2019 ABYC Marine Law Symposium 

January 8, 2019 - Seattle, Washington

Register Now!
RegistER NOW
Jan. 8, 2019

Winning Expert Witness Strategies

The 3rd Annual ABYC Marine Law Symposium will be held January 8, 2019 in Seattle Washington. Attendees will learn from interesting case studies where the expert witness was critical in the outcome! The agenda will also cover the roles and key players in an accident including law enforcement, insurance adjusters and surveyors. Earn 8 CEUs in one education packed day!

Case Studies

Learn from interesting and relevant case studies

12 speakers

Learn from marine industry experts and people who worked on various accident cases


Connect with the speakers and fellow attendees.

Registration open!

Symposium speakers

Augusto (Kiko) Villalón
Ancon Marine Consultants, Inc.


Augusto (Kiko) Villalón
Aurthur Faherty
Robson Forensic

Marine Engineer & Mechanical Expert

Aurthur Faherty
Christina Paul
K&L Gates Law Firm


Christina Paul
David Frohn
MG+M Law


David Frohn
Dawn Beery
Benesch Law


Dawn Beery
Greg Davis

Principal Consultant

Greg Davis
Katie Matison
Lane Powell

Expert Witness

Katie Matison
Matt Majors

Matt Majors
Pete Chisholm
Mercury Marine

Product Safety Engineer

Pete Chisholm
Raul Chacon
MG+M Law


Raul Chacon
Walter Laird
FORCON International Maryland

Lead Engineer

Walter Laird
Wendy Sanders
Jensen Hughes

Senior Mechanical Engineer

Wendy Sanders


Click on each session title to view details!

  • 6:45
    Registration and Breakfast 

    The registration table will be open starting at 6:45am
  • 7:30
    Introduction from John Adey, ABYC President
    Length: 15 minutes

    Get the lay of the land and get ready for a full day of professional development and networking.

    John Adey
  • 7:45
    Case Study #1 – Warren V. Shelter Mutual
    Length: 90 minutes

    On May 7, 2005, 20 year-old Derek Hebert died in a boating accident. A law suit was filed, but it was far from an open and shut case. It took 10 years to resolve. Hear from the defense lawyer, the government investigator,  and the defense expert directly involved in this complicated case study involving a defense verdict, another trial, and two appeals   The panelists will each present their roles in the case and the unusual twists and turns of this multi-million dollar trip through several courthouses.

    Kiko Villalon, Ancon Marine Consultants; Walter Laird, FORCON Intl;
    David Frohn, MG+M Law
  • 9:30
    The Mock Deposition
    Length: 75 minutes

    Watch as our expert witness is deposed by two attorneys looking to elicit responses to help their case and/or discredit the expert. Trickery, deception, and Jedi mind tricks are all part of this presentation designed specifically to help experts (and attorneys) avoid common tricks and tactics used to confuse and misdirect the expert witness.  Our speakers have been there, done that. You will learn from true experts, who will keep you entertained while providing valuable information.

    Christina Paul, K&L Gates; Raúl Chacon, MG+M Law; Wendy Sanders, Jensen Hughes
  • 10:45
    The Expert Witness
    Length: 75 minutes

    This session will offer information needed by anyone who is or aspires to be an expert witness and those who work with them.  Topics such as federal court qualifications, standards for exclusion, and case examples that will offer insight and tips to help you be successful.

    Katie Matison, Lane Powell
  • 12:00
    Length: 90 minutes
  • 12:45
    Tools of the Trade
    Length: 60 minutes

    When it comes to working a case, the tools and proper gathering and use of data can be the difference between winning and losing.  Take an in-depth look at some of the common tools and resources used to effectively research a case.

    Arthur Faherty, Robson Forensic
  • 1:45
    Case Study #2 –Wolkowicki v. Creative Yacht Management, LLC
    Length: 90 minutes

    What happens when sophisticated products are not maintained by a dealer trained technician?  Compounded by an improper repair, three individuals died in May 2014.  The resulting $27.9 million-dollar lawsuit is the focus of this case study.  With 3D animation, questionable experts, and manufacturer involvement, this case study has something for everyone.  Join the attorney, expert witness, and factory expert as they walk-through the many facets of this unfortunate event.

    Dawn Beery, Benesch LLP;  Greg Davis, DMCA LLC;
    Pete Chisholm, Mercury Marine
  • 3:30
    Law Enforcement as an Expert
    Length: 60 minutes

    Back by popular demand, Matt Majors will walk through the role of law enforcement as an expert witness.  What tools do they have at their disposal?  Is their approach to the accident and eventually the witness stand different than yours?  Always informative and entertaining, Majors will shed some light on the role of law enforcement.

    Matt Majors, Program Manager NASBLA Boating Accident Investigation Program
  • 4:30
    Wrap Up
    Length: 30 minutes

    Join moderator John Adey in a discussion of the symposium topics during a Q&A session with our distinguished speaker panel.

  • 5:00
    Program Concludes

KeyNote Speaker

Margaret Watkins -
Under Armour Senior Counsel

Margaret Watkins has been at Under Armour for 10 years.  As senior counsel, she focuses almost exclusively on product safety and compliance. Before her move to Baltimore, she was a member of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Financial Fraud Task Force.  She also spent 5 years in private practice.  Meg has degrees from Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Georgetown and clerked on the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.  She has appeared on “What keeps you at night?” panels at the Sports & Fitness Industry Association’s Litigation, Regulatory & Risk Management Summit. 

Register now!

ABYC Member-$499
Register Here!

ABYC will award 8 CEU credits for verified attendance.

SAMS will award 8 CEUs for attendance.

Certified Professional Yacht Brokers (CPYB) will award 10 CEUs.

The Washington State Bar Association will award 7.5 CEUs.

Please contact your professional organization for their acceptance of these credits.