How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial, June 1-2, 2024 (Live via Zoom)

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The #1 way to grow an expert witness practice is to build the reputation of being an effective witness. This is a hands-on, fast-moving interactive workshop covering deposition, direct examination, and cross-examination skills. Attendees will learn how to become markedly more effective and significantly more valuable expert witnesses. Instruction will utilize four methods: lecture, questions & answers, videos of experts actually testifying in real cases, and mock trial demonstrations using student volunteers. The mock trial demonstrations are based upon a C.V. and sample report submitted in advance by volunteer attendees. Attendees will have an opportunity to participate in demonstrations and to receive constructive feedback as to how to improve their performance. In addition, each attendee will be provided with a content rich seminar manual. This is SEAK’s most popular testifying training seminar.

Registration/Tuition/Discounts: Tuition is $1,395 on or before April 12, 2024, $1,495 April 13, 2024–May 10, 2024, and $1,595 after May 10, 2024. Your tuition includes a detailed conference manual (both PDF and hard bound). Group discounts are available for two or more persons registering together from the same employer. Discount prices depend on the size of the group. Our programs can also be brought onsite to your organization either virtually or in-person. 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 seminar. 

Cancellations: Conference cancellations received in writing on or before May 10, 2024 will receive a full refund. Conference cancellations received after May 10, 2024 will receive a full tuition credit.

Continuing Education Credits: Note: If your specialty does not appear below and you desire credits, please contact Karen Cerbarano (781-826-4974 or 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. Attorneys: Credit varies by state. Continuing legal education credits for attorneys will be applied for if requested in writing at the time of registration. Chiropractors: Credits are unfortunately not available. 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. Nurses: Unfortunately contact hours are not available. 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 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Psychologists: Unfortunately continuing education credits are not available for psychologists. NOTE: SEAK does not accept commercial support for its programs and does not use faculty members with conflicts of interest. 


mangraviti-circle.jpgJames J. Mangraviti, Jr., Esq., has trained thousands of expert witnesses through seminars, conferences, corporate training, training for professional societies, one-on-one training/mentoring, 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. ( He is the co-author of thirty-one books, including: How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial; How to Be a Successful Expert Witness: SEAK’s A-Z Guide to Expert Witnessing; and How to Write an Expert Witness Report. Jim can be reached at 978-276-1234 or

webcircles-kelly-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 


Section 1: Deposition Skills

9:00–9:30 AM Eastern Deposition Law and Procedure
You will learn the difference between discovery and de bene esse depositions, what counsel can and cannot ask, the extent of privilege protection, what objections may and may not be made, how to recognize and deal with abusive attorney behavior and whether you should read and sign the deposition transcript. Questions & Answers

9:30–10:00 AM Eastern Understanding the Strategies and Goals of Opposing Counsel
The general and specific goals of deposing counsel (including knocking you out, pinning you down, sizing you up, and pushing your buttons) will be explained. Faculty will also explain how opposing counsel will prepare to depose you. Questions & Answers

10:00–11:00 AM Eastern Preparing for Your Deposition
You will learn how to prepare for your deposition, both alone and with retaining counsel. You will be provided with a detailed list of the likely areas of inquiry in an expert witness discovery deposition including qualifications, publications, relevant practical experience, presentations, litigation experience, research, bias, assumptions, opinions, CV, “lockdown” questions, learned treatises, fees and billing, expert witness income, materials reviewed, and methodology/Daubert. Questions & Answers

11:00–11:15 AM Eastern BREAK

11:15 AM–1:00 PM Eastern Deposition Strategies for Experts
You will learn 59 strategies to truthfully, artfully, and ethically answer deposition questions, such as putting a period, presenting the optimal tone, leaving wiggle room, open book answers, preventing yourself from getting run down, absolute avoidance, hedge recognition, counsel’s silence gambit, venue selection, active listening, mischaracterization correction, objection gleaning, taking a pass, and optimal timing. The faculty will present and comment on dozens of video clips of experts demonstrating the covered strategies. Questions & Answers

1:00–1:30 PM Eastern LUNCH

1:30–3:45 PM Eastern Deposition Strategies for Experts (Continued)

3:45–4:00 PM Eastern BREAK

4:00–5:00 PM Eastern Deposition Strategies for Experts (Continued)

5:00–5:30 PM Eastern Understanding and Defeating Counsel’s Deposition Tactics
You will learn over two dozen tactics that may be used against you such as the sociopath gambit, playing dumb, immediate jugular, notes, topic jumping, break questioning, continuances, catchalls, and hypothetical questions. Attendees will be provided with strategies to truthfully and ethically respond to each tactic. Questions & Answers

5:30–5:45 PM Eastern Video Depositions: Special Techniques
You will learn special techniques which are applicable when your deposition is being recorded on video. Questions & Answers

Day 2 — Sunday, June 2, 2024 (Live via Zoom)

Section 2: Direct Examination Skills

9:00–10:00 AM Eastern How to Best Put Forth Your Qualifications
You will learn 14 techniques to more persuasively explain your credentials and to put your credentials in context including teaching, name dropping, conciseness, and bonding. Questions & Answers

10:00–10:30 AM Eastern Developing a Harmonious Interaction with Retaining Counsel
You will learn how to coordinate with retaining counsel to make your testimony easier to understand and more interesting to follow. You will also learn how to avoid making your testimony appear to be rehearsed and how to present non-traditional, “soft challenge” direct testimony. Video examples of trial testimony will be presented to exemplify the points made. Questions & Answers

10:30 –11:00 AM Eastern Dealing with Problem Areas and Weaknesses
You will learn advanced way to actively bring up and address likely problem areas on your cross-examination during your direct examination. The relationship between a good direct exam and success on cross will be explained. Questions & Answers

11:00–11:15 AM Eastern BREAK

11:15 AM–12:00 PM Eastern Creating and Using Powerful, Memorable Language and Analogies
You will learn 12 techniques for delivering more powerful, memorable and understandable expert witness testimony including using analogies, impact language, numbering, hands-on demonstrations and KISS. Video examples of experts using analogies and powerful language in court will be provided. 49 sample expert witness analogies will be provided. Questions & Answers

12:00–12:45 PM Eastern Optimizing Your “Teaching” Skills
As an expert witness your job is to teach the finder of fact (jury or judge) in order to help them make their decisions. You will learn numerous techniques to more effectively “teach” the jury including use of demonstratives, primacy, recency, dynamism, previews, reviews, and “less if more.” Video examples of highly effective direct testimony will be presented. Questions & Answers

12:45–1:15 PM Eastern LUNCH

Section 3: Cross-Examination Skills

1:15–2:15 PM Eastern Protecting Yourself from Attacks on Your Credibility and Credentials & Forming Airtight Opinions
Success at cross-examination largely depends on denying opposing counsel ammunition to attack you with. In this segment, you will learn 8 techniques for protecting yourself from attacks on your credibility and credentials. You will also learn 24 methods to make your opinions resistant to effective cross-examination. Examples will be provided, and cross-examination demonstrations will be conducted. Questions & Answers

2:15–2:30 PM Eastern BREAK

2:30–4:15 PM Eastern Advanced Cross-Examination Techniques & Tactics
You will learn over 40 techniques to be a more effective expert witness during cross-examination. Video examples will be presented. Mock cross-examination exercises will be conducted. You will learn how to recognize and truthfully and ethically deal with common tactics used against you by opposing counsel such as the deal, mischaracterizations, impeachment, set-up questions, document ambush, and ad hominin assaults. Both passive and active responses will be discussed and demonstrated. Questions & Answers 

What past attendees have to say:

Absolute rock stars! Thanks for being so engaging and pushing us out of our comfort zone. Wish I would have taken this course a couple years ago! Looking forward to sharing my new

knowledge with current and future clients!”

“The course was excellent. It was a perfect mix of lecture, video clips, and practice. Critique of our own CV and expert reports was an important part of the course.”

“It certainly opened my eyes to ways to improve my performance when creating reports, testifying and just overall taking my consulting business to a new level.”

“It is nerve-racking and fascinating all at the same time.”

“Hi Kelly, thank you so much for all of the invaluable information at your course last week.”

“The interactions with the students really made a difference in the experience. It also energized me to up my game to the next level.” 

“Jim, I’m glad I never had to encounter you as an opposing attorney, but this experience has made me more prepared for just that.” 

“I really enjoyed watching all the videos of expert (and other) testimony. It helped put a point on the discussion.” 

“Made a tremendous impact on my ability to perform as an expert.” 

“Thank you so much for your teaching and insights this week. I certainly feel more prepared and ‘ALERT’ now!” 

“I am truly grateful to you for teaching this course. I have learnt a lot; topics that I did not realize that I even needed to know.” 

“An outstanding introduction into providing effective expert witness testimony.” 

“Excellent explanation of the process and how to behave during deposition and trial.” 

“Lots of pearls.” 

“Lively, informative, encouraging.” 

“There is no better expert training in CA, the US or likely the world.” 

“Faculty interaction create[d] infectious energy.” 

“It really reduced my anxiety.” 

“The program was great! I found it very valuable and look forward to incorporating techniques discussed in the training.” 

“The sense of humor mixed in was delightful and kept us on our toes.” 

“Excellent in every respect.” 

“Very knowledgeable instructors & very flexible to handle various subjects.” 

“The needle was moved! Thank you all for your efforts and time in bringing the various topics alive and making them pertinent.” 

“I appreciated that you made the course not only informative, but fun.” 

“Thank you for the toughness & thoroughness in a friendly setting. I appreciate that each presenter is approachable.” 

“I left feeling excited about everything I learned about being a better prepared expert.” 

A whole new set of tools was learned — excellent course.” 

“Outstanding, one of the best courses I’ve ever taken on any subject.” 

“Excellent course, thank you for your knowledge and approachability.” 

“I wanted to thank you for an incredible 2 days of teaching. Probably one of the best courses I have taken. I love the way that you interacted with everybody in the class. I honestly feel that interactive and “hands on” teaching result in the best learning experience.” 

“Jim did an amazing amount of prep work on CVs and reports.” 

“A brilliantly conceived and presented course of instruction.” 

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

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

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

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