Effective Use of Expert Witness Testimony

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

Thursday, September 15, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. ET
Learn more about Virginia CLE webcast format
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Wednesday, October 5, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Webcast with Live Q&A
  • Telephone with Live Q&A
Thursday, December 1, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Webcast with Live Q&A
  • Telephone with Live Q&A
MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 2.0 (all dates, all formats) Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
Designation Credit: 2.0 Trial Practice/Litigation (Designations Information)
Registration Fees:

Live on Site: $159
Webcast: $159
Telephone: $179


Why Attend?

  • Learn how to determine if you need an expert
  • Review Daubert and Frye in relationship to the Virginia rules
  • Discover distinct skills for making the best use of expert witnesses
  • Get tips on how to prepare your expert witnesses for litigation in light of evidentiary rules
  • Discover how to:
    • Navigate expert qualifications for being authoritative without being arrogant
    • Use a tickler to create jury interest
    • Build interest at the place where the opinion is given
    • Properly frame the question for eliciting an expert’s opinion without objection
    • Anticipate cross and take out the sting
    • Compare your expert’s opinion and qualifications to the opposing experts
    • Prepare a rebuttal to end up on a high note after the cross
    • Prepare the expert on cross
    • Provide an expert with a safe harbor when pressed on cross-examination
    • Teach the expert to fight cross constraining techniques that artificially limit the witness’s answers (but without annoying the jury with long-winded technical answers)
    • Be elegant in your questioning of opposing expert’s qualifications on cross
    • Use Daubert even when the expert is allowed to give an opinion, to show no peer review, no known error rate, no testability, and lack of scientific constraint for opinions based on experience on cross
    • Use the expert’s report, looking for things not done, and facts not considered on cross
    • Master questioning techniques and strategies on cross for winning on closing the question of which expert is more reliable
  • BONUS: For no extra charge, those attending in person at the Bobzien-Gaither Education Center on September 15 may enjoy an exclusive wine tasting following the program! Socialize with fellow attendees while sampling and enjoying wines from Valley Road Vineyards in Afton.

Featuring nationally recognized attorney and professor of advocacy and skills training Paul J. Zwier

Expert witness testimony can be challenging even for the most experienced attorney, never mind if you have little to no litigation experience. Understanding the evidentiary foundations for admissibility as well as how hearsay rules impact expert testimony can be daunting. But mastering the evidentiary rules can help you present clear and persuasive expert testimony. Eliciting expert witness testimony skillfully takes practice and artistry, and this seminar will provide you with both. You will be asked to participate by framing carefully tailored questions and using effective cross-examination techniques.

Join attorney, professor, and author Paul J. Zwier in this two-hour seminar and learn the differences and distinctions between lay and expert witness testimony. You will learn the importance of asking questions like, “why are you here?” and “how did you prepare to conduct your review to be insure its reliability?” In addition to taking away countless tools and strategies on how to conduct an effective direct and cross-examination of an expert witness, you will learn broader litigation strategies including:

  • how to decide if you need an expert
  • how to prepare an expert for a deposition
  • how to strategize about when to cross-examine an expert witness, whether in deposition or at trial, considering evidentiary rules
  • and most importantly, techniques and tips on how to properly elicit an opinion from your expert witness that is reliable and relevant

Discover tips and techniques on how to perform examination for expert witnesses, including on direct.


The Bobzien-Gaither Education Center in Richmond/Innsbrook is our new state-of-the-art facility designed with your safety in mind. It features a Centurion air filtration system, which quickly and effectively eliminates viruses and bacteria. Additionally, the facility is thoroughly cleaned before each seminar, and face masks and hand sanitizer will be available.


By attending a live-on-site Virginia CLE® seminar, you acknowledge the health risks associated with COVID-19 and that you MUST follow all Virginia CLE® COVID-19 policies. You may NOT attend a live-on-site program if you have tested positive for COVID-19, if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or if you are under any self-quarantine orders per CDC guidelines.

Click here for details about the Virginia CLE® COVID-19 policyPlease revisit the webpage routinely for updates as we are monitoring the evolving COVID-19 situation. All updates to this policy will be emailed to registrants.
(Last updated March 2, 2022)


Discounts available for Virginia CLE webcast-telephone-live seminars Follow link to learn about the Virginia CLE Online Bundle with savings up to 45% Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about discount for New Virginia Lawyers (first 3 years) Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Registration Deadlines:
Webcast: 10 minutes prior to seminar. If you register for a webcast the day of the seminar, your e-mail receipt will include a link to launch the seminar and download the materials.
Telephone: Online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. the day preceding the seminar
Call (800) 979-8253 to register up to one hour prior to the seminar
Live on Site: Online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. the day preceding the seminar
Walk-in registration is permitted on a space-available basis

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored until 5:00 p.m. the day preceding the seminar. You will, however, be charged $40 if you cancel or transfer your registration to a different seminar after the link to the materials has been e-mailed by Virginia CLE.

Full refunds or transfers are available up to two days after a webcast in the unlikely event that you experience technical difficulties.

MCLE Credit Caveat: The MCLE Board measures credits by the time you spend in attendance. If you enter a seminar late or leave it early, or both, you must reflect those adjustments accurately in the credits you report on your credit reporting form. A code will be given at the end of the seminar, which must be written on your MCLE form.

Can't Attend?
E-mail distance_ed@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program is made available as an on demand or USB seminar.
E-mail publications@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program's seminar materials are made available for sale.


COURSE SCHEDULE (September 15) (Eastern Time)

2:00 Effective Use of Expert Witness Testimony
4:00 Adjourn
  • Sign-in for live seminar attendees in Richmond begins at 1:30 p.m.
  • Q&A will be handled via chat room for Webcast attendees.
  • Q&A will be handled via e-mail for telephone seminar attendees.

COURSE SCHEDULE (October 5 and December 1) (Eastern Time)

10:00 Effective Use of Expert Witness Testimony
12:00 Adjourn
  • Q&A will be handled via chat room for Webcast attendees.
  • Q&A will be handled via e-mail for telephone seminar attendees.



Prof. Paul J. Zwier, Emory School of Law / Atlanta, GA

Paul J. Zwier II is Of Counsel to Guttman, Buschner & Brooks PLLC with offices in Atlanta and Washington, DC. Mr. Zwier is one of the nation’s most distinguished professors of advocacy and skills training. He joined the Emory Law School faculty in 2003, taking on several roles. As director of the Advocacy Skills Program, director of Emory’s Program for International Advocacy and Dispute Resolution, and a professor of law, Professor Zwier joined the Emory University Law School faculty from the University of Tennessee Law School. He also teaches evidence, torts, products liability, and an advanced international negotiation seminar. He previously served as professor of law and director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution at the University of Tennessee.  Prior to that, he taught at the University of Richmond School of Law from 1981 to 1999.

Mr. Zwier has served as former director of Public Education for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and has taught and designed public and in-house skills programs in trial advocacy, appellate advocacy, advocacy in mediation, motion practice, negotiations, legal strategy, e-discovery, supervisory and leadership skills, and expert testimony at deposition and trial for more than 25 years. In 1998, Mr. Zwier received NITA’s Prentice Marshall Award.

Mr. Zwier’s clients benefit from his expert advice on trial strategy, jury analysis, and negotiation and mediation strategy. He consults on a wide variety of disputes and topics including litigation involving bad faith insurance, products liability law, federal civil procedure, evidence law, the False Claims Act, securities fraud, patent litigation, MDLs, and other complex litigation matters. He is also an expert and consultant in the area of international dispute resolution. He has provided consulting services with The Carter Center (TCC), including its work in Israel/Palestine, in Syria, and in Liberia. In 2007 he was part of a TCC delegation working on the conflict in Gaza. In Liberia, his consultations included working with a delegation from Emory’s Institute for Developing Nations (IDN). This led to consultation and collaboration with the TCC in its collaboration with the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Mr. Zwier has trained judges and lawyers for the international criminal courts. He has also led training for Lawyers Without Borders and NITA, for the governments of Liberia, Tanzania, and in Kenya. He has also taught advocacy skills to international lawyers and judges in Yekaterinburg, Russia; Mexico City, Mexico; Quito, Ecuador; Monrovia, Liberia; Nairobi, Kenya; Tbilisi, Georgia; Northern Ireland; Scotland; England; and led seminars in negotiation and dispute resolution for black South African lawyers as part of a State Department program in 1999.

Mr. Zwier is the author of numerous books and articles including:

  • Peacemaking, Religious Belief and the Rule of Law: The Struggle between Dictatorship and Democracy in Syria and Beyond (Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, London and New York, 2018).
  • Principled Negotiation and Mediation in the International Arena: Talking with Evil, (Cambridge University Press, 2018)
  • Advanced Negotiation and Mediation Theory and Practice, 3rd ed. (NITA, 2015) (with Guernsey)
  • Fact Investigation: Interviewing, Case Analysis, and Counseling for Effective Representation, 2d ed. (NITA, 2015) (with Bocchino)
  • Exhibit Rules, 2d ed. (NITA 2017) (with Malone and John Zwier)
  • Effective Expert Testimony, 4th ed. (NITA, 2015) (with Malone)
  • Legal Strategy (NITA 2005)
  • Teaching Legal Strategy (NITA 2005) (with Siemer and Rothschild)

Mr. Zwier received his JD from Pepperdine University in 1979, LLM from Temple University in 1981, and BA from Calvin College in 1976.

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