By James J. Mangraviti, Jr., Esq.
An expert witness who is feared and respected by the opposition is known as a dangerous expert. Dangerous experts are extremely valuable to retaining counsel, are in high demand, and command premium fees. A truly dangerous expert is one that is highly resistant to cross-examination and who is able to take advantage of the opportunity to turn the tables on opposing counsel.
An expert who is highly resistant to cross-examination is a so-called “bulletproof” expert and will:
• tell the truth and be consistent and non-evasive,
• prepare thoroughly,
• avoid conduct that could subject the expert to successful cross-examination,
• use proven expert cross-examination techniques,
• anticipate the likely areas of inquiry that he can expect to face,
• know how to defeat counsel’s tactics, and
• be able to artfully answer trick and difficult questions.
An expert who is able to take advantage of the opportunity to turn the tables on opposing counsel will use such opportunities to:
• employ powerful, memorable language that conforms to retaining counsel’s theory of the case,
• correct counsel’s subtle or blatant false premises and mischaracterizations, thus causing counsel to lose credibility with the jury,
• research opposing counsel and thus be better prepared for his tricks,
• focus on the key issue in the case,
• confidently but respectfully defend himself and his opinion, and
• let counsel look like the jerk, not him.
James J. Mangraviti, Jr., Esq., has trained thousands of expert witnesses through seminars, conferences, corporate training, training for professional societies, and training for governmental agencies including the FBI, IRS, NYPD, Secret Service, and Department of Defense. He is also frequently called by experts, their employers, and retaining counsel to train and prepare individual expert witnesses for upcoming testimony. Mr. Mangraviti assists expert witnesses one-on-one with report writing, mentoring, and practice development. He is a former litigator who currently serves as Principal of the expert witness training company SEAK, Inc. (www.testifyingtraining.com). Mr. Mangraviti received his BA degree in mathematics summa cum laude from Boston College and his JD degree cum laude from Boston College Law School. Mr. Mangraviti has designed dozens of expert witness training programs and has personally taught experts in a group setting over 200 times since 1997. He is the co-author of thirty books, including:
How to Be an Effective Expert Witness at Deposition and Trial: The SEAK Guide to Testifying as an Expert Witness How to Be a Successful Expert Witness: SEAK’s A–Z Guide to Expert Witnessing How to Write an Expert Witness Report; How to Prepare Your Expert Witness for Deposition; The Biggest Mistakes Expert Witnesses Make and How to Avoid Them; and How to Market Your Expert Witness Practice: Evidence-Based Best Practices.
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