Criminal Justice


GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LAW. Atlanta, Georgia. Professor of Law and W. Lee Burge Chair in Law & Ethics. (6/02 - present). Courses: Transition to Practice, Judicial Power; Professional Responsibility: Heroes & Villains; Criminal Justice Clinic; Criminal Justice Fieldwork & Law Reform

WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW. St. Louis, Missouri. Associate Professor (7/89-6/93); Professor (7/93-5/02). Israel Treiman Research Fellow (1999-2000). Courses: Criminal Justice Clinic I and II; Law in Context.


"Taking the Punishment out of the Process: From Substantive Criminal Justice Through Procedural Justice To Restorative Justice," 67 Law & Contemporary Problems 59 - 86 (Duke Law School Autumn 2004) (co-authored with Brenda Sims Blackwell). 

"How to Explain Confidentiality?" 9 Clinical Law Review 579 -621 (2003) . 

"Using Common Sense: A Linguistic Perspective on Judicial Interpretations of 'Use a Firearm'," 73 Washington University Law Quarterly. 1159-1214 (1995) (with Charles J. Fillmore).

"Bringing Linguistics into Judicial Decisionmaking," 2 Forensic Linguistics: The International Journal of Speech, Language, and the Law 81-98 (1995) (with Jeffrey P. Kaplan, Georgia M. Green, and Judith N. Levi). 

"Plain Meaning and Hard Cases," 103 Yale Law Journal 1561-1625 (1994) (with Judith N. Levi, Georgia M. Green, and Jeffrey P. Kaplan); see Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Communicating and Commenting on the Court's Work, 83 Georgetown Law Journal 2119, 2127 (1995) (“If law journal citations in Supreme Court opinions are less numerous than they once were, it may be because some in the academy are writing on topics or in a language ordinary judges and lawyers do not comprehend. But articles accessible and useful to judges remain in vogue. Last Term, for example, a Yale Law Journal article sensibly discussing "Plain Meaning and Hard Cases" received credit lines in three Supreme Court opinions (two of them mine). [FN 52 Clark D. Cunningham et al., Plain Meaning and Hard Cases, 103 Yale L.J. 1561 (1994), cited in Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs v. Greenwich Collieries, 114 S.Ct. 2251, 2255 (1994)(O'Connor, J.); Staples v. United States, 114 S.Ct. 1793, 1806 (1994)(Ginsburg, J., concurring in judgment); United States v. Granderson, 114 S.Ct. 1259, 1267 n.10 (1994)(Ginsburg, J.)].)

"The Lawyer as Translator, Representation as Text: Towards an Ethnography of Legal Discourse," 77 Cornell Law Review 1298-1387 (1992). 

"A Tale of Two Clients: Thinking About Law as Language," 87 Michigan Law Review 2459-2494 (1989) (reprinted in Alex Hurder et al (eds.), Clinical Anthology (1997). 

"A Linguistic Analysis of the Meanings of 'Search' in the Fourth Amendment: A Search for Common Sense," 73 Iowa Law Review 541-609 (l988). 


"Anti-Money Laundering, Ethics and Professional Judgment: A Teaching Exercise," presented March 9, 2012, Annual Meeting of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Miami. 

"Anti-Money Laundering, Ethics and Professional Judgment: A Teaching Exercise," presented November 2, 2011, Annual Conference of the International Bar Association, Dubai (Joint Session of the Academic & Professional Development Committee and the Anti-Money Laundering Legislation Implementation Working Group).  

"Anti-Money Laundering, Ethics and Professional Judgment: A Teaching Exercise," presented October 29, 2011, Teaching Ethics in the Law Curriculum, The City Law, City University London. Also served as co-organizer of the workshop.

"Taking the Punishment out of the Process,” Marilyn Stein Bellet Conference on Ethics and the Law, Fordham School of Law and Low Country Legal Aid, Hilton Head, S. Carolina, November 12, 2004.

"The U.S. Patriot Act and the War on Terror," The Dartmouth Lawyers Association, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 11, 2004.

"Taking the Punishment out of the Process," 4th Annual Public Law Conference, Duke Law School, December 13-14, 2002.

"Taking the Punishment out of the Process," American Council of Chief Defenders, Austin, Texas, September 18, 2002.

"Conference on Restorative Justice," New College Law School, San Francisco, August 30 -September 2, 2002 (invited participant).

"Impact of Alabama v Shelton in Georgia," Chief Justice's Commission on Indigent Defense, Atlanta, July 26, 2002.

"How to Explain Confidentiality," Fifth International Clinical Conference, UCLA Law School, November 2001 (also chaired session on international clinical education).

"Linguists in the Supreme Court and the Jail Cell," The Dartmouth Lawyers Association Speakers Series: Law and the Liberal Arts, Dartmouth College, January 1999.

"Using Linguistics to Interpret Laws: the Problem of Disciplinary Boundaries," presentation to the Law and Social Science Group, Northwestern University, May 9, 1996.

"Arguing and Deciding Hard Cases with the Help of Linguistics: Some Recent Supreme Court Cases," presentation to the American Bar Foundation, May 8, 1996.

""Northwestern University-Washington University Law and Linguistics Conference," co-chaired three day conference in Evanston, Illinois, bringing together 13 leading American linguists and law professors on the topic, "What is Meaning in a Legal Text?" (March 31-April 2, 1995), and organized subsequent symposium issue on law and linguistics: 73 Washington University Law Quarterly, 769-1313 (1995).

"Taking It to the Streets: Putting Discourse Analysis to the Service of a Public Defender's Office," presented to the New York Clinical Theory Workshop, March 17, 1995.

"Linguistic Analysis of Supreme Court Cases" and "Social Science and the Law School Clinic," Annual Meeting of the Law & Society Association (1994) (co-chaired both roundtable sessions)

"In Search of Common Sense, A Linguistic Approach to Fourth Amendment Law," Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting (1988).


Kareem Allen v. State (Supreme Court of Georgia) (argued July 5, 2010) (amicus brief).

State of Georgia v. Michael Abernathy, 630 S.E.2d 421 (Ga. App. 2006) (expert witness on conflict of interest in support of motion for new trial) (denial of new trial motion affirmed on appeal).

United States v. X-Citement Video, 115 S.Ct. 464 (1994) (filed amicus brief on behalf of the Law & Linguistics Consortium providing the Court with a linguistic analysis of the disputed provision of the federal child pornography act)

Lindsay v. Jones, Parton v. White (E.D. Mo. 1993) (effected major reform of prison health care in Missouri through two consolidated class actions).

In re Contempt of Dougherty, 429 Mich. 8l, 4l3 N.W.2d 392 (1987). Counsel for Michigan bishops of the Episcopal, Methodist and Roman Catholic churches appearing as amici curiae. Issue raised by amici was the First Amendment right to refuse to promise future compliance with an injunction to refrain from anti-nuclear civil disobedience when such a promise would violate deeply held religious beliefs.


Manuscript reviewer for Cambridge University Press, University of Chicago Press, and The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law.

Fulton County Criminal Justice Blue Ribbon Commission. Member (January 2005 - October 2006). 

Co-Reporter, The Chief Justice's Commission on Indigent Defense, Supreme Court of Georgia (Final Report Issued September 1, 2004).

1999 Special City Counselor, Law Department, City of St. Louis. Appointed to represent the City of St. Louis on major cases involving the city's innovative ordinances to stabilize neighborhoods by proceeding against property used for drug sales and other crimes under a public nuisance theory.

1998 - 2001 Urban Families and Community Development Program, Washington University Supervisory Council for inter-disciplinary graduate program bringing together faculty from social work, public health, public policy, education, law and architecture to provide innovative approaches to empowering low-income urban communities.