Forensic Linguistics: An Introduction

Course time: 
Monday/Thursday 11:00 AM-12:50 PM
The 90, Room 211

By examining actual litigated cases involving interpretation (notably defamation), trademark (infringement and genericide), and authorship, this course will help prepare you to do several things essential to being a reputable forensic linguist:

  1. deal with attorneys seeking your assistance on behalf of a client
  2. assess your potential role as an expert
  3. write competent reports and declarations
  4. conduct yourself honorably under the gun at deposition and trial.

This will be a hands-on class, critically assessing cases involving prominent Hollywood figures, famous brand names, and highly contested authorship attribution disputes. We will focus on testimony by linguistic experts on one or both sides of a litigation. Testimony will be critically assessed by opposing teams of students, who will enact mock interviews with attorneys, mock expert reports, and mock depositions. This course will come as close as feasible to a real-life forensic linguistics experience.