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Michele LaVigne

Michele LaVigne

The prevalence of language deficits and impairments among criminal defendants and their effects on the quality of justice.

Distinguished Clinical Professor; Director, Public Defender Project Law School Work: 608-262-9859 — Home and cell phones available upon request Home page


  • The wide ranging effects of language impairments in the various stages of the criminal and juvenile justice systems, from interrogation to sentencing.
  • The effects of a defendant's language deficits on the attorney-client relationship.
  • Failure of courts and other players in the legal system to understand and accommodate language deficits among defendants.
  • Issues confronting deaf individuals in the criminal justice system.


  • Series of articles on language impairments among juvenile and adult defendants, including Brendan Dassey (Making a Murderer):
  • Article describing the due process violations routinely confronting deaf defendants:
  • Numerous presentations on language impairments to legal organizations around the country