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26th Annual National Expert Witness Conference, May 6-7, 2017, Clearwater Beach, FL


Product Description

SEAK, Inc. is pleased to present its 26th Annual National Expert Witness Conference. Experts from all disciplines and with all levels of experience will benefit from multi-disciplinary advanced techniques. Nationally recognized presenters will discuss all aspects of expert witness testimony, ethics, and trial techniques. Conference participants will be presented with practical suggestions for succeeding as expert witnesses. This highly acclaimed two-day program will include intensive breakout sessions.

Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL Saturday-Sunday, May 6-7, 2017

Click here for the full conference brochure and details (pdf)

Special Early Registration Savings: Tuition for each course is $1,295 on or before February 28, 2017; $1,395 March 1, 2017 – April 12, 2017; $1,495 after April 12, 2017.

Group Discounts: Group discounts are available for two or more persons registering from the same organization. Discount prices depend on the size of the group. Our programs can also be brought onsite to your organization. Please call 508-457-1111.

Conference Cancellations:  Conference cancellations received in writing on or before April 12, 2017 will receive a full refund. Conference cancellations received after April 12, 2017 will receive a full tuition credit.

Location/Hotel Accommodations: The 2017 SEAK Expert Witness Conference will be held at the Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL. Opal Sands Resort offers guests the newest Gulf front accommodations on the Gulf of Mexico, right on Clearwater Beach’s lively promenade. SEAK has secured a special group rate of $205/night. Rooms are limited and this rate expires on April 12, 2017. To make your reservations, please call 1-855-335-1087 and refer to the SEAK Group rate and National Expert Witness Conference or click here, select drop down box: Group/Block, enter arrival and departure dates, enter group code SEAK0517 to book online.  

Here is a list of closeby hotels: 

Pier House 60
101 Coronado Drive
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
From $248+ per night 

Sea Captain Resort on the Bay

40 Devon Dr
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
From $159
+ per night

Clearwater Beach Hotel
504 S Gulfview Blvd
learwater Beach, FL 33767
727- 400-6980
From $114+ per night

Holiday Inn Clearwater Beach
521 S Gulfview Blvd
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
727- 447-6461
From $180+ per night

Hyatt Regency Clearwater
301 S Gulfview Blvd
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
727- 373-1234
From $394+ per night

Sandpearl Resort
500 Mandalay Avenue
Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
From $422+ per night

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am new to expert witnessing. Will this conference be appropriate for me?
A. Yes, although we also highly recommend that you sign up for our How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice preconference if your schedule permits.

Q. What types of experts is your training conference appropriate for?
A. All disciplines and all levels of experience. Each year we have experts who have testified hundreds of times attend as well as brand new experts. The level of diversity in terms of disciplines who attend the conference is breathtaking and includes accountants, engineers, physicians, attorneys, psychologists, life care planners, chiropractors, fire investigators, arborists, nurses, computer specialists, patent experts, damages experts, security, investments, etc.

Q. Are there continuing education credits for my discipline?
A. If we reasonably can obtain your credits, we will. Please see page 4 for more details and if you have any additional questions please contact Karen Cerbarano at 781-826-4974 or Karen@seak.com.

Q. How many expert witnesses have attended this training conference?
A. Over 4,000 since 1990. SEAK has trained many thousands more experts through seminars, on-site training, and 1-1 training.

Q. Are there any discounts available?
A. Yes. You can save up to $400 by registering early ($200 for the main conference and $200 for a preconference). Group discounts are also available. Call 508-457-1111.

Q. I can’t make it to the conference, what are my other options?
A. SEAK Expert witness training is offered 3–4 times a year. For a complete upcoming seminar schedule please visit www.seak.com. We also offer 1-1 training. Call 508-457-1111.

Q. Should I sign up for a preconference or is that information already covered in the main conference?
A. We highly recommend that you take advantage of the small group format preconferences and sign up for one if your schedule permits. The preconferences go into far more depth than what is covered at the main conference and allow you to drill down and perfect your skills. For example, we spend 14 hours teaching report writing in the How to Write a Bulletproof Expert Witness Report preconference, whereas report writing is covered in 1 hour at the main conference. A large % of attendees historically also attend a preconference.

Q. I am having trouble deciding on which preconference to attend. Can you offer any guidance?
A. Yes, please feel free to call Seminar Leader Attorney Steven Babitsky (508-548-9443) and he will evaluate your situation and make recommendations.

Main Conference Continuing Education Credit Information

Note: If your specialty does not appear below and you desire credits, please contact Karen Cerbarano (Karen@seak.com or 781-826-4974). We can often obtain desired credits upon request, but unfortunately, obtaining some types of credits are not feasible. Please register early, as we can only apply for credits after your registration form has been received and it can take time to get the requested approvals back from the accrediting agencies.

Accident Reconstructionists: SEAK will apply for credits through ACTAR upon written request at the time of registration. Accountants: Earn 16.5 CPE credits in the field of study of Specialized Knowledge and Applications. SEAK, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.learningmarket.org. For SEAK, Inc.’s complaint and program cancellation policies please call SEAK, Inc. at 508-457-1111. All attendees should have the education and experience that would qualify them as an expert witness. This is an intermediate group live program. Advanced Preparation: None. This program was created in July 2016. Appraisers: Credits from The American Society of Appraisers will be applied for on written request at the time of registration. Arborists: SEAK will apply for Continuing Education hours through The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) on written request at time of registration. Attorneys: Credit varies by state. Continuing legal education credits for attorneys will be applied for if requested in writing at the time of registration. Engineers: 14 PDHs. The acceptance of this course is dependent upon your state(s) of registration. The vast majority of states do not require preapproval of either courses or course sponsors. Life Care Planners: SEAK will apply for credits through The Commission on Health Care Certification (CHCC) upon written request at the time of registration. Physicians: SEAK, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. SEAK, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

DAY ONE:  Conference Program: Saturday, May 6, 2017


8:00am – 9:00am A View from the Bench: How Experts Can Improve the Effectiveness of Their Testimony
The Honorable Terrence Berg
Judge Berg will explain proper courtroom demeanor, presentation, communication skills, personality, and the maintenance of integrity, credibility, and reputation. Judge Berg will discuss what makes an effective and persuasive expert witness. Judge Berg will offer practical suggestions for how expert witnesses can improve their trial testimony. Learning Objective: List techniques to testify more effectively.

berg-terrence100px.jpgThe Honorable Terrence Berg is a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. Before his appointment to the bench, Judge Berg had served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Michigan for over 20 years, first joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1989. As a prosecutor, Judge Berg handled a wide variety of federal criminal prosecutions, specializing in complex fraud cases and computer, Internet and intellectual property crimes. Judge Berg has taught a Computer Crime Seminar and also Trial Practice as an adjunct professor for the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law from 1994–2012. He has also taught courses at the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center, in Columbia, South Carolina, the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Associations of Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, and Utah. He has also trained prosecutors in Bangkok, Thailand, Sofia, Bulgaria, and Cebu, Philippines. His writings have appeared in law reviews, state bar publications, and national magazines. Judge Berg received his law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1986, cum laude, and his undergraduate degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in 1981, magna cum laude.

9:00am – 10:00am How to Excel at Your Expert Witness Deposition
Phillip Resnick, MD
Dr. Resnick will discuss the skills, techniques, and strategies experts can use to excel at their deposition. He will explain the role of preparation, advocacy, clarity, believability, and credibility of the expert. Dr. Resnick with demonstrate what does and does not work at depositions and will offer practical advice for experts to help them excel at their depositions. Learning Objective: Describe strategies to excel during an expert witness deposition.

resnick-phil100px.jpgPhillip Resnick, MD is an internationally known forensic psychiatrist and expert witness noted for his expertise in the assessment of violence risk and the detection of malingered mental illness. He is a Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He is a past president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He has provided consultation in many high profile cases including: Jeffrey Dahmer, Susan Smith, Timothy McVey, Andrea Yates, Scott Petersen, Brian Mitchell (kidnapper of Elizabeth Smart), Theodore Kaczynski (Unabomber) and Casey Anthony. He has written over 180 professional journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Resnick contributed two chapters to Clinical Assessment of Malingering and Deception. He received the Isaac Ray Award from the American Psychiatric Association for outstanding contributions to forensic psychiatry and psychiatric aspects of jurisprudence. He has lectured in 49 states and 23 countries.


10:10am – 11:10am Effective and Persuasive Presentation of Expert Testimony
Josh Dubin, Esq.
Attorney Dubin will explain and demonstrate how expert witnesses using clarity, coherence, comprehension, and credibility can be effective and persuasive. He will discuss and demonstrate why some expert witnesses are likeable, well-respected, and effective and why some are not. Attorney Dubin will offer practical suggestions on how experts of all disciplines can improve their testimony and effectiveness. Learning Objective: List techniques to testify more persuasively.

dubin-josh100px.jpgJosh Dubin, Esq. is the president of Dubin Research and Consulting, Inc. (DRC), a Manhattan-based consulting firm that specializes in jury selection, persuasive visual aids, and trial strategy for complex civil and criminal matters. Mr. Dubin is regarded as perhaps the most preeminent trial strategy and jury consultant in the nation, having earned high praise from some of the most accomplished members of both the civil and criminal bars. An attorney and member of the Florida Bar, Mr. Dubin regularly works with some of the most successful attorneys and law firms in the country, including Winston & Strawn, Holland & Knight, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Roy Black, Barry Scheck, Jay Eisenhofer, Jerry Shargel, Jerry Lefcourt, and Peter Neufeld. His background as an experienced trial attorney with an apprenticeship in applied social psychology (concentration in jury selection and group decision-making dynamics) has served as the foundation for the paradigm at DRC – providing sophisticated, out-ofthe- box analytical advice, integrating the most innovative legal and social psychology strategies, within the specific context of jury trials, bench trials, and alternative dispute resolution.

11:10am – 12:10pm Direct Examination: How to Work with Counsel and Excel
Carlton Fisher, Esq.
Attorney Fisher will explain and demonstrate how counsel and experts can work together to plan and achieve effective, persuasive, and powerful direct testimony. He will discuss conveying complex testimony to the jury, properly introducing the expert, dealing with anticipated problem areas, and enabling the expert to demonstrate their knowledge, experience, personality, likeability, credibility, and fairness. Attorney Fisher will offer practical suggestions for experts on how to excel during their direct testimony. Learning Objective: Explain strategies to work with retaining counsel to prepare for the direct examination.

fisher-carlton100px.jpgCarlton Fisher, Esq. is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and concentrates his trial practice in the defense of commercial motor vehicle, commercial litigation, chemical exposure, general liability and product liability cases as a partner of the national law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. He has been admitted to practice in Illinois and the federal courts of Illinois and Indiana and also admitted as pro hac vice counsel in over 30 state and federal courts. His trial record includes serving as trial counsel and defense counsel in 257 courts-martial while serving as a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps. As a civilian lawyer, he has tried nearly 100 civil cases to jury verdicts in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington. He has worked with experts in the fields of medicine, engineering, psychology, neuropsychology, product design, accident reconstruction, commercial motor vehicle operation, training and hiring, premises security, toxic torts, chemical exposure, premises and workplace safety, elevator safety, amusement ride safety, rehabilitation, and life care plans. He has spoken and written on topics as diverse as trial advocacy, jury selection, combating hindsight bias, federal removal, and jury instructions.



How to Prepare So Well For Your Expert Witness Deposition That You Amaze Retaining Counsel
Steven Babitsky, Esq.
Performance at deposition is far more a function of preparation than inspiration. Nail your deposition and the positive word of mouth an expert receives can often be priceless. In this presentation, Attorney Babitsky will provide a step-by-step, proven methodology for how to best prepare for your expert witness deposition. Learning Objective: Explain how to most effectively prepare for your expert witness deposition.

babitsky-steven100px.jpgSteven Babitsky, Esq. is the President of SEAK, Inc. – The Expert Witness Training Company (www. testifyingtraining.com). Mr. Babitsky trains hundreds of experts each year and serves as a one-on-one consultant to expert witnesses. He has helped expert witnesses and their attorneys prepare for deposition in a broad range of cases, including antitrust, patent, medical malpractice, wrongful death, computer forensics, and many others. He has been brought in to train experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and The Federal Aviation Administration and worked with numerous forensic and financial companies including Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Babitsky is the co-author of the texts How to Prepare Your Expert Witness for Deposition as well as How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial: The SEAK Guide to Testifying as an Expert Witness. Attorney Babitsky is the co-developer and trainer for the “How to Be an Effective Expert Witness” seminar, and the seminar leader (since 1990) for SEAK’s Annual National Expert Witness Conference. He was a personal injury trial attorney for twenty years and is the former managing partner of the firm Kistin, Babitsky, Latimer & Beitman.


Arbitrations, Mediations, and Bench Trials: Delivering Effective Testimony
Edward Fronapfel, MSCE, PE
Mr. Fronapfel will explain how the preparation and presentation by experts at arbitrations, mediations, and bench trial differ from jury trials. He will discuss and demonstrate the best use of video, animations, and demonstratives. He will explain, with examples, the differing goals of the expert and how they can be achieved with communication techniques, such as level of complexity, delivery, examples, and analogies. Mr. Fronapfel will offer practical suggestions on how experts can excel at arbitrations, mediations, and bench trials. Learning Objective: List strategies to deliver effective testimony at arbitrations, mediations and bench trials.

fronapfel-ed100px.jpgEdward Fronapfel, MSCE, PE is a civil engineer with an emphasis in forensic and structural engineering. Ed holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in forensic and structural engineering and is the owner of SBSA. He is a highly experienced expert witness with over 450 depositions, 50 trials, and hundreds of mediations and arbitrations. He has written and lectured extensively on forensic and structural engineering in over 30 states. He is a board certified building inspection engineer through the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers and a Fellow member of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers.



How to Market and Grow Your Expert Witness Practice
Nadine Nasser Donovan, Esq.
Attorney Donovan will provide cost-effective strategies and techniques for marketing and growing your expert witness practice. She will discuss taking a holistic look at where your practice currently is, your work product, CV, webpage, niche, conversion rate at initial interviews, and your past and current marketing efforts. Attorney Donovan will offer a tried and tested protocol for increasing new, repeat, and word-of-mouth business for your expert witness practice. Learning Objective: Describe techniques to market your expert witness practice effectively.

donovan-nadine100px.jpgNadine Nasser Donovan, Esq., is a former trial lawyer with extensive litigation experience. She is a senior SEAK seminar trainer and marketing consultant, and has been on the SEAK Faculty since 2002, having trained hundreds of experts via SEAK’s scheduled courses, customized on site expert witness training programs, and one-on-one consulting. Nadine is the co-author of the SEAK texts How to Be An Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial: The SEAK Guides to Testifying as an Expert Witness, How to Be a Successful Experts Witness: SEAK’s A-Z Guide to Expert Witnessing, and How to Write an Expert Witness Report. She is also a Legal Writing Instructor at Boston University School of Law. Nadine previously spent 18 years practicing medical malpractice defense, and prior to that was a prosecutor and counsel for New York City. Ms. Donovan received her J.D. cum laude from Boston College Law School. She graduated from Fordham University summa cum laude with a B.A. in French Literature.


How to Effectively Deal with an Aggressive Attorney at Deposition and Trial
Joan Iacono, Esq.
Attorney Iacono will explain how to deal with an opposing counsel who utilizes sarcasm, physician invasiveness, aggressive and repetitive questioning, and similar techniques at deposition and trial. She will discuss how, with the assistance of retaining counsel, to anticipate and proactively deal with potential vexing areas of inquiry and the tactics of opposing counsel. Learning Objective: List strategies on how to deal with an aggressive attorney.

iacono-joan100px.jpgJoan Iacono, Esq. is a family law personal injury litigator practicing in Bronxville, NY. Attorney Iacono served 4 years as Principal Court Attorney to the Chief Judge of The Bronx Family Court. She obtained her BA from Syracuse University and her JD from New York Law School. Attorney Iacono is an accomplished and aggressive litigator who has had extensive experience with expert witnesses. She is known as a “barracuda with a heart.”



Forming Defensible Expert Opinions
Ambreen Salters
Ms. Salters will explain and demonstrate how to use facts, analysis, standards, data, research, and solid methodology to form honest, reliable and defensible opinions. She will use examples to discuss how well thought out and documented expert opinions survive challenges and cross-examination and are persuasive. Ms. Salters will offer practical suggestions for developing and implementing a rigorous protocol that result in forming defensible opinions. Learning Objective: Describe how to form more defensible opinions.

salters-ambreen100px.jpgAmbreen Salters, a Partner with StoneTurn Group, has more than 15 years of experience in consulting to clients and counsel involved in intellectual property and complex commercial disputes. Ambreen has testified for both plaintiffs and defendants engaged in intellectual property litigation, and has been designated as an economic expert in Federal court (Central and Southern Districts of California, Eastern District of Virginia, Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas, New Jersey, Southern District of New York, Western District of Washington, Colorado) and State Court, as well as in arbitration proceedings. In both the 2014 and 2015 Intellectual Asset Management’s IAM Patent 1000 publications, Ambreen was included on the short list of top patent damages experts in the U.S. Prior to joining StoneTurn, Ambreen was the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator in the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Expert Witnesses
Jonathan Hochman
Mr. Hochman will discuss the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) and how it can be helpful to raise the online profile and business development of expert witnesses. He will explain how and why a webpage ranks well in search engines, and introduce best practices for web technology, content and online promotion. Mr. Hochman will offer practical advice and suggestions on how experts can use SEO to obtain high quality expert witness assignments. Learning Objective: List techniques to search engine optimize an expert witness website.

hochman-jonathan100px.jpgJonathan Hochman is the founder of Hochman Consultants and is an SEO expert as well as an expert witness. He has two computer science degrees from Yale University and 25 years experience as a consultant. He has broad experience with technology, marketing, sales, business development, and operations. Hochman is chairman of SEMNE, the association of search marketers in New England, and a founder of CodeGuard, the website security company. Hochman has an AdWords Individual Qualification with specialization in search advertising. He has spoken at national conferences, including Web 2.0 Summit, Search Marketing Expo (SMX) and Search Engine Strategies (SES). He has contributed articles to Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, and Search Marketing Standard. He has also served as a judge for the Landy Awards, the search marketing industry’s top honor. His consulting practice consists of SEO and SEM audits, SEO training, digital forensics, and expert witness testimony.


DAY TWO:  Conference Program: Sunday, May 7, 2017


7:00am – 8:00am Teaching and Persuading in Court: A Judge’s View on Practical Communication Skills for Expert Witnesses
The Honorable Edward T. Wahl
Judge Wahl will discuss the importance of effective written and oral communication skills for expert witnesses. He will offer practical examples and suggestions on how experts can improve their communication skills generally and he will explain how experts can improve the clarity and persuasiveness of their communication skills during direct and cross-examination. Learning Objective: List practical communication skills for expert witnesses.

wahl-edward100px.jpgThe Honorable Edward T. Wahl is a Minnesota trial judge. Before his appointment to the bench in 2012, Judge Wahl was a business and commercial litigator for nearly 30 years. Judge Wahl teaches at the National Judicial College, he is a frequent CLE and CJE speaker, and he teaches trial practice at the University of St. Thomas Law School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Judge Wahl received his B.A. from Northwestern University, his M.A. from the University of Virginia, and his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

8:00am – 9:00am How Expert Witnesses Destroy Themselves
Dorothy Clay Sims, Esq.
Attorney Sims will explain and demonstrate the varied ways expert witnesses destroy themselves with overstating the facts, leaving out key facts, not having all the records nor requesting them, as well as exaggerations, misstatements, arrogance, cherry picking, and reaching for conclusions. She will discuss the intense scrutiny experts should anticipate by experienced counsel. Attorney Sims will offer practical suggestions for experts to avoid self-destruction. Learning Objective: Explain how expert witnesses destroy themselves.

sims-dorothy100px.jpgDorothy Clay Sims, Esq. has a unique practice in which she consults with attorneys throughout the United States to provide methods of expert witness cross-examination. She also cross-examines experts for lawyers. She has given over 350 lectures nationally and internationally on experts which includes lectures in France, India, and Japan. Attorney Sims has written extensively on expert witnesses including the bestselling book, Exposing Deceptive Defense Doctors as well as co-authored books including one with David Ball. Sims headed the forensic team in Florida v. Casey Anthony, one of the most televised trials in the history of this country. Attorney Sims has a long standing practice of volunteerism, both in the US and abroad.


9:10am – 10:10am Video Compilation of Expert Testimony: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Larry Bendesky, Esq.
Attorney Bendesky will demonstrate effective and ineffective expert testimony through the presentation of compiled videotaped expert testimony from cases. He will review the examination of trial experts while offering do’s and don’ts of expert testimony. Attorney Bendesky will offer practical suggestions for improving expert witness testimony. Learning Objective: List techniques to be more effective when testifying as an expert.

bendesky-larry100px.jpgLarry Bendesky, Esq., a Shareholder of the Philadelphia law firm Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett, & Bendesky, concentrates his practice on complex civil product liability cases, including those involving the operation of elevators, motor vehicles, motorcycles, power tools, and a wide array of equipment used in industry and manufacturing. In addition, he handles litigation involving catastrophic construction accidents. As a trial lawyer, Atty. Bendesky has been lead or co-counsel in numerous high-profile, highly complex cases. He has handled more than eighty cases resulting in verdicts or settlements over $1 million. He served as trial counsel in the Tropicana Casino structural collapse litigation, which settled for $101 million, the largest settlement of a construction accident case in American history. Mr. Bendesky is an Honors graduate of Pennsylvania State University, holds a J.D. from the Widener University School of Law, and a LL.M. in Trial Advocacy from Temple Law. His association with the Temple LL.M. program continues as an Adjunct Professor of Law and Co-Director of the LL.M. Experts Program.

10:10am – 11:10am Writing and Defending Your Expert Report at Deposition and Trial
D. Paul Regan, CPA/CFF
Mr. Regan will explain and demonstrate how to prepare high level reports for an expert witness that are in compliance with Rule 26 of the FRCP, utilizing charts, graphs, timelines, and embedded footnotes with crossreferencing. He will discuss how to defend your report at deposition and trial with the use of supporting materials. He will offer practical suggestions for expert witnesses to write and defend their expert witness reports. Learning Objective: Describe techniques to write more effective expert witness reports.

regan-paul100px.jpgD. Paul Regan, CPA/CFF is chairman of Hemming Morse LLP, certified public accountants, forensic and financial consultants. Mr. Regan is a highly experienced expert who has testified in over 125 trials and arbitrations, more than 230 depositions, and has worked on more than 700 complex litigation matters. His cases have included matters involving Enron, Lehman Brothers, the SEC, Parmalat, Countrywide Financial, Sunbeam and DeLorean Motor Company. He has been an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University and past member of the AICPA’s governing council and forensic valuation services executive committee. He is also a past chair of the 40,000 member California Society of CPAs.


11:20am – 12:20pm Selection of Expert Witnesses: What Counsel is Really Looking For
James Gewin, Esq.
Attorney Gewin will explain how counsel goes about selecting expert witnesses. He will discuss the initial interview, qualifications, testifying experience, fees, reputation, credibility, and effectiveness at deposition and trial. Attorney Gewin will offer practical suggestions on how experts can best position themselves to excel at the initial interview and get hired. Learning Objective: Explain what counsel is looking for when selecting expert witnesses.

gewin-james100px.jpgJames Gewin, Esq. is a partner and trial attorney in the Birmingham office of the law firm of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP. He concentrates his practice in general civil litigation in both the state and federal arena. A substantial portion of practice centers around the representation of corporate defendants in the product and insurance fields, but the practice has also included a variety of clients who are claimants in civil disputes relating to antitrust, construction, copyrights, pharmaceutical issues, and unfair competition. Jimmy’s clients have included Fortune 500 companies, publicly-traded and closely-held corporations, banking institutions, pharmaceutical companies, various publicly-traded and closely-held corporations, small businesses and individuals. Jimmy has represented outside directors, a Big Four accounting firm and publicly-traded corporations in various securities fraud-related matters. Jimmy’s trial experience includes product liability, contract disputes, pharmaceutical mass tort litigation, insurance fraud and bad faith, and wrongful death actions.



How to Answer Trick and Difficult Questions at Deposition and Trial
James J. Mangraviti Jr., Esq.
Attorney Mangraviti Jr., Esq. will explain and demonstrate with interactive examples challenging trick, difficult, and vexing questions experts may face at deposition and trial. He will show how each of these challenging questions can be dealt with effectively and artfully while still maintaining your composure, integrity, and the persuasiveness of your underlining opinions. Learning Objective: List techniques to more effectively answer questions at deposition and trial.

mangraviti-james100px.jpgJames J. Mangraviti, Jr., Esq. has trained thousands of expert witnesses through seminars, conferences, corporate training, training for professional societies and one-on-one training/mentoring. He is also frequently called by experts, their employers, and retaining counsel to train and prepare individual expert witnesses for upcoming testimony. Mr. Mangraviti is a former litigator with experience in defense and plaintiff personal injury law and insurance law. His clients include the FBI, IRS, Secret Service and NYPD. He currently serves as Principal of the expert witness training company SEAK, Inc. (www.testifyingtraining.com). Mr. Mangraviti received his BA degree in mathematics summa cum laude from Boston College and his JD degree cum laude from Boston College Law School. He is the co-author of thirty books, including: How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial; How to Be a Successful Expert Witness: SEAK’s A-Z Guide to Expert Witnessing; How to Write an Expert Witness Report; The Biggest Mistakes Expert Witnesses Make: And How to Avoid Them; and How to Market Your Expert Witness Practice: Evidence-Based Best Practices. He can be reached at 978-276-1234 or jim@seak.com.


Assisting Counsel
John A. Thomazin, PE
Mr. Thomazin will discuss how the expert can assist retaining counsel by providing invaluable research, testing, standards, authoritative texts, questions for depositions, and video/PowerPoint reports. He will explain the importance of assisting counsel with information on the validity and reliability of the opposing expert’s report and opinions. Mr. Thomazin will offer practical suggestions on how experts can make themselves invaluable to retaining counsel. Learning Objective: Describe methods to better assist retaining counsel.

thomazin-john100px.jpgJohn A. Thomazin, PE describes himself as a troubleshooter, problem solver, and applied physicist. With degrees in mathematics and mechanical engineering, he started REDI Engineering where he works as a mechanical engineer and accident reconstruction expert witness. He is a licensed engineer in Nebraska and Colorado and a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and the National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers. Mr. Thomazin has served as President and Director for the Northeastern Nebraska Society of Professional Engineers. Mr. Thomazin has written and lectured on expert testimony and is an experienced expert witness.



How Expert Witnesses Can Help Win or Lose Cases at Trial
William Gage, Esq.
Attorney Gage will discuss and demonstrate, with examples, the impact on a jury of experts’ answers to six innocuous cross-examination questions. He will explain the proper way to “introduce” the expert during direct examination. Attorney Gage will offer practical suggestions on how experts can increase their credibility and effectiveness at trial. Learning Objective: Explain how expert witnesses can help win or lose cases at trial.

gage-william100px.jpgWilliam Gage, Esq. is a trial attorney in the Mississippi office of Butler Snow LLP with over 24 years of experience in drug and medical device, product liability and personal injury litigation. He has served as trial counsel in the New Jersey Accutane litigation, and most recently, has served as lead trial counsel on behalf of several defendants in the pelvic mesh litigation. William has had the opportunity to try five mesh cases to verdict over the past four years, including one that was included in the Top 10 Defense Verdicts of 2015 by one publication. William is the past Litigation Department Chair and former Practice Group Leader for Butler Snow’s Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Practice Group. He has presented on numerous occasions about the role of expert witnesses in litigation. He received his BA and JD from the University of Mississippi and is a member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI), the Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association, the International Association of Trial Lawyers, and has wide experience working with expert witnesses.


Acting as a Consulting Expert: Roles, Rules, and Rewards
Deborah Day, PsyD
Dr. Day will compare and contrast the role of the consulting vs. testifying expert. She will discuss case and expert selection, ethics, discoverability, and transitioning from a consulting to a testifying expert. Dr. Day will explain the many ways experts can make themselves invaluable to retaining counsel and how experts can build a consulting expert practice. Learning Objective: Describe the rules applicable to consulting experts.

day-deborah100px.jpgDeborah Day, PsyD is a licensed psychologist and highly experienced expert witness practicing in Winter Park, Florida. Her practice specialties include forensic psychology, including divorce/parenting plan evaluations, forensic case consultations, collaborative process practice, Factitious Disorders (Munchausen By Proxy), child abuse, and criminal matters. She has testified regarding numerous psychological issues and presents professional workshops and seminars throughout the country. Dr. Day is a founding board member of the Central Florida Collaborative Law Group and founding board member of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals. She is the current President (2015–2017) of the organization.

Here's What Past Attendees Have to Say:

“Excellent, excellent use of speakers content areas that were all relevant but diverse with the whole variety of presenters with different style and information to share. Relevant, informative, interesting, and timely.”

“ Great training. I could use several hundred more hours of it. I will be putting what I learned to work next week.”

“ The sessions were definitely worth the time and expense. I would recommend it to anyone in this field.”

“This was my first SEAK conference and it will not be my last. I was hesitant on attending since I was unsure of the quality of the program. I was very pleased and will certainly be recommending it to colleagues.”

“An eye-opening experience.”

“Excellent content”

“Excellent seminar with a very interesting and diverse attendance”

“Excellent speakers and lecture content”

“Excellent, as usual (I am a repeat visitor)”

“Excellent, every session had some relevant information that will help me be a better expert witness.”

“Excellent. One of the best I have attended”

“Fantastic as always!”

“Fantastic seminar, exceeded expectations”

“Fantastic, a plethora of knowledge on a wide variety of subjects relating to expert witness work.”

“Great speakers, very helpful”

“Incredibly valuable”

“It was a great seminar.  Thank you!”

“It was great, Steve! Thank you for asking. Every time to go to one of your programs, I incorporate new concepts into my expert practice.”

“Once again the seminar was amazing.  Thank you for providing this service to experts.”


“Really enjoyed the event.  Very good group of speakers and a high level audience.  Look forward to working with you in the future.”

“Thank y’all for a great experience!  It was fun and very, very helpful.  I hope to do it again in the future.”

“Thank you very much. I found the conference to be extremely informative and well work my time and money.”

“Thanks again for a wonderful conference. One of the best ever.”

“Thanks to all of you.  As always, the conference was outstanding.”

“The conference always re-energizes my batteries”

“The Conference was AWESOME, as always!! Thank you so much for all your effort and I'll see all of you in Clearwater, FLA!!”

“Very helpful”

“Very informative, great speakers”

“You have a great program. So glad to be a part of it. The training is invaluable.”

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