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How to Be an Effective Expert Witness, March 5-6, 2020, San Diego, CA


Product Description

The #1 way to grow an expert witness practice is to build the reputation of being an effective witness. This is a small group, 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 and will not be offered again on the west coast for at least 2 years.

March 5-6, 2020, Hilton San Diego Harbor Island, San Diego, CA

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 Hilton San Diego Harbor Island (www.sandiegoairport.hilton.com) ($179/night). To make your reservations please call 1-800-445-8667 and mention that you are with SEAK, Inc. Rooms are limited and this rate expires Wednesday, February 19, 2020 so you are strongly encouraged to make your reservations as soon as possible.  

TUITION/DISCOUNTS: Tuition for each course is $1,295 on or before December 20, 2019; $1,395 December 21, 2019 -February 19, 2020; $1,495 after February 19, 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 from the same organization. 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 before February 19, 2020 will receive a full refund. Conference cancellations received after February 19, 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 March 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. Arborists: SEAK will apply for Continuing Education hours through The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) on written request at time of registration. Attorneys: Credit varies by state. Continuing legal education credits for attorneys will be applied for if requested in writing at the time of registration. Engineers: 14 PDHs. The acceptance of this course is dependent upon your state(s) of registration. The vast majority of states do not require preapproval of either courses or course sponsors. Life Care Planners: SEAK will apply for credits through The Commission on Health Care Certification (CHCC) upon written request at the time of registration. Physicians: SEAK, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. SEAK, Inc. designates this live activity for a maximum of 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)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. 


DAY ONE: Thursday, March 5, 2020



8:00–8:30 Deposition Law and Procedure
You will learn what counsel can and can not 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 Deposition
The faculty will go around the room and ask difficult deposition questions. The attendees’ responses will be critiqued. R


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 incontext. 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: Friday, March 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 & AnswersS


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:  

“Dear Jim, I wanted to take a minute and thank you for the excellent information that you provided at the SEAK conference. Since I am brand new to expert witnessing, I came away with my brain very full (and appropriately paranoid), but more than a bit excited about learning more and diving into this work.  Thankfully there are two attorneys at the firm who are willing to work with me--- one to prep me on the art of deposition before they turn to the “closer” [someone who has a slightly sadistic side similar to your own] on me to see how rattled I will be on [cross] examination. The conference –and your examples—gave me much food for thought and some practical tips on how I can protect myself.  For all of those things, thank you!” 

“Jim – Thanks for another great class!  How to Be an Effective Expert Witness was very informative, interactive, and entertaining.  I plan on attending How to Bulletproof Your Deposition in the near future.” 

“Great program, thank you !!!” 

“A great experience. Thanks!” 

“Jim, Thank you very much for checking in and for your work on this workshop last week.  I will strongly recommend it to my colleagues and let them know it's worth the money.” 

“Exceptionally helpful and practical.” 

“High level training I feel like I’m leaving here way ahead of others starting this line of work.” 

“Lots of great information, fast paced, experts are teaching information they know like the back of their hand.” 

“Terrific – it’s easy to follow along.” 

“Very useful & entertaining.” 

“Very well-done intro to expert testimony”

“Was practical and highlighted the important aspects of being an EW.” 

“Worth every little penny for how it’ll help my work.”

“Very helpful to have people practice testifying, have questions asked throughout the room, feedback on responses is very helpful.” 

“Excellent presenters, for a long day, their presentations and dynamics kept my attention 100%.” 

“Keep up your amazing work.” 

“[Instructors] were very knowledgeable, excellent at teaching ,– appreciate the variety of teaching styles.”

“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.”  

“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.”  

“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.”  

“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.” 

“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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