Despite the relevance of language use in expert
testimony, researchers have rarely scrutinized the linguistic
and interactional processes of constructing an expert identity.
This study, rather than reifying the concept of expert
and leaving it as an unproblematic legal argument, examines
how this institutional identity emerges in and through
discursive interaction between the prosecuting attorney
and a physician (who is also the defendant) in trial cross-examination.
Using Goffman's notion of footing, the article
examines how both prosecutor and defendant mobilize direct
and indirect quotes, repetitive parallelism, epistemic
modality, counterfactuals, evidentiality, sequencing, and
specialized tokens of the medical register to contextualize
shifting into and departing from an expert identity.
I would like to thank the Office
of Social Science Research at the University of Illinois at
Chicago for financial help. Don Lance (as always) and Richard
Cameron provided detailed comments and guidance throughout the
course of writing. Thanks are due to Wayne Kerstetter, Mike Maltz,
Pat McAnany, Joe Peterson, and Sarah Ullman for comments at an
early presentation. Finally, I deeply appreciate the very detailed
comments of Elizabeth Mertz and W. M. O'Barr, which I have
tried to incorporate as much as possible.