Steve: My name is Steve Babitsky, president of SEAK Incorporated, the expert witness training company. I’m here today with SEAK trainer, Attorney Nadine Donovan, to discuss our interactive training course, How To Write a Bulletproof Expert Report. Nadine, how important is it for an expert witness to know how to write an effective and bulletproof report?
Nadine: It’s critically important, Steve. An expert witness is hired primarily to offer their expert opinion, and often, the first time they are called upon to do so is in writing. Now, retaining counsel is expecting their expert witnesses to produce first-rate reports. They’re counting on it. On the flip side, opposing counsel is going to be using the content of that expert report to attack the expert on cross-examination.
Steve: So Nadine, what is an expert witness actually going to learn in this course?
Nadine: Experts are going to learn exactly how to prepare powerful, persuasive, and effective expert reports that are understandable to the layperson. We’re also going to teach them specific techniques to bulletproof their report against attacks by opposing counsel.
Steve: Nadine, what teaching methodologies do you use to make this course both interesting, effective, and memorable?
Nadine: Well, we mix it up, Steve, and we use six different types of methodologies. The first one is lecture, where the faculty gives the attendees the key need-to-know parts of the extensive course manual that they’re going to be getting. The next methodology is questions and answers, where the attendees have the opportunity to have their questions answered by the faculty during the course as much as possible as time allows, and then the faculty’s also available during breaks and at lunch to answer any follow-up questions that the attendees may have. Then as a group, we all look at well written report excerpts, and the idea there is to underscore right away the principals that we’re learning in the class.
The next technique is report writing exercises, where the attendees get the chance to try out the writing techniques that we just discussed, and then we can critique them as a class. The next methodology is to actually, as a class, review some problematic report exercises, and this way, everyone together can identify areas where the writing could have been improved and rendered bulletproof against attacks by counsel. And finally, the faculty conducts mock cross-examinations of the attendees with sample reports that were pre-submitted.
Steve: So is there personalized feedback in this course, Nadine?
Nadine: Absolutely. Attendees are invited to submit sample reports ahead of time, which faculty then uses to demonstrate to the class how attorneys will attack the expert and the expert’s opinions based on the expert’s own words in the report. It’s a very eye-opening experience for the experts. It’s a course favorite, and they learn a lot.
Steve: Are continuing education credits available for the attendees, Nadine?
Nadine: For many disciplines, yes, they are. Please call us at 508-457-1111 or visit our website, testifyingtraining.com for more details on continuing education credits.
Steve: Where can expert witnesses get upcoming dates and locations of these courses?
Nadine: You can find our current list of expert witness training here, or call us at 508-457-1111.