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How to Start, Build and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice, September 13-14, 2018, Falmouth, MA


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. How to Start, Build and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice is an intensive, content rich workshop that is designed to show you how to start, build, and run a successful expert witness practice. 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 in 2018.

The Sea Crest Beach Hotel, Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Thursday-Friday, September 13-14, 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 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,


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 December 2017. 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:

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

darius-chip100px.jpgChip Darius, OHST, CET, CSHO, is an OSHA / Safety Consultant and Trainer with 28 years’ experience serving clients in general industry, construction, utilities and emergency services. In addition to his consulting and training business, Mr. Darius is an Instructor for the OSHA Training Institute Region 1 Education Center, where he has been teaching courses on OSHA regulations for over a decade. Mr. Darius is a well experienced Forensic Expert Witness and Litigation Consultant in catastrophic injury, fatality and personal injury matters. He has experience in both plaintiff and defense cases, in state and federal matters. He has significant testimony experience in depositions and at trials. Mr. Darius has conducted training at international, national, regional, state and local conferences and seminars. He earned BS and MA degrees from the University of Connecticut. Mr. Darius has also been a certified Emergency Medical Technician for 38 years. 


DAY ONE: September 13, 2018


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


10:45–12:00 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


12:45–1:45 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


3:15–3:45 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: September 14, 2018


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


9:15–10:00 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


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


12:45–1:45 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 have to say:

“Jim, the program was fantastic and I learned a lot.  You and Chip were just terrific.  I could have easily done another few days with both of you.  Thanks again for a really great 2 days.”

“Dear Jim. Thank you for recommending the course. It was terrific and I look forward to starting some expert witness work. In fact, I received a request during the course and am applying the retention agreement from SEAK.”

“Jim, Thank you for the opportunity to attend your class. It was great to see the excitement created by you and Chip with the valuable knowledge, practical application and the entertaining moments of the classroom as you presented the subject material. Your presentation was Great, Thanks again.”

“Mr. Mangraviti, The training was outstanding. You and chip highlighted key points and gave great examples to illustrate your points.”

“Superb experience.”

“Jim, Just a great series of presentations and insights this week, really practical and useful. I look forward to using all of the material going forward and pursuing more information, and of course, getting direct experience.”

“Chip, Thanks for the tremendous amount of relevant and detailed info in this class. You did a terrific job. This class will make a big difference in my success and everyone who attended, I’m sure.”

“Hi Jim! Thank you for sharing your time and experience at the SEAK Expert Witness Conference, I found it incredibly beneficial.”

“The course was wonderful and I am extremely grateful for all your insight and knowledge.”

“Jim, Congratulations on putting on an excellent and informative course. It will be extremely helpful in cultivating my expert witness practice.”

“Jim, I had a great time and got a great value for the time and money invested for the conference.”

“Chip, I participated in the recent How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice event and wanted to express how beneficial I found the course to be.  I thought you and Jim not only shared valuable information, but captured the attention of everyone in the room.  Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, I truly enjoyed the class.”

“Excellent! Well worth the time and money.”

“Great course, very detailed and helpful to jumpstart my EW practice. “

“One of the most applicable trainings I have been to in a long time (I attend multiple a year).”

“I liked that the speakers went individually through the class and told them a fee range that would be acceptable. As the owner of a small business in a very specialized field, I’ve struggled to know what fees are appropriate for me.”

“A++; Thank you for your feedback and time.”

“Absolutely loved the dynamic “no hold barred” disposition of both presenters. Great.”

“Both Jim and Chip made the audience feel they really cared about our success.”

“I found both presenters to be informative & captivating. A two-day seminar often involves glazed-over looks at some point, but the attendees of this course were attentive & hanging on every word.”

“The SEAK trainers were Stellar. I found the staff trainers to be the most informative.”

“[Jim and Chip] were both fantastic! I could have listened to them and learned from them for a few more days."

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

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

“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”

“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

“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.”

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