Conversational analysis is a field of linguistics that investigates the patterns and rules of everyday speech. In 1979, working with Dr. Roger Shuy of Georgetown University, Sam Guiberson became the first lawyer to recognize that recorded conversations in undercover operations created a unique type of linguistic pattern in which the objective of the undercover agent was to preserve words from his target in a way that would be consistent with the sting operation's investigative objectives. The intention to capture recorded words that conformed to the undisclosed expectations of the undercover agent exploited the conventional rules of conversation in ways that controlled the course of conversation as well as how and what topics were discussed. Working in concert with Sam Guiberson, Dr. Shuy became the first linguist in the nation to testify about the conversational analysis of tape evidence as an expert in a criminal case.
Mr. Guiberson expanded the application of linguistic analysis in subsequent trials well beyond the use of expert witnesses. Beginning with the Brilab trials, Sam's team of lawyers and linguists assisted trial counsel in a rigorous organization of the linguistic elements of the recorded conversations that allowed for cross examination that dealt not only with the word's spoken by the defendant, but also the language the undercover agent chose to achieve the investigations' undercover objectives. The integration of the probative elements of conversational analysis into the fabric of cross examination, oral argument and defense testimony in criminal cases has become known as the "linguistic defense." Sam Guiberson is widely credited as the originator of this type of defense in criminal cases involving consensually recorded evidence.
In the years to follow, Mr. Guiberson broadly applied the analysis of recorded conversation to the widest imaginable variety of civil and criminal cases. As a result of having studied thousands of hours of undercover recordings and wiretaps, Sam has developed unparalleled experience in the analysis of language in evidence and the linguistic techniques of incrimination employed by undercover agents and informants. In wiretap cases, he has organized thousands of hours of surveillance audios for analysis and applied both conversational linguistic and sociolinguistic concepts to understand the communication patterns among targeted groups or corporate organizations under surveillance. The goal of his work is always to test the recordings for their potential as evidence favorable to the defense, even though they may be offered into evidence by the prosecution.
In civil cases, he has conducted comprehensive evaluations of the strategic merits of recorded evidence, assisted in preparation of recorded evidence for trial and supported counsel in the deposition of both opposing parties and experts. Whether recordings are to be offered by the plaintiff or defendant, extensive preparation and analysis of the evidence from even the most counterintuitive perspectives is critical to avoid any adversary's co-option of the powerful statement recorded evidence makes to a jury.
Today, Guiberson Consulting's linguistic analysis of recorded conversations in criminal and civil cases is an interdisciplinary effort that applies the most experienced analysis of communications evidence to all forms of spoken and written media. It is invariably coupled with a systematic organization and analysis of the conversational details, the social, political or professional context in which the language is used and the constellation of facts and circumstances which govern its interpretation as either adverse or favorable evidence.