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Expert Witness Training

Expert witnesses play a fundamental role within the judicial system. Experts provide opinion-based evidence to assist the courts, tribunals and arbitrators in reaching decisions.

 

They may be asked to write reports or statements and be called to give evidence in a wider variety of legal forums including: civil, criminal, employment and family courts, tribunals, referrals-out, arbitrations, inquiries and professional conduct hearings.

Expert witness training is delivered virtually in public workshops and we can do the same with closed courses for individual organisations and their staff. Our virtual classrooms are easy to navigate with instant access to face-to-face real time learning. The technology includes group conversation, online polls, interactive white boards as well as break out room functionality. 

Expert Witness Training allows you to:

  • Produce court-compliant reports and statements

  • Give effective oral evidence

  • Understand the relevant law and procedure in Australia and New Zealand

  • Appraise your own work objectively and critically

  • Improve your marketability to instructing solicitors and courts throughout Australasia

Expert Witness Training Feedback:

"Helpful training both in content and style. Trainer clearly very experienced and able to tailor training and questions to the level of her audience." -Senior Structural Engineer

"The training was vital. The session and the report template really assisted, especially in separating facts from opinion, organising the document,
and dotting the "I"s and crossing the "T"s at the end" 
 – Sustainable Design Expert

 

"This is valuable experience for anyone who has little or no experience in being an expert witness" – Business Interruption Insurance Expert

 

"Excellent, particularly beneficial to learn the importance of good note taking and how to structure the 'story'” - Site Safety Expert

 

"I found this an absolutely invaluable experience as I had been really dreading my first day in court and this fully helped me prepare for this. I have since had some tricky and high profile cases that this training has really helped with" – GP with MEDSAC 

 

"Knowledgeable, good structure, engaged, very good at cross examining (no sugar coating)" – Accountant specialising in business loss disruption

"The suggested structure of evidence was most helpful. The note-taking exercise was a good reminder." – Site contamination expert

 

Six or More Experts or Professional Witnesses?

 

It can be cost effective to run the training in-house through your organisation or industry

association. If you have multiple colleagues or members interested in attending, please

contact us to discuss options.

6 CPD Hours per day

 

Click here for details of upcoming public workshops

Click here to inquire about making an inhouse or bespoke booking 

 

Available Workshops

Excellence in Report Writing

This course provides expert witnesses with the key skills to produce court compliant reports. Experts will learn how to produce quickly and consistently reports that are both court compliant and will withstand cross-examination.

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Courtroom Skills

This course provides expert witnesses with basic knowledge and core skills to effectively present opinion-based evidence in court under cross-examination.

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Cross Examination Day

A follow-on course to the Courtroom Skills Training, this course enables expert witnesses to refine and enhance their skills in presenting evidence in court.

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Discussions with Experts (Conclaves)

This course will provide experts with a comprehensive overview of what these discussions entail, possible pitfalls and the implications if best practice is not followed.

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Concurrent Expert Evidence (Hot-tubbing)

An intensive one-day course, providing civil expert witnesses with the core skills and knowledge to give concurrent expert evidence in court.

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Fees

Each workshop costs $795+GST (charged in either NZD or AUD depending on business location).

Discounts are available for businesses enrolling multiple delegates or individuals enrolling in multiple workshops.

 
 

 

Excellence in Report Writing

Overview

An expert witness’s report is a vital element in litigation. It must be clear, succinct, independent and well presented.

Many experts develop their own report-writing style or adopt other people’s. But they’ve rarely received constructive feedback from lawyers on what’s actually required from their written evidence.

This course explores what lawyers and the courts expect and require from an expert witness’s report. You’ll be taught how to assess your own and other experts’ reports, and to produce, quickly and consistently, reports that are court-compliant and that can withstand cross-examination.

Key Learning Points

  • Identifying the issues to be addressed in your report

  • Using a structured approach to preparation and writing

  • Expressing an independent view and arguing your conclusion

  • Handling supporting information

  • Developing an objective and critical eye in relation to your report

  • Insulating your report against cross-examination

  • Dealing with procedural requirements, including codes of conduct that apply to expert witnesses in Australia and NZ

 

Courtroom Skills

Overview

The witness box is a lonely place. Many expert witnesses feel they’re on trial, standing in the dock rather than giving independent testimony to assist the court. Even experienced expert witnesses may be unfamiliar with this environment, as few cases go to a full trial. But a poor performance can undermine confidence and credibility.

This course is an intensive and highly practical training day. First, we demystify the process by examining the theory, practice and procedure of giving evidence. Then, you’re cross-examined and critiqued by a professional trainer on a case study that you have prepared in your field of expertise.

 

Key Learning Points

  • Gaining an overview of how the court system works

  • Understanding your role as an independent educator of the court

  • Identifying key skills of presenting effective evidence

  • Avoiding the risk of judicial criticism

  • Determining the techniques lawyers use in cross-examination and how to handle them

  • Expressing an opinion based on the foundation of fact

  • Learning how to give confident, clear testimony under cross-examination.

 

Cross Examination Day

Overview

This intensive cross-examination training course helps you as an expert witness to refine and enhance your performance, and to gain mastery of your presentation. You’ll be cross-examined on one of your completed reports, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The second cross-examination is recorded.

 

Key Learning Points 

  • Dealing with in-depth cross-examination on a full report or statement 

  • Making full use of supporting documents, plans, photographs, etc. 

  • Getting to the essence of a complex case and communicating clearly with the judge 

  • Handling difficult cross-examination techniques confidently

Discussions between Experts (Conclaves)

Overview

Meetings and discussions between experts are increasingly being requested by the courts in an attempt to save court time, reduce legal costs and bring about a settlement between the parties. 

These discussions between experts may feel more informal than the courtroom, but can be just as important to the outcome of the case. 

This course will provide experts with a comprehensive overview of what these discussions entail, possible pitfalls and the implications if best practice is not followed. Experts will gain a thorough understanding of the court procedure rules governing discussions between experts and the court’s intention behind these discussions. 

Role play exercises on the course will enable experts to apply this knowledge and practice the skills necessary to conduct effective discussions to best practice standards

Key Learning Points

  • Understand the legal requirements and implications of discussions between experts

  • Prepare for the discussion between experts

  • Outline the agenda of the discussion between experts

  • Gain an overview of the Statement of Agreement and Disagreement, and minutes of the meeting

  • Be able to confidently respond to an instruction from the solicitor to avoid reaching agreement

  • Work with an expert who is not complying with their duties to the court

 

 

 

Concurrent Expert Evidence (Hot-tubbing)

 

Overview

Judges can order that civil experts give their evidence concurrently, standing side by side in the witness box. Colloquially known as ‘Hot-Tubbing’, the judge and advocates will question the expert witnesses together, and experts may also put questions to each other. 

The course will look at the theory, practice of giving concurrent expert evidence.

 

You will explore the new procedures and experience giving concurrent expert evidence. Delegates will be divided into pairs and will conduct a short expert meeting to establish areas of agreement and disagreement. You will then give concurrent evidence and receive feedback on your performance. 

This one-day training course will ensure that you are able to present concurrent expert evidence effectively and demonstrate to instructing parties that you hold the requisite skills and knowledge.

Key Learning Points

  • The differences between concurrent expert evidence and cross-examination

  • The origins of hot-tubbing and its implementation

  • Preparing to give concurrent expert evidence

  • Expert meetings before giving evidence

  • Questioning, and being questioned by, the other expert

  • What you should do if the other expert acts as an advocate

  • How to communicate clearly and effectively with the judge