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By Jackie Poole

What was once dismissed as a gypsy trick or party talent has become a successful business practice for Kim Iannetta, owner of Trial Run Ink.

Iannetta's handwriting analysis business has been in high demand, bringing in revenues last year of more than $90,000. Now she has retainers filling her calendar through 1995.

It began in 1968 when Iannetta strolled by a storefront in Los Angeles and she decided to drop in and have her own handwriting analyzed. "It was amazing; the man knew things about me that he had no way of knowing," said Iannetta.

With her interest sparked, Iannetta pursued the subject further and enrolled in correspondence courses and read numerous books on handwriting analysis and related subjects.

Most of Iannetta's work consists of mock trial, focus groups, jury consultation and assisting human resource departments.

The mock trials are set up so her clients can come to conclusions about the ideal juror profile for a specific case. That way, when the time comes for true jury selection, the legal counsel knows what he or she is looking for in a juror.

In addition, Iannetta is retained by attorneys to establish jurors' credibility as well as their strengths and weaknesses by analyzing their handwriting. Further assessment is done on the personality, style and influence each party will have in the trial. Conclusions are drawn by interrelating the information gathered from the analysis to create a complete picture of the person.

The profiles, used to develop a pre-trial strategy, are based on writing samples gathered from both sides during the deposition process.

"Attorneys use the personality profiles of the jurors to determine how they will appeal to them emotionally, logically and methodically," Iannetta said.

Iannetta's precision is such that she advises counsel on appropriate foreman and the leaders of the jury group. She also is able to determine the predisposition of the jurors toward trial issues and points out those jurors she believes could be potentially damaging to a party's case.

Each juror card can cost up to $45, after a $500 retainer fee. Iannetta said 500 cards were the most she has been handed for one case.

Iannetta spent many years doing volunteer work, serving as a forensic document examiner for the Honolulu Police Department, and conducting research with the Hawaii State Hospital, where she became an expert on dangerous behavior.

Iannetta battles skepticism head on by demonstrating her skills. "I ask people to submit a writing sample of someone that they fell they know very well and I will provide them with an analysis, so that they can judge for themselves," said Iannetta.

One of the reasons Iannetta's service has become a high-priced and sought after commodity is because she works at a "fast and furious pace," as she put it, timely work being one of her priorities.

"I feel that [handwriting analysis] is the closest thing to mind reading," said Iannetta. Which is why she prefers to analyze the writing of people she does not know.

Susan Ichinose, partner in Foley Nip Chang Brooks Tom & Miller, said, "I am amazed at her ability to look into the hearts and minds of people with scientific precision."

Iannetta has been hired by Ichinose's firm repeatedly over the past four years and each time tailored her services to suit the case at hand.

"We give her services consideration with almost every big trial and retain her about half the time," said Ichinose.

Iannetta is also an instructor at the University of Hawaii, co-author of "Danger Between the Lines," and author of two smaller works - titled "Ideas from the Think Tank" and "Precision Personnel Placement for the Human Resources Professional."



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UPDATED: 29 APRIL 2005
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