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Volume 4, Issue 1 (June 2000)

The electronic newsletter of language and law, Language in the Judicial Process (LJP), is back online with a new address and a new support staff.  As always, our intention is to maintain on a World Wide Web homepage current information of interest to all who are interested in language and law-students, scholars, legal practitioners, and others.

Since our debut in 1995, another important site has debuted, that of the Forensic Linguistics Group at the University of Birmingham in the UK:

Between us, we hope to provide comprehensive and easily accessible information about conferences, publications, and other matters of interest to those interested in language and law.

The print journal, Forensic Linguistics: The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, is now published by the University of Birmingham Press twice a year (it was initially published by Routledge.) Editors are Malcolm Coulthard and Peter French. The URL is:

Initial issues of LJP listed bibliographies and other tools, directed readers to relevant organizations, provided program information where appropriate, and listed current bibliography in language and law. Later issues included book reviews and abstracts of professional papers. In the future, we expect to cite legal cases in which linguistic issues are important and also to include abstracts of articles and summaries of relevant cases, etc. We will also list other websites of interest.

From the outset, one goal of LJP has been to continue the fine tradition begun by Judith N. Levi, whose bibliographical work on language and law produced the 1994 bibliography, Language and Law: A Bibliographic Guide to Social Science Research in the U.S.A. (Chicago: American Bar Association).

For the title of the newsletter, we are indebted to both Judith N. Levi and Anne Graffam Walker; their pioneering work in organizing and coordinating both the 1985 Georgetown University conference, “Language in the Judicial Process,” and the 1990 volume of the same name (New York: Plenum Press), constituted a substantial contribution to the developing field of language and law. We use the name Language in the Judicial Process with their permission.

I shall always be grateful for the fine work of David Hale, LJP Technical Editor 1995-1998. LJP began as a pilot study in a course in Language and Law when he proposed the publication as a course assignment. In 1996, David co-authored Intranets vs. Lotus Notes (AP Professional Publishing, a division of Harcourt Brace) with by Joseph T. Sinclair. In 1999, he moved to the state of Washington and began working for Microsoft.

Bethany K. Dumas, Editor