Timothy Habick

Dr. Timothy Habick

Reasoning, Inc.
1341 Gilbert Road
Meadowbrook, PA 19046
Office: 215-275-5388

Reasoning, Inc. is a group of doctoral-level linguists and logicians with superior understanding of all aspects of language. Our specialties include trademarks, intellectual property, defamation, and linguistic and logical analyses of publications, examination questions, newspapers, television, books, letters, scripts, interviews, advertisements, catalogs, manuals, contracts, secretly taped conversations, other discourse, and more--to identify meanings, inferences, innuendoes, bias, actual malice, damage to reputation, effectiveness of retractions, similarity to other documents, trademark dilution, copyright infringement, plagiarism, breach of contract, authorship attribution, and fraud.

Write to us at thabick@reasoninginc.com

For cases involving DEFAMATION, Reasoning, Inc. will make the best possible argumentation based on the available linguistic evidence.

Reasoning, Inc. has completed linguistic, logical, and discourse analyses of potentially defamatory statements for the law firms of Pisanelli-Bice in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick in Tampa, Florida, and for Haines & Associates, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Habick testified in court for the defense in United States of America v. Tyshon Bey, U.S. District Court, Trenton, New Jersey. 2012. Reasoning, Inc. provided expert testimony related to unfair testing, grading, and educational practices for Seals v. State of Mississippi et al. Reasoning, Inc. has also provided linguistic analyses of trademark issues for Seed IP and Perkins Coie LLP. Reasoning has done authorship attribution studies for a variety of clients, including Nationwide Insurance.

Documents are evaluated in terms of their words, phraseology, grammar, syntax, rhetoric, ambiguous interpretations, dialectal issues, sociolinguistic features, figurative language, juxtapositions, patterns, context, sources, attributions, spelling, punctuation, pragmatic effects, and other such factors of the linguistic environment.

Reasoning, Inc. works behind the scenes for major high-stakes standardized testing companies, providing linguistic, logical, and test development services. Reasoning, Inc. staff members, as former employees of Educational Testing Service, were responsible for setting the high standards in the reasoning sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test, the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), and the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). They have also made significant contributions to a number of medical, business, and professional certification examinations, such as the Global Competence Assessment. Reasoning, Inc. developed an official online study guide for the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).

All Reasoning written products are produced with high-stakes consequences in mind. High-stakes examinations require unusually high levels of precision; they require consideration of the logical, linguistic, and pragmatic implications of each word and each sentence. Reasoning, Inc. linguists and logicians ensure that each sentence in each written product allows for one and only one interpretation by educated users of International Standard English. Our extensive international experience and sociolinguistic perspective ensure a well-reasoned justification for each choice of word, phrasing, sentence structure, punctuation marking, and pragmatic organization. That is, all textual choices and interpretations are made with an awareness of specifiable linguistic and logical evidence.

Reasoning, Inc. is the best choice for situations requiring expert analysis of written materials. Reasoning staff members work on a daily, not occasional, basis constructing linguistic and logical rationales to support particular interpretations of textual materials.

By training and experience, Dr. Timothy Habick is a specialist in linguistics and linguistic analysis of communication content (i.e., content analysis). Formerly a university professor and then head of the Reasoning Group at Educational Testing Service, Dr. Habick is the owner and principal researcher at Reasoning, Inc., which has been operating since 2000. He has been qualified as an expert in linguistic analysis and has given testimony at trial and depositions.

Reasoning staff members have played low-profile roles in support of legal issues related to standardized testing companies.


Reasoning, Inc. forensic services include case evaluations, analyses and reports, discovery assistance, and testimony.

Reasoning services are especially appropriate for defendants wrongfully accused of language-related offenses. For example, Reasoning, Inc. wrote a report to show that a professional license renewal form was misleading and invalid based on the ambiguous nature of the questions asked.

Because of the close relationship between Reasoning, Inc. and major testing organizations, Reasoning, Inc. might be unable to accept cases from test-taker plaintiffs alleging defects in examinations written by certain professional testing companies. Please inquire to determine whether any conflicts of interest could exist for a particular examination. Reasoning does work with professional testing companies to ensure error-free, fair, and reliable assessment products in the first place. Testing programs are invited to use our services before test publication in order to prevent the logical and linguistic errors that could lead to costly legal problems and damage to reputation.

Reasoning, Inc. is the best choice for cases involving various types of communicative malpractice, poorly written examinations or surveys and other violations of generally accepted pedagogical and psychometric standards of fairness. If actual faulty examination or survey materials are available as evidence, Reasoning, Inc. can make powerful arguments related to the logical, linguistic, communicative, and psychometric appropriateness of the materials. Reasoning, Inc. can also provide expert guidance in matters related to unfair and biased test questions and survey questions.

Reasoning services are offered throughout the United States and internationally.

Reasoning, Inc. provides affordable fixed-fee services for clients requiring simple determinations or analyses of evidence.

Dr. Timothy Habick holds the Ph.D. degree in Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His dissertation, Sound Change in Farmer City: A Sociolinguistic Study Based on Acoustic Data, involved the spectrographic analysis of speech samples from 40 individuals in light of their social (teenage peer-group), familial, and generational relationships. This micro-sociolinguistic study illustrated how natural speech varies in systematic, identifiable ways as a function of group memberships. Dr. Habick has spent his professional career applying his linguistic and logical expertise to ensure the highest standards of fairness and legal defensibility in high-stakes written products. He speaks French, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese and has lived in and traveled extensively in China and most of Asia.

My daily and continuing work as a linguist in the field of high-stakes examination development for 30 years puts me in a strong position to offer an informed professional opinion on the meanings that can, must, and cannot be communicated by particular sentences and sets of sentences in context. Linguists and logicians collaborating in this field of applied linguistics become acutely aware of the capabilities of direct assertion and implication of any particular set of communications, based not only on purely linguistic principles but also on logical and communicative principles. This focused awareness is a critical job function because a tiny mistake in linguistic or logical judgment can adversely affect the career path of hundreds or thousands of examination candidates and could have devastating economic consequences for the testing organizations.

Linguists working in examination development get regular statistical feedback (test item analyses) regarding the correctness of our linguistic judgments on many thousands of test questions each year, from which we can determine just how thousands of individuals have interpreted (or in rare cases misinterpreted) the communications we have tentatively approved. Few linguists have ongoing access to such rich sets of proprietary data regarding the reactions of ordinary speakers to particular sentences and groups of sentences. It is our job to determine how readers must—not might—interpret every sentence we approve for publication. We develop a knowledge of the meanings that readers can legitimately take from any sentence in context, based on linguistic, logical, and communicative principles. Readers in their haste might make mistakes and misread, of course, but those are user errors that only the readers can control. The best we can do is to ensure that the linguistic material we present is perspicuous—clearly written and readily understood—and to avoid particular structures that (though technically correct and arguably clear) still incline some individuals to misread. We do this work on a daily basis by applying linguistic, logical, and communicative rules. I promote communicative excellence in the field of examination development through my continuing research in linguistics-based fairness in writing test questions. Habick and Cook (2017), Habick (2018).

Linguistics Expert Witness

Areas of Expertise
  • Audio
  • Defamation
  • Document Examination
  • Language & Linguistics
  • Trade Secrets
  • Trademarks

Expert Background
Q: Please list your professional accreditations, degrees, licenses, and certificates granted:
A: Ph.D.- Linguistics, 1980, University of Illinois, Urbana
B.A.- French, maxima cum laude, 1971 La Salle University, Philadelphia
Q: Please list your affiliations or memberships in any professional and/or industry organizations:
A: International Association of Forensic Linguists
American Educational Research Association
Q: Please list any teaching or speaking experience you have had, including subject matter:
A: Dr. Habick has taught linguistics and English at Temple University, La Salle University, and the University of Illinois. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences and workshops.

Q: Have any of your accreditations ever been investigated, suspended or removed? (if yes, explain)
A: NO.
Q: On how many occasions have you been retained as an expert?
A: Innumerable times over more than twenty years.
Q: For what area(s) of expertise have you been retained as an expert?
A: English Syntax; Linguistic Analysis of Various Documents; Trademarks; Authorship Attribution;
Libel, Slander, Invasion of Privacy; Copyright Infringement; Unfair tests, grading, and educational practices; Interpretation of Contracts; Analysis of Secretly Taped Messages.

Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the plaintiff?
A: Approximately 75 percent.
Q: In what percentage of your cases were you retained by the defendant?
A: Approximately 25 percent.
Q: On how many occasions have you had your deposition taken?
A: Twice.
Q: When was the last time you had your deposition taken?
A: October 2012.
Q: On how many occasions have you been qualified by a court to give expert testimony?
A: Unknown - Often cases are settled prior to actual testimony.
Q: On how many occasions have you testified as an expert in court or before an arbitrator?
A: Twice
Q: For how many years have you worked with the legal industry as an expert?
A: More than twenty years.
Q: What services do you offer? (E.g.: consulting, testing, reports, site inspections etc.)
A: Case Evaluations / Initial Reviews;
Analyses and Reports;
Discovery Assistance;
Q: What is your hourly rate to consult with an attorney?
A: Information provided upon request.
Q: What is your hourly rate to review documents?
A: Information provided upon request.
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide deposition testimony?
A: Information provided upon request.
Q: What is your hourly rate to provide testimony at trial?
A: Information provided upon request.
Q: Please list any fees other than those stated above (E.g.: travel expenses, copy fees, etc.)
A: Information provided upon request.


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