Live Seminar

Ultimate Guide to Expert Witnesses



2 Day Seminar
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 -
Thursday, March 22, 2018


9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Product ID#:



Illinois Business & Industry Services

1100 East Warrenville Road, Suite 150

Naperville, IL 60563


$565 / Each Additional

Registration Includes Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • IL CLE - 12.00

Program Description

Hone Your Expert Witness Skills and Apply the Rules Using Surgical Precision

You need to make sure your experts can shore up your case, using their knowledge in the most favorable way possible. Are you strategically using the court rules to maximize the effectiveness of your experts while discounting the validity of opposing experts' experience, methodology and more? What if you could tap into the knowledge of veteran litigators who have years of experience getting key information from experts and answering these questions? In this focused legal program, seasoned civil litigators will provide expert witness strategies and practical insights on using your experts to full advantage - while preventing the opposing party from doing the same. From hire to trial, gain real-world best practices and so much more - register today!

  • Learn how to get your expert's testimony admitted and keep theirs out.
  • Learn how to handle the ins and outs of direct and cross-examination from both perspectives.
  • Adhere to the rules impacting your expert's testimony to ensure your smoking gun is not ruled inadmissible.
  • Depose even a difficult witness with ease to get the crucial information you need.
  • Recognize the potential and skillfully lay groundwork for impeachment at trial.
  • Learn how to handle sticky privilege and work product issues.
  • Analyze your experts' reports to pinpoint mistakes that have case-devastating potential.
  • Find out steps you should take when regrouping after destructive testimony.
  • Thoroughly vet potential experts and find out what they need from you.
  • Find ways to protect your expert from traps set by opposing counsel.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level seminar shows attorneys how to best employ the rules governing expert witnesses in depositions, direct and cross-examination at trial, and more. Paralegals may also find it useful.

Course Content

Day 1

  1. A Lawyers Brief on Hiring an Expert Witness
  2. Working with Expert Consultants/Advisors - Legal Traps and Strategies
  3. Preparing Your Expert for Deposition
  4. Discovery of Expert Witnesses - Views From Both Sides
  5. Applying the Rules to Expert Reports
  6. Deposing the Opposing Expert
  7. Laying the Foundation for Impeachment During Deposition

Day 2

  1. Qualifying the Expert's Opinion
  2. Admission Hurdles for Expert Testimony
  3. Direct Examination
  4. Cross-Examination
  5. Ethical Considerations for Working with Experts

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 12.00 *

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

Day 1

  1. A Lawyers Brief on Hiring an Expert Witness
    9:00 - 9:45, Robert J. Finley
    1. How to Find an Expert Witness, Including the Timing of the Selection
    2. Looking at Credentials
    3. How to do an Expert Witness Response
    4. How to do an Expert Witness Affidavit
    5. What an Expert Witness Retainer Agreement Should Include
    6. Qualifying an Expert Witness
    7. What an Expert Witness Should Know About Court Proceedings
    8. Should you Always Subpoena an Expert Witness and/or Job File and What to Include in the Subpoena
  2. Working with Expert Consultants/Advisors - Legal Traps and Strategies
    9:45 - 10:45, Jeffrey W. Brend
  3. Preparing Your Expert for Deposition
    11:00 - 11:45, Jeffrey W. Brend
    1. Ensuring Your Expert Understands the Deposition Procedure
    2. Different Questioning Techniques For Expert Witnesses
    3. Demonstrative Proofs From Expert Depositions
    4. Critical Documents Experts Need for Deposition
    5. Opposing Counsel Questions and Goals: Does Your Expert Understand?
    6. Increasing Expert Effectiveness in Video Depositions
  4. Discovery of Expert Witnesses - Views From Both Sides
    11:45 - 12:30, Steven J. Seidman
    1. Work Product Doctrine
    2. What's Discoverable? Consulting vs. Expert Witnesses (i.e. Emails)
    3. Prior Deposition and Trial Testimony
    4. Prior Expert Reports
    5. Discovery of Materials Used by Experts
    6. Additional Discoverable Information
  5. Applying the Rules to Expert Reports
    1:30 - 2:15, Steven J. Seidman
    1. Should an Expert Report be Prepared?
    2. The Logistics of Obtaining and Requesting Expert Reports
    3. Materials to Give to the Expert (and to Withhold)
    4. Preparing and Analyzing the Report - Top Mistakes That Need to be Avoided
    5. Using Expert Reports to Negotiate and Litigate Damages
    6. Using Expert Reports to Support/Oppose Motions for Summary Judgment
  6. Deposing the Opposing Expert
    2:15 - 3:15, Philip J. Fowler
    1. Do you Depose the Expert (Where it's Permitted)?
    2. Getting and Reviewing the Expert's File
    3. Ensuring Proper Deposition Timing
    4. Objections and Responses
    5. Deposing Difficult Experts
    6. Using Depositions at Trial: Practical Tips
  7. Laying the Foundation for Impeachment During Deposition
    3:30 - 4:30, Philip J. Fowler
    1. Relevant Rules for Expert Impeachment
    2. Necessary Documents to Request
    3. Other Sources of Impeachable Information
    4. Pinpointing Information That Questions Credibility
    5. Utilizing Learned Treatises for Impeachment

Day 2

  1. Qualifying the Expert's Opinion
    9:00 - 10:15, Stephen M. Blecha
    1. Daubert/Frye Gatekeeping Standards: An Overview
    2. Expert Character, Competency and Qualifications
    3. Is the Expert's Methodology Acceptable?
  2. Admission Hurdles for Expert Testimony
    10:30 - 11:45, Benjamin A. Crane
    1. Admissibility of Non-Scientific Expert Testimony
    2. Admissibility of What you Give Your Expert
    3. The Expert's Opinion: Is it Hearsay?
    4. Limits for Expert Opinions and the Use of Inadmissible Evidence
  3. Direct Examination
    12:45 - 2:00, James M. Hofert
    1. Qualification Questions That Illustrate Experience
    2. Humanizing the Expert: Helpful Tips
    3. Using Hypotheticals to Show Relevancy
    4. The Expert's Opinion: What Supporting Evidence Must They Give?
    5. Framing Questions to Build Logical Connections
    6. Magnifying Expert Credibility
    7. Using Experts to Create Exhibits
    8. The Expert as a Teacher: Presentation Best Practices
  4. Cross-Examination
    2:00 - 3:15, James M. Hofert
    1. Remember, it's Not About You
    2. Exploiting Weaknesses in the Expert's Testimony
    3. Illustrating the Invalidity of the Expert's Methodology
    4. Objections
    5. Using the Expert's Report Against Them
  5. Ethical Considerations for Working with Experts
    3:30 - 4:30, Robert J. Finley
    1. Confidentiality and Privileged Communications with Experts
    2. Work Product Doctrine
    3. Fees and the Expert Opinion
    4. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest
    5. Practical Examples - Real Life Scenarios

STEPHEN M. BLECHA is an attorney with Coplan & Crane. Mr. Blecha has been an associate attorney at the firm since August 2012. He also clerked for the firm from the summer of 2011 to the summer of 2012, and was heavily involved in drafting and editing significant, substantive documents, from motions to appellate briefs. As an associate, he assists in a variety of personal injury cases, including Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) cases, motor vehicle accidents, truck accidents, whistle blower complaints, and wrongful death claims. Mr. Blecha is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, American Association for Justice and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. He earned his B.A. degree from the University of Iowa. He earned his J.D. degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law.

JEFFREY W. BREND, JD, CPA/ABV, ASA, CFE, CFF, AAML, is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Levin & Brend, P.C., where he concentrates his litigation practice in all aspects of divorce and child custody. Along with being an attorney, Mr. Brend is a certified public accountant and has been qualified as a financial expert to value businesses and complete forensic financial investigations throughout the Chicago-land area.

BENJAMIN A. CRANE is a principal in the law firm of Coplan & Crane, where he exclusively represents individuals and families victimized by wrongful conduct in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois and the Midwest. Mr. Crane concentrates his practice in plaintiff’s personal injury law, including cases arising under the FELA, from medical malpractice, workplace injuries, transportation (automobile, truck, and railroad) negligence, premises liability, and wrongful death litigation. He is a member of the Chicago Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Society of Trial Lawyers, Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys, Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago, Public Justice, and the American Association for Justice, where he has served on the New Lawyers Division Board of Governors. Mr. Crane earned his B.A. degree from St. Norbert College and his J.D. degree from The John Marshall Law School.

ROBERT J. FINLEY is a partner with Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, where his diverse, national civil defense litigation and trial practice concentrates on complex tort and employment matters involving catastrophic, fatal and brain/psychological injury cases. Mr. Finley has a substantial amount of experience with jury trials, representing clients in mediations and arbitration hearings, and appellate practice. Mr. Finley counsels interested parties on Medicare secondary payer regulatory matters under liability, no-fault and workers' compensation plans, including conditional payment resolution, Medicare Part C and D recovery claims, future medical settlement considerations, Section 111 reporting compliance/monetary penalties, and statutory private causes of action. He handles all aspects of workplace injury cases, including workers' compensation defense, post-settlement petitions and judgement enforcement actions, subrogation recovery, employers' liability and excess coverage interests, as well as matters before the Illinois Workers' Compensation Insurance Compliance Division. Mr. Finley also assists corporate clients develop cost-containment programs for managing workers' compensation claims and insurance premiums. Finally, Mr. Finley handles commercial causes of action between insurers and medical providers based upon breach of contract, fraud, bad faith, and statutory payment laws or plans. He is a member of the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel, Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA); ISBA Workers' Compensation Law Section Council, secretary (2015 - 2016); ISBA Workers' Compensation Law Section Council, member (2012 - present); Illinois Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association; Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, member and instructor (2013 - present); Evaluation Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, investigator & hearing officer (2006 - 2011); and the American Bar Association’s National Appellate Advocacy Competition and Regional Negotiation Competition, judge (2003 - 2011). Mr. Finley is frequently invited to speak on defense litigation, Medicare secondary payer, and workers' compensation topics. He also is an instructor at Hinshaw University, the firm’s nationwide attorney training and education program, where he teaches the deposition and settlement release workshops. He created Hinshaw's Mr. Medicare: Rx for Compliance publication providing resources, analysis and perspective on Medicare secondary payer laws. Mr. Finley earned his B.A. degree from Marquette University and his J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law.

PHILIP J. FOWLER is an attorney with Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC. He focuses his practice on personal injury, employment discrimination, commercial litigation and attorney disciplinary matters. Mr. Fowler has testified as an expert in legal ethics and regularly advises law firms and individual lawyers in ethics matters, ranging from internal ethics investigations, "Himmel Opinions," fee disputes, partnership matters, sanction motions and motions to disqualify. He regularly defends attorneys in disciplinary matters before the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, defends judges before the Judicial Inquiry Board, and candidates before the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness. Mr. Fowler is licensed to practice in Illinois, and admitted to the Illinois Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the Federal Trial Bar for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. He earned his B.A. degree from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. degree, from Loyola University School of Law.

JAMES M. HOFERT is a partner in the Chicago law firm of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. He is an experienced trial lawyer who has a substantial practice in the areas of complex tort litigation and environmental law, including construction injury, bad faith, product liability, toxic tort and medical malpractice. He has defended and tried a good number of medical malpractice cases with significant favorable results and has defended cases in both federal and state courts, with past and pending jurisdictions including Illinois, California, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Indiana and Louisiana. Mr. Hofert has gone to verdict in jury trials in more than 80 lawsuits, many of which have been cases involving bad faith. He is elected to the American Academy of Trial Lawyers Top 100. Mr. Hofert earned his B.A. degree from Grinnell College and his J.D. degree, cum laude, from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

STEVEN J. SEIDMAN is the principal of Seidman Margulis & Fairman, LLP, in Chicago. Mr. Seidman has been an attorney for more than 30 years and focuses his practice on personal injury, medical malpractice, products liability and workers' compensation. He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice and the Workers' Compensation Lawyers Association. Mr. Seidman earned his B.S. degree from the University of Illinois and his J.D. degree from DePaul University.

Please refer to Continuing Education Credit FAQ for general information about seeking credit for your participation in one of our continuing education programs.

Additionally, our team of credit specialists are here to answer your specific credit-related questions weekdays 7am - 5pm Central:

Phone: 866-240-1890


Accreditation Details:

Continuing Legal Education

IL CLE: 12.00 Includes - Ethics: 1.00
This program has been approved by the Illinois MCLE Board for 12.0 hours of CLE credit, which includes approval for 1.0 hour of legal ethics CLE credit by the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism.

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