. .

Profile: John M. Reznikoff

University Archives
49 Richmondville Ave.
Westport, CT 06880
Phone: 1.800.237.5692
Fax: 203.454.3111

John Reznikoff, founder and President of University Archives, is a well-known authority and writer on the subject of rare documents and manuscripts. For more than thirty years, he has bought, consigned and sold historic documents and relics to institutions and individuals, most of whom return time and time again as need and desire arise. John is arguably the most requested Authenticator for historical items in the world. His clients have included the U. S. Justice Department, the FBI, state law enforcement, top auction houses, and the largest rare book dealers in the world. Mr. Reznikoff is regularly sought out by print and broadcast media to comment on current issues in the autograph industry.

John Reznikoff ‘s expertise with questioned documents and valuation is regularly sought out not only by individuals, but also by attorneys nationwide. The satisfactory outcome of many cases has deservedly established his reputation as being the expert you want on your team. Mr. Reznikoff has been hired on several high-profile murder cases, as well as simple real estate disputes involving a questioned signature on a contract.

Mr. Reznikoff’s work as a document examiner has been so successful because he is the first and only expert to combine his primary work as an autograph authenticator with a great study of forensic document examination. His lab is one of the most advanced of its kind outside of the FBI and law enforcement in the country. The devices he uses include: the Video Spectral Comparator, a $30,000 machine which is not available to the general public and the PRO SCOPE an advanced computer-aided magnifier, as seen on episodes of the TV hit, CSI. He has used these items in cases and even on an episode of PBS’s History Detectives.

John Reznikoff has established a unique niche in helping prosecutors and public defenders to structure cross-examinations of opposing counsel’s expert witnesses. John does not rely on forensic document examination for his main source of income, and judges are acutely aware of the fact that he is not a “hired gun”. Because of this fact, Reznikoff’s reports often achieve a greater degree of credibility.

Mr. Reznikoff is the only member of the autograph community that has been accepted by the prestigious TASA, Technical Advisory Service for Attorneys.


  • Member, American College of Forensic Examiners
  • 2006-Present - Hired by State Government as handwriting expert in 3 murder cases, one of them a Death Penalty case.
  • 2006-Present - Trained with forensic experts on the most advanced document examination machine available the Video Spectral Comparator . Purchased the VSC4plus, not available to the general public, making him the only individual dealer in the trade to employ such a device.
  • 2007-2008 - Hired by a private individual in a handwriting case involving Earthlink with $300,000,000 at dispute.
  • 1999 - Expert for the United States Department of Justice in one of the largest civil actions ever filed against the Government, in which the Nixon family sought $210 million in compensation for the taking of his papers. Consulted on authenticity and value, 1998-1999. In a report used in testimony, appraised the archive at $1.5 million, which approximated the June, 2000 settlement of $18 million (accounting for 25 years of compounded interest). Instrumental in saving U.S. Taxpayers $190 million.
  • 1999 - Expert witness on behalf of George Pickett V, involving a dispute concerning the papers and artifacts of Gen. George Pickett of "Pickett’s Charge" fame. Testified on authenticity and value. Our client won a verdict approaching seven figures, which matched our appraisal, 1999.
  • Appraised the Hemingway Papers of A.E. Hotchner.
  • 1996 - Expert witness for the defense of Historical Documents, Inc. regarding the famous John Paul Getty diaries. Helped in setting the archives value at approximately $2 million. Report was instrumental in causing the Getty family to settle before trial in 1996.
  • 1998 - Aided the New York Grand Jury in securing an indictment and conviction of the perpetrator of a major manuscript fraud in 1998.
  • Plaintiff's expert witness in Joey Giardello vs. Universal Pictures et al. Evaluated harm caused Giardello by misrepresentation in the hit movie "The Hurricane". Report was instrumental in achieving a major financial settlement.
  • Expert witness for Collectors Universe in $10 Million lawsuit William Miller vs. Collectors Universe. Case adjudicated favorably leaving plaintiff owing defendant.
A partial list of Mr. Reznikoff’s expert witness assignments include:
  • 2009 - Walker, Estella, Walker, Earline
    Howard Jacobs, Atty., Jacobs, Grudberg et al
  • 2008 - Aguinaldo vs. Warner et al
    Mark Henderson, Atty, Wofsey Rosen et al – Deposition & Trial
  • 2008 - Attorney Piper Paul, Bomb Threat
  • 2008 - Trivon Reid – confession, Hartford Police Department
    John Cizik, Public Defender, State of Connecticut
  • 2008 - State of Connecticut vs. R. Malito
    Margaret Levy, Atty.
  • 2007 – Lazale Ashby – confession, Hartford Police Department
    Cynthia Carter Ayers, Public Defender, State of Connecticut
  • 2007 - North Carolina vs. North Carolina Original Copy of Bill of Rights
    M. Stratton, Atty., Stratton Faxon
  • 2007 - State of Connecticut vs. Zolkowski
    Theodore Koch, Atty., Koch & Koch
  • 2006 – Beckenstein Enterprises vs. D. Smith
    Mark Dean, Atty.
  • 2005 – Kavy – handwriting
    J. Bourn, Atty, Jon L. Schoenhorn & Associates
  • 2005 - Jacobs et al vs. Rafile
    Howard Jacobs, Atty., Jacobs Grudberg et al
  • 2005 - Rodriguez vs. Rodriguez
    Howard Jacobs, Atty., Jacobs Grudberg et al
  • 2005 - Collectors Universe vs. Miller
    Keith Attlesey, Atty., Attlesey & Thomlinson - Deposition
Previous notable cases:
  • 1998 - Pritchard vs. (General George) Pickett – Deposition & Trial
  • 1997 - Richard Nixon vs. United States - Deposition
Website Send Email

Area(s) of Expertise

  • Forensic document examination

  • Handwriting comparison

  • Forgery detection

  • Fraud detection

  • Appraisal and valuation testimony concerning autographs, rare books, stamps, coins and unusual relics