How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice, December 2-3, 2021, Naples, FL

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Excellent and ethical legal consultants can easily double their income by devoting one day a week to expert witnessing. Time spent by experts on such matters is commonly billed out at $250–$500 or more per hour. How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice is an intensive, content rich workshop that is designed to show you how to start, build, and run a successful expert witness practice. This course is appropriate for professionals with all levels of legal-consulting experience including prospective and novice expert witnesses. Attendees will learn from an experienced faculty in a step-by-step fashion how to start, build, and run a successful and ethical expert witness practice. This is SEAK’s most popular expert witness training program. New experts should be able to start accepting cases immediately upon completion of the course.

Click here for a pdf of the conference brochure

Learning Objectives: At the completion of this course you will learn: 
• The role of expert witnesses in civil litigation,
• What attorneys are looking for from their experts,
• How to properly define your area(s) of expertise and practice areas,
• How to draft a curriculum vitae appropriate for expert witness work,
• How to get cases,
• How to avoid ethical problems and maintain your integrity,
• The essentials of expert witness report writing,
• How to set your fee and collect it,
• What to bill for and when,
• How to draft a retention agreement to protect your rights,
• How to form defensible opinions,
• Techniques for maintaining your independence and objectivity,
• How to exceed expectations,
• How to build a tremendous reputation,
• Ethics,
• Expert witness risk management techniques, and
• Much, much more. 

TUITION/DISCOUNTS: Tuition is $1,295 on or before September 9, 2021; $1,395 September 10, 2021–November 10, 2021 and $1,495 after November 10, 2021. 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 either virtually or in-person. 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 during the seminar. THIS COURSE IS ALSO AVAILABLE TO STREAM ON-DEMAND, CLICK HERE. 

Hotel Room Reservations:  A limited block of rooms will be available at special rates at the site hotel, The Naples Grande Beach Resort ( ($214 single/double Tower Guest Room). To make your reservations please call 1-844-489-9663 and mention that you are with SEAK, Inc or group code GSEAK21 or click hereRooms are limited and this rate expires Wednesday, November 10, 2021 so you are strongly encouraged to make your reservations as soon as possible.

Cancellations: Conference cancellations received in writing on or before November 10, 2021 will receive a full refund. Conference cancellations received after November 10, 2021 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. 


chip-darius.jpgChip Darius, OHST, CIT, CSHO, is an OSHA / Safety Consultant and Trainer with many years’ experience serving clients in general industry, construction, utilities and emergency services. In addition to his consulting and training business, Mr. Darius is an Instructor for the OSHA Training Institute Region 1 Education Center, where he has been teaching courses on OSHA regulations for two decades. Mr. Darius is a well experienced Forensic Expert Witness and Litigation Consultant in catastrophic injury, fatality and personal injury matters. He has experience in both plaintiff and defense cases, in state and federal matters. He has significant testimony experience in depositions and at trials. Mr. Darius has conducted training at international, national, regional, state and local conferences and seminars. He earned BS and MA degrees from the University of Connecticut. Mr. Darius has also been a certified Emergency Medical Technician for over 40 years. 

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. ( Jim is the co-author of thirty 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 a former litigator who specialized in personal injury defense, tried several cases and worked with expert witnesses and independent medical examiners regularly. Kelly is Assistant Vice President/Associate Consultant at SEAK where her duties include teaching expert witness seminars and consulting with expert witnesses on issues such as report writing, deposition/trial prep, and business development. She received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts School of Law in 2015 and graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a B.A. in Political Science. Kelly can be reached at 781-491-6802 or 


Day One (Thursday, December 2, 2021)


8:00 – 8:30 The Role of Expert Witnesses in Civil Litigation
Attendees will learn the proper role of expert witnesses in civil litigation. Included is an explanation of Federal Rule of Evidence 702 and the types of specific assignments experts can expect from retaining counsel including forensic consulting, report writing, and where necessary, testifying at deposition or trial. Questions & Answers

8:30 – 9:30 What Successful Expert Witnesses Have in Common
Faculty and the attendees will analyze what some of the nation’s “go to” experts have in common and how they got to their position of prominence. Videotaped interviews of the experts will be reviewed. Lessons for the attendees will be drawn from these examples. Questions & Answers

9:30 – 10:30 Finding and Developing Your Niche in the Expert Witness Marketplace
Faculty will explain the advantages of identifying a niche for yourself. Attendees will be provided with a protocol for researching their niche, determining the proper fit and developing their niche to its fullest potential. Questions & Answers


10:45 – 12:00 Pulling Together a CV Appropriate for Expert Witness Work
Anyone considering starting an expert witness practice needs to maintain a CV. Attendees will learn the importance of an accurate, up-to-date CV, what should and should not be on a CV, and how mistakes in preparing CVs can damage or destroy an expert’s credibility. Sample CVs will be provided. Questions & Answers


12:45 – 1:45 Bulletproofing Yourself – Your Qualifications, Marketing Activities, Web Site, Image & Reputation
A mock trial demonstration followed by bottom line bullet point advice with numerous examples on how to avoid potentially devastating problems in an expert’s qualifications, marketing activities, web site, image and reputation. Questions & Answers

1:45 – 2:15 Bulletproofing Your Opinions – Passing the Daubert Tests, Your Methodology
An in-depth discussion of the legal requirements of Daubert and FRE 702 as they relate to how an expert forms and expresses his/her opinion(s) and the admissibility of the opinions. Numerous examples will be discussed. The lecture continues with practical advice on how to avoid being caught in a Daubert nightmare and how to use the Daubert criteria as a roadmap to bolster the persuasiveness of any opinion. Questions & Answers

2:15 – 3:00 Bulletproofing Your Opinions – Research, Investigation, Chart Review and Examination
An expert witness’s opinion will only be as strong as the facts, research and investigation upon which it is based. Attendees will learn how to conduct an investigation, perform research and collect data in a manner that bolsters an expert’s opinion. Questions & Answers


3:15 – 3:45 Bulletproofing Your Opinions – Managing the Potentially Damaging Influence of Retaining Counsel
Expert Witnesses often severely damage or destroy the persuasiveness of their opinions by allowing retaining counsel to influence (or appear to influence) their investigation, assumptions, and opinions. In this segment attendees will learn how to insulate their opinions from the appearance of being under the influence of retaining counsel, for example through the information the expert witness relies upon, the modification of draft and preliminary opinions, and through the communications between the expert witness and retaining counsel. Questions & Answers

3:45 – 4:00 Bulletproofing Your Opinions – Rebuttals and Commenting On Other Experts
Commenting on another expert’s opinions is an area that gets many experts into unnecessary difficulty. In this segment experts will learn the right way and wrong way to comment on another expert’s opinions. Questions & Answers

4:00 – 5:00 Best Practices in Forensic Office Management
Attendees will learn a myriad of techniques that will help them run an efficient and successful litigation support consulting practice. These include optimum new case intake procedures, billing systems, document receipt and retention policies, support staff training and instruction, file maintenance, trial scheduling, procedures for keeping your CV up-to-date, how to account for all time spent on the case, responsibilities and boundaries, security and confidentiality protocols and developing and using forms, templates and checklists. Questions & Answers

Day Two (Friday, December 3, 2021)


7:00 – 8:00 Best Practices in Dealing with Counsel
A frank discussion of how to best deal with retaining and opposing counsel. Included is an explanation of the importance of maintaining boundaries, how to best communicate with retaining counsel, the importance of not giving away your theories or reviewing any confidential information until you have been retained, how to deal with non-responsive or incompetent lawyers, how to deal with failure to prepare you for deposition or trial, being pushed beyond your true area of expertise, how to handle “rush” requests for reports and opinions and how to avoid problems before they materialize. Questions & Answers

8:00 – 9:00 Best Practices in Report Writing
Faculty will review the most efficient methods for dealing with requests for preliminary, draft, and other written reports. Best practices for responding to input from counsel, formatting, editing, controls over release of the report, signing, and proofreading will be provided. There will also be an in-depth discussion on the use and misuse of computer templates to assist in report writing. A sample expert witness report will be provided. Questions & Answers 


9:15 – 10:00 Deposition Best Practices 
Attendees will be provided with an in-depth look at scheduling, billing, postponements, cancellations, errata sheets, and retention/destruction of deposition transcripts. Questions & Answers

10:00 – 10:45 Trial Best Practices
Attendees will learn more than twenty techniques to help them prepare for trial. These techniques deal with issues which include dress, logistics, travel, scheduling, payment, and visual aids. Questions & Answers


11:00 – 12:00 Best Practices in Fee Setting, Fee Schedules & Agreements, Billings and Collections
Experts will learn how to correctly value their time and set their fee. They will be taught the importance of not undercharging and how to determine exactly what their time is worth. Also included is a detailed discussion of the amount and frequency of retainers, whether retainers should be non-refundable, cancellation fees, expense reimbursement and proven techniques to improve collections of expert witness and consulting fees. Attendees will be provided with sample expert witness retention contract language that addresses 15 common problems faced by expert witnesses. Questions & Answers


12:45 – 1:45 Advanced Marketing Techniques for Building an Expert Witness Practice
Faculty and attendees will engage in a frank discussion and analysis of the utility of: search engine optimization, social media, networking, writing articles, speaking, directory listings, fees, advertising, referral services/brokers and 24-7 marketing. Questions & Answers 

1:45 – 2:15 Ethics and Risk Management
Experts will learn how to deal with common ethical problems and will learn the potential civil and professional liability of experts. Numerous specific risk management techniques for experts will be explained including avoidance, maintaining the appropriate insurance coverages, due diligence, confidentiality protocols, anti-spoliation procedures, avoiding conflicts and the overriding importance of being 100% honest. Questions & Answers 

2:15 – 2:30 Conclusion and Takeaways
Concluding remarks will be preceded by an attendee and faculty generated numbered list of action steps and takeaways from the covered material that attendees will be taking home to their practices to start, build and run a better and more successful expert witness practice. Questions & Answers

What past attendees had to say:

“I have taken a lot of training classes over the years, this was the only one where I was completely engaged over two days. In addition to your hand outs, I left with 10 pages of notes.

Can’t wait for additional classes!”

“The best meeting I’ve attended in several years.”

“Awesome course! I will keep in touch and look forward to another course.”

“Can’t tell you how the course fired me up. Been working all day getting my business together.”

“Thanks to the three of you for such a cohesive and informational course. Your presentation styles generated a want to listen and learn.”

“The “hands on” examples--i.e., cross-examination by Jim and Kelly pointing out short-comings in CV’s, etc. were tremendously helpful.”

“The most useful/interesting part of this course was the no-nonsense, straight up communication styles of all three speakers and the depth of knowledge that each speaker brought to the table.”

“[Jim and Chip] were both fantastic! I could have listened to them and learned from them for a few more days." 

“A ‘must attend’ for anyone interested in this line of work”

“A great learning experience presented with real world examples”

“A useful combination of stories from the front lines & practical advice.”

“A++; Thank you for your feedback and time.”

“Absolutely loved the dynamic “no hold barred” disposition of both presenters. Great.”

“Absolutely, this was one of the most practical seminars that I’ve attended. Looking forward to building this practice and seeing you again soon.”

“All presenters were great. Very approachable, knowledgeable & instructive. They gave a fair balance of what is most important and what isn’t”

“Amazing training course, Jim.”

“Awesome presentations.”

“Both Jim and Chip made the audience feel they really cared about our success.”

“Chip, I participated in the recent How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice event and wanted to express how beneficial I found the course to be. I thought you and Jim not only shared valuable information, but captured the attention of everyone in the room. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, I truly enjoyed the class.”

“Chip, Thanks for the tremendous amount of relevant and detailed info in this class. You did a terrific job. This class will make a big difference in my success and everyone who attended, I’m sure.” 

“Dear Jim, Your training in Cape Cod was an incredible experience for me. It inspired me to schedule time to grow my expert witness business and I plan to attend more trainings in the future. My only regret is that I didn't make the time to attend your training before. My husband plans to attend the training in the next few months after seeing how excited I am to invest my free time in building my business. You and Chip are impressive and it was an unforgettable experience for me at such a beautiful location. Hope to see you and your team soon.”

“Dear Jim. Thank you for recommending the course. It was terrific and I look forward to starting some expert witness work. In fact, I received a request during the course and am applying the retention agreement from SEAK.”

“Entertaining and thought provoking.”

“Every part of the seminar was critical”

“Excellent job, very engaging!”

“Excellent pace, energy, interactive.”

“Excellent presentation – going through CVs, websites was extremely helpful”

“Excellent! Well worth the time and money.”

“Excellent, only wish I had taken the course when I first heard about it”

“Excellent, well organized, engaging, and practical”

“Excellent. The faculty have taken so much great information and condensed it into an invaluable starter kit. I’m amazed at the things I’ve learned in just 2 days.”

“Exceptional presenters.”

“Fabulous! Interesting, stimulating, very effective”

“Fantastic. Far exceeded my expectations.”

“Great course and really enjoyed your presentation style and bountiful information.”

“Great course, very detailed and helpful to jumpstart my EW practice. “

“Great course”

“Great job!”

“Great seminar. The instructors shared several “real life” scenarios to put things in perspective and to help you avoid common mistakes.”

“Great Seminar...Well worth it. Got much from it. Very well done.”

“Great! Very practical. Likely to make me money” 

“Hello Jim. Thank you giving a wonderful, informative, and entertaining conference. Please thank Chip as well. I shall take your teachings to heart (even those obtaining through grilling!)”

“Hi Jim! Thank you for sharing your time and experience at the SEAK Expert Witness Conference, I found it incredibly beneficial.”

“I believe the seminar was truly impressive and very informative”

“I found both presenters to be informative & captivating. A two-day seminar often involves glazed-over looks at some point, but the attendees of this course were attentive & hanging on every word.”

“I liked that the speakers went individually through the class and told them a fee range that would be acceptable. As the owner of a small business in a very specialized field, I’ve struggled to know what fees are appropriate for me.”

“I really did learn a lot at the training and totally enjoyed having my rear end handed to me in class vs at my first significant depo or trial! I'm a big believer in taking training opportunities wherever I can get it. You and Chip did a great job!”

“I really enjoyed the two days which I attended the Start, Build, and Run sessions, which I found to be extremely informative. I also found the combination of your expertise along with Chip's real world experiences to be a great way to present the subject. Kudos to you both. I've already begun making changes to my practice based on what I learned while attending, and look forward to further modifications as I move forward. I only wish that I had stayed for the second two time.”

“I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the course last week. It really is helping me prepare for my first deposition. If I would have known how beneficial it was going to be I would have signed up for the weekend class. Two others are now interested in taking the course based on my feedback.”

“I wanted to thank you for once again delivering on an informative jam-packed-with-good info seminar! So glad I attended.” 


“Informative, inspiring and fun. I learned what I need to get started and be successful.”

“Instantly executable information.”

“It was such a good course and well worth the time and money.”

“Jim - Thank you for two great days!  I learned new issues, which to assist my work and business.  You and Chip did a fantastic job with the material/ presentation.” 

“Jim and Chip were very engaging and welcoming. They worked well together and I enjoyed their sense of humor. Great job!”

“Jim and Nadine, I just want to thank you both for the incredible presentations. I have read your books but the dialogue and thought provoking questions helped me understand the role of expert and performance expectations. The interrogations were fun and painful which is as it should be. Thanks again for the exceptional expert programming. All the best.”

“Jim is fabulous and fun. Chip – great practical help.”

“Jim was very entertaining.”

“Jim, Congratulations on putting on an excellent and informative course. It will be extremely helpful in cultivating my expert witness practice.”

“Jim, I enjoyed the seminar.  Your illustrative stories, case reports and sense of humor made it go by quickly.  I have already begun updating my CV and website using what I learned.  I look forward to the next one.”

“Jim, I had a great time and got a great value for the time and money invested for the conference.”

“Jim, Just a great series of presentations and insights this week, really practical and useful. I look forward to using all of the material going forward and pursuing more information, and of course, getting direct experience.”

“Jim, Thank you for the opportunity to attend your class. It was great to see the excitement created by you and Chip with the valuable knowledge, practical application and the entertaining moments of the classroom as you presented the subject material. Your presentation was Great, Thanks again.”

“Jim, the program was fantastic and I learned a lot. You and Chip were just terrific. I could have easily done another few days with both of you. Thanks again for a really great 2 days.”

“Jim, What a great course. Really appreciate the content and you are clearly the right guy to present and teach it.”

“Jim, What an excellent course! Like drinking from a firehose. Time to reflect and put it all together. Thanks so much.”

“Jim, What an excellent course! Like drinking from a firehose. Time to reflect and put it all together.”

“Jim: All I can tell you is that I am in awe of the incredible job you and Chip did in conducting this course. I learned a huge amount and am working on digesting it all.” 

“Jim’s presentation/style is very entertaining – he’s clearly brilliant and highly knowledgeable”

“Loaded with powerful information”

“Loved it!”

“Mr. Mangraviti, The training was outstanding. You and chip highlighted key points and gave great examples to illustrate your points.”

“One of the most applicable trainings I have been to in a long time (I attend multiple a year).”

“One of the most practical seminars that I’ve attended”

“Outstanding- reality based presentation of “those things to be expected”. For me (in law enforcement) the principles reinforced.”

“Outstanding seminar.”

“Pearls of wisdom/experience [were] freely shared by presenters. I especially liked them saying what rate they recommend each type of expert charge (i.e. surgeon vs. engineer).”

“Phenomenal-did not want the seminars to end”

“Professional and informative”

“Really enjoyed the style, open dialogue + questions”

“Superb experience.”


“Thank you and thanks to the entire SEAK team....I attend a decent amount of seminars with my Civil Engineering degree...yours was top notch!!!!”

“Thank you, Jim. I was thoroughly impressed by your level of preparation (you actually knew who you were speaking with) and by SEAK in general. I am definitely a fan. I take this endeavor seriously as much hangs in the balance for patients and physicians and am glad to have found a credible educator and support network. I will certainly take more advanced training with SEAK in the future and hope to count you, personally, among my support network if questions arise.”

“Thank you—one the most entertaining seminars I have attended…very informative as well…”

“Thanks, Jim. You [and Chip] were both enjoyable and informative. I especially appreciate the feedback on my first written report.” 

“The course and faculty could not have been better.”

“The course was wonderful and I am extremely grateful for all your insight and knowledge.”

“The CV/resume exam segment was very useful. Like many in the audience, I will be working to improve mine!!”

“The entire conference was interesting & tons of good information.”

“The information provided during this conference was incredible. This was certainly an investment in my practice and not an expense for it.”

“The presenters were very knowledgeable about the material and were able to present it in an interactive way with attendees.”

“The SEAK trainers were Stellar. I found the staff trainers to be the most informative.”

“The speakers made each and every topic easy to learn and fun.”

“The training was excellent-very informative, engaging speakers, great teaching methods.”

“Very comprehensive for a two-day course.”

“Very enlightening- a big eye opener.”

“Very impressed with level of expertise of Jim & Chip.”

“Very informative, exceeded my expectations”

“Very informative”

“Very nice set-up. A high-quality training experience from beginning to end. Very knowledgeable expertise and insightful program. Straightforward advice. Delicious breakfast & lunch included. Worth every penny!”

“Very professional, knowledgeable”

“Very useful, well presented, well organized”

“Very well organized, very practical advice”

“Very well put together & informative.”

“Well organized, upbeat”

“You are all dynamic, interesting and knowledgeable, humorous.”

“You guys are great, very personable, honest, available and engaging, great job.”