‘A Shifting Precipice of Unsettled Law’? A Survey of How US Courts Treat Expert Testimony Using Forensic Stylistics

John Terry Dundon, Georgetown University Law Center


This paper provides an up-to-date summary of how the US legal system treats evidence that uses the forensic stylistics method of authorship attribution analysis. Many scholars in both law and linguistics have written about some of the more notable cases on this issue, but none have attempted to trace the entire line of relevant case law since the advent of modern forensic stylistics, and relatively few summaries of any case law have appeared in the last ten years. It is hoped that a fresh look with updated legal research can add new insights for litigants, lawyers and linguists alike.