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HL 420 – The Expert Witness: Role, Process & Strategic Applications


This CE course focuses on the major components of becoming an Expert Witness and refining your skills as an Expert Witness. The two texts selected for this course will provide you a solid foundation to build and improve your expertise as an effective expert witness. You will review interesting complex methods and strategies to enhance your skills while learning the best ways to partner with the attorneys you work with on cases. Learn the intricacies of how to effectively connect with jurors by employing Person-centered credibility tactics proven to gain jurors attention. Understand why you goal is to build trust with jurors and the judge. You will learn how to recognize and nullify the opposing attorneys attempts to minimize your competence as an Expert Witness who attack your credentials and experience. The importance of the appropriate use of vivid language and visuals is reviewed. In addition, the elements of pre-trial preparation and prepping methods for cross-examination are described. The study of social communications and non-verbal ques will help you recognize the effectiveness of your communication and storytelling efforts. You will learn how to blunt physical threats from the cross-examining attorney during testimony. You will gain insight to the potential motives of case stakeholders and how to navigate when new unanticipated information is introduced during a trial. The importance of studying and knowing all the details your assigned case is emphasized. The effect of your choice of words and their impact on others is put in perspective in this course. You will learn to recognize when your testimony is being brushed-off in court. The section on training methods and skills will help you improve your courtroom performance. The effective expert witness knows they have to practice their skill in order to be successful. The role of improvisations and humor are discussed. Learn methods used to help you maintain emotional control while providing clear, calm responses that enhance the testimony you are providing. You will understand that what you do not do in the courtroom is just as important as what you do. This course will expose any prospective or experienced Expert Witness to the many contemporary issues they need to be conversant with in order to be more effective and successful when testifying. This course is developed for those in Legal Nurse Consulting as well as all Health Care Professionals who are doing Legal Consulting in Medical Malpractice cases. Whether providing expert witness testimony as a professional consultant or recruiting expert witnesses for malpractice cases, this course is invaluable in its scope and depth on the subject matter. Course Code: HL 420. Contact hours of CE = 50.

Course Code: HL 420.

Contact hours of continuing education = 50.

Instructor/Course Author: Mark C. Barabas, BS, DHA, FACHE

Link to Resume


TEXTBOOKS: There are two (2) required textbooks for this course.

1. The Art and Science of Expert Witness Testimony: A Multidisciplinary Guide for Professionals, 1st edition, Karen Postal, 2022, Routledge,

ISBN-10: 0367491591
ISBN-13: 978-0367491598

Link to Purchase on click here

2. Testifying in Court: Guidelines and Maxims for the Expert Witness, 3rd edition, Brodsky, American Psychological Association,

ISBN-10: 1433836327
ISBN-13: 978-1433836329

Link to Purchase on click here

TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete this course. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the course within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an “incomplete” will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the course after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.

GRADINGYou must achieve a passing score of at least 70% to complete this course and receive the 50 hours of awarded continuing education credit. There are no letter grades assigned. You will receive notice of your total % score. Those who score below the minimum of 70% will be contacted by AIHCP and will be permitted one more attempt to retake the online examination.

BOARD APPROVALS: The American Institute of Health Care Professionals (The Provider) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider number # CEP 15595 for 50 Contact Hours. Access information

This course, which is approved by the Florida State Board Of Nursing (CE Provider # 50-11975) also has the following Board of Nursing Approvals, for 50 contact hours of CE

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Arkansas Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Georgia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Professional Registered Nurses. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the New Mexico Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.

Course Refund & AIHCP Policies: access here


  • Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as “open book” tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.
  • Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page “Student Resource Center.” The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.
  • Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.
  • Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor’s online resume/biography, as well as your instructor’s specific contact information.
  • Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional “readings” and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

Book 1

Chapter 1.

  • Challenge the idea that testimony is a one-way download from an expert to a passive audience
  • Appreciate that a direct and unique dialogue with jurors is a foundational goal of the competent expert witness
  • Understand the psychology of jury selection and the factors that influence their reaction to Expert witness testimony
  • Explain how Expert Witness’s form a connection with different type of jurors with diverse backgrounds and live experiences

Chapter 2.

  • Describe how the traditional approach of “Methods-centered credibility” is expanded to include “Person-centered credibility” where warmth and confidence. with relentless attention to detail builds trust with jurors
  • Discuss the elements of Person-centered credibility
  • Review how to prepare for and neutralize the barrage of credentialling questions expected from the opposing attorney upon your being sworn in as an Expert Witness
  • Understand how to position yourself from a place of integrity and keep your testimony within your scope of expertise.

Chapter 3.

  • Outline how to “Set the truth on fire” by the use of vivid, accessible language and strong visuals
  • Compare your expert testimony to preparing a well-edited documentary employing the strategic use of telling a human story that jurors can identify with
  • Learn the appropriate use of metaphors, analogies, visuals, data tables and demonstrations

Chapter 4.

  • Identify how to develop specific strategies, with retaining attorneys, for structuring direct testimony in the structure and format that will convey the desired message to the jury
  • Review the elements of Pre-trial preparation
  • Learn how to prepare for cross examination and anticipate questions
  • Define the role Research will play in your presentation

Chapter 5.

  • Understand the impact of social communications including non-verbal ques have on your ability to meaningfully connect with jurors
  • Review how body language, eye contact, physical gestures, voice and clothing may influence the perception of your credibility
  • Learn how to resist making a physical response to a threat on cross examination
  • Determine if humor should be attempted in court

Chapter 6.

  • Discuss the difficult, necessary work of the courtroom related to specific emotional techniques employed to maintain Person-centered credibility in order to keep the needs of the jurors front and center through cross examination
  • Review specific cross-examination techniques designed to throw the Expert Witness off-balance.
  • Recognize techniques used, by the opposing attorney, to chip away at your credibility and determine your appropriate responses
  • Identify language-based cross examination strategies designed to dis-credit you as an Expert Witness
  • Determine how to react and plan your responses when “new information” is introduced during a trial

Chapter 7.

  • Learn how to address important differences in our communication partners and communication goals during deposition as opposed to trial testimony
  • Be able to distinguish who your conversation partners are based on the circumstances of your testimony
  • Understand how your choice of words in a deposition may affect future testimony
  • Understand how to prepare for depositions

Chapter 8.

  • Define training methods/skills that will guide you to break unhelpful academic communications patterns
  • Learn effective Improvisation and additional training strategies
  • Understand Radical Empathy and how to portray it
  • Identify how to access successful training resources

Book 2

Chapter 1.

  • Learn how to think and act like aa expert witness
  • Understand acts of intimidation before testimony directed at you
  • Identify inept attorneys

Chapter 2.

  • Define the burden of proof and degree of certainty
  • Discuss when an expert is not allowed to answer
  • Describe the Rumpelstiltskin Principle

Chapter 3.

  • Identify hired guns
  • Explain expert witness professionalism

Chapter 4.

  • Review direct examination principles
  • Explain the Brushed-off direct examination
  • Learn the language of testimony

Chapter 5.

  • Outline the concepts of cross-examination
  • Realize the tactics of abrasive and attaching cross-examination
  • Learn power and control on the witness stand
  • Identify theatrical and outlandish attorneys
  • Introduce preparation exercises for surprise questions

Chapter 6.

  • Understand what not to do on the witness stand
  • Learn how to avoid losing your trustworthiness during testimony
  • Minimize traumatic experiences on the stand

Chapter 7.

  • Recognize the action steps to take after your testimony
  • Understand how to move on

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