Trial Consultant or Expert Witness Services
Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D.
Nancy Willard is a former special education teacher of “at risk” students and former attorney, who was a member of the Oregon State Bar.
She has focused on issues of digital safety, bullying, and cyberbullying since the mid-90’s. Since 2012, when it was becoming clear that school prevention efforts were not achieving a favorable result, she focused her attention on exploring the research regarding why this is the case and what can be done to improve school efforts.
This research insight relates directly to the deliberate indifference of schools to situations where students are being bullied and harassed.
She has sought to inform school leaders through articles in such publications as the American Association of School Administrators’ School Administrator and District Administration. You can review her resume here.
Given the profoundly increased need for legal support for students and the apparent challenges in prevailing in these cases, she has launched services as a trial consultant or expert witness as of 2017. She has also initiated efforts to establish a “collaborative” of other experts in this field who can provide services for attorneys or agency staff.
Services are available for:
- Attorneys who are supporting students who have been suffered discriminatory harassment or bullying.
- Civil rights agency staff for investigation and development of remediation plans.
- Attorneys working for school districts in developing a meaningful settlement plan.
Nancy’s focus is on achieving the following:
- Schools are held accountable to remedy the harm inflicted by students or staff on a student or students.
- Hurtful situations within schools and online are effectively addressed to allow students who were targeted and, to the fullest extent possible, those who have been hurtful to continue to be part of a school community–with a full resolution of the concerns.
- The school engages in comprehensive efforts to remedy the hostile environment that has created concerns for the targeted student–and quite likely other students
Nancy’s preference is to work as a trial consultant. She can also serve as an expert witness. As a trial consultant, it is her intent to assist with investigation and discovery in a manner that obtains the necessary information rapidly and expeditiously.
Trial consultant supports to plaintiff counsel:
- Detailed questionnaire for the parent/student. This can be provided to the parent/student to complete–thus reducing attorney time. This questionnaire solicits detailed information that is based on the necessary requirements for establishing causes of action, as informed by research.
- Recommendation on a pre-filing investigation approach.
- Assistance in drafting of complaint.
- Recommendations of interrogatories for key school personnel and requests for production. This approach can obtain necessary information in a manner that is more cost effective than depositions.
- Recommendations for questions for deposition, if necessary.
- Preparation of draft settlement memorandum setting forth facts and legal analysis–with final to be prepared by attorney.
- Further case assistance, if settlement is not achieved.
Additional services are these:
- Guidance to attorneys representing schools in situations where free speech concerns have been raised either in the context of disparaging speech on campus or off-campus speech.
- Case analysis and development of a recommended settlement agreement in bullying or harassment cases for attorneys representing schools.
- Investigation and settlement guidance to agencies that are responding to student complaints.