April 28, 2016 at 8:15 AM Central
Pre-Paid (Member): $110.00
Pre-Paid (Non-Member): $120.00
Pay at the Door (Member): $120.00
Pay at the Door (Non-Member): $130.00

Registration price includes breakfast and lunch. 

6 hours of CFLC/CPE/CLE credit hours will be provided. Approved by the State Bar of Texas; Course No. 901350107


Join the Houston Chapter will present their annual all-day workshop. 

The schedule of presentations is as follows:

8:15-8:50am: Registration, Breakfast & Networking 

8:50am: Program Introduction

9:00am: “Ethical Standards for Expert Witnesses” presented by Professor Joseph Sanders, A.A. White Professor of Law at the University of Houston where he teaches torts, products liability and scientific evidence.

Description: A favorite of the chapter, the Professor will deliver a fourth update on how we should think about and enforce ethical behavior among experts appearing as witnesses at court.

10:00am: “Here We Are Now, Entertain Us: Presentation Tactics in Trial and Arbitration” by Lawrence West, partner at Johnson, Trent, West & Taylor.

Description: Attorney Lawrence West will to provide a unique overview of demonstratives or visual aids proven to best connect and keep the interest of juries or triers of fact. 

11:00am: “The Expert/Lawyer Relationship: Exploring Ways to Make it Better” by Jim Smith, partner at Shirmeister, Diaz-Arrestia, Brem.

Description: Jim will return to faciliate an interactive exploration of the expert/lawyer relationship. Participants will identify positive experiences, such as those that helped achieve the goals of the client, brought satisfaction to the participants, or enhanced the competency or integrity of the fact finding process. Attendees will identify challenges faced when dealing with lawyers and learn about improvement by generating a list of successful practices.

12:00pm: “Preparing an Expert for Deposition and Trial” by Wade Quinn, shareholder of Ramey, Chandler, Quinn & Zito, PC.

Description: Learn preparation tactics for the combative cross examination and gain an understanding of the importance of know the expert's internet footprint. The speaker will identify objectives of opposing counsel during cross-examination and the expert's areas of vulnerability.

1:00pm: “Beyond the Opinion - The Practical Aspects of Being a Retained Expert” by John Cahill, Shareholder at LeClair Ryan.

Description: Attorney John Cahill will return to cover the day to day issues that retained experts deal with, covering the entire engagement from retention to case resolution. The discussion will include retention agreements, budgets, definitions of scope and engagement and impact of scope and fees on case resolution.

2:00pm: “Expert Designations from the Attorney's Perspective” by Konor Cormier, Shareholder at Mehaffy Webber.

Description: We will review the rules in federal and state courts as well as arbitration proceedings regarding the information a party is required to disclose when designating experts in civil cases. Examples from real cases will demonstratite the substantive impact of the rules on a case and benefit of the expert's involvement in drafting a designation.

3:00pm: Closing Remarks & Dismissal. 


John P. Cahill, Jr. focuses his practice on the representation of architects, engineers, surveyors, real estate agents and brokers and handles, in general, all matters related to construction issues. He also represents contractors and subcontractors.

In addition to defending clients involved in disputes, Mr. Cahill assists clients in connection with risk management before the project begins. He is actively involved in assisting clients in contract negotiations with a mind not only towards an efficient project, but also towards protecting his clients in the event that there is a subsequent dispute. He frequently provides in-house seminars and risk management presentations to clients in order to help to avoid problems arising from projects and transactions.



Konor Cormier, of Mehaffy Weber, maintains a diverse practice representing companies and individuals as counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants. His practice includes litigating cases involving breach of contract, oil and gas matters, probate litigation matters, fraud, debt collection and post-judgment execution, personal injuries, premises liability, products liability, insurance defense, Jones Act, labor and employment disputes and securities fraud.



Lawrence J. West is a founding partner of JTWT and currently serves as its Managing Partner.  His practice includes business litigation, contract disputes, construction defect, premises liability and complex commercial litigation.  For more than twenty-five years he has defended corporations, general contractors, small business owners and individuals.  He has been recognized as a leader by his peers.  He is AV Rated by Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. He was named as one of Texas' top rated lawyers by Legal Leaders magazine and a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine.


Professor Joseph Sanders

A.A. White Professor of Law

B.A., Northwestern; J.D., Northwestern; Ph.D., Northwestern

Professor Sanders received his J.D. from Northwestern University in 1969 and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern in 1974. A member of the Law Center's faculty since 1983, Professor Sanders is one of the leading experts in the United States on sociological studies of the law. In particular, his writings in the field of tort law, especially on the mass tort cases have brought considerable attention to his scholarship.


Jim Smith is a partner in the environmental section of Porter Hedges. His practice principally focuses on environmental matters, in counseling, supporting transactions, and trying cases. His degree in chemical engineering combined with his legal experience enables him to bring a unique perspective as he represents refining, petrochemical and other resource related industry clients. He counsels corporate as well as individual clients on a variety of environmental issues, in addition to trying and arguing appeals in both civil and criminal matters and in both state and federal courts. Mr. Smith has appeared before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and other administrative agencies in permitting and enforcement matters.


Wade Quinn of Ramey, Chandler, Quinn and Zito, PC, is a trial lawyer with over 25 years of courtroom experience. He handles a wide variety of civil litigation including professional liability, transportation and railroad litigation, products liability, premises-liability and personal-injury matters, construction litigation, real estate litigation, insurance disputes, and commercial litigation. His trial experience includes wide-ranging disputes from medical negligence to officers and directors liability, products liability to railroad accidents, premises liability to construction defect matters, and bank fraud to bad-faith liability, to name a few. He has been elected by his peers to Associate Membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates. He has written and lectured for various continuing legal education programs in the State of Texas, as well as for the insurance, health care and transportation industries.


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