Event Calendar

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Webinar: Making Creative Use of Forensic Linguistics

Start Date: 6/26/2018 2:00 PM EDT
End Date: 6/26/2018 4:00 PM EDT

Organization Name: National Association for Public Defense

Heather H. Hall
Email: heather@publicdefenders.us
Phone: N/A

Making Creative Use of Forensic Linguistics

June 26, 2018, 2:00 p.m. Eastern, 120 minutes

Webinar Faculty: 

  • Eric M. Freedman, Siggi B. Wilzig Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Rights, Hofstra Law School
  • Robert A. Leonard, Professor of Linguistics, Hofstra University

About the Webinar:  "Forensic linguistics is a court-recognized discipline involving the application of scientific principles of language to legal disputes.

Common examples of such cases are ones in which the authenticity of a confession is challenged, the authorship of a document is questioned, the meaning of an ambiguous statement is disputed, or the comprehensibility of jury instructions is challenged. But creative defense lawyers can apply the discipline to a broad range of linguistic questions, e.g. whether the failure to respond to a particular accusation justifies a presumption that the hearer admitted it, or whether an allocution has been effectively structured as a narrative.

This webinar is designed to introduce participants to the possibilities. It is presented jointly by two Hofstra University professors, one a lawyer and one a linguist, who have provided expert services to many defense teams https://www.hofstra.edu/academics/colleges/hclas/cll/linguistics/forensic-linguistic-institute.html"

About the Faculty: 

  • Eric M. Freedman is the Siggi B. Wilzig Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Rights at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.  Professor Freedman is the Reporter for the American Bar Association’s Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases (2d ed., 2003).  He is the author of the authoritative monograph Habeas Corpus: Rethinking The Great Writ of Liberty (NYU Press 2003), of Making Habeas Work: A Legal History (NYU Press, 2018) and of numerous articles for scholarly and general publications concerning capital punishment, habeas corpus and related subjects.  He makes frequent presentations on these subjects to professional, legislative, and judicial audiences in the United States and abroad.  He has also been active nationally as a litigator for over thirty-five years. Professor Freedman was a recipient of the Dybwad Humanitarian Award of the American Association on Mental Retardation for his representation of Earl Washington, Jr., the first person ever released from Death Row in Virginia on the grounds of innocence.  A graduate of  the Phillips Exeter Academy, Yale College and Yale Law School, Professor Freedman holds a Master’s Degree in History from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and is an elected member of the American Law Institute.
  • Dr. Robert Leonard is Professor of Linguistics, Director of the Forensic Linguistics Innocence Project, the Institute for Forensic Linguistics, Threat Assessment, and Strategic Analysis, and Director of the Graduate Program in Linguistics: Forensic Linguistics at Hofstra. The New Yorker magazine calls Leonard “One of the foremost language detectives in the country”. A Fulbright Fellow for his doctoral work at Columbia University, he has worked with the FBI and police, protective services, counter-terrorism, and intelligence agencies throughout the U.S., Canada, the U.K. continental Europe, and Asia, as well as with many defense and death penalty mitigation teams. Other clients include Apple, Inc., Facebook, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, and the Prime Minister of Canada. Leonard’s testimony has been pivotal in investigating and prosecuting several high-profile cases, including the JonBenet Ramsey murder, death threats to judges and U.S. Congress members, and the triple homicide of the Coleman family in Illinois. A member of the Editorial Board of the Oxford University Press scholarship series Language and the Law, Leonard lectures on forensic linguistics to judges, attorneys, police, agents, and scholars worldwide.


January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE

January 17, 2018: The 2018 NAPD Investigators Conference and 2018 Social Workers & Sentencing Advocates Institute (March 26-29, 2018 in Denver, CO) are now at full capacity and closed for registration. A wait list is being developed.

November 28, 2017: NAPD has uploaded videos of the presentations from the 2017 NAPD Workloads Conference in St. Louis (held November 17-18). Members can access these valuable presentations on MyGideon by logging into their NAPD account.

April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE

On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principles, which are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.