West Virginia Code
CHAPTER 57. EVIDENCE AND WITNESSES.
ARTICLE 2. WRITINGS AND STATEMENTS OF PRIVATE PERSONS.
In any civil or criminal action or proceeding, any writing proved to the satisfaction of the judge of a court of record in an in-camera hearing to be in the handwriting of the person who is alleged to have written it, whether or not made in the ordinary course of business, may, if the court further finds that its probative value outweighs its prejudicial effect, be admitted into evidence for the purpose of making a comparison with a disputed writing on the issue of whether or not the disputed writing is genuine. The authenticity of each writing shall be finally determined by the trier of fact.
It shall not be necessary to prove by the attesting witness any instrument to the validity of which attestation is not requisite; and such instrument may be proved by admission, or otherwise, as if there had been no attesting witness thereto.
In a criminal prosecution other than for perjury or false swearing, evidence shall not be given against the accused of any statement made by him as a witness upon a legal examination.
In any action for defamation, the defendant may justify by alleging and proving that the words spoken or written were true, and after notice in writing of his intention to do so (given to the plaintiff at the time of, or for, pleading to such action) may give in evidence in mitigation of damages that he made or offered an apology to the plaintiff for such defamation before the commencement of the action, or as soon afterwards as he had an opportunity of doing so, in case action shall have been commenced before there was an opportunity of making or offering such apology.