistake by saying “good idea, poor execution.” Yet, as with today’s story, there were also times when a player’s mistake was not only in the execution, but in the idea itself.  In that situation, a coach begins by asking “what were you thinking?”


The transcript of the conference call the final document available at this link.

Denver criminal defendants no longer must pay for ankle monitors


2 thoughts on “Forging signatures? Bad idea.

  1. I have a question. In this real case, the defense was able to prove that a prosecution’s witness, a large company’s directors signature was forged through superimposing 11 scanned documents signed from 2014-2015 in court. With this superimposing, the signatures matched exactly.

    The defense lawyer then showed another set of original documents, this time with the company directors’ original signature to compare. In this set, all of the signatures in the original documents were in different sizes.

    The defense then proceeded to show a copy of one of the original documents with a scanned copy of the same document in the original format, and the signatures did not match. It was then concluded that the signatures did not match because this company directors signature was forged.

    The judge in the defense found the defendant guilty of the crime and argued that even with this evidence, it does not conclude that there is reason for the defendant to believe that someone would want to forge his signature.

    My question is this, does this happen often where judges disregard proof of forged signatures and dismiss it as being real?


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