SEAK, Inc. is pleased to present its 31st Annual National Expert Witness Conference. Experts from all disciplines and with all levels of experience will benefit from multi-disciplinary advanced techniques. Nationally recognized presenters will discuss all aspects of expert witness testimony, ethics, and trial techniques. Conference participants will be presented with practical suggestions for succeeding as expert witnesses. This highly acclaimed two-day program will include intensive breakout sessions.
Saturday–Sunday, April 27-28, 2024, Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL
Registration/Tuition/Discounts: Tuition is $1,395 on or before March 1, 2024, $1,495 March 2 – April 1, 2024; $1,595 after April 1, 2024. Group Discounts: Group discounts are available for two or more persons registering together for the same course and 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. Attendee Discount — SEAK Directories: 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 preconference workshops.
Location/Hotel Accommodations: The 2024 SEAK Expert Witness Conference will be held at the Opal Sands Resort, Clearwater Beach, FL. SEAK has secured a special group rate of $429/night. Rooms are limited and this rate expires on April 1, 2024. The Opal Sands Resort offers guests ultra-modern Gulf front accommodations on the Gulf of Mexico, right on Clearwater Beach’s lively promenade. 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, please call 1-855-335-1087 and refer to the SEAK Group rate and National Expert Witness Conference or click here to book online.
Conference Cancellations: Conference cancellations received in writing on or before April 1, 2024 will receive a full refund. Conference cancellations received after April 1, 2024 will receive a full tuition credit.
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. What other housing options are available in the Clearwater Beach area?
A. There are numerous hotel options at all price points within walking distance of the Opal Sands. There are also various condominium and apartment options so we encourage you to check out airbnb.com and vrbo.com for those options.
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: 13 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 (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. SEAK, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 13 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. NOTE: SEAK does not accept commercial support for its programs and does not use faculty members with conflicts of interest.
Saturday, April 27, 2024
7:30am – 8:00am REGISTRATION & CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST
8:00am – 9:00am A View from the Bench: How to be a More Effective Expert Witness
Judge Krupp will provide his perspective of what makes experts effective — as well as what makes experts ineffective. His discussion will include forming defensible opinions, staying within one’s lane, the importance of full and proper pre-trial disclosure, as well as the attributes of the most persuasive expert witnesses at trial. To emphasize the points covered, Judge Krupp will draw on examples from the hundreds of trials he has been involved with as both a trial lawyer, and since 2013, as a trial judge presiding over both criminal and civil cases. Questions & Answers
Honorable Peter B. Krupp is an Associate Justice of the Massachusetts Superior Court. In his ten plus years on the bench he has presided over both civil and criminal sessions. He currently presides over one of the two Business Litigation Sessions in Boston. The BLS is dedicated to the timely and efficient resolution of commercial disputes and other complex cases. Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Krupp practiced civil litigation at one of the largest law firms in Boston, was an Assistant Federal Defender, and then formed his own firm focusing on both commercial litigation and criminal defense of persons accused of murder and other crimes. Judge Krupp was named a Lawyer of the Year in 2007 by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from Brown and his JD from the University of Chicago Law School.
9:00am – 10:00am How to Deal With Difficult Attorneys
Mr. Burtness will discuss and demonstrate, with examples, how to effectively deal with retaining attorneys who are uncommunicative, demanding, intimidating, withholding, coercing, manipulative, hard to get on the phone, or slow in paying invoices. He will explain how to utilize relational skills, availability, pre-screening, diplomacy, being proactive, contract language, and the ability to say “no” to manage friction and often turn difficult attorneys into grateful attorneys. He will also provide advice on how to put one’s work as an expert witness in perspective and use that perspective when report writing and when dealing with questioning at deposition and subpoenas from opposing counsel. Questions & Answers
Thomas Burtness, PE is a Licensed Professional Engineer in 24 states and a former Licensed Electrician and Electrical Contractor. He has been providing expert witness services to plaintiff and defense attorneys in the fields of street and area lighting and electrical engineering since 1991. His cases have included vehicular and industrial accidents, industrial equipment failure, electrocutions, arc flash, accidents due to inadequate lighting systems, electrical control systems failure, electrical power systems through 65 kV, construction contract disputes and claims, as well as determination of fire origin and cause. Most of his cases involve wrongful death, traumatic amputation, permanent disability, or multi-million dollar property losses.
10:00am – 10:10am BREAK & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
10:10am – 11:10am How to Excel When Testifying Remotely: Best Practices for Expert Witnesses
The pandemic has had a lasting effect on how expert witness testimony is presented — with a large percentage of appearances, especially for deposition, occurring remotely via video conferencing. Attorney Baldwin will provide practical tips for how to perform at a higher level when testifying remotely including a discussion of technology, preparation, background, appearance, eye contact, objections, handling exhibits, and communicating with retaining counsel. She will use video clips of experts testifying remotely to demonstrate and reinforce some of the points she makes. Questions & Answers
Kila Baldwin, Esq. is a shareholder at the Philadelphia law firm of Anapol Weiss where she represents plaintiffs who have been the victim of toxic torts, defective products, medical malpractice and other torts causing catastrophic loss. Attorney Baldwin has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, including as lead counsel in trials that resulted in verdicts of $80 million, $57.1 million, and $41 million against Johnson & Johnson in transvaginal mesh cases. She was selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer each year from 2019–2023. Attorney Baldwin earned a dual J.D./M.B.A. from the Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she was awarded the Beasley Scholarship and two awards for Outstanding Oral Advocacy. Later, while a practicing attorney, she again attended Temple and graduated in 2010 from the LL.M. Program in Trial Advocacy, where she subsequently was appointed an adjunct lecturer. She is the former President of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJ).
11:10am – 12:10pm How to Prepare for and Excel When Testifying at Trial
Dr. Dupee will provide advice for excelling when testifying at trial. She will cover techniques for how to prepare to testify both alone, and with retaining counsel. For direct examination she will explain methods for connecting with, teaching, and persuading a lay jury. Regarding crossexamination, Dr. Dupee will describe how to maintain your cool and credibility and recognize and respond to mischaracterizations and attacks by opposing counsel. She will also provide tips for excelling in the increasingly common situation where the expert witness testifies at trial via video conferencing. Questions & Answers
Suzanne M. Dupee, MD is a triple board-certified physician (adult, child & adolescent, and forensic psychiatry) who has testified at trial hundreds of times. The thousands of legal cases she has worked on include civil (personal injury & employment), family (child custody evaluations, psychiatric evaluations of family law litigants, consultation), criminal, dependency (child abuse), conducting insurance disability independent medical examinations and performing evaluations for the Medical, Dental & Veterinary Boards of California. She has extensive experience evaluating PTSD. Dr. Dupee earned her MD at the University of Queensland and later trained at UCSD and NYU.
12:10pm – 1:10pm LUNCH PROVIDED & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
1:10pm – 2:10pm BREAKOUT SESSION: CHOOSE ONE
How to Answer Trick and Difficult Questions at Deposition and Trial
Attorney Mangraviti will explain and demonstrate — with interactive examples — challenging trick, difficult, and vexing questions experts may face at deposition and trial. He will show how each of these challenging questions can be dealt with truthfully and artfully while maintaining your composure, integrity, and the persuasiveness of your underlining opinions. Questions & Answers
James 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. Jim can be reached at 978-276-1234 or email@example.com.
How to Avoid Getting Your Testimony Excluded: Preventing Preventable Errors
The most effective way for opposing counsel to counter an expert witness is to get one or more of the expert’s opinions excluded. Attorney Ijei will explain the legal techniques and rules that lawyers use to exclude experts including challenges to the expert’s qualifications, factual investigation, and methodology. Experts who are excluded have more often than not committed preventable mistakes which directly led to the judge’s ruling. Attorney Ijei will detail, with examples, the common preventable errors experts commit which lead to exclusion. He will provide practical suggestions for avoiding these mistakes. Attorney Ijei will also comment on how the proposed changes to FRE 702 (which is scheduled for amendment in December 2023) will influence attorney attempts to exclude experts going forward. Questions & Answers
Justin U. Ijei, Esq. is a litigator and Member of Rasmussen Dickey Moore in Kansas City, Missouri. His practice focuses on toxic torts, products liability, commercial litigation, and employment law. In 2020 Attorney Ijei was named one of National Black Lawyers’ “Top 40 Under 40”. He received his JD from St. Louis University where he was a Dean’s Scholar. He earned his BA from the University of Illinois where he served as a running back on a very successful team which played in the Rose Bowl.
2:10pm – 2:25pm BREAK & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
2:25pm – 3:25pm BREAKOUT SESSION: CHOOSE ONE
How to Excel at Your Expert Witness Deposition
Mr. Fronapfel will provide suggestions and advice for performing at an advanced) level based on his experience of providing over 750 depositions. He will focus on the needs for thorough preparation, careful listening, and proper response to the questions. For preparation, he will provide techniques with examples for organizing both your report and your supportive documents. For listening, he will provide suggestions with examples for active listening and how to recognize and deal with trick, “yes or no,” hypothetical and compound questions. For responding, Mr. Fronapfel will describe, with examples, strategies for anticipating the line of questioning, what you will be asked and clearly and truthfully answering deposition questions in such a manner that the transcript of your answers can not be distorted and or taken out of context by opposing counsel. Questions & Answers
Edward L. Fronapfel, PE is the CEO of SBSA LLC, A Charles Taylor Company. His professional focus is civil, structural, building envelope and construction contract application providing his work in the forensic services. His forensic practice focuses on interdisciplinary design and construction defects, construction contract application, premises liability, and catastrophic injury claims. Mr. Fronapfel is a vastly experienced expert witness who has been deposed over 750 times, appeared at trial over 110 times, and testified in arbitrations over 500 times. He holds many advanced certifications and is a registered professional engineer in more than three dozen states and Puerto Rico. Mr. Fronapfel is a Fellow Member of the National Academy of Engineers, a Fellow Member of the American Society of Engineers, A Board-Certified Delegate of Forensic Engineering, A Board-Certified Delegate of the International Board of Forensic Engineers and Scientists, and a Member of the Academy of Experts. Mr. Fronapfel earned his Master of Science in Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado at Denver and his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Colorado State University. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver, Burns School of Real Estate Management, and a lecturer for the Diplomate of Forensic Structural Engineering for the College of Contract Management, United Kingdom.
How to Optimize Your Curriculum Vitae For Expert Witness Work
An expert’s CV is typically closely scrutinized by both the lawyers who are considering hiring the expert as well as opposing attorneys looking to challenge the expert’s credibility and credentials. This makes an expert’s CV an extremely important document. Attorney Wilbur will review and demonstrate the common mistakes experts make on their CVs and explain how to avoid each of them. She will offer practical suggestions, with examples, for drafting an exceptional expert witness CV through use of a well-drafted elevator speech, stand-out formatting, optimal ordering of information, and other techniques. Questions & Answers
Kelly 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
3:25pm – 3:40pm BREAK & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
3:40pm – 4:40pm BREAKOUT SESSION: CHOOSE ONE
How to Make the Complex Understandable at Trial, In Your Report, and When Speaking with Counsel
An expert’s job is to assist the judge, jury and retaining counsel to understand the evidence in legal disputes. Doing this job well necessitates being able to make the complex understandable to a lay audience. Dr. Batzer will provide tips and advice for how to communicate effectively with lay people and make sure your message gets through. Included will be a discussion of trial runs, observations, repetition, examples, bullet points, neutral videos, demonstrations, observational expectations, and analogies. Questions & Answers
Stephen A. Batzer, PhD, PE is a mechanical engineer who serves as an expert witness in cases regarding patent infringement, intellectual property (IP), and the forensic analysis of mechanical devices and manufacturing processes. Dr. Batzer has extensive experience in vehicle crashworthiness and firearms design, safety and failure analysis. He is a Retired Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Ordnance Corps, has authored 70+ Peer reviewed publications and holds three patents. Dr. Batzer has testified as an expert witness over 300 times.
How To Build Positive Word of Mouth Amongst Trial Attorneys
Attorney Guarnieri will explain how critical it can be to build positive word of mouth and how attorneys utilize local and national listservs and asking around to select which experts to retain. He will describe what attorneys are ideally looking for in an expert witness and what they want to avoid. Attorney Guarnieri will provide advice, with multiple examples, on how to build positive word of mouth through effectiveness on the stand, style, truthfulness, staying in your lane, not being an advocate, not nickel and diming retaining counsel, and being available and easy to work with. In addition, he will explain how toxic to an expert’s career negative word of mouth can be and will provide advice, with examples, of how to avoid creating negative word of mouth. Questions & Answers
Jim Guarnieri, Esq. is a trial attorney and owner of the Guarnieri Law Firm in Tampa Florida. His practice concentrates on representing plaintiffs in cases involving product liability, motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, personal injury, legal malpractice, medical malpractice, and other torts. He is the co-chair for CLE for the Florida Justice Association. Attorney Guarnieri earned his BA at the University of Florida and his JD at Stetson University College of Law. He works with expert witnesses regularly.
4:40pm – 6:00pm NETWORKING RECEPTION
Sunday, April 28, 2024
7:30am – 8:00am CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
8:00am – 9:00am Do I have to answer that? How a Judge Decides Which Questions an Expert Must Answer
Judge Chernoff will provide an overview of the rule evidence that guide judges who also must use their sound discretion to apply when ruling on the questions directed to expert witnesses. He will explain when and how judges must balance the probative value of a question (typically related to the expert’s credibility or the viability of a disputed science such as handwriting comparison) against the danger of unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence and how and why this balance is tilted in favor of allowing the question. He will also explain additional rules of evidence experts should be aware of dealing foundation, insurance, bias, impeachment, prior criminal convictions and disciplinary rulings, leading a witness, and motions in limine. He will further explain how a judge or arbitrator may approach ruling on questions differently at pre-trial evidentiary hearings, jury trials, bench trials, administrative hearings or arbitrations. Judge Chernoff will provide examples of how the above rules might be applied by a judge to questions an expert witness may consider abusive, unfair, irrelevant, or ad hominem. He will also address the differences in responding to an attorney’s questions as opposed to those posed by the judge. Judge Chernoff will also provide advice for how to answer questions so that the answer complies with the rule of evidence and how to best respond to aggressive cross-examination and gratuitous comments of an attorney. Questions & Answers
Hon. Paul A. Chernoff (Ret.) Currently Judge Chernoff heads the Mediation and Arbitration group at the Boston Law firm Brody, Hardoon, Perkins & Kesten, LLP where he conducts arbitrations, mediations and other ADR procedures with a goal of resolving litigation and other disputes short of trial. Also Judge Chernoff resolves disputes on a pro bono basis at the request of judges where at least one of the parties cannot afford the services of a private mediator. He is a proud veteran who provides pro bono legal services to disabled veterans at monthly legal clinics at area veteran facilities for Veterans Legal Services. He currently teaches and has taught many courses for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE), the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Flaschner Judicial Institute, and the Trial Court’s Judicial Institute over the past 30 years. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Boston College Law School, teaching Trial Practice over the past thirty years and he has taught many seminars for SEAK. Judge Chernoff served as an Associate Justice on the Massachusetts Superior Court for 28 years and the Newton District Court for 8 years. Before his judicial service, he served four years as Chairman of the Massachusetts State Parole Board and 4 years as a public defender lawyer in Washington, DC.
9:00am – 10:00am Best Practices for Experts Regarding Motions to Exclude/Daubert Challenges
Mr. Pakter will survey the various methods and rules attorneys use to try to exclude experts based on FRE702, Daubert, Frye, and state rules.He will provide advice and suggestions for best practices to avoid challenges, respond to them, and deal with adverse rulings. Mr. Pakter will explain, with examples, how high-quality work, a reliable methodology and reasonable and supported assumptions will protect an expert from successful challenges. He will further advise, with examples, on how to coordinate with retaining counsel to craft an effective written and oral response to a motion to exclude. Finally, Mr. Pakter will discuss the potential effect of an exclusion on an expert’s career and provide practical suggestions for how to best deal with such an exclusion. Questions & Answers
Michael D. Pakter, CPA, CFF, CGMA, CFE, CVA, MAFF, CA, CIRA, CDBV focuses his professional practice on determining lost profits, lost earnings and other economic damages, forensic accounting, financial analyses, investigations and business valuation. He is a vastly experienced expert witness who has testified more than 125 times in the last four years alone and who has been regularly targeted by motions to exclude. Mr. Pakter is a leader in the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) and has served on their faculty for many years. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Accountancy at Witwatersrand University, South Africa — the highest ranked university in all of Africa.
10:00am – 10:10am BREAK & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
10:10am – 11:10am How to Teach and Persuade Jurors: What Works
Dr. Davis will explain how jurors receive, process, and retain information and how jurors individually and as a group make their credibility determinations. She will provide insights on how to avoid the common mistakes and hidden pitfalls which turn jurors off, bore jurors, and make jurors angry and distrustful. Dr. Davis will provide specific actionable strategies for how to present one’s qualifications, build trust with the jury, connect the dots, and make your expert witness testimony more understandable and persuasive. Questions & Answers
Suzanne L. Davis, Ph.D. is a Litigation Consultant and Director at DecisionQuest. Dr. Davis is an expert in designing and conducting all phases of pre-trial jury research, including mock trials and focus groups, and in translating research results into practical trial strategies. She has helped clients transform witnesses into persuasive communicators, and she is particularly adept at monitoring trials and providing actionable advice on the spot. Additionally, Dr. Davis has interviewed hundreds of jurors after trial, identifying how they processed case evidence and reached their verdicts. She has experience in a variety of cases, including insurance coverage/bad faith, pharmaceutical, intellectual property, professional malpractice, antitrust, contract disputes, employment, toxic tort, securities, medical malpractice and product liability matters. Dr. Davis earned her BA at Purdue University and her MA and PhD in Social Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
11:10am – 12:10pm How Attorneys Cross-Examine Examine Experts — Preparation, Strategies and Tactics
Attorney L’Orange will explain how attorneys develop strategies to cross examine experts taking into consideration factors such as the amount at stake in the litigation, the paper trail the expert owns, the expert’s opinions and the circumstances of the case at hand. He will further explain how attorneys have three different audiences when cross-examining an expert: the judge, the jury, and their client and why this can influence how attorneys cross examine experts. Finally, he will explain and describe common tactics attorneys use during cross examination and provide advice for how experts can excel when being cross-examined. Questions & Answers
Chris L’ Orange, Esq. joined the Korn Law Group after practicing for 38 years in large San Francisco law firms representing Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies on a variety of complex litigation matters. He has extensive trial and mediation experience and has handled state and federal cases in a variety of venues across the country. Chris has been the chair or cochair of several ABA committees and has lectured at numerous conferences conducted across the United States. For several years, Chris has also been listed as one of the best lawyers in San Francisco.
12:10pm – 1:10pm LUNCH PROVIDED & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
1:10pm – 2:20pm BREAKOUT SESSION: CHOOSE ONE
How to Market and Expand Your Expert Witness Practice: What Works
Mr. Lawson will provide pearls — learned through trial and error over many years — on branding, business development, and expanding your solo practice into a multi-expert practice. Topics covered will include making yourself more attractive to law firms and government agencies, focusing your area(s) of expertise, building an effective website, search engine optimization, getting help/leveraging yourself, lead mining on legal databases, white papers, video clips, direct outreach, a comprehensive internet strategy, and speaking. In addition, he will provide a roadmap for adding additional experts to your practice serving as independent contractors if your workload is too busy or for cases outside of your wheelhouse. Questions & Answers
Robert D. Lawson, CSCP®, AIF®, CFE®, MRFC®, LUTCF® is a Securities FINRA Expert Witness and Litigation Support Consultant. He is retained by both claimants and respondents for FINRA arbitrations, mediations, and court settings. Mr. Lawson has nearly 40 years of experience in the financial services industry in a professional capacity as a registered representative, financial advisor, investment fiduciary, branch manager, securities, and options principal. He is the President and Chief Compliance Officer of Barrington Capital Management, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm he established in 1988. He also serves as the President and Managing Principal of Barrington Financial Consulting Group, Inc., a full-service securities, commodities, and insurance litigation consulting firm with 16 experienced testifying and consulting experts based in Minneapolis, MN. Mr. Lawson proudly serves as a FINRA and NFA Arbitrator (FINRA Chair-Qualified) and a FINRA Mediator and is Certified Securities Compliance Professional, Certified Fraud Examiner, Accredited Investment Fiduciary, and a Master Registered Financial Consultant. He is the current Chair of the Master Registered Financial Consultants and the Practice Management Chair and Director of the Securities Experts Roundtable, (SER).
How Attorneys Depose Experts — Preparation, Strategies and Tactics
Attorney Feiler will explain why attorneys depose opposing experts (including sizing up the expert, finding out what the expert has to say and locking down the expert), who their audience is (including the opposing expert, the opposing party or insurer, and their own expert) and how they prepare for the deposition (including file review, talking with their own expert, research, reviewing the expert’s file, searching for damaging information, and consulting Listservs and other resources to obtain the expert’s prior testimony and reports). He will then discuss how an attorney approaches an expert deposition such as by not outexperting the expert, getting in and getting out, avoiding arguments, listening closely to the answers, covering all opinions, and potentially not blowing all one’s ammunition. Most importantly, Attorney Feiler will provide tips for how experts can excel at their deposition including advice on how to deal with “yes or no” questions and how much to frame one’s answers towards a lay audience. Questions & Answers
Michael Feiler, Esq. is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer with over 100 civil jury trials to verdict in state and federal courts. He is the founding partner of Feiler & Leach in Coral Gables, Florida and has extremely diverse trial experience including personal injury, professional negligence, commercial litigation, property damage, and even criminal work. Mr. Feiler has been repeatedly named as one of Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite and as a Florida Super Lawyer by American Law Media. He is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has a perfect 10.0 rating by Avvo. In addition to his work as a highly accomplished trial lawyer, Attorney Feiler has a growing practice as both a mediator and arbitrator.
2:10pm – 2:25pm BREAK & NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY
2:25pm – 3:25pm BREAKOUT SESSION: CHOOSE ONE
Using Artificial Intelligence in Your Expert Witness Practice: Opportunities and Pitfalls
Mr. Ling will provide advice and suggestions for using artificial intelligence to assist an expert witness in areas such as marketing, research, referencing, and report writing. He will describe specific techniques to construct and adjust queries in order to achieve the most useful results. Mr. Ling will provide advice on where (and where not) AI is an appropriate tool to utilize and how to avoid common pitfalls including AI hallucinations and unreliable outputs. Questions & Answers
Christopher D. Ling, AIA, NCARB, PP, LEED AP, CCT is a highly experienced expert who has written reports in more than 1000 construction cases amounting to $2 Billion in claims and has provided testimony in multiple mediations, arbitrations, and court appearances, including federal court. Mr. Ling is a Registered Architect and Professional Planner who has been working in the construction industry since 1986. He is licensed in multiple states plus Washington D.C. and holds a national certificate for architecture from NCARB. Mr. Ling was Chair of the AIA New Jersey Professional Practice Committee and maintains an active design practice. In addition to his architectural and testifying experience, Mr. Ling also teaches seminars to the NJ State Bar Association’s Construction Law Section and has been published in various publications.
How to Draft a Superior Expert Witness Report
Ms. Kelland will provide insights into how to draft an expert witness report that is both easy to read and persuasive. She will provide tips in areas including layout, formatting, organization, referencing, exhibits, and proofreading. Most importantly, she will give her insights on how to draft and present crisp and well-supported opinions that are believable, easy to find and easy to understand. Questions & Answers
Stacey Kelland MSN, BA, RN, MS- BC, CV-BC, CRNI is a multiple award-winning medical/surgical hospital registered nurse who has been serving as an expert witness since 2016. She currently practices as an assistant head nurse, charge nurse, and preceptor. As of May 2023 Ms. Kelland has reviewed approximately 75 cases as an expert witness, drafted 18 reports, and testified at 10 depositions and two trials. She has had several leadership roles within the American Nurse Credentialing Center and is national board certified in medical/surgical, cardiovascular and infusion nursing. Ms. Kelland also serves as a mentor for nurses looking for help and guidance with their expert witness practices.
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 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”
“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”
“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 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!”
“Awesome! Educational. Relevant. Well organized. Great job to all that were involved in
organizing this event.”
“The conference was positively outstanding from end-to-end!”
“Awesome! Educational. Relevant. Well organized. Great job to all that were involved in
organizing this event.”
“The conference was positively outstanding from end-to-end!”