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In this volume, Gregory Matoesian uses the notorious 1991 rape trial of William Kennedy Smith to provide an in-depth analysis of language use and its role in that specific trial as well as in the law in general. He draws on the fields of conversation analysis, ethnomethodology, linguistic anthropology and social theory to show how language practices shape--and are shaped by--culture and the law, particularly in the social construction of rape as a legal fact. This analysis examines linguistic strategies from both defence and prosecution viewpoints, and how they relate to issues of gender, sexual identity, and power.