How to Become a Medical Expert Witness

Available to Stream On-Demand

SEAK has helped thousands of physicians start and build successful medical expert witness practices.  We would very much like to show you how as well.

Some of the compelling advantages to becoming a medical expert witness include:

  • Extremely Lucrative – bill at $500+ per hour (or more) and earn an extra $100,000+ by devoting just 4-5 hours per week to expert witnessing.  Successful medical expert witnesses can make $200,000-$300,000 or more per year to supplement their clinical practices.
  • Low risk and low overhead.
  • Most work consists of chart review and can be done from your home office.

FREE WHITEPAPER – How Physicians Can Start and Build a Medical Expert Witness Practice – Click here

SEAK offers numerous services for medical expert witnesses, including:

Frequently Asked Questions about Physicians Serving as Medical Expert Witnesses

Q. Do I need to be a medical school professor or to have graduated from an Ivy League Medical School in order to be a successful medical expert witness?
A. Absolutely not.  The vast majority of successful medical expert witnesses are neither academicians nor Ivy League graduates.

Q.  What are attorneys looking for in a medical expert witness?
A.  A knowledgeable professional who is responsive, easy to deal with and can communicate well both in writing and orally.

Q.  Will I have to say something I don’t believe in?
A.  No. The way it works is that you will be sent a chart to review and be paid to review it.  If you cannot support the position the attorney is looking for (a common occurrence) you tell the attorney that and that will generally be the end of the assignment.

Q.  I only want to testify for defendants, can I do that?
A.  You can, but this would make you vulnerable to attack on cross-examination as being potentially biased.  The most credible and successful medical expert witnesses call cases like they see them and are available to both plaintiffs and defendants.

Q.  Do I need to keep practicing, or can I do medical expert witness work full time?
A.  That depends.  If you would like to testify in medical malpractice cases it is best that you maintain at least a part time practice. This may be a legal requirement in many jurisdictions.

Q.  Do I need to be board certified?
A.  The vast majority of successful physician expert witnesses are board certified.

Q.  Do I need an active medical license?
A. Generally speaking, yes.

Q. I don’t want to do medical malpractice work, are there other opportunities available to me?
A.  Yes, but these would depend on your specialty.  For example, many physicians testify in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases.  There are other examples of non-medical malpractice niches as well, such as; life expectancy, life care planning, product liability, and patent cases.

Q. How do attorneys find medical expert witnesses?
A. Attorneys will often look for experts in Directories, such as our SEAK National Expert Witness Directory.

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Here’s What Your Colleagues Have to Say about SEAK’s Expert Witness Training Programs:

“Jim, I was finishing my business taxes and just felt I needed to send you a small thank you. My Expert Witness revenue was $435K for last year and I am on pace to way outstrip that this year. Thank you very much for providing me with the secret sauce. Stay safe.”

“Fantastic! Truly excellent!”

“Loved it! Should have attended years ago.”

“The trainers made the material understanding and interesting and were accessible at breaks.”

“Nadine and Rich did an excellent job- both are great speaks who are persuasive.”

“I really had a great learning experience! You and Richard make a good teaching combo and made the class fun and entertaining as well. I find myself more enthused about engaging in this difficult and necessary work.”

“Thank you for a great session Nadine! Lots of takeaways to improve my work, and I am so appreciative!”

“Thanks for presenting such a great class!  I REALLY learned a lot!”

“You and Dr Parker made what is intimidating to us more “user friendly” , Thank you so much for the course.”

“Thank you and Richard for a job well done and for being so receptive and attentive to your students. I came back with a number of initiatives for my expert witness practice thanks to you and Richard.”

“Thanks so much.  You were terrific.  I really received a great deal of information, in a memorable and entertaining way.”

“The instructions and training were amazing!”

“Mr. Mangraviti, you were terrific.  I really received a great deal of information, in a memorable and entertaining way.”

“Thanks so much Jim. I loved your presentation and your humorous style [and] well -honed presentation.”

“Thanks so much for an excellent course!  It’s not often I give all “5-stars”, but you and the judge certainly deserved them.  Greatly enjoyed your presentations!” 

“Hi Jim, The course was terrific! You and Judge Lawson did an awesome job: professional, informative, entertaining, thorough, and effective. Tough act to follow! It was worth every penny. Looking forward to continue working with you and Steve in the future. Thank you.”

“Attorney Jim and Judge Lawson were informative and highly entertaining-like a comedy team. Jim was quick on his feet and kept it lively.”

“[The presenters were] Amazing! Very engaging. Clearly sharp.”

“[The presenters were] very knowledgeable. A very valuable course. I learned things that never crossed my mind. You guys made it fun as well”

“I appreciated that you made the course not only informative, but fun.”

“[The presenters] made the lectures easy to follow & understand!”

“Thank you for the toughness & thoroughness in a friendly setting. I appreciate that each presenter is approachable.”

“Excellent interactive format, humor made it fun and engaging.”

“Very satisfied. Well worth the money.”

“Very useful, enjoyable, with moments of freak out.”

“Outstanding prep for depo & trial”

“Enjoyed the interactions. Somewhat intimidating if you have not done depositions or trials.”

“Excellent! Presenters did the best of theory & practice”

“Case examples from the participants were very helpful!”

“Practical tips about how to present & depos. Videos very helpful.”

“[Most enjoyed the] specifics on what to do/not do, deconstructing the videos, and showing us how you can destroy us.”

“Ciao Paisan, This will give you a chuckle – remember Mr…. of the … video [deposition I gave]? Well, the *opposing* counsel that took my depo in that case has just retained me for an injury case involving a very large and well-known corporation.  They are paying a $20k retainer for me to review 1600 pages, perform the IME and write a report.  This is now the 5th case where I was retained at the new $900 per hour rate.  I wasn’t sure if it would be accepted, but nobody has protested yet. Tomorrow I am interviewing for my third patent case. Many thanks for all your help and guidance over the years!  Hope [my spouse] and I will have the opportunity to see you again before long.”

“You provided me some excellent insight into how the “game” is played and took away some of my trepidation for going into this field.”

“Training was excellent. I know I can improve in depositions and testimony, and this certainly is the beginning of that improvement.”

“I got a ton out of it and look forward to applying what I learned.”

“Jim. Thank you so much for everything You and Judge Larson were fantastic…This was my 4th seak course !!! With every one I learn and take away so many new concepts. See you at the next one.”

“I wanted to thank you for an incredible 2 days of teaching. Probably one of the best courses I have taken. I love the way that you interacted with everybody in the class. I honestly feel that interactive and “hands on” teaching result in the best learning experience.”

“A wonderful, and really eye-opening experience. Your session with Judge Lawson was one of the most interactive presentations that I have seen!”

“Thanks for all the great tips and techniques!”

“I feel much more prepared to go and testify.”

“Wonderful, informative, interactive.”

“Jim is absolutely phenomenal- always sharp- excellent in every respect. Remarkable experience. Judge Lawson was very effective as well, but Jim is a true stand-out.”

“Wonderful! Having the Judge explain the overall court process at the beginning was very helpful.”

“Most enjoyable conference I’ve ever been to.”

“Both Nadine and Richard were rock stars! Much appreciated.”

“Excellent presentation, very approachable & willing to support students.”

“Excellent presenters. Made the hours go quickly.”

“Excellent teachers, positive attitude, engaging presenters.”

“Nadine: you did an amazing job! You made this course. I learned a lot from you. I appreciate your enthusiasm and energy. You were an excellent teacher and I really hope you continue what you do. Richard: you do have a great deal of knowledge & experience as a physician who does this work. It was good to hear your anecdotes and benefit from your field of knowledge.”

“Very knowledgeable and engaging. Impressed with Nadine’s preparation (reviewing participates materials) and interactive audience approach. Wonderful job fielding questions from the audience.”

“Jim: I really enjoyed the course in Clearwater last February and have been quite successful at increasing my fees from $600 to $750 per hour and doubling, if not tripling my referrals.  I believe that revenue has grown from $75,000 in 2017 to $110,000 in the first half of 2018.  I am seeing an increasing number of word of mouth referrals.”

“I found your course highly informative, enjoyable and well run. After attending the course, I feel confident in my ability to serve as an effective expert witness. In my opinion, medical education is best delivered with the liberal use of case studies, anecdotes and Q and A, rather than simply reading bullet points off a slide. Your course made excellent use of that format. I will highly recommend this course to my colleagues. Bravo!”

“Thank you so much for a fact filled, information loaded meeting. I am impressed with the quality and depth of your presentations and comments. I plan to attend more of SEAK’s meetings.”

“Thank you, Nadine. You and Rich were very informative, fun and encouraging.”

“Nadine, thanks for the time you spent teaching this course. I learned quite a bit and the course should pay for itself the next case I do as I got my fee schedule more in line with my credentials.”

“Thank you for a great, informative course. I have been working on my CV, changing the headings and eliminating unnecessary information.”

“I thought you were a fantastic instructor and loved how you were able to adapt to changing information and continue your line of questioning without a hitch. It was inspirational to watch! I hope to develop even just a fraction of that confidence if I make it to court. I came mostly to keep my friend company at this course , and to check things out – but left very interested to actually do this. I’m excited about starting to work on some cases and coming back for the advanced courses.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed your training and, while I still have much to learn, I feel much more confident in becoming an effective medical expert.”

“Nadine, both you and Rich were outstanding.”

“I truly enjoyed the courses I took this past week. I am very encouraged in my pursuit of this line of work, and am already starting to schedule discussions with my Clinic as to some appropriate changes to make in this regard. Thank you for all your advice. I hope to see you at another event in the future.”

“An eye opening view into expert witnessing, exactly what I needed”

“Excellent! Filled in many gaps in my knowledge relative to report writing, billing, and deposition techniques.”

“Fantastic lessons, I loved the interactive format! 2 days of sessions flew by!”

“I really liked the examples where Nadine called someone up to the ‘hot seat’”

“Best conference I have ever attended!”

“It was fabulous. I have already recouped my investment by taking the necessary time to prepare properly for my court testimony today, which very well.”

“Excellent use of anecdotes and examples to illustrate good deposition and trial skills.”

“Excellent, clear, real!”

“Excellent. Brutal at times, but necessary!!”

“Fantastic!”

“Great. You should never testify until you take this course!”

“[The course was fantastic, and thoroughly enjoyable. I realized how little prepared I was for today’s courtroom testimony, and on further document review after the course, I came to a solid opinion that was better than retaining counsel had anticipated. On cross-exam the plaintiff attorney asked, “Didn’t the record say ‘such and such’ was diagnosed?” I replied that the record said ‘such and such’ was possible, but that I had reviewed the raw data and concluded that the medical test results did not support that diagnosis. I was prepared to explain in detail and back it up with literature, but he just sat down after one question. Because I prepared for 10 hours, I was off the stand in 15 minutes. Meanwhile, my manager had scheduled me for a 2 hour deposition in an 8 by 8 consultation room with 3 chairs. I called the attorney and told him that deposing counsel would need to find a venue. I also asked and learned that retaining counsel has a year’s worth of new documents and depositions that he has not shared with me. I insisted on time to review all evidence and write a report before the depo. Thanks for all the good advice. As you can see, I have already recouped my investment in the class.”

“Powerful captivating, not a moment of boredom. Faculty were outstanding.”

“Instructors were quite engaging.”

“Jim and Judge were a terrific team with different but complementary styles.”

“Jim did an amazing amount of prep work on CVs and reports.”

“Thank you for the lively exchange and respectful feedback.”

“Thank you for your engaging teaching! It was the most beneficial conference I’ve ever attended!”

“Very effective. I have been deposed 30 plus times, etc., but came away with an added appreciation for ways to take the process further.”

“A must if you plan on testifying.”

“I was discussing with my colleague, Jason, with whom I’ve attended numerous conferences that we’ve never been to a conference on plastics where for 4 days, we were in rapt attention and all of the speakers were excellent, as happened at SEAK. Personally, it has been my favorite course to date. We talked about the fact that it would have been extremely useful to have taken this course even before the plastics oral boards where similar unnerving interrogations take place and where people pass and fail more on the basis of confidence than of knowledge. If you ever want more work, I think the oral board prep courses for general and Plastic surgery, would be enthusiastic to have you as an instructor. We talked about the fact that although your grilling felt brutal at times, a lot of it came out an opportunistic moment made possible, actually, by the physician. Through excellent listening, you were able to identify weaknesses and pounce to great effect on the person being interviewed. But the carnage was many times preventable by more thoughtful responses to your initial questions. This approach is completely foreign in medicine and part of the reason the work often seems daunting – particularly when you are a defendant in a malpractice case. The course has greatly stimulated my interest in expert witnessing – but whether I end up doing it or not, the greatest benefit to me from the course is to not fear – even to enjoy – the prospect of courtroom battle. It’s given me a new perspective on witness work, and confidence to go into cases with more enthusiasm rather than fear, since it involves learnable techniques. I was trying to imagine Napoleon saying “oh, no – not another battle” the way we say “oh, no, I’m being sued”. With that attitude, he would not have conquered very much. Hats off to you and the other folks who have made this an incredible experience – you in particular. I look forward to coming back for some of the other courses offered!”

“Jim, Thank you for the excellent seminar. I appreciated all the pearls that you and Judge Lawson were able to throw our way.”

“Thank you many times for this part of my professional life which has thus far resulted in 55 legal cases.”

“Thank you and your team for getting me up to speed so I can be as effective and minimally manipulated as possible.  I cannot believe how much valuable information I have learned from your courses and how my expert witness practice has grown and become less stressful as my confidence has solidified.”

“Since taking your expert witness training course with Jim Mangraviti last year I have reviewed multiple cases for medical malpractice attorneys.  It has been an interesting addition to my clinical work.  Thanks for a great course!”

“Thanks again. I appreciate all of the knowledge, training and referrals I’ve received from SEAK!”

“My current rate is $875/hr and I am busy as ever getting at least 1-2 new cases monthly.”

“I’ve been retained in 6 cases since my first SEAK course attendance May 2016 and am eternally grateful for your training, guidance, and resources. Many thanks!”

“Jim, Thanks for a great four days at the courses down in Clearwater. I learned a good amount but, most of all, enjoyed meeting you and seeing you in action!  You are obviously great at this stuff and have a knack for making the whole game fun, funny, engaging and interesting.  I don’t think I’ve sat through 4 days of lectures/sessions since medical school and even my wife was impressed that you all were able to keep me in the lecture hall for as long as you did.”

“I want to express my gratitude for these great courses.  I had only intended to attend the first course Thur/Fri How to start, build etc. and had brought all my bags to Fri class to go to the airport.  I realized at the course how important it was to get all the training I could up at the start to do the best job how many sinkholes there are to step into.  I rearranged plans.   I’d strongly advise anyone seeking to do this work to take this course EARLY on as it’s impossible not to make faux pas which may come to haunt you or miss opportunities you can’t see when you are establishing a reputation.”

“Great course with first rate teaching as usual.”

“I enjoyed the conference and learned a lot. It was informative and entertaining – which I think is the best way to learn!   I will definitely use what I learned during my upcoming court appearance and depositions.  Also, I will highly recommend your program.”

“Jim, I want to say again how fascinating and useful your and Judge Lawson’s performances were this past weekend.”

“Excellent in all regards”

“Fantastic program!”

“Informative and honest”

“Inspiring”

“Terrific”

“Well created and presented”

“Good job. It is great to get practice in a safe place.”

“Great content, experience, engagement, humor”

“Great interaction with class”

“I enjoyed the contrasting demeanor of the presenters and their interaction”

“You’re all very personable, thanks!”

“Jim, Thank you very much for putting on such a great program.  We both learned a great deal and we are eager to embark in this new role of expert witnessing.  Anyways, thank you again for all your great teaching, advice, and encouragement!”

“Thank you for offering this course.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  You and the judge made it informative, helpful, challenging and entertaining, which keep our attention and made the hours speed by. The location was wonderful. Keep doing what you do. Thank you again!”

“Can’t tell you how the course fired me up. Been working all day getting my business together.”

“Nadine, the course was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. You and Dr. Parker have the rare gift of being able to explain all of the nuances and details of the process of preparing to be a successful expert witness.  I have already recommended and will continue to recommend this course to colleagues. Thanks again.”

“You’re awesome Nadine.  Thanks!”

“Thank you for the wonderful seminar.”

“Thank you, again, for conducting a lively and invigorating EW course along with Rich!  I am very inspired now to pursue developing an EW practice, and, I have not felt this inspired for a while!”

“Deeply experienced presenters”

“Excellent – all questions answered”

“Excellent – recommend to anyone”

“Excellent practical info”

“High yield professional seminar”

“Top notch!”

“Very informative”

“It was extremely high yield”

“I will be joining your team for the report writing and expert witness conference at Clearwater this coming May and just wanted to thank you again for providing me with a wonderful and rewarding new career within my consulting practice. You can see from my CV (page 3) how busy I have been!”

“I just billed $50,000 for the trial in my patent case, making this case worth $85,000 to me.  They have also given me several other good cases.  I am happy to tell you that I reached my goal of billing over $200,000 this year (averaging around 100,000 the prior 3). Happy holidays, and thanks for everything you have done for me.”

“Jim, I can’t emphasize enough how important this work has been for me.  First, financially, it has helped immensely.  I am nearing $1,000,000 in billing for legal work, and with 3 kids in college and one going on to medical school, this has essentially paid for college.  Second, I do believe that I have become a better physician learning about this area, and third, I  have helped doctors avoid unnecessary litigation.  Of course, there are some patients that were wrongly harmed, and I am glad that they were compensated.  So thanks to you and Alex for your dedication to teaching experts about the legal system!!”

“Jim, I’m in my 3rd year since taking your SEAK course.  I currently have about 8-9 active cases in various stages of litigation (discovery, depo, trial). I broke 6 figures a few weeks ago. I have recommended radiologists, urologists, and anesthesiologists to take your course.  Would be happy to contribute to SEAK if you ever needed me as an example of: “How I did it” Much thanks and appreciation.”

“Thanks to you and Steve again for a wonderful career within a career. The legal work keeps pouring in and I can barely keep up!”

“I went to a “How to Be a More Effective Expert Witness” conference in Hyannis, Massachusetts several years ago and I learned so much that
I have listed with you for the past 6 years. I have referred many of my colleagues to you. I have never heard anything accept “thank you”
from any doctor I have referred to you. You will always have my on-going support.”

“Jim, just wanted to give you some feedback on the expert witness case that you helped me with a few months ago. It went well for me. This was the first case that I had worked on since attending your expert witness classes over a year ago down in Florida. Interestingly, this case involved multiple expert witnesses from different specialties. It was my first time working with this particular attorney so he wanted to show me the file on one of his other doc’s deposition. Care to guess what educational/ expert witness training services the other physician used…?? You got it, turns out SEAK is the real go to service and you guys are leading the way in services for us docs who wish to expand their careers in all sorts of ways. Sincere thanks for your continued support. I am truly looking forward to attending another great conference soon.”

“I have taken a lot of training classes over the years, this was the only one where I was completely engaged over two days.  In addition to your hand outs, I left with 10 pages of notes.  Can’t wait for additional classes!”

“The best meeting I’ve attended in several years.”

“Awesome course!  I will keep in touch and look forward to another course.”

“Excellent teachers, and very personable and available.”

“Jim! You’re an amazing speaker. I can’t thank you enough”

“Jim and the Judge are both extremely professional and excel at their craft.”

“Thank you for the great experience this weekend. Your dynamic teaching style is awesome.”

“Outstanding. Real-time, in your face mock testimonials.”

“The best seminar I’ve ever been to.”

“Excellent teachers and very personable and available.”

“Presenters were exceptional, very bright and talented.”

“I wanted to thank you once again for the impact that your seminar has had on my career.  In the 5 years before the seminar, I was doing an average of  30 cases a year.  So far in 2014, I have done 60, and charging more than double what I did before the seminar.” 

“The training was excellent – very informative, engaging speakers, great teaching methods.”

“Would highly recommend.”

“Excellent, well-organized, engaging, and practical.”

“You guys are great, very personable, honest, available and engaging, great job.”

“I’ve moved vigorously ahead with the expert witness consulting, and I thank you and your colleagues very much for your excellent workshop, which is what got me moving.”

“Amazing”

“Practical, informative and essential for the novice expert witness”

“Loaded with powerful information”

“One of the best CME courses I’ve attended”

“A few attorneys discouraged my participation in this course.  So glad I did not heed their advice!”

“Phenomenal-did not want the seminars to end!”

“Mr. Mangraviti continues to astound me in his mastery of teaching, effectiveness, and personal touch.”

“Entertaining as well as informative”

“I absolutely loved it and wish I had found SEAK 20 years ago”

 “Excellent – beyond my expectations”

“Excellent, concise, fast moving”

 “Outstanding – exceeded my expectations”

 “Informative, encouraging, entertaining”

 “Very helpful and enjoyable”

 “Excellent in presentation, organization, supporting materials”

“Very well choreographed with super speakers and excellent syllabus”

“One of the best conferences I’ve ever attended”

 “Excellent, full of useful information”

 “Good dynamics, very informative”

“Excellent presenters”

“Full of very useful and helpful tips”

 “Excellent teaching techniques.”

“Fantastic”

“Thanks!  I really enjoyed it and learned a ton! Will be back for more in the future!”

“It was a brilliantly conceived and presented course of instruction. Wish I could have taken it at the start of my career, rather than at sunset. But you two would have then still been in high school.”

“Jim, Thanks for giving such an excellent presentation.  You definitely have a flair for the dramatic and are a gifted presenter.  Not having experience with the format of a lawsuit, and especially with trial, I found learning about direct and cross examination particularly helpful.  Also, and perhaps the most important, I learned that I am there to defend my opinion, not that of either side.  One naturally wants to help the side that retains one, particularly if it is the defense, so that understanding that what is most important and believable is to advocate for one’s opinions and conceding some points to opposing counsel.”

“Thank you for a wonderful seminar, which was both highly informative and enjoyable. I am sure that the valuable lessons learned will be very helpful to me in the future, and I look forward to attending upcoming SEAK conferences.”

“Jim, I truly enjoyed myself at your course this weekend. You and Judge Lawson are both great orators have great teaching styles. I loved all the vignettes that you both had. I am glad that you have left “active duty” and have taken to training, teaching and coaching. I wouldn’t want to have to face you in a real witness stand, but now I feel more confident when I have to face some of your colleagues!”

“Jim, Thank you for sharing your time and experience. I appreciate you and Judge Lawson sharing your knowledge.”

“I found the training to be worthwhile, educational, fascinating, and fun.”

“Combination of experienced trial lawyer and the perspective of the judge was very powerful teaching approach – excellent.”

“Outstanding! The content, format, and presentation exceeded my expectations. The presenters were amazing with an unimaginable depth of knowledge.”

“Excellent! Well thought out, taught by extremely talented people. Experts.”

“Superb, wealth of knowledge, great teaching style.”

“Outstanding, riveting. Despite the long hours, there was never a dull or uninformative moment.”

“Very good with engaging, experienced, articulate speaking.”

“Very helpful, insightful and great examples.”

“Love Jim and the Judge – outstanding.”

“The impromptu questions of Mr. Mangraviti of the participants were very effective.”

“James was exactly like the worst prosecutor I have faced and it was perfect.”

“Great work. Love Jim’s wit, sarcasm, examples. Judge Lawson was very warm, relatable.”

“Jim – you do a great job at learning the student and making the course personalized.”

“Excellent educational tool.”

“Great seminar”

“Well done”

“Excellent. Nadine is a very effective teacher”

“It was excellent, informative and useful”

“Very interactive and informative”

“Really outstanding”

“I found Ms. Donovan’s ‘pearls’ in response to questions especially helpful”

“Nadine is an outstanding presenter!”

“Nadine was excellent and dynamic”

“Nadine was simply stellar throughout.”

“Nadine is an excellent presenter – real work examples really helped drive her point’s home. Even maintained her composer with my frequent opinions. Personable. Judiciously funny.”

“Nadine is superb.”

“Let me also take this opportunity to say how much I enjoyed the courses –learned a lot, and laughed quite a bit to boot, my favorite combination.”

“Nadine, Thank you for a compelling conference.  I was very impressed with your command of the room.  I’m glad you’re not plaintiff’s attorney!”

“Nadine is an electrifying speaker.”

“Thank you so much for the education and empowerment.  I hope to take further classes in the future.”

“You were a fantastic teacher—dynamic, engaging and succinct.  I learned so much.”