Learn the step-by-step process for obtaining expert witness assignments and excelling at them.
Expert witnessing is highly lucrative. Experts commonly bill their time out at $250-$500 or more per hour. Many professionals can double their income by devoting just one day a week to expert witnessing.
How to Start, Build, and Run a Successful Expert Witness Practice is appropriate for professionals of all disciplines and with all levels of expert witness experience including both highly experienced and novice experts. This is SEAK's most popular expert witness training program. You will be ready to start accepting expert witness assignments immediately upon completion of this course.
- Over 17 hours of instruction;
- SEAK's 167 page handbook, provided as both a digital download and upon request (USA only) a bound printed copy;
- Personalized feedback on your suggested expert witness hourly rate;
- Personalized feedback on your suggested expert witness niche;
- The ability to submit a list of up to three questions to SEAK's Faculty;
- A conference special 50% discount on a standard listing in SEAK's Expert Witness Directory (limited to experts placing their first listing in the Directory within 30 days of registering for the course);
- 30 Day money back guarantee.
You Will Learn:
- The role of expert witnesses in civil litigation;
- What attorneys are looking for from their experts;
- How to properly define you area(s) of expertise and practice areas (i.e. your sandbox);
- How to draft a curriculum vitae (CV) 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
- AND MUCH MORE.
Overview of Topics:
The Role of Expert Witnesses in Civil Litigation - 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.
What Successful Expert Witnesses Have in Common - What the nation's "go to" experts have in common and how they got to their position of prominence.
Finding and Developing Your Niche in the Expert Witness Marketplace - The advantages of identifying a niche for yourself. Participants will be provided with a protocol for researching their niche, determining the proper fit and developing their niche to its fullest potential. Faculty will provide feedback on your suggested niche.
Pulling Together a CV Appropriate for Expert Witness Work - Anyone considering an expert witness practice needs to prepare and maintain a CV. Participants will learn the important 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. Two sample CVs provided.
Bulletproofing Yourself - Your Qualifications, Marketing Activities, Website, Image & Reputation - How to avoid potentially devastating problems in an expert's qualifications, marketing activities, web site, image and reputation. Multiple examples provided.
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 road map to bolster the persuasiveness of any opinion.
Bulletproofing Your Opinions - Research, Investigation, Chart Review and Examination - An expert's opinion will only be as strong as the facts, research and investigation upon which it is based. You will learn how to conduct an investigation, perform research and collect data in a manner that bolsters your opinion.
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, participants will learn how to insulate their opinions from the appearance of being under the improper 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.
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 report.
Best Practices in Forensic Office Management - Participants will learn a myriad of techniques that will help them run an efficient and successful expert witness practice. These include optimum new case intake procedures, billing systems, documents 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.
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 your 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.
Best Practices in Report Writing - Faculty will review best practices for dealing with requests for preliminary, draft, or other written reports. Best practices for responding to input from counsel, formatting, editing, controls over release of the report, signing, and proofreading will also be provided.
Deposition Best Practices - Participants will be provided with an in-depth look at scheduling, billing, postponements, cancellations, errata sheets, and retention/destruction of deposition transcripts.
Trial Best Practices - Participants 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.
Best Practices in Fee Setting, Fee Schedules & Agreements, Billings and Collections - How to correctly value your time and set your fee. 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.
Advanced Marketing Techniques for Building an Expert Witness Practice - An 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.
Ethics and Risk Management - How to deal with common ethical problems. The potential civil and professional liability of experts. Numerous specific risk management techniques for experts including avoidance, maintaining the appropriate insurance overages, due diligence, confidentiality protocols, anti-spoliation procedures, avoiding conflicts and the overriding importance of being 100% honest.
James 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 [email protected].
What Past Participants Have to Say:
"Jim: It was great speaking to you the other day. I made the plunge and completed the online course. I had a phone call this morning, and it went well, in part because I knew how to phrase things properly, and in part because your course and honest feedback gave me confidence that I knew what to do. I am excited about my business going forward. I am sure I will be contacting you again in the future."
“A ‘must attend’ for anyone interested in this line of work”
“Fantastic. Far exceeded my expectations.”
“The information provided during this conference was incredible. This was certainly an investment in my practice and not an expense for it.”
“Informative, inspiring and fun. I learned what I need to get started and be successful.”
“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.”
“Outstanding-reality based presentation of “those things to be expected.”
“A useful combination of stories from the front lines & practical advice.”
“The CV/resume exam segment was very useful. Like many in the audience, I will be working to improve mine!!”
“One of the most practical seminars that I’ve attended”
“Loaded with powerful information”
“Instantly executable information.”
“Very enlightening- a big eye opener.”
“The training was excellent – very informative"
“You guys are great, very personable, honest, available and engaging, great job”
“Excellent, well organized, engaging, and practical”
“Phenomenal – did not want the seminars to end”
“The class was outstanding! It was presented in such an easy to understand manner. Thank you again for a great class!”
“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 is fabulous and fun.”
“Jim was very entertaining.”
“Excellent presentation – going through CVs, websites was extremely helpful”
“The program was top notch. No improvements needed.”
“Excellent, only wish I had taken the course when I first heard about it”
“Well organized, upbeat”
“Very informative, exceeded my expectations”
“Professional and informative”
“Very useful, well presented, well organized”
“Jim’s presentation/style is very entertaining – he’s clearly brilliant and highly knowledgeable”
“A fair balance of what is most important and what isn’t”
“Very professional, knowledgeable”
“Dynamic, interesting and knowledgeable, humorous.”
“Great course and really enjoyed your presentation style and bountiful information.”
“I wanted to thank you for once again delivering on an informative jam-packed-with-good info seminar! So glad I attended.”
“I really enjoyed the two days which I attended the Start, Build, and Run sessions, which I found to be extremely informative. 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 days...next time.”
“The course and faculty could not have been better.”
“Great Seminar...Well worth it. Got much from it. Very well done.”
“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 are impressive and it was an unforgettable experience for me at such a beautiful location. Hope to see you and your team soon.”
“Absolutely, this was one of the most practical seminars that I’ve attended. Looking forward to building this practice and seeing you again soon.”
“Thank you, Jim. I was thoroughly impressed by your level of preparation 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.”
“Very comprehensive for a two-day course.”
“Entertaining and thought provoking.”
“Mr. Mangraviti,the training was outstanding. You highlighted key points and gave great examples to illustrate your points.”
- Introduction (25:33)
- Chapter 1: The Role of Expert Witnesses in Civil Litigation (79:20)
- Chapter 2: What Successful Expert Witnesses Have in Common (87:34)
- Chapter 3: Finding and Developing Your Niche in the Expert Witness Marketplace (53:30)
- Chapter 4: Pulling Together a Curriculum Vitae Appropriate for Expert Witness Work (53:00)
- Chapter 5: Bulletproofing Yourself - Your Qualifications, Marketing Activities, Website, Image & Reputation (68:01)
- Chapter 6: Bulletproofing Your Opinions - Passing the Daubert Tests, and Your Methodology (40:32)
- Chapter 7: Bulletproofing Your Opinions - Research, Investigation, Document Review, and Examination (58:19)
- Chapter 8: Bulletproofing Your Opinions - Managing the Potentially Damaging Influence of Retaining Counsel (50:10)
- Chapter 9: Bulletproofing Your Opinions - Rebuttals and Commenting on Other Experts (19:21)
- Chapter 10: Best Practices in Forensic Office Management (74:09)
- Chapter 11: Best Practices in Dealing with Counsel (70:16)
- Chapter 12: Best Practices in Report Writing (70:50)
- Chapter 13: Deposition Best Practices (64:33)
- Chapter 14: Trial Best Practices (50:20)
- Chapter 15: Best Practices in Fee Setting, Fee Schedules and Agreements, and Billings and Collections (87:10)
- Chapter 16: Advanced Marketing Techniques for Building An Expert Witness Practice (72:11)
- Chapter 17: Ethics and Risk Management (33:43)
- Next Steps to Launch Your Expert Witness Practice and Parting Advice (10:21)
How much is a new expert witness client worth?
Why expert witnesses should use a formal, written retention contract
Suggestions for Formatting an Expert Witness Report
The importance of staying well within your area of expertise (i.e. your "sandbox")