Professional Experience

 

1991-2002: Director, Executive Communications (reporting to Sr. VP, Corporate Communications), Kraft Foods, Northfield, IL 60093.

1984-91: Speechwriter, Public Relations Staff, General Motors Corporation, Detroit MI 48202.

1981-83: Manager, Speechwriting, Burroughs Corporation, Detroit MI 48232.

1979-81: Staff Supervisor, Marketing Communications, Michigan Bell, Detroit and Southfield MI.

1965-79: Assistant Professor of English (most recent position: Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1974-79); taught English linguistics and composition at the college/university level; published scholarly articles; organized a composition program and helped establish a graduate program in the theory and structure of writing.

ACADEMIC COURSES TAUGHT: (partial list) History of the English Language; Language and Dialect; Introduction to English Dialects; the Structure of Modern English; English Stylistics; Structure and Process of Written Language; English Composition; Introduction to Linguistics; Phonetics and Phonology..

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE. Forensic Linguistics, 1979-present  — Court Cases –

Cases listed by law firm , case name/number, approximate date of service, contribution (A, “affidavit” [court document]; C, “consultation;” D, “deposition”; E, “expert witness statement” [court document]); R, “written report on the data”; RR, “conduct research and write report; R/R, “rebuttal report”), excludes current cases.

[]      Barshay Sanders, PLLC (Garden City, NY), David Barshay; re: Joshua Paul Tilatitsky, Plaintiff, v. Medicredit, Inc., Defendant, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI, EASTERN DIVISION, Case No.: 4:16-cv-00811-JCH, August 2016 (E).

         The Brusch Law Firm (St. Thomas, VI); David Cattie; re: interpretation of contract language (Coinsurance Clause), Oct. 2005 (R).

         Charles Jacquin et Cie, Inc. (corporate client; Philadelphia, PA), Paul Lewis; re: Quantum v. Quintus, Dec. 2003 (RR).

         Cohen Lans L.L.P (New York, NY), Gary J. Lerner; re: Landmark Education v. Rick Ross, July 2004 (R).

         Connolly Sheehan Harris, LLP (Chicago, IL), Terence Smith; re: Garibaldi Versus Anixter Inc. (Case Number 05-CV-60 75L W.D.N.Y.), July 2006 (R).

         Consolidated Consultants Co. (Chula Vista, CA), Louis Zayas, Esq.; re: Wiggens vs. Hackensack; State vs. Inez Danels, Nov. 2006 (R).

         Cook & Franke S.C. (Milwaukee, WI), David J. Hase; re: Shovers v. Shovers, Oct. 2004 (R).

         Cranfill, Sumner, & Hartzog, L.L.P. (Wilmington, NC), Colleen Shea-Collis; re: Vicki Morgan v. Bruce Whealton, Jan. 2003 (R).

         Denner Pellegrino, LLP (Boston, MA), Vikas S. Dhar, re: Khan v. Klein, Middlesex County  Probate and Family Court, Docket No. 06E-0176, May 2007 (R).

         Gentle, Pickens and Turner (Birmingham AL), Diandra Debrosse; re: Burgin v. LaHaye, et al., File #4743-1, March 2009 (R).

         Heisinger, Buck & Morris (Carmel, CA), Chris Campbell; re ESTATE OF DORIS PRUST, June 2008 (R).

         Kallas and Associates Ltd.  (Minneapolis, MN), Michael Kallas; re: Rocco Altobelli v. William L. Anderson et al., State of Minnesota, County of Hennepin, District Court, Fourth Judicial District, Court File No. 27-CV-08-5087, March 2008 (A).

         Law Offices of Mitchell A. Chester (Fort Lauderdale, FL), Dawn Miller; re: Mercury Insurance Company of Florida, Plaintiff, Versus Marlaina Law and Lincoln Pujan, Defendants (Circuit Court for the 17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County Florida, Case Number 04 — 1132 [21]), Nov. 2005 (R).

         Law Offices of Joseph K. Jones, LLC  (Fairfield, NJ), Joseph Jones; re: Angela F. Mims vs. Phillips & Cohen Associates, Ltd., Feb. 2008 (R).

         The Law Offices of Robert P. Spretnak (Las Vegas, NV), Cheryl A. O’Brien; re: Audrey Robert v. David Rahm, et al., Dec. 2005 (R).

         Law Offices of Jennifer L. Zito (Meriden, CT); re: Mainardi et al. v. Prudential insurance Cos. of America, April, 2009 (R).

         Levine Blaszak Block & Boothby, LLP (Washington, DC), Stephen J. Rosen; re: American Bankers Insurance Group, Inc., Plaintiff, v. United States of America, Defendant (United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Case Number 03-21822-CIV-Huck/Turnoff), Feb. 2004 (RR).

         Levine & Spatz (Pittsburgh, PA), Max A. Levine; re: meaning of language of prenuptial agreement, June 2007 (R).

         Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell (New York, NY), Sara Chen; re: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company v. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America et al., Supreme Court of the State of New York, Index No. 0860046, Feb. 2008 (A).

         McGrath North Mullin & Kratz PC LLO (Omaha, NE), Patrick J. Barrett; re: Conagra Foods, Inc/Andrew Branham, Nov. 2004 (R).

         Middletons (Melbourne, Australia), Stuart Gibson;  re: MedEntry & Anor v Rockefeller  Management Corporation & Anor (V1289 of 2004), April 2005  (R).

         Notario & Michalos P.C. (Orangeburg NY), John Zaccaria; re: Biofutrura Pharma, S.P.A. (Opposer), v. Day Corporation (Applicant), Application Serial No. 78/541,059, Jan. 2005 (E).

         Parsons Behle & Latimer (Salt Lake City, UT), Lawrence Leigh; litigation consultant, April 2007 (C).

[]      David Pearline, Attorney at Law (Virginia Beach, Virginia), David Pearline; re: Dr. Widad Elmahboub, Plaintiff, v. Hampton University, and Dr. Meena Katdare, Defendants; VIRGINIA: IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF HAMPTON, PART I, Case No.: CL11-2568, Oct. 2012 (R).

         Reach, Ranney & Carpenter, P.C. (Ann Arbor, MI), Ian James Reach; re: Kassa v. Washtenaw County et al., Court File # 04-60215, Jan 2005 (C).

         Nathan Reitman, Attorney at Law (Salem, OR); re: Oregonians for Honest Elections v. Oregon Education Association et al., in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, for the County of Marion, Case No. 08C25088, Nov. 2009 (A).

         Rybicki & Blevans, LLP (Santa Rosa, CA), Brandon Blevans; re: Marriage of Greene, Janette and Avery (Superior Court of California, County of Solano (Case No. SF032826), Aug. 2006 (E).

         Seabaugh, Benson Keene & Denny (Shreveport, LA), Todd Benson: re: Jayn Robison v. Cardiology Associates, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Shreveport Division, Civil Action No. CV05-1581 S, April 2007  (R,D).

         Seyfarth & Shaw (Chicago, IL), Bart Lazar; re: the Bandanna Co. Inc., Plaintiff, Versus Linens ‘n Things, Inc., Defendant (Civil Action Number 03-CV 211-C), February 2005 (E).

         Seyfarth & Shaw (Chicago, IL), Bart Lazar; re: Nygard v. Haggar, United States District Court, Central District of California (Case No. 02-8781-JFW (RCX), Nov. 2003 (E).

         Shernoff Bidart Darris, LLP (Claremont, CA), Evangeline Grossman; re Blue Shield Rescission Cases (first case: Mottaghi vs. Blue Shield, Superior Court for the State of California for the County of Los Angeles (Case No.: B.C351475), April 2007 (E).

         Skadden Arps (New York, NY) Joseph Goodman; re: Appeal of Santiago Batista (BSGB No. 2004-065), March 2004 (R).

         State Bar of Michigan (Lansing, MI), Danon D. Goodrum-Garland; re: State Bar of Michigan v. Elgardo L. Perez DeLeon, Circuit Court for the County of Wayne, 030320403-CZ, April 2008 (R,D).

[]          Tolpin & Partners, PC (Chicago, IL), Mark R. Bagley; re: Deckers Outdoor Corporation v. Australian Leather Pty. Ltd. and Adnan Oygur a/k/a Eddie Oygur, Case No. 1:16-cv-03676, United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division (R/R,D).

         White and White, LLC (Indianapolis, IN), Mary Stuart White; re: Auberry vs. NationsRent, April 2005 (R).

         Williams and Associates (Sacramento, CA) Kathleen Williams; re: Henson v. County of Lassen et al., August 2006 (R).

         Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, LLP (White Plains, NY), Sheilagh dePeter; re: Gerling v. Nestle Waters North America, Aug. 2005 (E).

Legal cases, direct client service (examples)

         Michael P. Hays, re: Hays vs. Barbee (S05-05-376), June 2005 (R).

[]         Eric and Gail Taylor, re: State of Indiana, County of Marion, Co-Guardians’ Petition to Compromise and Settle Minor’s Claim for Personal Injuries (Docket No. 49 D08 0299), July 2006 (R).

CONSULTATION WITH ATTORNEYS AND PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS.  In addition to cases that went into litigation, I have consulted on numerous occasions and provided forensic linguistic advice to attorneys in cases that sometimes did not go to court, as well as to private individuals and private investigators, under the same circumstances.

Recent Posts

  • Is Stephen Miller making policy decisions?  Who is Stephen Miller? - The answer to the second question is easier than the answer to the first.  Miller is from Santa Monica http://www.latimes.com/politics/washington/la-na-essential-washington-updates-trump-speechwriter-stephen-miller-pens-1495224315-htmlstory.html and, by whatever circuitous paths speechwriters’ careers take (and there are some weird ones), he is writing the President’s speeches.  At least, that’s the only source for Trump’s formal rhetoric that I could find.  Usually... Read more »
  • She judges you when you use poor grammar - Amazon just informed me of a book, by Sharon Eliza Nichols, entitled I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar: A Collection of Egregious Errors, Disconcerting Bloopers, and Other Linguistic Slip-Ups (Paperback – September 29, 2009). In fact, there’s a whole series of books around the “More Badder Grammar” rubric. Of course, I’ll order the... Read more »
  • So, like, what’s up with this new use of “so”? - I like to watch language change the way many people like to see the seasons change – in fact, I like them both. Language change is the more unpredictable, yet, like the eternal revolution of heat and cold, it is inevitable and inexorable.   English existed as a language as early as the 5th century... Read more »
  • Reply to student: suggested authorship project - This rarest of all things — a legitimate letter from Nigeria (at least, I think — it didn’t ask for money) landed in my in-box:   Hello Dr. Alan. I am N__________from Nigeria. I am a student of Stylistics at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. My professor requested for a term paper on ‘Forensic Stylistics’ and... Read more »
  • PS: Language judgments and prejudices - A PS to the previous post: We judge people by the way they speak, by which I mean we apply to them the generalizations we have gleaned from past associations with people who speak that way. I caution against being too hasty with these snap judgments. There are very good reasons why a non-stupid person... Read more »
  • No, I’m not peeved by people who can’t keep “their,” “they’re” and “there” straight - My sweet wife is peeved.  She wrote a Facebook post and started a thread.  Apparently others are peeved too.  As a linguist, I don’t get peeved. Well, sometimes I do.  But I try to observe and learn. [ I think there are some linguistic developments we can do without, but people have always thought that. ... Read more »
  • Linguist looks at 2nd Amendment - One thing I understand about New Hampshire, after eight years here, is that the state’s bold and famous motto, “live free or die,” refers mainly to the second half of the 2nd Amendment. A few years ago, its (not my) Legislature was considering laws that will make concealed-carry easier and (this one really make me... Read more »
  • Questions about the war on clickbait - “People tell us they don’t like stories that are misleading, sensational, or spammy. That includes clickbait headlines that are designed to get attention and lure visitors into clicking on a link.” Facebook blog So Facebook has declared war on clickbait.  The post defines three categories. “Spammy” I can understand. But we already have protection built... Read more »
  • What plagiarism is – and is not - I confidently predict that sometime in the next year, a public figure (or even someone you know) will be accused of plagiarism.  When that happens, read this first:   What plagiarism is — and is not A brief definition: plagiarism is knowingly appropriating another’s original words and/or ideas and presenting them as one’s own. As... Read more »
  • “Arrival” movie — an earnest but muddled attempt to render alien communication - Finally! A movie that makes an honest attempt to portray the way alien life-forms communicate — and actually stars a LINGUISTICS PROFESSOR who is tasked with figuring it out.   I was fascinated to see what they came up with. Previous efforts had the aliens either making unintelligible noises (as in “The Arrival,” a highly... Read more »