Witness Preparation
May 17-18, 2018
Denver, CO

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This course is designed to improve the effectiveness of witnesses as they prepare and serve as experts in rate cases and other associated energy industry testimony. The course is organized in two distinct areas; preparing and serving as an expert during the administrative process and learning how to be an effective witness during associated hearings. During the first portion of the course, participants will consider the rate case and other administrative processes, learn the nuances of preparing and designing successful pre-filed testimony, and acquire skills in writing persuasive questions and answers for submittal. Additionally, initial steps in preparing effective hearing testimony will be reviewed. The second portion of course concentrates on being an effective expert witness in hearing testimony. Skills will be provided on how to approach direct and cross examination, the finer points of persuasive verbal communication, and the potential pitfalls of detrimental and ineffectual non-verbal communications.  The course is designed to be highly interactive and will conclude with a mock hearing exercise where participants will demonstrate skills and competency with expert witness responsibilities in the administrative hearing process.    


Important Note: Attendees will need to bring a laptop for the course

Learning Outcomes:


  • Discuss the rate case process and major components
  • Identify three elements of expert witness professional ethics and/or standards
  • Describe how to properly prepare for pre-filing testimony
  • Identify important elements of effective pre-filing testimony
  • Describe important elements in writing effective pre-filing questions
  • Describe important elements in writing effective pre-filing answers
  • Discuss strategies useful in converting written into verbal testimony for hearings
  • Explain two effective persuasion techniques
  • Name three important considerations when describing credentials verbally
  • Discuss methods to prevent attacks on an expert witnesses’ credibility
  • Recognize the difference between direct and cross examination at a hearing
  • State the role of the administrative law judge
  • Name two pitfalls to avoid when interacting with opposing counsel
  • Identify important considerations in expert witness testimony at hearings
  • Describe the difference between verbal and non-verbal communication
  • List three goals of opposing counsel during cross-examination
  • Name three methods for responding to difficult questions in hearing testimony
  • State three rights of witnesses



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.4 CEUs for this event.

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

Course CPE Credits: 16.5
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program Level 1: Beginner/Intermediate
Delivery Methood: Group-Live
Advanced Preperation: None

CpeEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day, be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations, classroom discussion, case studies, group exercises, and a mock hearing exercise will be used in the program.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Course Introduction and Overview

  • Course overview and logistics
  • Group discussion of perceptions and prior experience with regulated rate cases

8:30 – 9:00 a.m. :: Rules, Filings, Procedure, and Case Law Examples for Rate Cases

  • Rule basics
  • How filings are made and requirements
  • Rate case procedures
    • Distribution of tasks
    • Concept of pre-filed testimony
    • Hearings

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. :: Rate Case Preparation and Management

  • Overview of the process
  • How to plan and manage a successful case
  • Forming a successful team
  • Examples of how the requirements vary across the country by PUC/PSC
  • Doing the essential homework
  • A framework for assessing internal strengths and weaknesses of the case

9:45 – 10:15 a.m. :: The Dynamics of Expert Witnessing: Professional Ethics, Standards and Strategic Planning

  • Professional ethics and standards
  • Interfacing with counsel
  • Interfacing with other professionals and staff
  • Understanding your role on the team
  • Dealing with public and media inquiries
  • Treatment of confidential information

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. :: Strategies for Expert Witnesses in Pre-filing Testimony

  • Understanding the strategy and goals of the utility
  • Determining your objective
  • Planning with other PUC experts and staff coordination
  • Gathering supporting documentation and evidence
  • Considering time allotment and organization
  • Budget considerations

11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Introduction to Group Exercise

  • Overview of mock hearing exercise
  • Review and discussion of Case Study
  • Assignment of roles

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. :: Preparing Pre-filed Testimony

  • Techniques to more persuasively explain your credentials
    • Knowledge/Skill
    • Experience
    • Training/Education
  • Know your audience
  • Determining what information needs to be addressed
  • Consideration of the layout of testimony – sequence
  • Writing a meaningful question to support your case and expert opinion
  • Writing a clear, concise, and meaningful answer to support your case
  • Improving credibility of positions

2:15 – 3:00 p.m. :: Pre-filed Testimony Writing Exercise

3:00 – 3:15 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:15 – 4:00 p.m. :: Group Review of Written Testimony

4:00 – 4:30 p.m. :: Questions and Wrap-up

Friday, May 18, 2018

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Introduction and Executive Summary of Persuasion Techniques for Expert Witnesses

  • Creating and using powerful, memorable language and analogies
  • Coaching and teaching hearing participants
  • Converting and communicating essential information from written testimony into oral testimony

8:30 – 9:30 a.m. :: Describing Your Credentials in a Verbal Format

  • Stating critical elements
  • Leaving out non-essentials
  • Confidence without boastfulness
  • Group exercise

9:30 – 10:00 a.m. :: The Dynamics of Hearings:  Direct and Cross Examination

  • How hearings are conducted
  • Creating a professional appearance
  • The principles of direct examination
  • The principles of cross examination

10:00 – 10:15 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:15 – 10:45 a.m. :: Protecting Yourself from Attacks on your Credibility and Credentials

  • Considering potential weaknesses
  • Preparing for the rebuttal
  • Learning how not to appear defensive
  • Making a reasonable correction or addition

10:45 – 11:15 a.m. :: Bonding with the Administrative Law Judge

  • The role of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ)
  • How to address and speak to the Administrative Law Judge
  • What to expect in communicating to the ALJ
  • Pitfalls to avoid

11:15 – 11:45 a.m. :: Developing a Productive Interaction with Opposing Counsel

  • The role of opposing counsel
  • What to expect from opposing counsel
  • Establishing the right relationship
  • What to expect in communicating with opposing counsel
  • Pitfalls to avoid

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

12:45 – 1:15 p.m. :: Basic Considerations in Witness Testimony

  • Resisting memorizing or rehearsing testimony
  • Listening to the question
  • Answering only the questions asked
  • Resisting interrupting
  • Building trust, likability, and honesty
  • Resisting argumentation and frustration

1:15 – 1:45 p.m. :: Subjective Reactions and Effective Verbal Communications

  • Tone
  • Mannerisms
  • Confidence
  • Authority
  • Understandability
  • Memorability

1:45 – 2:15 p.m. :: Effective Nonverbal Behavior and Communication

  • Attire
  • Facial expressions
  • Eye contact
  • Posture
  • Head and body movements


  • Shyness
  • Nervousness
  • Impatience
  • Simple annoyance
  • Arrogance
  • Hostility
  • Condescendence
  • Sarcasm

2:15 – 2:45 p.m. :: Special Considerations in Hearing Testimony

  • Forming airtight opinions
  • Staying ahead of counsel during cross examination
  • Answering difficult questions
  • Establishing responses in known problem areas
  • Knowing your rights as a witness
    • Protecting testimony from becoming distorted or mischaracterized
    • Avoiding testimony from becoming interrupted
    • Appropriateness in refusing to answer a question

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:00 – 4:30 p.m. :: Mock Hearing Exercise

4:30 – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Wrap–up


Thomas L. Brocato, Principal, Lloyd Gosselink Attorneys-at-Law

Mr. Brocato primarily represents municipalities before regulatory agencies in proceedings involving electric power and natural gas utilities. During his legal career, Thomas has focused his efforts on administrative law in the area of utility regulation, but he also has experience in electric aggregation development and appellate litigation. Cumulatively, Thomas has spent over 20 years participating in over 500 regulatory proceedings. He became an associate with the Firm’s Energy and Utility Practice Group in 2004 and a principal with the Firm in 2007.  Mr. Brocato is a graduate of the University of Texas (Austin) and the Texas Tech University School of Law.  He is licensed to practice before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Joseph Mancinelli, General Manager and President, Energy Practice, NewGen Strategies and Solutions

Joseph Mancinelli has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of cost of service and rate design for electric, water, wastewater, and natural gas utilities acting in the roles of expert witness, project manager, and lead analyst. He has worked closely with public utility commissions, senior management teams, utility boards, city councils, attorneys, and end-users with respect to the strategy and technical fundamentals of cost of service and rate design. He has taught numerous classes on cost of service and rate design methodology, including a cost of service and rate design course for Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. since 2004. He is an expert in approved industry methodologies adopted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the American Public Power Association. He regularly speaks at conferences across the country on cost of service and rate issues.


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