BiographyJames F. Stratman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). He earned a Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University in 1988 and his dissertation, which was funded by the American Bar Foundation (ABF), investigated the brief reading, brief writing, and rhetorical decision making processes of appellate court advocates and appellate court clerks. Before coming to UCD (in 1990), he served for five years as Director of Management Communication in Carnegie Mellon's Graduate School of Industrial Administration. For twelve years at UCD he served as Director of the Master of Science degree program in Technical Communication. Currently he teaches courses focusing upon communication theory and research targeting U.S. trial court processes; legal reasoning and writing; technical communication; and empirical research methods in communication. His legal reasoning research has been supported by two successive funding grants from the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), research which investigates how first year law students comprehend legal cases. His just published book, titled A Forensic Linguistic Approach to Legal Disclosures: ERISA Cash Balance Conversion Cases and the Contextual Dynamics of Deception (Routledge Studies in Linguistics Series) investigates allegedly deceptive language in federally required pension reduction notices under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). He has previously served as an expert witness in ERISA pension reduction disclosure cases and his disclosure comprehension research has been cited in two federal circuit court decisions. He is a member of the International Association of Forensic Linguists (IAFL).
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Reader comprehension processes in technical, legal, and health-risk communication and argumentation; empirical cognitive, rhetorical, and linguistic methodologies for understanding, designing, and improving scientific, health risk, technical, and legal communication.