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How to Start, Build and Run a Successful Medical Expert Witness Practice, January 28-29, 2021, Clearwater Beach, FL


Product Description

Excellent and ethical medical-legal consultants can easily double their clinical income by devoting one day a week to medical-legal matters. Time spent by physicians on such matters is commonly billed out at $500-$1000 per hour. How to Start, Build and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice is an intensive, content rich workshop that is designed to show physicians how to start, build, and run a successful expert witness practice. This course is appropriate for physicians with all levels of medical-legal experience including prospective and novice expert medical witnesses. Physician 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 course, which is especially for physicians, will only be offered once in 2021. Attendees will be ready to start serving as a physician expert witness immediately upon completion of this course.

The Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater Beach, Florida
Thursday–Friday, January 28-29, 2021

Click here for a PDF of the 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,
Expert witness risk management techniques, and
Much, much more. 

Registration Information: Tuition is $1,295 until November 12, 2020; $1,395 November 13, 2020 – January 5, 2021; $1,495 after January 5, 2021 and includes continental breakfast and lunch with faculty each day and a detailed conference manual. Register early and save.

Continuing Education Information: 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. 

LOCATION/HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: Clearwater Beach has been rated the #1 beach in the United States! A limited block of rooms will be available at special rates at the site hotel, the AAA Four Diamond Sandpearl Resort (www.sandpearl.com) ($244+tax single or double occupancy) in Clearwater Beach, FL. This rate includes access to the fitness center as well as internet access in your room. Rooms are limited and this rate expires on January 15, 2020 so you are encouraged to make your reservations as soon as possible. To make your reservations please call 877.726.3111 and mention that you are with SEAK, Inc. These rates are available for a limited time and on a limited number of rooms so you are strongly encouraged to make your reservations as soon as possible. To book your hotel room online please click here, enter your arrival date and enter your departure date.

The Sandpearl features a zero entry pool, Spa, private beach, beach-front fire pit, beach sports rentals, 24-hour room service, 24-hour bell service, live entertainment, concierge service, two restaurants (including the 4 diamond Caretta on the Gulf), and child care services. The Sandpearl is located within walking distance of dozens of restaurants and is a 20 miles/30 minutes cab, Uber or shuttle ride from Tampa International Airport, so we suggest saving money and time by not renting a car. 

CANCELLATIONS: Conference cancellations received in writing on or before January 5, 2021 will receive a full tuition refund. Persons cancelling after January 5, 2021 will receive a full tuition credit. 

Distinguished Faculty:

Nadine Nasser Donovan, Esq., is a former litigator who spent 18 years in the defense of medical professionals in medical malpractice actions and before medical licensing boards. She has been on the SEAK Faculty since 2002 and has trained countless experts through SEAK’s scheduled programs for expert witnesses, invited presentations, customized on-site expert witness training programs, and via one-on-one training (www.testifyingtraining.com) and mentoring. Nadine also provides testifying training to medical malpractice defendants (www.malpracticetestifyingtraining.com). She is the co-author of the SEAK texts How to Write an Expert Witness Report and How to Be A Successful Expert Witness: SEAK’s A-Z Guide to Expert Witnessing. She received her J.D. cum laude from Boston College Law School. She graduated from Fordham University summa cum laude with a B.A. in French Literature.

Richard A. Parker, MD is founder and managing director of Parker Healthcare Innovations, LLC and is CMO for Arcadia Healthcare Solutions—an EMR aggregation and analytics company. Formerly he was a practicing internist from 1988-2012; an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School since 2000; and from 2000 to 2015, he served as medical director and then chief medical officer (CMO) of the Beth Israel Deaconess Care Organization (BIDCO). As a practicing internist for nearly 30 years, he was recognized by Boston magazine as one of Boston’s best internal medicine doctors and is a 2010 and 2012 recipient of the BIDMC Schwartz Center’s Compassionate Caregiver Award. Dr. Parker graduated from Harvard College in 1978 and the Dartmouth-Brown program in medicine in 1985. Dr. Parker is a highly experienced expert witness. His cases have involved both medical malpractice and hospital negligence. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Physicians Serving as Expert Witnesses

Q. Do I need to be a medical school professor or to have graduated from an Ivy League Medical School in order to be a successful medical expert witness?

A. Absolutely not.  The vast majority of successful medical expert witnesses are neither academicians nor Ivy League graduates.

Q.  What are attorneys looking for in a physician expert witness?

A.  A knowledgeable professional who is responsive, easy to deal with and can communicate well both in writing and orally.

Q.  Will I have to say something I don’t believe in? 

A.  No. The way it works is that you will be sent a chart to review and be paid to review it.  If you cannot support the position the attorney is looking for (a common occurrence) you tell the attorney that and that will generally be the end of the assignment.

Q.  I only want to testify for defendants, can I do that?

A.  You can, but this would make you vulnerable to attack on cross-examination as being potentially biased.  The most credible and successful medical expert witnesses call cases like they see them and are available to both plaintiffs and defendants.

Q.  Do I need to keep practicing, or can I do medical expert witness work full time?

A.  That depends.  If you would like to testify in medical malpractice cases it is best that you maintain at least a part time practice.

Q.  Do I need to be board certified?

A.  The vast majority of successful physician expert witnesses are board certified.

Q.  Do I need an active medical license?

A. Generally speaking, yes.

Q. I don’t want to do medical malpractice work, are there other opportunities available to me?

A.  Yes, but these would depend on your specialty.  For example, many physicians testify in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases.  There are other examples of non-medical malpractice niches as well. 


Day One (Thursday, January 28, 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and Answers. 

Day Two (Friday, January 29, 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and Answers


“Very knowledgeable and engaging [faculty]. Impressed with Nadine’s preparation (reviewing participates materials) and interactive audience approach. Wonderful job fielding questions from the audience.”

“Excellent presentation, very approachable & willing to support students.”

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

“Nadine, the course was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. You and Dr. Parker have the rare gift of being able to explain all of the nuances and details of the process of preparing to be a successful expert witness. I have already recommended and will continue to recommend this course to colleagues. Thanks again.”

“Thank you, again, for conducting a lively and invigorating EW course along with Rich! I am very inspired now to pursue developing an EW practice, and, I have not felt this inspired for a while!”  

“Excellent educational tool.”   

“It was excellent, informative and useful”   

“Very knowledgeable and engaging [faculty]. Impressed with Nadine’s preparation (reviewing participates materials) and interactive audience approach. Wonderful job fielding questions from the audience.”

“Very interactive and informative”   

“I found Ms. Donovan’s ‘pearls’ in response to questions especially helpful”   

“Nadine is an excellent presenter—real world examples really helped drive her point’s home. Even maintained her composer with my frequent opinions. Personable. Judiciously funny.”  

“Thank you so much for the education and empowerment. I hope to take further classes in the future.”   

“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.”   

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

“Excellent, well organized, engaging, and practical”   

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

“Loaded with powerful information”   

“Phenomenal-did not want the seminars to end”  

“You're awesome Nadine. Thanks!” 

“Thank you for the wonderful seminar.” 

“Deeply experienced presenters” 

“Excellent – all questions answered” 

“Excellent – recommend to anyone”

“Excellent practical info” 

“High yield professional seminar” 

“Top notch!” 

“Very informative” 

“It was extremely high yield” 

“The class was outstanding! It was presented in such an easy to understand manner. Thank you again for a great class!”
“Great seminar. The instructors shared several “real life” scenarios to put things in perspective and to help you avoid common mistakes.”
“Fabulous! Interesting, stimulating, very effective”
“I believe the seminar was truly impressive and very informative”
“A great learning experience presented with real world examples”
“Great! Very practical. Likely to make me money”
“Very well organized, very practical advice”
“Every part of the seminar was critical”
“Jim and Chip were very engaging and welcoming. They worked well together and I enjoyed their sense of humor. Great job!”   
“The presenters were very knowledgeable about the material and were able to present it in an interactive way with attendees.”
“Excellent presentation – going through CVs, websites was extremely helpful”
“Great job!”
“The program was top notch. No improvements needed.”

“I found the seminar to be most enlightening and informational.”
“Extremely thorough, professional and focused. Excellent.”

“Excellent how-to. Thanks for a great course!” 

“Very informative, and great presentation.”

“Many thanks for the well-constructed summary of this field and the specific recommendations to proceed.”

“One of the best conferences I’ve attended.”

“Thank you!  I enjoyed the course and learned so much.  I want to thank you for your words of encouragement, too. You have helped me to move forward with pursuing this exciting experience.”

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

“Loved it!”

“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.” 

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

“I found your course highly informative, enjoyable and well run. After attending the course, I feel confident in my ability to serve as an effective expert witness. In my opinion, medical education is best delivered with the liberal use of case studies, anecdotes and Q and A, rather than simply reading bullet points off a slide. Your course made excellent use of that format.  I will highly recommend this course to my colleagues. Bravo!”

“Thank you so much for a fact filled, information loaded meeting.  I am impressed with the quality and depth of your presentations and comments.  I plan to attend more of SEAK's meetings.”

“Thank you, Nadine.  You and Rich were very informative, fun and encouraging.”

“Nadine, thanks for the time you spent teaching this course.  I learned quite a bit and the course should pay for itself the next case I do as I got my fee schedule more in line with my credentials.”

“Thank you for a great, informative course. I have been working on my CV, changing the headings and eliminating unnecessary information.”

“I thought you were a fantastic instructor and loved how you were able to adapt to changing information and continue your line of questioning without a hitch.  It was inspirational to watch!  I hope to develop even just a fraction of that confidence if I make it to court.  I came mostly to keep my friend company at this course, and to check things out - but left very interested to actually do this. I’m excited about starting to work on some cases and coming back for the advanced courses.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed your training and, while I still have much to learn, I feel much more confident in becoming an effective medical expert.”

“Nadine, both you and Rich were outstanding.”

“I truly enjoyed the courses I took this past week.  I am very encouraged in my pursuit of this line of work, and am already starting to schedule discussions with my Clinic as to some appropriate changes to make in this regard.  Thank you for all your advice.  I hope to see you at another event in the future.”

“An eye opening view into expert witnessing, exactly what I needed.”

“Excellent! Filled in many gaps in my knowledge relative to report writing, billing, and deposition techniques.”

“Fantastic lessons, I loved the interactive format! 2 days of sessions flew by!”

“I really liked the examples where Nadine called someone up to the ‘hot seat’”

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