IV. Recommended Practices

A. Consultants may wish in their written reports to state explicitly that they are aware of the contents of this Code of Ethics. A statement to this effect might read in whole or in part as follows:

This report is based on my professional knowledge and expertise, and on my research using established and accepted scientific linguistic knowledge and methodology. The data and sources that I considered in forming the professional opinions expressed here are referenced where relevant throughout the report. If sworn as a witness, I could testify competently to the matters stated herein. I understand that my duty in providing written reports and giving evidence is to assist the court—and that this duty overrides any obligation to the party by whom I am engaged or the person who has paid or is liable to pay me. I confirm that I have complied and will continue to comply with my duty. My compensation is not contingent in any way on the outcome of this case.

B. Consultants should also be mindful that their forensic work may be of utility and scientific importance to other linguists; in this respect, consultants are encouraged to share their results through active participation in the meetings and publications of appropriate professional organizations and related societies.

One Response to IV. Recommended Practices

  1. Ralph W. Fasold says:

    Paragraph II C seems too stringent and might lead to a mistaken understanding of the expert testimony by a judge or jury. I the linguist says that s/he is, say, 80% confident in her or his conclusions, it may imply to a non-academic that there is more doubt than is actually the case, when the linguist’s conclusion might be more solid than any other source of information used in the court. Of course, if asked, the expert witness would be obliged to answer honestly, but I am not sure there is an obligation to volunteer such a judgement.

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