Forensic Linguist

PhD Candidate, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics,  York University

I'm a forensic linguist (an interactional sociolinguist/discourse analyst) and doctoral candidate in linguistics and applied linguistics at York University in Toronto, Ontario. 

I'm interested in all ways language interacts with the law, be it language as evidence, language crimes, legal discourse, or the language of the law. 

I consult  privately and as a language analyst at Robert Leonard Associates analyzing language evidence in criminal, civil, and investigative matters. 

In my research, I apply both discourse analysis and corpus methodologies to various legal and forensic-related language data. Particularly, I have explored/am exploring/want to explore:

• The language of police reports

Authorial stance in written threatening communications

• Patterns of authorial stance in the writings of mass murderers (specifically school shooters), serial killers, and suicidal individuals. 

• Police interviewing techniques/models (and discourse patterns of police interviews)

• False confessions

• Authorship Analysis

• Patterns of language use of radicalized individuals online and extremist propaganda

• The Bruton Rule (court decisions and constitutional restraints on admitting/redacting statements in joint trials)

• Linguistic bias and discrimination

• Revealing bias and discrimination (and ideologies) in the judicial process through patterns of language use

• Plain language (jury instructions, police cautions, and legislature)

My ultimate goal in all my research and work is to explain, aid, and improve the justice process in Canada and around the world. This might sound a bit ambitious, but I think this is a good start!