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How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice, March 7-8, 2019, San Diego, CA

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$1,295.00
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Product Description

Excellent and ethical legal consultants can easily double their income by devoting one day a week to expert witnessing. Time spent by experts on such matters is commonly billed out at $250–$500 or more per hour. This course is appropriate for professionals with all levels of legal-consulting experience including prospective and novice expert witnesses. Attendees will learn from an experienced faculty in a step-by-step fashion how to start, build, and run a successful and ethical expert witness practice. This is SEAK’s most popular expert witness training program and will not be offered again on the west coast until 2021. New experts should be ready to start accepting cases immediately upon completion of the course.

March 7-8, 2019, The Hilton San Diego Harbor Island, San Diego, CA

Click here for a pdf of the brochure

LOCATION/HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: A limited block of rooms will be available at special rates at the site hotel, The Hilton San Diego Harbor Island (www.hiltonsandiegoairport.com) ($169/night). To make your reservations please call 1-800-445-8667 and mention that you are with SEAK, Inc. Rooms are limited and this rate expires Wednesday, February 12, 2019 so you are strongly encouraged to make your reservations as soon as possible. To book your reservation online click here.

REGISTRATION INFORMATION: Tuition for each course is $1,295 on or before December 21, 2018; $1,395 December 22, 2018–February 12, 2019; $1,495 after February 12, 2019.

GROUP DISCOUNTS: Group discounts are available for two or more persons registering together from the same organization. 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 February 12, 2019 will receive a full tuition refund. Persons cancelling after February 12, 2019 will receive a full tuition credit.

Learning Objectives: At the completion of this course you will learn:

• The role of expert witnesses in civil litigation,
• What attorneys are looking for from their experts,
• How to properly define your area(s) of expertise and practice areas,
• How to draft a curriculum vitae appropriate for expert witness work,
• How to get cases,
• How to avoid ethical problems and maintain your integrity,
• The essentials of expert witness report writing,
• How to set your fee and collect it,
• What to bill for and when,
• How to draft a retention agreement to protect your rights,
• How to form defensible opinions,
• Techniques for maintaining your independence and objectivity,
• How to exceed expectations,
• How to build a tremendous reputation,
• Ethics,
• Expert witness risk management techniques, and
• Much, much more.

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 course was reviewed in February 2018. To register, please follow the instructions above. 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.
NOTE: SEAK does not accept commercial support for its programs and does not use faculty members with conflicts of interest.

DISTINGUISHED FACULTY:

bakerwebcircle.jpgJohn D. Baker, MD, FACP, FACC, FSCAI practices invasive/interventional cardiology in Orange County, California. He is Board Certified in both Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology. Dr. Baker received his BS and MD from USC and later trained at USC, UCLA, and the University of Chicago. He has extensive experience with case review on defense and plaintiff cases, deposition and trial testimony experience. Dr. Baker practices and promotes evidence based medicine in his practice and reviews. He has extensive experience in peer review and serves as a Cardiology Expert Consultant for the Medical Licensing Board of California Physicians and Surgeons.

donovan-nadine100px.jpgNadine Nasser Donovan, Esq., has been on the SEAK Faculty since 2002. She has trained countless experts in testifying skills, report writing, and practice development at SEAK conferences, customized on-site expert witness training programs, and via one-on-one training and mentoring. 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 spent 21 years practicing litigation, as a medical malpractice insurance defense attorney and previously, as a NYC prosecutor. Nadine 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. She can be contacted at 617-791-4282 or nadine@seak.com.

DAY ONE: Thursday, March 7, 2019

7:30–8:00 REGISTRATION AND CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

8:00–8:30 The Role of Expert Witnesses in Civil Litigation

Attendees will learn the proper role of expert witnesses in civil litigation. Included is an explanation of Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and the types of specific assignments experts can expect from retaining counsel including forensic consulting, report writing, and where necessary, testifying at deposition or trial. Questions and Answers

8:30–9:30 What Successful Expert Witnesses Have in Common

Faculty and the attendees will analyze what some of the nation’s “go to” experts have in common and how they got to their position of prominence. Videotaped interviews of the experts will be reviewed. Lessons for the attendees will be drawn from these examples. Questions and Answers

9:30–10:30 Finding and Developing Your Niche in the Expert Witness Marketplace

Faculty will explain the advantages of identifying a niche for yourself. Attendees will be provided with a protocol for researching their niche, determining the proper fit and developing their niche to its fullest potential. Questions and Answers

10:30–10:45 BREAK AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

10:45–12:00 Pulling Together a CV Appropriate for Expert Witness Work

Anyone considering starting an expert witness practice needs to maintain a CV. Attendees will learn the importance of an accurate, up-to-date CV, what should and should not be on a CV, and how mistakes in preparing CVs can damage or destroy an expert’s credibility. Sample CVs will be provided. Questions and Answers

12:00–12:45 LUNCH PROVIDED WITH FACULTY

12:45–1:45 Bulletproofing Yourself – Your Qualifications, Marketing Activities, Web Site, Image & Reputation

A mock trial demonstration followed by bottom line bullet point advice with numerous examples on how to avoid potentially devastating problems in an expert’s qualifications, marketing activities, web site, image and reputation. Questions and Answers

1:45–2:15 Bulletproofing Your Opinions – Passing the Daubert Tests, Your Methodology

An in-depth discussion of the legal requirements of Daubert and FRE 702 as they relate to how an expert forms and expresses his/her opinion(s) and the admissibility of the opinions. Numerous examples will be discussed. The lecture continues with practical advice on how to avoid being caught in a Daubert nightmare and how to use the Daubert criteria as a roadmap to bolster the persuasiveness of any opinion. Questions and Answers

2:15–3:00 Bulletproofing Your Opinions – Research, Investigation, Chart Review and Examination

An expert witness’s opinion will only be as strong as the facts, research and investigation upon which it is based. Attendees will learn how to conduct an investigation, perform research and collect data in a manner that bolsters an expert’s opinion. Questions and Answers

3:00–3:15 BREAK AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

3:15–3:45 Bulletproofing Your Opinions – Managing the Potentially Damaging Influence of Retaining Counsel

Expert Witnesses often severely damage or destroy the persuasiveness of their opinions by allowing retaining counsel to influence (or appear to influence) their investigation, assumptions, and opinions. In this segment attendees will learn how to insulate their opinions from the appearance of being under the influence of retaining counsel, for example through the information the expert witness relies upon, the modification of draft and preliminary opinions, and through the communications between the expert witness and retaining counsel. Questions and Answers

3:45–4:00 Bulletproofing Your Opinions – Rebuttals and Commenting On Other Experts

Commenting on another expert’s opinions is an area that gets many experts into unnecessary difficulty. In this segment experts will learn the right way and wrong way to comment on another expert’s opinions. Questions and Answers

4:00–5:00 Best Practices in Forensic Office Management

Attendees will learn myriad techniques that will help them run an efficient and successful litigation support consulting practice. These include optimum new case intake procedures, billing systems, document receipt and retention policies, support staff training and instruction, file maintenance, trial scheduling, procedures for keeping your CV up-to-date, how to account for all time spent on the case, responsibilities and boundaries, security and confidentiality protocols and developing and using forms, templates and checklists. Questions and Answers

DAY TWO: Friday, March 8, 2019

6:30–7:00 CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST

7:00–8:00 Best Practices in Dealing with Counsel

A frank discussion of how to best deal with retaining and opposing counsel. Included is an explanation of the importance of maintaining boundaries, how to best communicate with retaining counsel, the importance of not giving away your theories or reviewing any confidential information until you have been retained, how to deal with non-responsive or incompetent lawyers, how to deal with failure to prepare you for deposition or trial, being pushed beyond your true area of expertise, how to handle “rush” requests for reports and opinions and how to avoid problems before they materialize. Questions and Answers

8:00–9:00 Best Practices in Report Writing

Faculty will review the most efficient methods for dealing with requests for preliminary, draft, and other written reports. Best practices for responding to input from counsel, formatting, editing, controls over release of the report, signing, and proofreading will be provided. There will also be an in-depth discussion on the use and misuse of computer templates to assist in report writing. A sample expert witness report will be provided. Questions and Answers

9:00–9:15 BREAK AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

9:15–10:00 Deposition Best Practices

Attendees will be provided with an in-depth look at scheduling, billing, postponements, cancellations, errata sheets, and retention/destruction of deposition transcripts. A list of expected areas of inquiry will be provided. Questions and Answers

10:00–10:45 Trial Best Practices

Attendees will learn more than twenty techniques to help them prepare for trial. These techniques deal with issues which include dress, logistics, travel, scheduling, payment, and visual aids. Questions and Answers

10:45–11:00 BREAK AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY

11:00–12:00 Best Practices in Fee Setting, Fee Schedules & Agreements, Billings and Collections

Experts will learn how to correctly value their time and set their fee. They will be taught the importance of not undercharging and how to determine exactly what their time is worth. Also included is a detailed discussion of the amount and frequency of retainers, whether retainers should be non-refundable, cancellation fees, expense reimbursement and proven techniques to improve collections of expert witness and consulting fees. Attendees will be provided with sample expert witness retention contract language that addresses 15 common problems faced by expert witnesses. Questions and Answers

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

12:45–1:45 Advanced Marketing Techniques for Building an Expert Witness Practice

Faculty and attendees will engage in a frank discussion and analysis of the utility of: search engine optimization, social media, networking, writing articles, speaking, directory listings, fees, advertising, referral services/brokers and 24-7 marketing. Questions and Answers

1:45–2:15 Ethics and Risk Management

Experts will learn how to deal with common ethical problems and will learn the potential civil and professional liability of experts. Numerous specific risk management techniques for experts will be explained including avoidance, maintaining the appropriate insurance coverages, due diligence, confidentiality protocols, anti-spoliation procedures, avoiding conflicts and the overriding importance of being 100% honest. Questions and Answers

2:15–2:30 Conclusion and Takeaways

Concluding remarks will be preceded by an attendee and faculty generated numbered list of action steps and takeaways from the covered material that attendees will be taking home to their practices to start, build and run a better and more successful expert witness practice. Questions and Answers 

What past attendees had to say:

 

“An eye opening view into expert witnessing, exactly what I needed

 

“Awesome course! I will keep in touch and look forward to another course.”   

 

“Can’t tell you how the course fired me up. Been working all day getting my business together.” 

 

“Deeply experienced presenters” 

 

“Excellent – all questions answered” 

 

“Excellent – recommend to anyone”

 

“Excellent educational tool.”   

 

“Excellent practical info” 

 

“Excellent! Filled in many gaps in my knowledge relative to report writing, billing, and deposition techniques.”

 

“Excellent, only wish I had taken the course when I first heard about it” 

“Loved it!”

“Excellent. The faculty have taken so much great information and condensed it into an invaluable starter kit. I’m amazed at the things I’ve learned in just 2 days.” 

“The training was excellent-very informative, engaging speakers, great teaching methods”  

 

“Excellent, well organized, engaging, and practical”

 

“Excellent. The faculty have taken so much great information and condensed it into an invaluable starter kit. I’m amazed at the things I’ve learned in just 2 days.”

 

“Fantastic lessons, I loved the interactive format! 2 days of sessions flew by!”

 

“High yield professional seminar” 

 

“I found Ms. Donovan’s ‘pearls’ in response to questions especially helpful”   

 

“I found your course highly informative, enjoyable and well run. After attending the course, I feel confident in my ability to serve as an effective expert witness. In my opinion, medical education is best delivered with the liberal use of case studies, anecdotes and Q and A, rather than simply reading bullet points off a slide. Your course made excellent use of that format.  I will highly recommend this course to my colleagues. Bravo!”

 

“I have taken a lot of training classes over the years, this was the only one where I was completely engaged over two days. In addition to your hand outs, I left with 10 pages of notes. Can’t wait for additional classes!”   

 

“I really liked the examples where Nadine called someone up to the ‘hot seat’”

 

“I thoroughly enjoyed your training and, while I still have much to learn, I feel much more confident in becoming an effective medical expert.”

 

“I thought you were a fantastic instructor and loved how you were able to adapt to changing information and continue your line of questioning without a hitch.  It was inspirational to watch!  I hope to develop even just a fraction of that confidence if I make it to court.  I came mostly to keep my friend company at this course, and to check things out - but left very interested to actually do this. I’m excited about starting to work on some cases and coming back for the advanced courses.”

 

“I truly enjoyed the courses I took this past week.  I am very encouraged in my pursuit of this line of work, and am already starting to schedule discussions with my Clinic as to some appropriate changes to make in this regard.  Thank you for all your advice.  I hope to see you at another event in the future.”

 

“Informative, inspiring and fun. I learned what I need to get started and be successful.”

 

“It was excellent, informative and useful”   

 

“It was extremely high yield” 

 

“Loaded with powerful information”

 

“Nadine is an excellent presenter—real world examples really helped drive her point’s home. Even maintained her composer with my frequent opinions. Personable. Judiciously funny.”  

 

“Nadine, both you and Rich were outstanding.”

 

“Nadine, thanks for the time you spent teaching this course.  I learned quite a bit and the course should pay for itself the next case I do as I got my fee schedule more in line with my credentials.”

 

“Nadine, the course was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. You and Dr. Parker have the rare gift of being able to explain all of the nuances and details of the process of preparing to be a successful expert witness. I have already recommended and will continue to recommend this course to colleagues. Thanks again.”

 

“Phenomenal – did not want the seminars to end”

 

“Thank you for a great, informative course. I have been working on my CV, changing the headings and eliminating unnecessary information.” 

 

“Thank you for the wonderful seminar.” 

 

“Thank you so much for a fact filled, information loaded meeting.  I am impressed with the quality and depth of your presentations and comments.  I plan to attend more of SEAK's meetings.”

 

“Thank you so much for the education and empowerment. I hope to take further classes in the future.”   

 

“Thank you, again, for conducting a lively and invigorating EW course along with Rich! I am very inspired now to pursue developing an EW practice, and, I have not felt this inspired for a while!”  

 

“Thank you, Nadine.  You and Rich were very informative, fun and encouraging.”

 

“The best meeting I’ve attended in several years.”   

 

“The class was outstanding! It was presented in such an easy to understand manner. Thank you again for a great class!”

  “Great seminar. The instructors shared several “real life” scenarios to put things in perspective and to help you avoid common mistakes.”  

“Fabulous! Interesting, stimulating, very effective”

  “I believe the seminar was truly impressive and very informative”

  “A great learning experience presented with real world examples”

“Great! Very practical. Likely to make me money”

  “Very well organized, very practical advice”  

“Every part of the seminar was critical”  

“Jim and Chip were very engaging and welcoming. They worked well together and I enjoyed their sense of humor. Great job!”  

“Jim is fabulous and fun. Chip – great practical help.”

  “Very informative”  

“Jim was very entertaining.”  

“The presenters were very knowledgeable about the material and were able to present it in an interactive way with attendees.”

  “Excellent presentation – going through CVs, websites was extremely helpful”  

“Great job!”

 “The program was top notch. No improvements needed.”

“Excellent, only wish I had taken the course when I first heard about it”

“Loved it!”

“Excellent. The faculty have taken so much great information and condensed it into an invaluable starter kit. I’m amazed at the things I’ve learned in just 2
days.”

“The training was excellent-very informative, engaging speakers, great teaching methods”

“You guys are great, very personable, honest, available and engaging, great job”

“Excellent, well organized, engaging, and practical”

“Loaded with powerful information”

“Phenomenal-did not want the seminars to end”

“Well organized, upbeat”

“Very informative, exceeded my expectations”

“Professional and informative”

“Very useful, well presented, well organized”

“Jim’s presentation/style is very entertaining – he’s clearly brilliant and highly knowledgeable”

“Really enjoyed the style, open dialogue + questions”

“Great course”

“All presenters were great. Very approachable, knowledgeable & instructive. They gave a fair balance of what is most important and what isn’t”

“Very professional, knowledgeable”

“You are all dynamic, interesting and knowledgeable, humorous.”

“Thank you--one the most entertaining seminars I have attended...very informative as well...”

“Great course and really enjoyed your presentation style and bountiful information.”

“Jim and Nadine,  I just want to thank you both for the incredible presentations.  I have read your books but the dialogue and thought provoking questions helped me understand the role of expert and performance expectations.  The interrogations were fun and painful which is as it should be.  Thanks again for the exceptional expert programming.  All the best.”

 

“The class was outstanding! It was presented in such an easy to understand manner. Thank you again for a great class!”
 
“Great seminar. The instructors shared several “real life” scenarios to put things in perspective and to help you avoid common mistakes.”
 
“Fabulous! Interesting, stimulating, very effective”
 
“I believe the seminar was truly impressive and very informative”
 
“A great learning experience presented with real world examples”
“Great! Very practical. Likely to make me money”
 
“Very well organized, very practical advice”
 
“Every part of the seminar was critical”
 
“Jim and Chip were very engaging and welcoming. They worked well together and I enjoyed their sense of humor. Great job!”   
  
“The presenters were very knowledgeable about the material and were able to present it in an interactive way with attendees.”
 
“Excellent presentation – going through CVs, websites was extremely helpful”
 
“Great job!”
 
“The program was top notch. No improvements needed.”

“I found the seminar to be most enlightening and informational.”
  
“Extremely thorough, professional and focused. Excellent.”

“Excellent how-to. Thanks for a great course!” 

“Very informative, and great presentation.”

“Many thanks for the well-constructed summary of this field and the specific recommendations to proceed.”

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

“Thank you!  I enjoyed the course and learned so much.  I want to thank you for your words of encouragement, too. You have helped me to move forward with pursuing this exciting experience.”

 

“The information provided during this conference was incredible. This was certainly an investment in my practice and not an expense for it.”

 

“The training was excellent-very informative, engaging speakers, great teaching methods”   

 

“Top notch!” 

 

“Very informative” 

 

“Very interactive and informative”   

 

“You guys are great, very personable, honest, available and engaging, great job”   

 

“You're awesome Nadine. Thanks!” 

 

 


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