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How to Be an Effective Expert Witness, September 15-16, 2018, Falmouth, MA


Product Description

The #1 way to grow an expert witness practice is to build the reputation of being an effective witness. This is a small group, hands-on, fast-moving interactive workshop covering deposition, direct examination, and cross-examination skills. Attendees will learn how to become markedly more effective and significantly more valuable expert witnesses. Instruction will utilize four methods: lecture, questions & answers, videos of experts actually testifying in real cases, and mock trial demonstrations using student volunteers. The mock trial demonstrations are based upon a C.V. and sample report submitted in advance by volunteer attendees. Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in demonstrations and to receive constructive feedback as to how to improve their performance. In addition, each attendee will be provided with a content rich seminar manual. This is SEAK’s most popular testifying training seminar and will not be offered again in 2018.

The Sea Crest Beach Hotel, Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Saturday-Sunday, September 15-16, 2018

Click here for the full conference brochure (pdf) 

REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Tuition is $1295 until July 15, 2018; $1395 July 16, 2018–August 22, 2018; $1495 after August 22, 2018. Register early and save!

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

CANCELLATIONS: Conference cancellations received in writing on or prior to August 22, 2018 will receive a full tuition refund. Persons cancelling after August 22, 2018 will receive a full tuition credit.

LOCATION/HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: A limited block of rooms will be available at special rates at the site hotel, The Sea Crest Beach Hotel (Single/Double $179). To make your reservations please call 1-800-225-3110 and mention the SEAK Training group code: 10L2G4 or click here to do it online. Rooms are limited and this rate expires on August 22,2018 so you are strongly encouraged to make your reservations as soon as possible.   


Inn on The Sound (www.innonthesound.com, 508-457-9666)is a jewel set in destination Falmouth – one of the most popular beach communities on Cape Cod. High on a bluff, our inn offers stunning ocean views.  From our decks, guests may capture the sunrise and the sunset; moon rise and moon set; the calm waters on the sound between the upper Cape and the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Rates from $219/night.
The Palmer House Inn(www.palmerhouseinn.com, 508-548-1230) is a well-loved mainstay of Falmouth’s picture-perfect Historic District, clustered around a quintessential New England Village Green. Carefully curated to preserve its historic character, the inn has been updated to provide you with the comforts you would expect. Rates from $229/night.
The Coonamessett Inn (www.thecoonamessett.com, 508-548-2300) balances an updated feel with an authentic Cape experience in the heart of Falmouth, MA. With the style and comfort of a modern coastal home, The Coonamessett offers a perfectly relaxed jumping off point to explore the Cape by bike, catch a ferry to the islands, or just retreat to your private sitting room for a moment of calm. Rates from $240/night.
The Holiday Inn (www.holidayinn.com, 508-540-2000) is located in the charming, historic New England town of Falmouth, Massachusetts. Our full service hotel accommodations are perfect for families, business travelers, and groups of all sizes. Rates from $228/night.   
Inn on the Square (www.innonthesquare.com, 508-457-0606) is only steps from Falmouth’s historic Village Green and charming downtown shopping district, with historic homes, gift boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and cafes. Rates from $214/night. 
Shoreway Acres Inn (www.shorewayacresinn.com, 508-540-3000) features 80 guest rooms which are a short walk to downtown Falmouth’s shops and restaurants, Surf Drive Beach, and Falmouth Inner Harbor. Rates from $125/night.
The Admiralty Inn (98 rooms, www.theadmiraltyinn.com, 800-341-5700). The Admiralty Inn & Suites is a great Cape Cod hotel destination conveniently located only minutes from Falmouth's busy downtown and beautiful beaches. The Admiralty Hotel in Falmouth MA is just minutes from the town's unique shops, art galleries and restaurants as well as the Falmouth Shining Sea Bike Path and the ferries to the islands. Rates from $110/night.  
Call us at 508-548-7023 and we’ll answer any questions you may have and give you suggestions on how to make the most of your stay on Cape Cod!   

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, you should be able to:

Discuss the strategies and goals of opposing counsel at deposition and during cross-examination

Describe how to properly prepare for deposition and trial

Discuss strategies that can be followed when giving an expert deposition and when testifying at trial

Explain techniques for excelling at videotaped depositions

Explain opposing counsel’s deposition and cross examination tactics and how to defeat each tactic

Describe techniques you can use when testifying at deposition and trial

Discuss methods for responding to trick and difficult questions at deposition and trial

List teaching methods that can be used to improve the persuasiveness of your expert testimony

List techniques for developing powerful, memorable language and analogies

Describe how to best insulate yourself from attacks by opposing counsel

Discuss techniques to make a positive impression on the jury           

Continuing Education Credits: Note: If your specialty does not appear below and you desire credits, please contact Karen Cerbarano (781-826-4974 or Karen@seak.com). 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.nasbaregistry.org. For SEAK’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 reviewed in December 2017. To register, please follow the instructions above. Appraisers: Credits from the 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. NOTE: SEAK does not accept commercial support for its programs and does not use faculty members with conflicts of interest.  

Distinguished Faculty:

lawson.jpgThe Honorable David Lawson is a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. He was formerly a member of the Detroit law firm of Clark Hill, PLC (Birmingham office). He received his BA degree magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, and his JD magna cum laude from Wayne State University. Judge Lawson is a former Special Assistant Attorney General and Special Prosecutor, and is currently on the faculty of the Michigan Judicial Institute. Prior to taking the bench his practice included both civil and criminal trial litigation, and he was actively involved in the trial of medical malpractice, negligence, and product liability cases. Judge Lawson has written and lectured extensively on scientific evidence and trial techniques. 

mangraviti-james100px.jpgJames J. Mangraviti, Jr., Esq., has trained thousands of expert witnesses through seminars, conferences, corporate training, training for professional societies, and training for governmental agencies including the FBI, IRS, NYPD, Secret Service, and Department of Defense. He is also frequently called by experts, their employers, and retaining counsel to train and prepare individual expert witnesses for upcoming testimony. Mr. Mangraviti assists expert witnesses one-on-one with report writing, mentoring, and practice development. He is a former litigator who 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. Mr. Mangraviti has designed dozens of expert witness training programs and has personally taught experts in a group setting over 200 times since 1997. He is the co-author of over thirty books, including: How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial: The SEAK Guide to Testifying as an Expert Witness; How to Be a Successful Expert Witness: SEAK’s A–Z Guide to Expert Witnessing; and How to Write an Expert Witness Report. He can be reached at 978-276-1234 or jim@seak.com


DAY ONE: September 15, 2018



8:00–8:30 Deposition Law and Procedure
You will learn what counsel can and can not ask, the extent of privilege protections, what objections may and may not be made, how to recognize and deal with abusive attorney behavior and whether you should read and sign the deposition transcript. Questions & Answers

8:30–9:00 Understanding the Strategies and Goals of Opposing Counsel
You will learn the general and specific goals of deposing counsel and how counsel will prepare to depose you. Questions & Answers

9:00–9:30 Preparing for your Deposition
You will learn how to prepare for your deposition, both alone and with retaining counsel. You will be provided with a detailed list of the likely areas of inquiry in an expert deposition. Questions & Answers

9:30–10:15 Deposition Strategies for Experts
You will learn a 4 step methodology for answering deposition questions. In addition, you will learn numerous strategies to truthfully and artfully answer deposition questions. Questions & Answers


10:30–11:00 Understanding and Defeating Counsel’s Deposition Tactics
You will learn over two dozen tactics that are likely to be used against you and will be provided with strategies to defeat each of these tactics. Questions & Answers

11:00–11:15 Videotape Depositions: Special Techniques
You will learn special techniques which are applicable when your deposition is being videotaped. Questions & Answers

11:15–12:00 Advanced Deposition Tactics for Experts
You will learn numerous techniques that will help you to excel during your expert deposition. Questions & Answers

12:00–12:45 LUNCH WITH FACULTY (Provided)

12:45–1:30 Pulling it all Together: Truthfully and Artfully Answering Trick and Difficult Questions at Deposition
The faculty will go around the room and ask difficult deposition questions. The attendees’ responses will be critiqued.


1:30–2:00 Introduction and Executive Summary of Persuasion Techniques for Expert Witnesses
You will learn the twelve key techniques to utilize in order to be a more effective expert witness during direct examination.

Questions & Answers

2:00–2:30 Preparation
You will learn 15 techniques for how to best prepare to give persuasive expert testimony during direct examination.

Questions & Answers

2:30–3:00 How to Best Put Forth your Qualifications
You will learn 14 techniques to more persuasively explain your credentials and to put your credentials in context. Questions & Answers


3:15–3:30 Commenting on the Opposing Expert and His Opinion
You will learn the special techniques to utilize when you are asked to comment on the opposing expert’s opinion. Questions & Answers

3:30–4:00 Developing a Harmonious Interaction with Retaining Counsel  
You will learn how to make your testimony easy to understand and interesting to follow. You will also learn how to avoid making your testimony appear to be rehearsed and how to present non-traditional, “soft challenge” direct testimony. Questions & Answers

4:00–4:30 Creating and Using Powerful, Memorable Language and Analogies
You will learn 12 techniques for using more powerful, memorable and understandable language. Questions & Answers

4:30–5:00 Optimizing Your “Teaching” Skills
You will learn numerous techniques to more effectively “teach” the jury. Questions & Answers

DAY TWO: September 16, 2018


7:00–7:30 Reading and Bonding with the Jury
You will learn 17 techniques to read and more effectively bond with the jury. Questions and Answers

7:30–8:00 Dealing with Problem Areas and Weaknesses
You will learn advanced ways to deal with problem areas during your direct examination. Questions & Answers

8:00–8:30 The Biggest Mistakes Experts Can Make that Can Turn Off Judge and Jury
You will learn how to avoid the 37 biggest mistakes that can turn off the judge and jury. Questions & Answers


8:30–9:15 Protecting Yourself from Attacks on your Credibility and Credentials
You will learn 8 techniques for protecting yourself from attacks on your credibility and credentials. Questions & Answers


9:30–10:15 Forming Airtight Opinions
You will learn 24 methods to make your opinions resistant to effective cross-examination. Questions & Answers

10:15–10:30 How Trial Attorneys Prepare for Cross-Examination of an Expert
You will learn how an attorney investigates an expert and his opinions and how an attorney maps out the questions that he will ask during cross. Questions & Answers


10:45–12:00 Advanced Cross-Examination Techniques
You will learn over 40 techniques to be a more effective expert witness during cross-examination.  Questions & Answers


12:45–1:15 Staying One Step Ahead of Counsel During Cross-Examination
You will learn 34 tactics that attorneys will use during cross-examination and how to defeat each of these tactics. Questions & Answers

1:15–1:45 Going on Offense During Cross-Examination
You will learn numerous techniques for how to turn the tables on opposing counsel. Questions & Answers

1:45–2:30 How To Skillfully Answer Trick And Difficult Questions
The faculty will go around the room and ask difficult cross-examination questions. The attendees’ responses will be critiqued. Questions & Answers 

What past attendees had to say:

"Excellent-good take always!"

"It was fabulous"

“A brilliantly conceived and presented course of instruction.” 

“Absolutely fabulous course. I picked up a ton of nuances. Printed materials were outstanding as well. Very entertaining too! Great to have the judge there.”

“An excellent course. I only wish I had taken it years ago.”

“Combination of experienced trial lawyer and the perspective of the judge was very powerful teaching approach — excellent.” 

“Excellent in all regards” 

“Excellent presenters”  

“Excellent seminar and loved the information received.” 

“Excellent teachers and very personable and available.”  

“Excellent teaching techniques”  

“Excellent! Well thought out, taught by extremely talented people. Experts.” 

“Excellent, full of useful information”  

“Excellent, informative, real life” 

“Exceptional seminar. I attend continuing ed seminars regularly and this seminar was beyond all of those. It seemed that every word was productive.”

“Eye opening, frank, and utterly essential. No pulled punches.”

“Fantastic program!” 


“Full of very useful and helpful tips”  

“Good dynamics, very informative”  

“Good job. It is great to get practice in a safe place.” 

“Great content, experience, engagement, humor” 

“Great course with first rate teaching as usual.” 

“Great interaction with class” 

“Highly recommended to others” 

“I enjoyed the conference and learned a lot. It was informative and entertaining - which I think is the best way to learn!   I will definitely use what I learned during my upcoming court appearance and depositions. Also, I will highly recommend your program.” 

“I enjoyed the contrasting demeanor of the presenters and their interaction” 

“I found the program EXTREMELY useful.”

“I have found the specific topic trainings thru SEAK to be golden. SEAK really helps shorten the learning curve.”

“I want to express my gratitude for these great courses. I had only intended to attend the first course Thur/Fri How to start, build etc. and had brought all my bags to Fri class to go to the airport. I realized at the course how important it was to get all the training I could up at the start to do the best job how many sinkholes there are to step into. I rearranged plans.   I'd strongly advise anyone seeking to do this work to take this course EARLY on as it's impossible not to make faux pas which may come to haunt you or miss opportunities you can't see when you are establishing a reputation.” 

“Incredible presenters.”

“Informative and honest” 


“James was exactly like the worst prosecutor I have faced and it was perfect.” 

“Jim and the Judge are both extremely professional and excel at their craft.”  

“Jim! You’re an amazing speaker. I can’t thank you enough”  

“Jim, I want to say again how fascinating and useful your and Judge Lawson’s performances were this past weekend.” 

“Jim, Thank you very much for putting on such a great program. We both learned a great deal and we are eager to embark in this new role of expert witnessing. Anyways, thank you again for all your great teaching, advice, and encouragement!” 

“Jim, Thanks for a great four days at the courses down in Clearwater. I learned a good amount but, most of all, enjoyed meeting you and seeing you in action! You are obviously great at this stuff and have a knack for making the whole game fun, funny, engaging and interesting. I don’t think I’ve sat through 4 days of lectures/sessions since medical school and even my wife was impressed that you all were able to keep me in the lecture hall for as long as you did.” 

“Love Jim and the Judge — outstanding.” 

“More helpful than any other training I’ve ever received, I think due in large part that it was so engaging and packed with great examples.” 

“One of the best conferences I’ve ever attended”  

“Outstanding! The content, format, and presentation exceeded my expectations. The presenters were amazing with an unimaginable depth of knowledge.” 

“Outstanding, riveting. Despite the long hours, there was never a dull or uninformative moment.” 

“Outstanding. Real-time, in your face mock testimonials.”  

“Presenters were exceptional, very bright and talented”  

“Steven was great. He is clear in his presentation and kept the class interesting.”


“Thank you for offering this course. I thoroughly enjoyed it. You and the judge made it informative, helpful, challenging and entertaining, which keep our attention and made the hours speed by. The location was wonderful. Keep doing what you do. Thank you again!” 

“Thank you for the great experience this weekend. Your dynamic teaching style is awesome.”  

“That was a fantastic course and I look forward to others in the future.”

“The best seminar I’ve ever been to.”  

“The training course with you and [The Judge] last week was fantastic.”

“The training was fantastic, and I will absolutely be attending future SEAK trainings. I also very much enjoy the books I have read of yours so far, and I intend to buy and read more of your books in the future.”
“The witness work I became involved with in April of last year has been a STEEP learning curve . . . and your material has helped tremendously!”

“This was a fantastic, top-notch seminar.”

“Truly an outstanding weekend. My biggest regret is not having done this years ago.”

“Very good. My compliments to the judge”  

“Well created and presented” 

“Well worth the cost and personal time.”

“You and the judge made it informative, helpful, challenging and entertaining, which keep our attention and made the hours speed by. The location was wonderful. Keep doing what you do. Thank you again!”

“You do a great job at learning the student and making the course personalized.” 

“You’re all very personable, thanks!” 

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