More and more frequently linguists are being called upon to consult with lawyers and to testify at trials. The field known as “forensic linguistics” is growing rapidly as linguists analyse spoken and written language evidence in both civil and criminal cases.
Roger W. Shuy is a prominent linguist who has applied linguistics to the area of law for over thirty-five years. His book is a practical, how-to guide for both beginning and established linguists who have been called upon in this capacity and who may want to start their own consulting practice. Step by step, the book deals with issues of how linguists first become and then represent themselves as experts, how they can start and manage the practice of consulting on law cases, how they can address important issues of professional ethics, how they can work most effectively with lawyers, useful strategies for writing reports and affidavits, and how to participate successfully in depositions, direct examinations and cross examinations at trial. Professor Shuy also suggests ways that linguists can use their forensic linguistic experiences in their publications and classroom teaching, concluding with suggestions of some recent books that forensic linguists may need for their personal libraries. Both American and British legal systems are covered. Any linguist who is involved professionally in a legal action will find this volume an essential resource.