Examples from the Forensic (Linguistic) Files

Forensic linguistics – what’s that?

accmpanies post with case examples

Is a contract provision binding if its meaning is indeterminate or ambiguous?

At various places on this site, you’ll find somewhat abstract descriptions of the services I offer.  But what kinds of cases do I actually get involved in?  Examples follow (current cases excluded).

In three of my specialties, I’m about equally divided between Plaintiff and Defendant.  In cases of alleged academic plagiarism, I represent the Defendant, who typically has not committed plagiarism, even by the university’s own rules.  In cases of literary plagiarism, I represent Plaintiffs who believe that their work has been copied.

• Expert opinion on status of compound words (trademark infringement litigation).

• Expert opinion on plagiarism of song lyrics (copyright litigation involving musical group The Who).

• Authorship analysis of e-mails in Florida internal union dispute.

• Expert opinion on plagiarism of online home-study course.

• Preliminary analysis of authorship issues in malpractice litigation.

• Expert opinion on authorship issues in business partnership dispute involving anonymous writings.

• Authorship analysis of anonymous letters of complaint to a corporation’s Board of Directors.

• Expert opinion on the semantics of trademark infringement in litigation by an apparel firm.

• Authorship analysis of anonymous letters (possibly written by disgruntled employees) for major Midwestern corporation.

• Authorship analysis of emails to website of a “cult deprogrammer.”

• Expert opinion on linguistic similarities between plaintiff’s and defendant’s trademarks.

• Authorship analysis of defamatory emails written to an individual in a corporation.

• Authorship advice on a possibly forged stock transfer document.

• Authorship analysis of letters involved in the Son of Sam case.

• Analysis to support allegations of plagiarism of online course material.

• Analysis to refute charges of plagiarism in various academic settings; defendants range from high school students to university professors.
• Interpretation of contract language regarding the disposition of acquired corporate entities.

• Assessment of the complexity of equipment rental contract language.

• Defense against charges of academic and student plagiarism (many cases).

• Analysis of chat transcripts to determine whether defendant engaged in enticement or seduction.

• Authorship analysis of emails in divorce and custody disputes (numerous cases).

• Expert opinion on whether parts of Dan Brown’s novel The DaVinci Code were plagiarized from the client’s writing.

• Expert opinion on the meaning of “Ecstasy” in a criminal drug indictment.

• Interpretation of contract language definition of “family member.”

• Expert opinion on authorship of legal documents.

• Authorship analysis of verbatim duplication in two police reports to determine who copied from whom.

• Interpretation of the phrase “first refusal” in lease provision.