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How to Be an Effective Expert Witness, December 5-6, 2020, Naples, FL


Product Description

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 signature testifying training seminar and space is limited.

December 5-6, 2020, The Naples Grande Beach Resort, Naples, FL

Click here for a pdf of the brochure

Location/Hotel Accommodations: A limited block of rooms will be available at special rates at the site hotel, The Naples Grande Beach Resort (www.naplesgrande.com) ($209 Tower Guest Room). To make your reservations please call 1-844-210-5931 and mention that you are with SEAK, Inc or group code GSEAK20 or click here. Rooms are limited and this rate expires Wednesday, November 11, 2020 so you are strongly encouraged to make your reservations as soon as possible.

Tuition/Discounts: To register, please visit www.seak.com or call 508-457-1111.Tuition for each course is $1,295 on or before September 30, 2020; $1,395 October 1, 2020–November 11, 2020 and $1,495 after November 11, 2020. Your tuition includes continental breakfast and lunch with faculty each day and a detailed conference manual. 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% Conference discount is available on all new and renewal standard listings in the SEAK Expert Witness Directory placed by attendees while at the seminar.

Cancellations: Conference cancellations received in writing on or prior to November 11, 2020 will receive a full tuition refund. Persons cancelling after November 11, 2020 will receive a full tuition credit.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, you should be able to:

• Discuss the strategies and goals of opposing counsel at deposition and during cross-examination
• Describe how to properly prepare for deposition and trial
• Explain opposing counsel’s deposition and cross examination tactics and how to defeat each tactic
• Discuss methods for responding to trick and difficult questions at deposition and trial
• List teaching methods that can be used to improve the persuasiveness of your expert testimony
• List techniques for developing powerful, memorable language and analogies
• Describe how to best insulate yourself from attacks by opposing counsel

Continuing Education Credits: Note: If your specialty does not appear below and you desire credits, please contact Karen Cerbarano (781-826-4974 or Karen@seak.com). We can often obtain desired credits upon request, but unfortunately, obtaining some types of credits are not feasible. Please register early, as we can only apply for credits after your registration form has been received and it can take time to get the requested approvals back from the accrediting agencies.
Accident Reconstructionists: SEAK will apply for credits through ACTAR upon written request at the time of registration. Accountants: Earn 16.5 CPE credits in the field of study of Specialized Knowledge and Applications. SEAK, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.nasbaregistry.org. For SEAK’s complaint and program cancellation policies please call SEAK, Inc. at 508-457-1111. All attendees should have the education and experience that would qualify them as an expert witness. This is an intermediate group-live program. Advanced Preparation: None. This course was reviewed in October 2019. To register, please follow the instructions above. Appraisers: Credits from The American Society of Appraisers will be applied for on written request at the time of registration. Attorneys: Credit varies by state. Continuing legal education credits for attorneys will be applied for if requested in writing at the time of registration. Engineers: 14 PDHs. The acceptance of this course is dependent upon your state(s) of registration. The vast majority of states do not require preapproval of either courses or course sponsors. Life Care Planners: SEAK will apply for credits through The Commission on Health Care Certification (CHCC) upon written request at the time of registration. Physicians: SEAK, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. SEAK, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
NOTE: SEAK does not accept commercial support for its programs and does not use faculty members with conflicts of interest.

Distinguished Faculty:

lawson.jpgThe Honorable David Lawson is a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. He was formerly a member of the Detroit law firm of Clark Hill, PLC (Birmingham office). He received his BA degree magna cum laude from the University of Notre Dame, and his JD magna cum laude from Wayne State University. Judge Lawson is a former Special Assistant Attorney General and Special Prosecutor, and is currently on the faculty of the Michigan Judicial Institute. Prior to taking the bench his practice included both civil and criminal trial litigation, and he was actively involved in the trial of medical malpractice, negligence, and product liability cases. Judge Lawson has written and lectured extensively on scientific evidence and trial techniques.

mangraviti-james100px.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. (www.testifyingtraining.com). 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 jim@seak.com.



8:00–8:30 Deposition Law and Procedure

You will learn what counsel can and cannot ask, the extent of privilege protections, 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 Understanding the Strategies and Goals of Opposing Counsel

You will learn the general and specific goals of deposing counsel and how counsel will prepare to depose you. Questions & Answers

9:00–9:30 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 deposition. Questions & Answers

9:30–10:15 Deposition Strategies for Experts

You will learn a 4 step methodology for answering deposition questions. In addition, you will learn numerous strategies to truthfully and artfully answer deposition questions. Questions & Answers


10:30–11:00 Understanding and Defeating Counsel’s Deposition Tactics

You will learn over two dozen tactics that are likely to be used against you and will be provided with strategies to defeat each of these tactics. Questions & Answers

11:00–11:15 Videotape Depositions: Special Techniques

You will learn special techniques which are applicable when your deposition is being videotaped. Questions & Answers

11:15–12:00 Advanced Deposition Tactics for Experts

You will learn numerous techniques that will help you to excel during your expert deposition. Questions & Answers

12:00–12:45 LUNCH WITH FACULTY (Provided)

12:45–1:30 Pulling it all Together: Truthfully and Artfully Answering Trick and Difficult Questions at Depositionculty will go around the room and ask difficult deposition questions. The attendees’ responses will be critiqued.SECTION 2: DIRECT EXAMINATION AND PERSUASION SKILLS

1:30–2:00 Introduction and Executive Summary of Persuasion Techniques for Expert Witnesses

You will learn the twelve key techniques to utilize in order to be a more effective expert witness during direct examination. Questions & Answers

2:00–2:30 Preparation

You will learn 15 techniques for how to best prepare to give persuasive expert testimony during direct examination. Questions & Answers

2:30–3:00 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. Questions & Answers


3:15–3:30 Commenting on the Opposing Expert and His Opinion

You will learn the special techniques to utilize when you are asked to comment on the opposing expert’s opinion. Questions & Answers

3:30–4:00 Developing a Harmonious Interaction with Retaining Counsel

You will learn how to make your testimony easy to understand and 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. Questions & Answers

4:00–4:30 Creating and Using Powerful, Memorable Language and Analogies

You will learn 12 techniques for using more powerful, memorable and understandable language. Questions & Answers

4:30–5:00 Optimizing Your “Teaching” Skills

You will learn numerous techniques to more effectively “teach” the jury. Questions & Answers

DAY TWO: Sunday, December 6, 2020


7:00–7:30 Reading and Bonding with the Jury

You will learn 17 techniques to read and more effectively bond with the jury. Questions and Answers

7:30–8:00 Dealing with Problem Areas and Weaknesses

You will learn advanced ways to deal with problem areas during your direct examination. Questions & Answers

8:00–8:30 The Biggest Mistakes Experts Can Make That Can Turn Off Judge and Jury

You will learn how to avoid the 37 biggest mistakes that can turn off the judge and jury. Questions & AnswersSECTION 3: CROSS-EXAMINATION SKILLS

8:30–9:15 Protecting Yourself From Attacks on Your Credibility and Credentials

You will learn 8 techniques for protecting yourself from attacks on your credibility and credentials. Questions & Answers


9:30–10:15 Forming Airtight Opinions

You will learn 24 methods to make your opinions resistant to effective cross-examination. Questions & Answers

10:15–10:30 How Trial Attorneys Prepare for Cross-Examination of an Expert

You will learn how an attorney investigates an expert and his opinions and how an attorney maps out the questions that he will ask during cross. Questions & Answers


10:45–12:00 Advanced Cross-Examination Techniques

You will learn over 40 techniques to be a more effective expert witness during cross-examination. Questions & Answers


12:45–1:15 Staying One Step Ahead of Counsel During Cross-Examination

You will learn 34 tactics that attorneys will use during cross-examination and how to defeat each of these tactics. Questions & Answers

1:15–1:45 Going on Offense During Cross-Examination

You will learn numerous techniques for how to turn the tables on opposing counsel. Questions & Answers

1:45–2:30 How To Skillfully Answer Trick And Difficult Questions

The faculty will go around the room and ask difficult cross-examination questions. The attendees’ responses will be critiqued. Questions & Answers

What past attendees have to say:

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

“Jim, I really liked your “style” and THE Judge was great at explaining the legal process and procedures. You two make one hellava team.”

“Jim & Kelly, Thank you both for all of the great information provided at the SEAK training. I took extensive notes and will be implementing many of the things I learned at the conference into my daily practice. The conference was amazing! I love the open platform with spontaneous questions and "life-like" question prose - targeted at the various individuals who attended the conference. I was impressed with "spot-on" name recollection and the many person-specific particulars that were remembered (i.e., specialization, home state). Thank you for your encouragement, advice about increasing my rates, and answers to questions that were given. I look forward to attending the next SEAK conference. Have a wonderful week!” 

“James – Thank you for the 2 Day informative and entertaining training in San Diego.  You are a crazy gifted cross-examiner and teacher.” 

“Thank you for your insightful and excellent seminar.  I learned a lot and feel more confident for the upcoming deposition this month.”

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

 “Jim – Thanks for a very interesting session with you and Judge Lawson.  Your preparation and familiarity with your audience background allowed you to connect with us in a way that was very useful and relevant.  My work is almost 100% expert work and while I have not yet authored my own expert report or been deposed, I have drafted many reports and assisted experts through depo prep, sat in on opposing expert depo and sat through district court trials.  Even with that background, your presentation with all those examples really brought things home for me.”

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

 “James and Kelly, Thanks so much for the excellent seminar. It was just what I needed.”

 “Very insightful information!”

 “Thank you so much Jim. You are a master teacher, I learnt so much. I am your student whether you want me or not - I have 4 of your books and 2 of the DVDs - and want to learn all I can. I am so sorry I could not stay for the Saturday and Sunday Expert Report Sessions because of family commitments. Next time then, or Cape Cod or Florida. Looking forward to seeing you again, Jim”

 “Great event!”

 “It was super helpful and I appreciate your hard work.”

 “Jim, You Rock!  Nobody out there like you.  Honored and grateful to work with you.” 


 “Definitely worth the time and money.”

 “Excellent in every respect.”

 “Lots of pearls.”


 “Fantastic course.”

 "Good prep for depositions and trial.”

 "Lively, informative, encouraging.”

 “Overall excellent.”

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

 “Two excellent, outstanding teachers.”

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

 “Faculty interaction create[d] infectious energy.”

 “It really reduced my anxiety.”

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

 “[Most useful was] the ‘on the spot’ practice”

 “Jim- you rock!! The judge was awesome!!”

 “Absolutely loved it!!! Thank you so much!!”

 “It was an amazing experience." 

“The instructions and training were amazing!”

“Mr. Mangraviti, you were terrific. I really received a great deal of information, in a memorable and entertaining way.”

“Thanks so much Jim. I loved your presentation and your humorous style [and] well -honed presentation.”

“Thanks so much for an excellent course! It's not often I give all "5-stars", but you and the judge certainly deserved them. Greatly enjoyed your presentations!”

“Hi Jim, The course was terrific! You and Judge Lawson did an awesome job: professional, informative, entertaining, thorough, and effective. Tough act to follow! It was worth every penny. Looking forward to continue working with you and Steve in the future. Thank you.”

“Attorney Jim and Judge Lawson were informative and highly entertaining-like a comedy team. Jim was quick on his feet and kept it lively.”

“[The presenters were] Amazing! Very engaging. Clearly sharp.”

“[The presenters were] very knowledgeable. A very valuable course. I learned things that never crossed my mind. You guys made it fun as well”

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

“[The presenters] made the lectures easy to follow & understand!”

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

“Excellent interactive format, humor made it fun and engaging.”

“Very satisfied. Well worth the money.”

“Very useful, enjoyable, with moments of freak out.”

“Outstanding prep for depo & trial”

“Enjoyed the interactions. Somewhat intimidating if you have not done depositions or trials.”

“Excellent! Presenters did the best of theory & practice”

“Case examples from the participants were very helpful!”

“Practical tips about how to present & depos. Videos very helpful.”

“[Most enjoyed the] specifics on what to do/not do, deconstructing the videos, and showing us how you can destroy us.”

“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.”

“Judge Lawson and Mr. Mangraviti were fantastic; who knew lawyers could be funny!”

“Incredible presenters."

“Absolutely fabulous course. I picked up a ton of nuances. Printed materials were outstanding as well. Very entertaining too! Great to have the judge there.”

“Truly an outstanding weekend. My biggest regret is not having done this years ago.”

“Eye opening, frank, and utterly essential. No pulled punches.”

“More helpful than any other training I’ve ever received, I think due in large part that it was so engaging and packed with great examples.”

“Jim. Thank you so much for everything. You and Judge Lawson were fantastic... This was my 4th seak course!!! With every one I learn and take away so many new concepts. See you at the next one.”

“Wonderful! Having the Judge explain the overall court process at the beginning was very helpful.”

"Excellent-good take always!"

"It was fabulous"

“Incredible presenters.”

“An excellent course. I only wish I had taken it years ago.”

“I found the program EXTREMELY useful.”

“That was a fantastic course and I look forward to others in the future.”

“This was a fantastic, top-notch seminar.”

“Well worth the cost and personal time.”

“The training was fantastic, and I will absolutely be attending future SEAK trainings. I also very much enjoy the books I have read of yours so far, and I intend to buy and read more of your books in the future.”

“Exceptional seminar. I attend continuing ed seminars regularly and this seminar was beyond all of those. It seemed that every word was productive.”

“I have found the specific topic trainings thru SEAK to be golden. SEAK really helps shorten the learning curve.”

“The witness work I became involved with in April of last year has been a STEEP learning curve . . . and your material has helped tremendously!”

“The training course with you and [The Judge] last week was fantastic.”

“Excellent seminar and loved the information received.”

“Excellent, informative, real life”

“Highly recommended to others”

“Provided me with a plethora of information and motivation.”

“I am scheduled to testify at a jury trial tomorrow. Looking forward to utilizing the new tools in my toolbox, especially active listening, and answering the actual question in a clear, relevant and concise manner. The service you provide as a vocation is impactful.”

“It was awesome Jim! Thank you. Your presentation style is engaging and informative. You are a teacher at heart!”

“It was, predictably, great training. I came away with a number of tips and initiatives I will be using. I don't think there is anyplace else expert witnesses could get that kind of exposure and the resultant confidence building.”

“It was a fantastic class and well worth the money.”

“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.”

“The speakers were engaging, with very good grasps of what needed to be taught, and did so in what I thought was a very effective way.”

“Absolutely fascinating, very relevant, extremely useful”

“I learned so much, got fired up and want to take the next level course”

“Outstanding – Jim is great. A very effective teacher.”

“Very helpful, full of practical tips”

“Very impressed. Very informative”

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

“Judge Lawson and Mr. Mangraviti were fantastic; who knew lawyers could be funny!”


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