***** How to Become a Dangerous Expert Witness: Advanced Techniques and Strategies. By Steven Babitsky and James J. Mangraviti, Jr.; published by Seak, Inc., www.seak.com/webstore (Web); 433 pages; $99.50.
Security professionals don’t usually seek danger. When it comes to serving as an expert witness though, the “dangerous” security professional is a huge asset, able to swing million-dollar judgments and carve out a lucrative niche.
How to Become a Dangerous Expert Witness, by Steven Babitsky and James J. Mangraviti, Jr., is an excellent tool for becoming a skilled independent expert witness, but its value extends to many others as well. The authors, both experienced lawyers, give security professionals key insights into what they can expect from legal proceedings. Beyond this, they give current expert witnesses information and skills that will make them even more effective.
The authors approach their task methodically, beginning by establishing the expert witness’s credibility and credentials, then discussing how they affect—and are affected by—the legal process. They move on to topics such as formulation of opinions, court testimony and conduct, and cross-examination techniques. Along the way, they make many points and suggestions regarding how to improve credibility, testify effectively, enhance written reports, and defend conclusions. It is all extremely useful advice.
The book is part of a series by the same authors. As a package, the series gives expert witnesses a complete guide to this aspect of consulting. Unfortunately, this book and its companions are expensive. But their value individually and collectively to any security professional thinking about becoming—or who is already—an expert witness may be justified. The book is a preview of the series but is worth a look on its own merits.
Reviewer: Mayer Nudell, CSC (Certified Safety and Security Consultant), runs a consulting service for crisis management, travel security, and related fields in North Hollywood, California. He is a member of ASIS International.