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

  • RIP Philip Roth, prophet of political correctness - One of my favorite authors, Philip Roth, died recently, leaving a magnificent body of work. Unlike other personal faves, Saul Bellow and Bernard Malamud, who composed mostly in the key of J (for “Jewish”; Malamud’s The Natural is an exception), Roth’s versatility was truly impressive. In Indignation (2008), a young man bucks the system of... Read more »
  • Calling (out) my fellow linguists - Our society is divided by many conflicting forces, but two of them are in our face almost all the time, roiling America like the whirling blades of the old MixMaster – and causing just as much confusion. Both are related to the field in which I was trained – linguistics. Both center on language –... Read more »
  • What ABC could — and should — have said - Draft ABC press release — full-page ads in all print media; also release to all online news outlets (alternate universe): New York, NY – June 1, 2018. To all our advertisers, our staff, our viewers, and all the citizens of our great and FREE country…. We at ABC have experienced a firestorm of criticism for... Read more »
  • Forensic linguistics featured in New Yorker piece - To introduce the next post, here’s my response to a New Yorker piece on forensic linguistics. The article is in the print version and at http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/07/23/120723fa_fact_hitt . Dear Editor, As a practicing forensic linguist, I thoroughly enjoyed your article on the profession – but with mixed feelings. It was gratifying to see forensic linguistics, which is not... Read more »
  • The forensic linguist and the Artful Dodger: Can people deliberately fake their writing style? - Perhaps 25% of the cases I handle involve the authorship of anonymous, disputed, or forged documents.  The client wants to know who’s writing those nasty, threatening emails or letters.  I typically ask the client for writing samples from the suspected author.  Sometimes there’s more than one suspect, and I have to decide which of them... Read more »
  • “Google” goes generic - Some years ago, right around this time of year, a geek site, as an April Fools prank, launched a new product — unicorn meat – which it called “the new white meat,” and lawyers for the National Pork Board issue a cease-and-desist order, because they’ve gone to great lengths to copyright “the other white meat”... Read more »
  • Stylistic analysis/stylometrics – a concise statement - The following description is taken from an affidavit by Gerald R. McMenamin, one of the leading scholars in the field; the affidavit – from Case 1:10-cv-00569-RJA -LGF Document 50 Filed 06/02/11 As part of his expert witness statement, McMenamin describes the theoretical and practical foundation of the method by which he examined documents and determined... Read more »
  • 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... Read more »
  • Basis forensic skills: How text-sensitive are you? - A forensic linguist must be exquisitely sensitive to nuances of text.  Where a synonym exists, the very choice of each word represents a decision on the part of the author.  Superimposed upon that is the way toward is spelled, abbreviated or capitalized. Truly, a text is a tangle of choices. The following are intended to... Read more »
  • I was wrong: p.c. can go even lower - Just when I thought the absurdity of political correctness/perceived insult exemplified by the contrived controversy over the “lighter is better” beer commercial could not be topped, along comes p.c.’s most ludicrous artifact yet: new pronouns. A couple of days ago, I watched in shock and awe as Tucker Carlson interviewed a woman who explained them:... Read more »