Although while selecting a Forensic Document Examination service, fees should be a secondary consideration, oftentimes it becomes the deciding factor. Unlike other laboratories, Norwitch Document Laboratory does not charge for a published Report of Examination, although our reports are quite comprehensive and time consuming. Additionally, NDL does not charge for normal copying services, postage (not including FedEx), or short telephone consultations (which are frequent during the lifetime of most of our casework). Graphics, which may be easily converted into court demonstrations, are normally included within the published report, obviating the need for costly preparation of court displays. While other laboratories may advertise lower retention fees and hourly rates, it is not infrequent to see fees from those laboratories approaching, or even exceeding, twice the retainer, even for simplistic handwriting/signature examinations. Caveat Emptor.
Fees for NDL services are US$350.00 per hour, with a five-hour minimum retainer fee of US$1,750.00. The retainer for Medical Malpractice Record examinations is US$2,800.00 (8-hour minimum). Most examinations fall within those frameworks, however the examination of complex cases may exceed the retainer. Additional costs, such as FedEx or messenger service, are minimal and simply passed on to the client.
Unless previous arrangements have been made, a retainer of US$1,750.00 (US$2,800.00 for Medical Record examinations) should be enclosed with the initial evidence submission; examination will not be undertaken otherwise. In those cases where, upon a preliminary review, insufficiency of evidence precludes examination (such as poor quality photocopies), a fee representing a one hour consultation (US$350.00) will be charged and the balance of the retainer will be returned. Cases requiring travel outside the South Florida area or out of country may require a larger retainer.
In the vast majority of cases, Norwitch Document Laboratory reports are stipulated to, or a settlement results from the findings. If, however, the need arises for expert testimony, NDL’s fee is US$350.00 per hour, portal to portal. Testimony outside the South Florida area, or out of the country, is at the rate of US$350.00 per hour, portal to portal, not to exceed US$4,200.00 per day, plus expenses. Fees for court-related services are not included in the initial examination retainer.
A written agreement is available and must be executed and forwarded with the evidence and retainer.
For your convenience, Norwitch Document Laboratory accepts all major credit cards in addition to personal and business checks.