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Learning the “C’s” of Becoming an Effective Expert Witness


Learning the “C’s” of Becoming an Effective Expert Witness


Tuesday, October 25, 2022
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET

Educational Credits: IIBEC: 1.5 CEHs | AIA: 1.5 LUs (including HSW credit)

Expert witnesses are key in the courtroom, as more complicated disputes need a clear explanation to a jury/arbitration. However, agreement on what makes a great expert witness is fleeting, and often as arguable as the case itself. The goal of this presentation is to provide valuable insight into the role of an expert in the litigation process and to offer valuable tips that will produce positive results.


Define the role of an expert witness as it relates to the specific expertise requested for testimony or consultations.

Discuss best practices for communication during the investigative, discovery, deposition, and courtroom phases of litigation.

Describe the impact that the consistency of an expert witness’s opinion has on the integrity of the litigation process.  

Identify expert witness pitfalls that result in a risk of a Daubert motion [CH1] during the litigation process.  
Summarize the importance of truth and candor in expert witness testimony.

Expected Outcomes

Learners will be able to incorporate the principles and best practices outlined in the five “Cs” to increase effectiveness as an expert witness in the litigation process.

  1. Classification: Understand your role as an expert witness. What type of expertise are you being asked to provide [consulting or testifying (fact or subject-matter) expert witnesses], and what will be the resulting impact to your work?
  2. Coachability and Communication: Listen, be coachable, and communicate well. Understand your role and learn best practices of communication during the investigative, discovery, deposition, and courtroom phases of the case.
  3. Confidence and Consistency: Expert witnesses are retained to take a position and hold that position throughout the litigation process. Confidence and consistency in your opinion(s) are critical components for the desired outcome of successful litigation.
  4. Concentration and Consensus: Stay within your area of expertise/concentration—your knowledge, experience, education, training, and skills, as well as the standards within your industry of practice. Deviation from your areas of expertise or industry standard practice in support of your opinions allows you to be disqualified as an expert (Daubert motion), undermines the entire case, wastes money, and discredits the attorney and client.
  5. Candor: In any ligation matter, the truth is always the most important. The truth presented with sincerity is the ultimate goal of any litigation proceeding. Clearly communicating all aspects of a matter related to your expertise is critical for the attorneys to prepare for the case and to best represent the client.


Jerry Abendroth, RRC, RWC, REWC, RRO, RBEC, CDT, 

Jerry Abendroth joined the IIBEC team as an education advisor in 2022. His responsibilities include review and revision of major course offerings from IIBEC and participation on educational committees. He also provides independent building enclosure consulting services on select projects.

 Abendroth and several partners established Building Exterior Solutions LLC in September 2008. His experience includes the new design and forensic evaluation of building enclosure systems. He has performed design peer reviews of building envelopes, as well as, building enclosure commissioning for many commercial, medical, and industrial projects. In addition, he has performed evaluations of building enclosure system failures on projects throughout the United States and has provided associated repair recommendations and designs. Abendroth has also been able to utilize his extensive knowledge of building enclosure systems in a litigation support role. Finally, with Abendroth’s previous construction experience, he is able to provide insight into the cost, constructability, and sequencing of building enclosure systems.

 Abendroth was formerly the owner of a firm specializing in federal government contracting. He completed roofing, waterproofing, and renovation projects, including roof designs and roof surveys, for the United States Air Force, the United States Coast Guard, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the United States Department of Labor. The firm’s projects included roof repair and replacement, mechanical upgrades, electrical upgrades, interior and exterior renovation, and building construction.

Amy Peevey, RRO, REWC, PE, CDT 

Amy Peevey is a building enclosure engineer with an extensive background in forensic, new construction, and litigation support for buildings and building enclosures. Peevey’s experience includes the investigation, evaluation, analysis, new and repair design, testing, and construction monitoring/administration for building envelope, structural, and construction material problems. She specializes in building envelope design; design peer review; building envelope commissioning; failure investigation, evaluation, repair design, and construction monitoring of building envelope systems; as well as litigation support services related to building envelope, structural, and other building systems.  

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