Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Seminar for attorneys on choosing expert witnesses set for Chicago on Sept. 7

By John Sammon | Aug 30, 2017

CHICAGO – An instructional seminar hosted by the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IDC) will advise attorneys on how to pick expert witnesses to back up their client’s defense.

Set for Sept. 7 to be held from 1-4 p.m. at the ISBA Mutual Insurance Co. building at 20 S. Clark St., Suite 800 in Chicago, sponsors said the event will help those attorneys experienced in the expert witness selection process and those who are not.

The seminar is aimed at attorneys who are new to the process of retaining experts and those who are more experienced but who want to learn new methods and strategies for retaining experts and making certain the experts are ready to testify in court.

The instruction will include practical tips regarding state and federal rules of civil procedure as a guide to help attorneys select an expert witness for deposition or trial testimony.

Following an introductory lunch from 12:30-1 p.m., the event will begin with a discussion on how to locate the right expert to aide in a client’s defense using tips and resources, to be conducted by Mimi K. Moon of the law firm of Pretzel & Stouffer of Chicago, Russell Ogle and John Martens of the Martens Law Office in Ames, Iowa. Topics include proper judging of an expert’s qualifications and educational background, how long they have been practicing and what states they are currently licensed to practice in.

“Before making a final decision, it is important to do sufficient research to determine if an expert’s background or opinion in other cases could harm your defense,” a news release on the event stated. 

The program will cover both finding and vetting potential experts.

During the second hour, Dede Zupanci of HeplerBroom in Chicago will discuss how to develop a working relationship with an expert witness once chosen, including communication and information-sharing. State and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have differing requirements and attorneys must know how an expert’s disclosures can impact the admissibility of a client’s case in court.

Hour three of the event will feature Martens and Ogle speaking on how to make certain an expert is prepared to testify on a client’s behalf and how to make the retention and discovery process more efficient for attorneys and expert witnesses.

The seminar will be followed by a happy hour and networking reception.

The seminar is free for members of the IDC who bring a non-member guest with them. Non-member registration is $100 and $50 for IDC members without a guest.

Online registry is available. For more information, visit, or contact Sandra Wulf at 800-232-0169.   

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Organizations in this Story

HeplerBroom Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel