Expert linguists and the whole truth
Keywords:Whole truth ethics
AbstractThe adversarial nature of legal proceedings presents challenges for a linguist whose scholarly research and expert opinion typically have asymmetrical resources and constraints. This presentation focuses on a linguist’s ethical obligations as a forensic consultant, in initial contacts with attorneys, in drafting an expert report or declaration, and in deposition testimony and trial testimony. It asks in particular whether “the whole truth” remains a consistent ethical requirement across all legal and forensic linguistic contexts. It also examines possible ethical vulnerabilities of an expert operating with a set of facts initially framed by an advocate representing only one side of a dispute in contrast to the facts and framing possible to an independent scholarly investigator. The advantages for litigants, linguists, and triers of fact of having opposing experts will also be considered.
How to Cite
Finegan, E. (2010). Expert linguists and the whole truth. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 16(2), 267–277. https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.v16i2.267
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