How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial, June 8-9, 2023 (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 for this course is $1,395 on or before April 21, 2023, $1,495 April 22, 2023–May 19, 2023, and $1,595 after May 19, 2023. Your tuition includes a detailed conference manual (both PDF and hard copy). 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. 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.  

The SEAK Zoom Experience: This will be our sixth series of Zoom classes. We are very pleased that our Zoom training has been as well received as SEAK’s superbly-regarded in-person training.
• Each attendee will be provided with both an electronic and hard copy of the course manual.
• We will be conducting numerous hands-on demonstrations so attendees can practice the skills taught.
• Our faculty will be fielding (and asking) many questions.
• These classes will not be recorded or available for later streaming
  Recording by attendees is strictly prohibited (we want everyone to speak their mind and take part in demonstrations and discussions).

• Each attendee gets a front-row seat. 

Cancellations: Conference cancellations received in writing on or before May 19, 2023 will receive a full refund. Conference cancellations received after May 19, 2023 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 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 

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 

Day 1 — Thursday, June 8, 2023 

Section 1: Deposition Skills 

8:00–8:30 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 

8:30–9:00 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 

9:00–10:00 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 

10:00–10:15 AM Eastern BREAK 

10:15 AM–12:00 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 

12:00–12:30 PM Eastern LUNCH 

12:30–2:45 PM Eastern Deposition Strategies for Experts (Continued) 

2:45–3:00 PM Eastern BREAK 

3:00–4:00 PM Eastern Deposition Strategies for Experts (Continued) 

4:00–4:30 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 

4:30–4:45 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 — Friday, June 9, 2023

Section 2: Direct Examination Skills

8:00–9:00 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 

9:00–9:30 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 

9:30–10:00 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 

10:00–10:15 AM Eastern BREAK 

10:15–11:00 AM 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 

11:00–11:45 AM 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 

11:45 AM–12:15 PM Eastern LUNCH 

Section 3: Cross-Examination Skills 

12:15–1:15 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 

1:15 PM–1:30 PM Eastern BREAK 

1:30–3:15 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:  

“I learned a great deal from the course and instructors. Wish I had taken before writing previous opinions and started down the path for a medical expert practice. Amazing. I wanted more and plan to attend in the future.”


“Absolutely outstanding. Probably the best course I have ever attended.”


“Excellent. Engaging, fun, interesting. Wonderful!!!!”


“It was incredibly useful, with a thoughtful presentation of the information in a relatable manner. It was both interesting and entertaining!”


“Very practical guide to succeeding as an expert medical witness.”


“I thought I had an idea how to perform in the world of becoming a medical expert. My eyes were opened. The instructors kept the course moving and were very interesting.”


“The practice scenarios and actually practicing on the spot [was useful/interesting]. It’s different to watch and read about the do’s and don’ts but much different to actually practice it.”


“Excellent work. Your passion for wanting the participants to truly succeed was present in each topic and from each presenter. No secrets were safe.”


“Excellent, keep up your great work. Really enjoyed the course and cannot thank you enough. You certainly opened my eyes before I stepped on the land mines.”


“Great job! You have prevented me from making huge mistakes that could have ended my expert witness opportunities.”


“The presenters are very knowledgeable, bringing a great deal of experience and authenticity to the course. They were very effective in communicating, and offered personal anecdotes to support points, while maintaining the focus of the audience.”


“Very engaging presentations and great teamwork.”


“I tell all my friends that SEAK course is mandatory to anyone who wants to do expert witness work. I can tell you that SEAK courses not only taught me a lot of things but changed the way I think and behave.”


“I wanted to say thank you for such and engaging, informative and highly educational course. Having been in practice for 16 years I learned more about this area in the last 2 days than in an entire career. I do feel this will greatly help me in my expert work.”


“Thanks Kelly and Jim for the great training you guys gave. I learned a lot and will work to enhance my testifying skills.”


“Excellent course. What I thought I knew would only fill a thimble when compared to the tips learned this week.”


“I loved it! It was engaging, fast-paced, everything I hoped for!”


“I wanted to say thank you for such and engaging, informative and highly educational course. Having been in practice for 16 years I learned more about this area in the last 2 days than in an entire career. I do feel this will greatly help me in my expert work.”


“This course is mandatory for anyone who wants to do expert witness work.”

“So impressed - great teachers, humorous and serious, you personally looked at my needs, materials, and questions, and attending to the group at large was impressive. Made it fun, and above all - I feel ready and prepared and have a plan to do this work.”  


“The role plays and interactions during the training were useful/interesting - even using introductions as a teaching tool were brilliant!”


“Excellent immediate feedback was very helpful, as were the real-world examples. Great communicators.”


“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.”