30th Anniversary National Expert Witness Conference, May 6-7, 2023, Clearwater Beach, FL

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SEAK, Inc. is pleased to present its 30th Anniversary 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.

Saturday–Sunday, May 6-7, 2023, Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL

Registration/Tuition/DiscountsTuition is $1395 on or before March 9, 2023, $1495 March 10, 2023–April 11, 2023, and $1595 after April 11, 2023. Your tuition includes a detailed conference manual. Group discounts are available for two or more persons registering together for the same course from the same employer. Discount prices depend on the size of the group. Our programs can also be brought onsite to your organization. Please call 508-457-1111. A special 50% discount is available on one new or renewal standard listing in the SEAK Expert Witness Directory placed by attendees during the seminars and main conference. 

Cancellations: Conference cancellations received in writing on or before April 11, 2023 will receive a full refund. Conference cancellations received after April 11, 2023 will receive a full tuition credit. 

Location/Hotel Accommodations: The 2023 SEAK Expert Witness Conference will be held at the Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL. SEAK has secured a limited time special group rate of $309/night which expires April 11, 2023. Due to the popularity of our programs, rooms at this group rate are currently extremely limited or may be sold out certain nights. Additional rooms may be available at the Opal Sands at prevailing rates.  To make your hotel reservation at the Opal Sands under the group rate, please click here. The Opal Sands Resort is located within walking distance of dozens of restaurants and is a 20 mile/30 minute cab, rideshare or shuttle ride from Tampa International Airport, so we suggest saving money and time by not renting a car. To make your reservations at the Opal Sands, please call 1-855-335-1087 and refer to the SEAK Group rate and National Expert Witness Conference. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ADDITIONAL HOTELS WITHIN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE OPAL SANDS.  PLEASE SEE BELOW:  

(listed in order by distance) 

  Edge Hotel
  505 S Gulfview Blvd.
  Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
  From $465+ per night
  .1 miles from conference hotel
  next door from conference hotel

  Springhill Suites Clearwater Beach
  309 Coronado Drive
  Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
  From $265+ per night
  .5 miles from conference hotel

  Holiday Inn Clearwater Beach
  521 S Gulfview Blvd
  Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
  From $335+ per night
  .2 miles from conference hotel

  Pier House 60
  101 Coronado Dr.
  Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
  From $305+ per night
  .5 miles from conference hotel

  Hampton Inn & Suites Clearwater Beach
  635 South Gulfview Boulevard
  Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
  From $361+ per night
  .2 miles from conference hotel

  Fairfield Inn & Suites Clearwater Beach
  650 Bay Esplanade
  Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
  From $291+ per night
  1.5 miles from conference hotel 

  Shephard’s Beach Resort
  619 S Gulfview 
  Clearwater Beach, FL 33767
  From $359+ per night
  .3 miles from conference hotel

There are several AirBnBs in close proximity to the Opal Sands!

Here is a link to several listings available for May 3-7, 2023.
You can modify the dates you wish to stay at the top of the page. 



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 or stream the pre-conference on-demand anytime from www.seak.com. 

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. A special 50% discount is available on one new or renewal standard listing in the SEAK Expert Witness Directory placed by attendees while at the conference or pre-conference.  

Q. I can’t make it to the conference, what are my other options?
A. SEAK offers live expert witness training 3-4 times a year. SEAK also offers streaming, on-demand training including How to Start, Build and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice. For a complete list of upcoming live and streaming seminars, please visit www.seak.com. 

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 smaller 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. A large percentage 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 James J. Mangraviti Jr., Esq. (978-276-1234) 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: State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. SEAK will provide each attendee with a certificate of attendance. 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)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 
For questions or more information call 508.457.1111 or email mail@seak.com. NOTE: SEAK does not accept commercial support for its programs and does not use faculty members with conflicts of interest. 




8:00am – 9:00am A View from the Bench: How Expert Witnesses Can Improve Their Persuasiveness at Trial
Judge Caproni will explain why some experts are more effective than others in court. Judge Caproni will discuss how the expert’s demeanor, language, presentation skills, and the content of their testimony impact the expert’s credibility and persuasiveness. Judge Caproni will share feedback from jurors regarding expert testimony and offer practical suggestions for experts to excel during direct and cross examination at trial. Questions & Answers 

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-caproni.jpgHon. Valerie Caproni is a United States district judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Caproni received a BA magna cum laude in psychology from Tulane and earned a JD summa cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law. Judge Caproni was appointed to the bench in 2013. Judge Caproni’s prior legal experience included clerking for Judge Phyllis Kravitch, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, associate in the litigation department of Cravath, Swaine & Moore in NYC, assistant United States attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York (later serving as chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section before becoming chief of the Criminal Division in 1994), regional director of the Pacific Regional Office of the Securities and Exchange Commission, counsel at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (specializing in white collar criminal defense and SEC enforcement actions), and general counsel of the FBI.  

9:00am – 10:00am How to Excel at Trial: Preparation and Testifying
Mr. Villines will provide practical suggestions for excelling while testifying at trial. He will stress the importance of meticulous preparation including doing your homework, and knowing your deposition, report, and the expert disclosure in the case cold. Mr. Villines will provide his insights on excelling during both direct examination and during cross-examination at trial. Questions & Answers 

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-villines.jpgJohn Villines has dedicated his adult life to security management and crime prevention. He has built a national reputation as a crime prevention expert, bringing to the table a unique blend of academic and practical experience. The venues in which Mr. Villines has provided expert witness services include: parking areas; bars and nightclubs; restaurants; shopping centers; hotels/motels; residential properties; office buildings; special events; retail department stores; healthcare; industrial sites; and convenience stores. Mr. Villines has served as an expert since the early 1980s and has vast experiences testifying. At many points in his career he was providing testimony at least once per week.  


10:10am – 11:10am How & Why Attorneys Depose Experts: Strategies & Tactics
Attorney will explain the goals attorneys have when deposing expert witnesses as well as the strategies and tactics used to effectuate these goals. He will provide practical suggestions for excelling during your expert witness deposition. Questions & Answers 

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-mayer.jpgKevin C. Mayer, Esq. is a partner and civil trial attorney at Logan Mayer LLP in California.  A 38-year veteran of “Big Law”, Kevin founded his firm in 2022 with long-time friend and colleague Bill Logan.  Kevin has litigated and tried cases in multiple federal, state, territorial, and tribal courts, as well as before government agencies and administrative bodies.  Long one of the country’s preeminent trial attorneys in the defense of products liability, toxic tort, OSHA and water-borne pathogen litigation, Kevin deals routinely with cases involving environmental and occupational health and safety issues, cancer, systemic disease, birth defects, and Legionnaire’s Disease. He also represents plaintiffs defendants in commercial and business tort matters. Kevin is a Senior Fellow in The Litigation Counsel of America, and frequently speaks and writes on civil trial and administrative law practice. He has addressed innumerable trade associations and their members, and other professional audiences, from coast-to-coast. 

11:10am – 12:10pm Using Demonstratives to Support Expert Testimony: Are You Doing It Right?
Science has proven that demonstrative aids such as charts, graphs, photos, and animations are highly effective at helping jurors understand and remember expert testimony. Attorney Bobby DiCello will explain the basic legal requirements that experts need to follow when preparing and presenting demonstratives. And, most importantly, he will apply his knowledge of persuasion science and litigation technique to teach experts how to convey the meaning of their (often complicated) opinions with 5 simple rules that will enhance the presentation of their demonstratives in the court room and deposition environment. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-dicello.jpgRobert F. DiCello, Esq. (Bobby) is lead trial counsel and a partner in the firm of DiCello, Levitt, Gutzler. With over 50 lawyers in six different states, DiCello Levitt Gutzler is one of the most successful and well-respected Plaintiff’s firms in the United States. Bobby’s practice encompasses locally and nationally significant cases across a broad range of trial subjects with a focus on restoring the human dignity stolen by civil rights abuses, catastrophic injuries, defective products, and corporate misconduct. Having taught trial skills for trial lawyers all over the country, Bobby is known for his dedication to improving the art of trial practice. He is also known for his work with focus groups, conducting research that examines juror decision-making. He consults on all aspects of trial preparation and motion practice, including theme building, case framing, case messaging, and the creation of visuals for courtroom presentation and exhibits. Bobby has been named to Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers (2022), Trial Lawyer of the Year, (Public Justice 2021), Plaintiffs’ Lawyers Trailblazer (The National Law Journal 2020 and 2017) and an Ohio Super Lawyer (annually since 2017).  

12:10pm – 1:10pm LUNCH (PROVIDED WITH FACULTY)  


Tips for Succeeding as an Expert Witness in High-Profile Cases
Mr. Spindler will provide insights for those experts considering work in high-profile cases such as the recent Johnny Depp defamation suit. He will discuss the implications of working on a high-stakes case which is televised or otherwise widely reported in the press. Mr. Spindler will provide practical advice for experts to help them decide whether or not to accept an assignment in a high-stakes case. He will further provide tips experts can use to excel while working on such cases. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-spindler.jpgMichael Spindler, CPA brings approximately 40 years of experience to complex disputes including matters related to forensic accounting and business fraud investigations across a wide range of industries. He has provided expert testimony on dozens of occasions in bench trials, jury trials and arbitration proceedings. In 2022 he testified as an expert forensic accounting witness in the Depp v. Heard trial. Prior to joining B. Riley Advisory Services (formerly GlassRatner), Spindler held senior leadership positions with several forensic accounting firms and was a Partner at two national public accounting firms. Spindler is a Certified Public Accountant (licensed in California, New York, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Hawaii), is Certified in Financial Forensics, is Accredited in Business Valuation (both issued by the AICPA) is a Certified Fraud Examiner (issued by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners) and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (“CAMS”). Spindler graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a bachelor of science degree in accounting in 1981.  


How to Excel During Direct Examination
Attorney Soto will explain and give examples of the proven strategies and techniques which can help experts excel during direct examination, including: making the complex simple, using Powerpoints and demonstratives, telling the jury what they need to know — not everything you know, bringing out the bad, proper and thorough preparation, harmonious interaction with retaining counsel, and using analogies. Attorney Soto will explain the top ten things experts can do to excel during direct examination. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-soto.jpgMiranda L. Soto, Esq. is Florida Bar Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and has tried approximately 50–70 cases to verdict. She specializes in high-stakes litigation and complex commercial cases on behalf of private equity, hedge funds, high-end insurance companies, law firms and other sophisticated businesses in cases involving commercial and business disputes, professional and legal malpractice claims, product liability, toxic tort, complex fraud matters, public policy matters, cases of first impression, high-stakes personal injury cases, franchisee/franchisor litigation, trust and estate litigation and premises liability at the state and federal levels. Attorney Soto began her career as an Assistant State Attorney in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s office. She also served as Lead Counsel for Allstate’s Miami and Ft. Myers legal offices. 



How to Excel When Testifying via Zoom
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in expert witnesses commonly appearing via Zoom to testify at deposition and trial. Due to the inherent efficiencies involved, this trend is highly likely to become permanent. In this segment, Attorney Ramsey will provide specialized advice for excelling when testifying via Zoom including logistics, documents, exhibits, breaks, objections, technology, conferences with retaining counsel, background, screen setup, and hardware. Questions & Answers 

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-ramsey.jpgErica A. Ramsey, Esq. is a partner with Robins Kaplan, LLP. She currently practices in the firm’s national Business Litigation Group, representing both plaintiffs and defendants in cases nationwide involving insurance coverage disputes, product liability issues, construction defect claims, contractual issues, and consumer fraud allegations. Attorney Ramsay has become adept at working effectively with experts from diverse technical backgrounds. She is able to get up to speed quickly and jump into new industries and technologies to advise clients on rapidly developing industries. Attorney Ramsey earned her law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law (Order of the Coif & Kansas Law Review, Associate Editor). She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch (2022 edition).  


MS Word: Tips for Producing Higher Quality Reports and Working More Efficiently
Dr. Layton will explain and demonstrate tips and strategies he has developed for working with MS Word. Included will be Keystroking, e.g. Alt-Tab and keyboard arrows, Formatting a Table of Contents, Paragraph Formatting, Using Styles, Pagination, selecting fonts, inserting and managing sections, headers, and footers, using Ctl-A and F9 key, Autonumbering, keyboard arrows in combination with Shift and Ctl key, cross referencing, using the “seq” function for equations and bookmarks, using fields, applying macros for rapid font management, using “Ctl-Shift-8” for whitespace and pagination management, using the Alt key effectively for routine tasks, inserting images with arrows and labels, reference management with Endnote, Header and Footer formatting, Line numbering, cross-platform editing, interacting with Adobe Pro, and EndNote, and inserting computer code. Questions & Answers 

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-layton.jpgBradley E. Layton, PhD, PE After earning a bachelor’s degree from MIT and a PhD and master’s degree from the University of Michigan, Dr. Layton joined the faculty at Drexel University where he authored dozens of successful National Science Foundation grants, and hundreds of peer-reviewed articles while serving as Editor for the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Dr. Layton then served as Director of the University of Montana’s Energy Technology Program where he authored two books and won one of the largest grants ever to be awarded to the Missoula College. Dr. Layton has been serving as an expert witness and licensed professional engineer in several states since 2016 and has authored several 100+ page expert witness reports. 



The Benefits of Narrowing The Areas You Opine On
As an expert witness, you may be qualified under the rules of evidence to opine on a broad range of topics. There can, however, be significant advantages to choosing to restrict yourself to a narrower niche including: marketing, credibility, time-efficiency, organization of materials, physical workload, mental workload, and deposition/trial preparation. Dr. Boesky will explain these benefits and her own experiences with self-restricting into a narrow niche. She will offer advice and suggestions for experts to find their own potential niches. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-boesky.jpgLisa Boesky, PhD serves as an expert on suicide within jails. She is a psychologist who has spent over two decades educating correctional professionals on mental health and suicide prevention within their facilities. She has consulted on suicide and mental health in corrections for 20+ years, including multiple correctional class-action lawsuits. She is an experienced expert witness and is hired by both defense and plaintiffs’ attorneys. Dr. Boesky has served as an opinion source for CNN, CNN International, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and many others.  


How to Form Defensible Opinions & Avoid and Prevail in Daubert Challenges 
Dr. Parnell will provide suggestions and advice for forming defensible opinions that will discourage Daubert challenges and hold up at deposition and trial. In addition, Dr. Parnell will provide guidance for best practices in responding to and prevailing during Daubert challenges and discuss some relevant personal case experience. Questions & Answers 

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-parnell.jpgT. Kim Parnell, PhD, PE is a Mechanical Engineering consultant with strong experience in several technology areas. Dr. Parnell frequently serves as a testifying Expert Witness in patents, product failure, and personal injury litigation cases. He holds PhD and MSME degrees from Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering and a BES degree from Georgia Tech. Dr. Parnell is an ASME Fellow, a Senior Member of IEEE, and a Member of SAE and ASM International. He is a registered Professional Mechanical Engineer in the State of California. Dr. Parnell served full-time on the Mechanical Engineering faculty at Santa Clara University from 2010-2012, teaching undergraduate Mechanical Engineering students and previously was a Visiting Associate Professor at Stanford University teaching graduate classes. After receiving his PhD, he was a Senior Manager for a large engineering consulting firm for 13 years. Next, Dr. Parnell started independent consulting in 2000 (e.g., the dot-com bust) with early-stage medical device companies. He provided design, failure analysis and reliability services for medical devices and other high-tech applications. His practice evolved and flipped from primarily non-litigation engineering services to primarily Expert Witness litigation roles since approximately 2015. Contact him at kim.parnell@stanfordalumni.org or on LinkedIN: www.LinkedIN.com/in/ParnellPEC 


DAY TWO: SUNDAY, MAY 7, 2023  

7:00am – 8:00am A View from the Bench: The Biggest Mistakes Experts Make and How to Avoid Them
Judge Sullivan will discuss how to avoid the common pitfalls and unforced errors which can needlessly damage or destroy an expert’s credibility. He will explain the importance of preparation, forming defensible opinions, providing understandable testimony, active listening, the proper role of an expert witness and how best to connect with the jury on direct and cross. Judge Sullivan will offer practical suggestions that experts can utilize to be a more persuasive expert witness at trial. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-sullivan.jpgHon. William F. Sullivan is an associate justice for the Massachusetts Superior Court. Prior to assuming the bench in 2014, Judge Sullivan was a partner at his firm of Sullivan and Sweeney, LLP in Quincy, Massachusetts and one of the top criminal defense attorneys in the state. He also previously served as a special assistant city solicitor for Quincy from 2006 to 2008 and as a prosecutor for the Norfolk County, Massachusetts District Attorney’s Office from 1982 to 1984. Judge Sullivan has tried as a litigator or presided over as a judge hundreds of jury trials (both civil and criminal cases). He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. from the Boston College Law School.  

8:00am – 9:00am How to Excel at Your Expert Witness Deposition
Dr. Parker will provide practical suggestions for performing at a high level at an expert witness deposition. He will stress the importance of forming strong opinions, staying in your sandbox, maintaining your integrity, diligent preparation, and active listening. Dr. Parker will preview the questions/topics experts should be well-prepared to discuss at deposition and provide insights into the techniques the deposing lawyer can be expected to utilize. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-parker.jpgRichard A. Parker, MD is founder and managing director of Parker Healthcare Innovations, LLC and is CMO for Arcadia —an EHR aggregation and analytics company. Formerly, he was a practicing internist from 1988-2012; an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School since 2000; and from 2000 to 2015, he served as medical director and then chief medical officer (CMO) of the Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization (BIDCO). As a practicing internist for nearly 30 years, he was recognized by Boston Magazine as one of Boston’s best internal medicine doctors and is a 2010 and 2012 recipient of the BIDMC Schwartz Center’s Compassionate Caregiver Award. Dr. Parker graduated from Harvard College in 1978 and the Dartmouth-Brown program in medicine in 1985. He cares for patients part-time at Care Dimensions hospice in Lincoln, MA. Dr. Parker is a highly experienced expert witness. His cases over the last 20+ years have involved both medical malpractice and hospital corporate negligence, and he has given nearly two dozen depositions.  


9:10am – 10:10am Effective Presentation of Expert Witness Testimony
Dr. Ellis will explain and demonstrate what makes some expert witness testimony particularly effective and persuasive. She will discuss juror’s perceptions of expert witnesses, how experienced experts can avoid being perceived as the “hired gun,” the difficulties facing first time experts, how to avoid speaking over the heads of the jurors, and the factors jurors consider when determining whether an expert is credible, helpful, and likable. Dr. Ellis will offer specific practical suggestions that experts of all disciplines can use to improve their testimony. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-ellis.jpgLeslie Ellis, Ph.D. is the founder and owner of The Caissa Group, a national litigation consulting firm. She has been conducting research on jury, judicial and arbitrator decision making for over 25 years. She has consulted on hundreds of cases across the United States, U.S. territories, and internationally. She works with clients on high-risk and complex cases in all industries and areas of litigation. Dr. Ellis provides quantitative and qualitative analysis through focus groups, mock trials, damages assessments, and venue analyses. Her professional affiliations include the American Psychological Association, the American Psychology-Law Society, and the American Society of Trial Consultants. Dr. Ellis holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she specialized in psychology and law and statistics. She received her B.A. in psychology from Northwestern University. 

10:10am – 11:10am How Attorneys Cross-Examine Expert Witnesses at Trial: Strategies & Goals
Attorney Mangraviti will provide insights into the goals of opposing counsel during cross examination at trial and will discuss the techniques commonly employed to challenge experts including, maintaining control, leading questions, set-up questions, fork in the road questions, funneling, impeachment, and pacing. He will preview common areas of questioning including fees, bias, exaggerations, past statements, investigation, assumptions, learned treatises, failure to rule out alternatives, and the influence of retaining counsel. Attorney Mangraviti will provide practical suggestions for excelling during cross examination. Questions & Answers  

mangraviti-circle.jpgJames J. Mangraviti, Jr., Esq., has trained thousands of expert witnesses over the past 25+ years through seminars, corporate training, training for professional societies, and training for governmental agencies including the FBI, IRS, NYPD, SEC, Secret Service, and Department of Defense. He currently serves as Principal of The Expert Witness Training Company SEAK, Inc. (www.testifyingtraining.com). Jim has been retained to prepare expert witnesses in a wide variety of cases such as catastrophic personal injury, medical malpractice, antitrust, patent infringement, homicide, commercial litigation, and product liability. He is a thought leader on expert witness business development who has mentored numerous experts and helped them grow successful practices. Jim is a former litigator with experience in defense and plaintiff personal injury law and insurance law. He received his BA degree in mathematics summa cum laude from Boston College and his JD degree cum laude from Boston College Law School. Jim is the co-author of numerous texts on expert witnessing.


11:20am – 12:20pm Expert Witness Self Destruction – How to Avoid Unforced Errors
Expert witnesses often get themselves into difficulty at deposition and trial by making preventable mistakes. Committing such errors can make opposing counsel’s job of discrediting the expert orders of magnitude easier. Attorney Culp will teach experts how to avoid common mistakes, and will share his experiences regarding the preventable mistakes experts most commonly make. Included in his discussion will be testifying outside the area of expertise, the importance of reports, billing issues, draft reports, inappropriate use of emails, poorly considered language in emails, not using a reliable methodology, CV problems, unreliable assumptions, and not having all of the available information. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-culp.jpgMatthew A. Culp, Esq. is a Member and CEO of Rasmussen Dickey Moore, with offices in Kansas City, St Louis, and Los Angeles. Since 2000, Matt has developed extensive jury-trial experience in state and federal courts. Matt focuses his practice primarily in the areas of toxic torts, products liability, insurance defense, personal injury, and professional liability. Matt has first-chaired the defense of companies in multi-million dollar jury trials and obtained defense verdicts for his clients. He has extensive experience in personal injury litigation.  

12:20pm – 1:20pm LUNCH (PROVIDED WITH FACULTY)  


Business Development Strategies for Expert Witnesses
Mr. Rothbart will describe and explain several techniques to help experts make attorneys aware of their availability. Included will be a discussion of websites, advertising, organic search engine optimization, fee based search engine optimization, networking, referral agencies, and direct outreach. Mr. Rothbart will provide practical tips to assist experts in developing their expert witness practices. Questions & Answers 

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-rothbart.jpgJeffrey S. Rothbart, J.D., LL.M, LEED-AP is a seasoned real estate executive with over 19 years of direct experience in all aspects of commercial and residential real estate. Generally, Mr. Rothbart’s experience includes, but is not limited to, land and property acquisition, zoning and entitlements, development, general contracting, valuation, acquisitions, debt and equity finance, asset and property management, leasing, sustainability and dispositions. Mr. Rothbart has experience with both domestic and international real estate as well as most property types. Mr. Rothbart is an Illinois licensed attorney, possesses an LL.M. in Taxation and has been an Adjunct Professor of Law since 2007. He has served as an expert witness/consultant in over 100 real estate matters. 


How to Establish and Maintain a Standout Working Relationship With Retaining Counsel
Building a positive working relationship with retaining counsel will make working on the case more enjoyable and can often lead to extremely favorable word of mouth. Attorney Wilbur will provide her suggestions for fostering an exceptionally positive relationship with retaining counsel. She will also detail the biggest mistakes experts make when dealing with retaining counsel and provide suggestions for avoiding such mistakes. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-wilbur.jpgKelly J. Wilbur, Esq., is an expert witness trainer and consultant for SEAK, Inc. She has assisted and taught numerous expert witnesses through SEAK seminars and one-on-one training. She was an insurance defense and commercial litigator for five years where she regularly worked with and against expert witnesses in wrongful death, personal injury, premises liability, construction defect and patent cases. Kelly received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts School of Law and graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a B.A. in Political Science. She may be contacted at 781-491-6802 or kelly@seak.com 



How Attorneys Locate and Select Expert Witnesses
Attorney Van Meter will provide insights into the various tools and methods trial attorneys utilize to find expert witnesses. Mr. Van Meter will discuss both what attorneys find attractive in expert witnesses and what is a turn off. He will also discuss how attorneys choose who to retain amongst the experts they identify and how to make a good impression during pre-engagement communications with retaining counsel. Questions & Answers  

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-vanmeter.jpgDavid W. Van Meter, Esq. is an AV® Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rated™ trial attorney. Mr. Van Meter received his B.S. Combined Science degree in Chemistry and Biology with a Pre-Professional emphasis toward the medical field. He focuses the majority of his legal work on: medical malpractice, products liability, catastrophic injuries, wrongful death, nursing home neglect, trucking accidents, motor vehicle accidents, pharmacy negligence, whistleblower and fraud. David and his wife Kelly married in 1987 and are the proud parents of quadruplets who are all successful and married and providing wonderful grandchildren for David & Kelly to spoil.  


How to Prepare a Superior Expert Report
Ms. Sundararaman will explain and demonstrate, with examples, how to write an excellent expert witness report. Her presentation will include what should and should not be in an expert report, complying with applicable legal standards, formatting, referencing, presenting data effectively, expressing opinions, proofreading and how to avoid common mistakes. Gained from her experience drafting over 50 expert reports, Ms. Sundararaman will offer practical suggestions for writing a superior expert witness report. Questions & Answers 

seak-speakercircles-may2023-clearwater-sundararaman.jpgDeepa Sundararaman, CPA, CVA is a Director at BRG with over 18 years of experience providing accounting and consulting services to companies, law firms and governmental agencies. Ms. Sundararaman focuses her practice in the areas of intellectual property and commercial litigation matters. She has significant experience performing complex financial and accounting analyses in quantification of damages. Her experience includes disputes brought to federal courts and matters brought before the US International Trade Commission (ITC); and covers a range of disputes involving intellectual property, including allegations of patent, trademark infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets. In addition to matters involving intellectual property and complex commercial litigation, her engagements have included business valuations, royalty investigations, bankruptcy investigations, regulatory compliance, and statutory audits. Ms. Sundararaman holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, College Park and has an active CPA license.   

What past attendees have to say:

“ 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.”

“A hearty “thank you” to you and the team for another amazing conference. This is my 3rd year and an already great event seems to continue to improve.”

“An eye-opening experience.”

“As always, the content is very valuable. The location and hotel is probably the loveliest and most relaxing conference destination I’ve been to.”

“Awesome, I will be back.”

“Congratulations on another successful conference! It is impressive that, given the limited number of topics, you keep the meetings fresh with new speakers and new ideas. It was a fun experience, and I look forward to many more stimulating SEAK experiences.”

“Engaging presenters who understood what was expected of them”

“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, 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.”

“Excellent. Lots of great speakers with relevant content and valuable experience”

“Excellent. One of the best I have attended”

“Extremely beneficial”

“Fabulous, exciting”

“Fabulous-I am new to the field and it has been a great foundation to use to build my skills”

“Fantastic as always!”

“Fantastic seminar, exceeded expectations”

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


“First and foremost, as a first year attendee I have to tell you the conference was AMAZING! I walked away with more real-world, directly applicable information than I thought was possible in a weekend. SEAK is an amazing organization and a fantastic resource.”

“Great speakers, very helpful”

“High class and informative.”

“I appreciated all of the preparedness of the professionals speaking.”

“I would like to thank you for Saturday and Sunday at Clearwater Beach. Everything was seamless, and the speakers were on top of their game. It was a very enjoyable time, and I learned more than I had in the past. You and Jim put together a totally first rate performance, and I’ll be coming back again.”

“Impressive-true leaders in the field”

“Incredibly valuable”

“Informative and effective. I picked up a wealth of techniques that will change my business practices.”

“It was a great seminar.  Thank you!”

“It was as always, a life changing experience. Thank you for everything.”

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


“Phenomenal, game changer!”

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

“Superb speakers! Great course.”

“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 for a great conference in a perfect location. As always, very informative and well organized.”

“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!!”

“The meeting, exceeded my expectations. The only thing I regret was not taking these courses before accepting my first case. I appreciated the absence of commercial presence. The setting and services were fantastic."

“The SEAK conference on a scale from 1-10 was an 11. Thank you to you and your team and the professionals who spoke!”

“This is exactly what I needed”

“This is must know information for anyone doing expert witness work.”

“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.”

“This weekend, my first exposure to SEAK, was extremely positive.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed this conference very interesting and informative, I will be back!!!”

“Tons of helpful information and strategies for expert witnesses”

“Very good seminar — many excellent speakers”

“Very good, lots of useful information”

“Very helpful, informative. Wonderful speakers”

“Very helpful”

“Very informative, great speakers”

“Very informative-all presenters knew their stuff”

“Very smart presenters”

“Very well organized. High level of professionalism”

“Well organized with a nice variety of topic areas and targeting various levels of experience.”

“Well-crafted for relevance and a stellar cast of presenters with a focus on practical knowledge”

“Well-crafted for relevance and a stellar cast of presenters”

“Worth every penny of my money.”

“You guys do such a fantastic job that any comments on improving would be Monday morning quarterbacking GREAT JOB! Thank you.”

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

This conference, your teaching, was the best conference I have attended in my entire professional career. I did hear from a number of participants that they come back multiple times to your course and I can see why. There is just so much valuable content.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the expert witness conference this weekend in Clearwater. The presenters were exceptional and I picked up multiple tips and tricks to improve my business.”

“Thank you SEAK! As usual, you delivered a memorable and rich learning opportunities. I enjoyed the content, the location, and the networking immensely. Keep up the fantastic work!”