How to Write An Expert Witness Report (Hardcover Book)

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How To Write An Expert Witness Report sets the new standard for all expert witnesses who are called upon to write reports. The book is expert witness friendly and contains 14 in-depth chapters. The authors explain report writing best practices with the use of: color, hundreds of examples, numerous comments and practice pointers and suggested rewrites of language commonly used in reports. The authors have culled through thousands of reports and have presented seventeen expert reports as models for the reader. How to Write An Expert Witness Report is an invaluable aid for all expert witnesses who are tasked with writing high quality, defensible, expert witness reports.

By: James J. Mangraviti Jr., Esq, Steven Babitsky, Esq. and Nadine Nasser Donovan, Esq. © 2014 SEAK, Inc.


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This book is also available as a PDF E-Book. Please click here to purchase and download the E-Book.

The easy-to-use guide:
• Practical, bullet point advice
• Dozens of practice pointers
• Hundreds of examples of what to do and what not to do
• Seventeen complete model reports including a sample rebuttal report, sample Rule 26 report, and sample
   supplemental report
• In depth, yet easy to use.
• Flags common pitfalls so that you can avoid them
• Executive summaries of each chapters so you can get up to speed quickly
• Written by the experts on expert witnessing from SEAK, Inc. 

Practical and insightful answers to questions like:
• What are the legal requirements of expert witness reports?
• How do I structure my expert witness report?
• How do I deal with discoverability and draft reports?
• How can my expert reports be made more powerful and persuasive?
• How should I optimally format my expert witness report?
• What should be included in my expert witness report?
• What should not be included in my expert witness report?
• How can I use technology to make my reports stand out?
• What language should and should not appear in my expert witness report?
• How do I express my opinions such that they are most defensible?
• What protocol should I use to prevent and catch mistakes in my report?
• How do I deal with the influence of retaining counsel
• How and when do I write specialized reports such as Rule 26 reports, rebuttal reports, and supplemental reports? 


"Every page, every paragraph of your work is rich with clear and valuable advice.  Thank you!" 

"Jim, I just finished reading and studying your and your SEAK colleagues book on "How to Write An Expert Witness Report."  It is superb.  Just thought you'd like some feedback."

"[SEAK's] textbook on report writing served as an excellent reference, and I love the opening chapter executive summary, organized with significant pertinent points to be mindful of. The wide selection of report examples also provides great insight."

"Because I didn't take your report writing class, I bought your book.  In September I had a major expert report to write so first I sat down, re-read your book, and put post-its at all the important points.  I then proceeded to write my report as closely as the case would allow following your suggestions.  The day of the deposition in November, the client happened to be there talking with my retaining attorney so I met him.  He is the in-house counsel who selects and oversees all of the attorneys they hire to try the cases of this international firm that generates $22B in USA revenues.  When he met me, his first comment was, "So you're the guy who wrote that report!  I wish all of our reports were as good as that one was, it was one of the best I have ever seen."  I was both surprised and gratified.  So ... thanks to you for a job well done teaching me!"

"I am a long-time consumer of your products, having purchased 5 or 6 of your text books over the past several years, as well as having contributed to your “Survey of Expert Witness Fees” the past 2 or 3 times they have been solicited. I am currently reading and re-reading the texts “Expert Witnessing A-Z” and “How to Write an Expert Witness Report”.  I consider both books my “bibles” when it comes to my work and they are never far from my desk, usually sitting right on top and within reach.  I consider the advice provided invaluable to what I do."

"It is excellent and despite having already taken two of your courses before having read the book, I learned a great deal from it and I think the quality of my reports is far better as a result."

"For my report in a recent product failure case, I used several pointers in the chapter on Rebutting Opposing Experts Opinions to conclusively neuter the opposing expert's report. My retaining attorney and his client were very pleased with the outcome."

"I utilize the book every time I write a report as a guide and as a check that I have properly covered all areas and issues.  A must have for any expert’s library."

"Your comprehensive book "How to Write an Expert Witness Report" has been an extremely valuable investment. It is a wealth of knowledge on this subject, organized in an easy to use manner.  I read it straight through and have continually used it as reference as I have written my report.  The sample reports in the appendix have also been valuable to assist in formatting my report."

"Comprehensive and well worth the purchase.  I actually envy your ability to pack as much information into each paragraph, let alone chapter.  You are clearly very knowledgeable."

“Your new book,  How to Write an Expert Witness Report has been one of the best investments I have ever made for my career.  I have more sticky tabs, notes,  and sections highlighted than I can count.  This book travels with me everywhere I go so that if I have a minute I can grab it and start reading a new section or even reread a previous chapter.”   “A superb resource already; it has already paid for itself.  Thanks to your book, my last report was a winner, and I feel very confident going forward into the deposition and possible trial phase.”

"Your book just came on Writing Reports.  It is great, and I have been recommending it to others." 

"I want to compliment you on your new book HOW TO WRITE AN EXPERT WITNESS REPORT  - it is just outstanding"

"Great tool, it is a must have.  Each expert witness should get a copy."

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What types of experts is How to Write an Expert Witness Report appropriate for? 

The techniques demonstrated and explained are universal and applicable for all types of experts. There are hundreds of examples and report segments in the book and these are from a large variety of disciplines. In addition we have included full color sample reports from a diverse selection of disciplines. 

I am an experienced expert, will How to Write an Expert Witness Report help me? 

Absolutely. This book will show you how to take your reports to the next level. This book is highly regarded by and utilized on a daily basis by both novice and experienced expert witnesses. 

What research went into writing How to Write an Expert Witness Report? 

The authors reviewed thousands of expert witness reports over many years to identify both best practices and hidden pitfalls.  

Why is it so important to write an excellent expert witness report? 

Experts who write superb reports will see their reputations grow and will obtain repeat and word of mouth business. In addition, their deposition and trial testimony will go much easier. On the other hand, experts who write poor reports can get destroyed when testifying and can see their careers as experts come to a premature and sudden end. 

How fast do you ship out orders? 

We typically ship within one business day. 

How are your orders shipped? 

USPS Priority Mail. Overnight shipping is also available if desired. All orders ship from our offices on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  

How satisfied have your expert clients been with the book? 

Extremely. Please look at the above testimonials to see what your colleagues have had to say. 

Why does How to Write an Expert Witness Report cost $150? 

This is a comprehensive professional text, printed in full color that was painstakingly researched and written by leading experts. It is akin to a college or graduate level textbook. 

Is this book available cheaper on Amazon or other online sources? 

No. We do not sell How to Write an Expert Witness Report through Amazon or other online portals. 

When do you have sales and offer discounted book prices? 

SEAK does not conduct sales and does not discount its books. 

Who can I talk to if I have additional questions about How to Write an Expert Witness Report? 

You can talk directly to the authors. Feel free to call Steve at 508-548-9443, Jim at 978-276-1234 or Nadine at 617-791-4282. 

Table of contents

Chapter 1  Executive Summary

1.1  Fundamental Expert Witness Report Writing Concepts

1.2  Legal Issues and Requirements

1.3  Techniques to Make Reports Powerful, Persuasive, and Understandable

1.4  How to Properly Format Your Expert Witness Report

1.5  Documenting What You Were Asked to Do

1.6  How to Document Your Qualifications

1.7  Document What You Reviewed, Researched, and Did

1.8  Using Charts, Graphs, Tables, Photos, and Timelines to Enhance Reports

1.9  How to Express Your Opinion Properly

1.10  How to Best Rebut Opposing Experts’ Opinions

1.11  Use and Misuse of Boilerplate Language

1.12  Quality Controlling Your Report

1.13  Tactics Opposing Counsel May Use to Attack You Through Your Report

1.14  Assistance from Colleagues

Chapter 2  Fundamental Expert Witness Report Writing Concepts

2.1  Executive Summary

2.2  Laying the Proper Foundation for Drafting a Solid Expert Witness Report

2.3  Sketching the Outline and Logical Flow of Your Expert Report

2.4  Report Writing and Your Relationship with Retaining Counsel

2.5  Discoverability of Draft Reports in Federal Court

2.6  Discoverability of Draft Reports in State Court

2.7  Drafting Your Reports in Jurisdictions That Allow Discovery of Draft Reports

2.8  Electronic Preparation of Expert Reports

Chapter 3  Legal Issues and Requirements

3.1  Executive Summary

3.2  Requirements for Expert Witness Reports in Federal Court

3.3  Reports Used to Support or Oppose Motions for Summary Judgment

3.4  Timeliness

3.5  Requirements for Expert Witness Reports in Unfamiliar Jurisdictions

Chapter 4  Techniques to Make Reports Powerful, Persuasive, and Understandable

4.1  Executive Summary

4.2  State Things Clearly and Directly

4.3  Do Not Guess

4.4  Be Extremely Cautious When Using Absolute Words Such as “Always” and “Never”

4.5  Avoid Vague, Equivocal, and Uncertain Conclusions and Bases

4.6  Do Not Use Emphasis When Expressing Findings or Conclusions

4.7  Avoid the Passive Voice—Use the Active Voice

4.8  Use Precise Language

4.9  Use First-Person Singular to Refer to Yourself

4.10  Use Confident Language and Avoid Hedge Words

4.11  Define Technical Terms and Jargon

4.12  Use Objective Language and Avoid Subjective Characterizations

4.13  State Your Opinion but Don’t Argue Counsel’s Case

Chapter 5  How to Properly Format Your Expert Witness Report

5.1  Executive Summary

5.2  Develop a Template That Works for You

5.3  Use Topic Headings to Break Up Your Report

5.4  Use a Cover Page

5.5  Use Color

5.6  Table of Contents and Executive Summary

5.7  Font

5.8  Headers and Footers

5.9  Spacing

5.10  Tables

5.11  Appendices or Exhibits

5.12  Questions You Have Been Asked to Address

5.13  Line Numbers

Chapter 6  Documenting What You Were Asked to Do

6.1  Executive Summary

6.2  The Importance of Getting on the Same Page with Retaining Counsel

6.3  Why You Should Document Your Assignment

6.4  Where to Document Your Assignment

6.5  How to Document Your Assignment

Chapter 7  How to Document Your Qualifications

7.1  Executive Summary

7.2  Why Documenting Your Qualifications Properly Is Important

7.3  Where to Document Your Qualifications

7.4  Techniques for Effectively Documenting Your Qualifications

7.5  Common Mistakes Regarding Documenting Qualifications

Chapter 8  Documenting What You Reviewed, Researched, and Did

8.1  Executive Summary

8.2  How to Document the Documents You Reviewed

8.3  How to Document Your Research

8.4  How to Document Your Investigation

8.5  How to Document the Facts You Considered

8.6  Supplemental Reports

Chapter 9  Using Charts, Graphs, Tables, Photos, and Timelines to Enhance Reports

9.1  Executive Summary

9.2  Tips to Enhance Your Report

9.3  Samples of Visual Aids

Chapter 10  How to Express Your Opinion Properly

10.1  Executive Summary

10.2  State Opinions Clearly and Confidently

10.3  State Reasons for Opinions

10.4  Rule Out Alternative Explanations and Explain Why You Are Able to Rule Them Out

10.5  State All Opinions to Which You Will Testify

10.6  Document a Detailed Methodology Supporting Your Opinions

10.7  Proceed with Care

10.8  Credibility of Witnesses

10.9  Do Not Go Beyond the Scope of Your Assignment and Give “Extra” Opinions

10.10  Make Sure You Have Adequate Information

10.11  Formatting Your Opinion

Chapter 11  How to Best Rebut Opposing Experts’ Opinions

11.1  Executive Summary

11.2  When to Draft a Rebuttal

11.3  Drafting a Powerful and Persuasive Rebuttal

11.4  Use Diplomatic and Measured Language

Chapter 12  The Use and Misuse of Boilerplate Language

12.1  Executive Summary

12.2  Proper Use of Standard Boilerplate Language

12.3  Common Risks In Using Boilerplate Language

Chapter 13  Quality Controlling Your Expert Report

13.1  Executive Summary

13.2  Properly Quality Controlling Your Expert Witness Report

13.3  Remove Superfluous Language

13.4  Watch Out for Red-Flag Words

13.5  Additional Areas of Concern

13.6  Expert Witness Report Quality-Control Checklist

Chapter 14  Tactics Opposing Counsel May Use to Attack You Through Your Report

14.1  Executive Summary

14.2  Tactics

Includes 17 Model Expert Witness Reports

1. Safety Report: OSHA Expert Witness
2. Product Liability Report: Engineering Expert Witness
3. Personal Injury Report: Physician Expert Witness
4. Medical Malpractice Report: Physician Expert Witness
5. Independent Medical Examination Report: Physician Expert Witness
6. Rule 26 Business Damages Report: Financial Expert Witness
7. Premises Liability Report: Security Expert Witness
8. Intellectual Property Report: High-Tech Expert Witness
9. Life Care Plan Report: Nurse Expert Witness
10. Neuropsychology Assessment Report: Psychologist Expert Witness
11. Accident Reconstruction Report: Engineering Expert Witness
12. Construction Defect Report: Engineering Expert Witness
13. Accident Investigation Report: Sports & Fitness Expert Witness
14. Business Appraisal Report: Accounting Expert Witness
15. Lost Earnings Report: Economist Expert Witness
16. Rebuttal Report 
17. Supplemental Report

About The Authors: 
The authors are trainers for SEAK, Inc.-The Expert Witness Training Company (  They have collectively trained thousands of experts, reviewed thousands of expert witness reports and have worked one-on-one with numerous expert witnesses.  Mr. Mangraviti and Mr. Babitsky have written and lectured extensively on expert witnessing.  Their texts include The A-Z Guide to Expert Witnessing, How to Become a Dangerous Expert Witness, How to Prepare Your Expert Witness for Deposition and How to Market Your Expert Witness Practice.  Mr. Mangraviti and Mr. Babitsky are the co-founders of SEAK’s National Directory of Expert Witnesses (, the top-rated expert witness directory.