Category: linguists and lawyers

This category illustrates some of the many ways in which linguists can assist lawyers.  The focus is on the cases I deal with — copyright infringement, authorship, interpretation of contracts, and plagiarism.

When a lawyer needs a linguist

When does a lawyer need a linguist?

As Roger Shuy, one of the most pre-eminent forensic linguists, has observed, the interpretation and application of the law are overwhelmingly about language.  Thus, there are many situations in which the expertise of a linguist – someone trained in the precise description and analysis of language (but not necessarily a person who knows many languages) – can make substantial contributions to a case, providing evidence one way or the other or simply clarifying the linguistic principles, problems, and processes that the case involves.

Here are some of legal specialties in which linguistic expertise can prove valuable to the attorney:

When a Lawyer Needs a Linguist…

By Alan M. Perlman.

When does a lawyer need a linguist? As Roger Shuy, one of the most pre-eminent forensic linguists, has observed, the interpretation and application of the law are overwhelmingly about language. Thus, there are many situations in which the expertise of a linguist – someone trained in the precise description and analysis of language (but not necessarily a person who knows many languages) – can make substantial contributions to a case, providing evidence one way or the other or simply clarifying the linguistic principles, problems, and processes that the case involves.