This is SEAK’s highly-rated (five stars) training program for expert witness support staff. An expert witness’s support staff is an integral and critical member of the expert witness’s team. How to Assist An Expert Witness Practice: The Support Staff Program shows support personnel how to help make their practices more valuable and successful by providing concrete protocols, checklists, and action steps that they can immediately implement to help their expert witnesses succeed.
How to Assist An Expert Witness Practice: The Support Staff Program teaches support personnel how to help make their expert's practices more valuable and successful through:
-Bulletproofing and maintaining the expert's CV;
-Landing a higher percentage of new case inquiries;
-Improving the quality of written reports;
-More effective marketing;
-Protecting the expert's reputation; and
8+ hours of instruction and 144 page written manual
***30 Day Money Back Guarantee****
SUMMARY OF TOPICS
Understanding the Expert Witness Process
Participants will learn: the expert’s role in an adversarial litigation, why the expert’s credibility is a key issue in litigation and the many ways this can affect how an expert’s support staff should do their jobs, how the discovery system works, including the limited protections available and how and why discoverability is a concern overriding almost everything an expert and his or her staff does. Stressed will be why 100% precision is critically important and how cases progress and why deadlines need to be adhered to.
How to Maintain and Bulletproof Your Expert’s CV
A prime function of any support person should be the maintenance, proofing, formatting, and general care of their expert witness’s curriculum vitae. In this segment, participants will learn the common avoidable mistakes experts and their assistants make in maintaining CVs including typos, inaccuracies, out of date, puffery, poor formatting, self serving or subjective language, inclusion of superfluous information, incomplete information, and numerous other potential problems. Attendees will be taught how to improve their expert’s CVs (which they will be asked to bring with them to the course). In addition, participants will learn how to institute protocols and procedures to make sure their expert’s CV is accurate and complete at all times. Finally, participants will learn specific techniques they can implement to help build their expert’s CV, for example by obtaining for the expert speaking engagements.
Best Practices in Inquiry Calls, New Case Intake, and Communicating with Counsel
Participants will learn best practices for handling inquiry counsel communications. Included will be what information to give, what information to take, and how to make the best impression on counsel. This segment will also explain how to properly take in a new case, including: the importance of a written retention agreement, what should be in an expert’s written retention agreement and why, retainers, conflict checks, calendaring and a protocol for opening of a file. Also included will be how to prioritize calls and requests from counsel, how to properly draft cover correspondence and what should and should never be communicated in writing to counsel. Participants will also learn the subtle art of gate-keeping in an arena where ready accessibility is a trait hugely desired by retaining counsel.
How to Proof, Quality Control and Improve the Persuasiveness of Your Expert’s Reports
Participants will learn specific techniques for improving the quality and persuasiveness of their expert’s reports. A large portion of this segment will be focused on teaching techniques to optimize the effectiveness of the attendee’s quality control review of their expert’s report including: how and when to proof the report, red flag terms and phrases to look out for, key information/sections that should normally be in an expert report, the RULE 26 requirements for reports prepared for federal court, and common and serious mistakes that computerized proofing functions do not catch. Participants will be provided with a detailed checklist of problem areas to look out for. Participants will also learn specific techniques of formatting, layout, and using the built in features of their word processing programs to improve the persuasiveness of their expert’s reports.
Document Management: Best Practices
Participants will learn what types of documents not to create and what communications are best handled orally. Participants will further learn what documents experts should retain, how long the documents should be retained, and how to properly close out a file so as to avoid the cost/necessity of storing the involved file. Special attention will be made to common issues such as field notes, draft reports, e-mails, lists of past testimony, past deposition transcripts, past reports, and underlining/highlighting on records. Also included will be a discussion of how to best prepare a file/documents for your expert’s case review.
Assisting with Depositions
Participants will learn how to assist their experts with depositions. Covered will be where and when to schedule the deposition, how to make sure you get paid for the deposition, getting paid for preparation time, errata sheets, preparing documents for deposition, responding to subpoenas, and how to behave if the deposition is held in the expert’s office. Stressed will be strategies and techniques to minimize an expert’s non-billable time and collection difficulties as well as methods for helping the expert to excel during the deposition.
How You Can Help Improve Your Expert’s Image & Reputation
Participants will learn concrete action steps they can implement to help improve the image and reputation of their expert. Participants will learn specific techniques they can implement for improving their expert’s image and reputation including email addresses, business cards, retention agreements, fee schedules, outgoing messages, business names, and not appearing too eager.
How to Best Assist Your Expert to Market and Expand Their Practice
Participants will learn the unique challenges and risks associated with marketing an expert witness practice. The evidence based proven methods to market an expert witness practice will be explained as well as how to evaluate the true value of a new client. Participants will learn what specifically they can do to assist in identifying and promoting a lucrative niche, placing and maintaining their advertisements, setting up speaking engagements, obtaining publicity, setting up networking events, optimizing a web site, improving their expert’s reputation, tracking referral sources and dealing with third party expert witness referral services.
How to Maintain and Bulletproof Your Expert’s Web Sites, Web Listings, and Web Presence
Expert witnesses are often subjected to needless credibility damage due to information that they place on the internet or that is placed on the internet by someone else. Participants will learn how to avoid the common and avoidable mistakes involving expert web pages including failure to update, puffery, claiming to be an expert in too many areas, keeping score, listing past cases and marketing gimmicks that are inappropriate for expert witnesses. Participants will learn how and why “less is often more” when it comes to an expert’s web site. Participants will also learn what they can do to assist in policing their expert’s web presence including dealing with negative reviews of the expert and locating and alerting the expert to potentially damaging information about the expert in cyberspace.
How to Make Sure Your Expert Gets Paid Top Dollar, In Full and On Time
Participants will learn how to best draft bills so as to avoid unnecessary and potentially damaging cross-examination, numerous contractual and procedural mechanisms for helping to assure their expert gets paid, how to track an expert’s time, what out-of-pockets to bill for and how, how and when to charge cancellation fees, and when to let counsel off the hook. Participants will also learn how to properly set their expert’s rate(s) and retainer amount and how to brief their expert regarding fees and billings prior to testimony being given.
What Should be Included in Your Expert’s Retention Agreement
Participants will learn why every expert should utilize a written retention agreement. Faculty will explain several areas that should be covered in an expert witness retention agreement and describe how and why these terms will protect the expert.
Ethics and Risk Management
Participants will learn the legal and ethical risks experts most commonly face. More importantly, participants will learn specific action steps they can take to help protect their experts from liability and risk.
How and When Support Staff Can Bill For Their Own Time
Participants will learn how, when, and why support staff can bill for their own time on a case, thus adding to their value and further reducing the practice’s non-billable time.
The Biggest Mistakes Expert Witness Support Staff Make: And How to Avoid Them
The faculty will review, in a bullet proof fashion, the biggest mistakes support staff make in assisting their expert witnesses. Participants will learn how to avoid each of these mistakes.