By - Jon Brown

Witness Preparation
August 10-11, 2020 | Denver, CO

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Overview

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

Credits

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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 1.5 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.

Agenda

Monday, August 101, 2020

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


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

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

Overcoming:

  • 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

Instructors

Meghan Grabel, Partner, Osborn Maledon

Meghan Grabel is a partner at the law firm of Osborn Maledon in Phoenix, Arizona, where she leads the firm’s Energy, Water, and Utility Law practice.  Meghan represents energy and water companies in a variety of matters, including service area expansions, rate cases, condemnations, contract negotiations, plant acquisitions and divestitures, renewable energy and transmission projects, and appeals from adverse administrative and public utility commission decisions. Meghan regularly represents parties in power plant and line siting proceedings, as well as policy dockets and rulemakings before the Arizona Corporation Commission.  She has also represented energy companies in land entitlement, permitting, and transactional matters.  Meghan plays an outside counsel role for several clients, providing legal and strategic advice on various corporate issues.  Meghan teaches a course on Utility Law and Regulation at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.

Before entering private practice, Meghan was a judicial clerk for Judge Barry Silverman on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and for Justice Andrew Hurwitz of the Arizona Supreme Court.  She graduated first in her class, summa cum laude and Order of the Coif from Arizona State University.


Elias Ancharski, Associate, Osborn Maledon

Elias Ancharski is an associate at the firm of Osborn Maledon in Phoenix, Arizona, where he assists in the firm’s Energy, Water, and Utility Law practice group.  Eli represents energy and water companies in a variety of matters, including rate cases, condemnations, contract drafting, renewable energy and transmission projects, and utility financing.  Eli provides legal counsel and administrative support during power plant and line siting proceedings.  Eli also advises telecommunication corporations, providing legal and regulatory assistance on various issues.  Eli regularly attends and monitors proceedings before the Arizona Corporation Commission, including policy and rulemaking dockets, to stay informed on the most recent utility developments in Arizona.     Before entering into private practice, Eli attended Vermont Law School. Eli was employed as a Student Clinician at the school’s Energy Clinic, where he worked on local energy related matters.  Also during this time, he interned at a law firm in Washington, D.C., as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Eli also spent a semester with the Arizona Corporation Commission in the Legal Division assisting with state-related utility matters.

Location

EUCI Conference Center

6400 S Fiddlers Green Cir.

Greenwood Village CO, 80111

The EUCI conference center is conveniently located adjacent to the Arapahoe at Village Center Light Rail Station, allowing easy access to and from DIA, Downtown, and Local Area Attractions.

Nearby Hotels

Each of these hotels offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the EUCI conference center.

Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center
7800 East Tufts Ave
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 1-303-779-1234
2.8 miles away
Special EUCI Room Rate: $179.00
To access EUCI room rate visit denvertechcenter.regency.hyatt.com
Click “Book Now”, then click “Special Rates”
Click “Corporate or Group Code” and enter CR102338
You may also call our central reservation at 1-800-233-1234 and give them the corporate code of CR102338

Double Tree by Hilton DTC
7801 East Orchard Rd.
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: 303-779-6161
0.5 miles away

Wingate by Wyndham
8000 East Peakview Ave
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: 303-626-2641
0.3 miles away

Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center
8300 E.Crescent Parkway
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: 1-303-804-0700
2.1 miles away

Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 S Syracuse St
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-779-1100
3.1 miles away

Register

EventEarly Bird Before
Friday, July 24, 2020
Standard RateAttendees
Witness PreparationUS $ 1295.00 US $ 1495.00

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Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before July 10, 2020 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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