Case Examples

The following vignettes illustrate the ways that Dr. Williams has participated in civil and criminal matters:

  • Immigration: Dr. Williams evaluated a United States citizen who claimed that deportation of her immigrant husband, and attendant marital separation, would result in an extreme emotional hardship.  Dr. Williams concluded that the United States citizen wife had suffered from Separation Anxiety Disorder as a child and continued to suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder as well as Dependent Personality Disorder as an adult.  Because of these significant psychological problems, Dr. Williams’ professional opinion was that the United States citizen would experience an extreme hardship should immigration problems lead to an unplanned marital separation.
    In a separate immigration matter, Dr. Williams interviewed and evaluated a resident of the United States who had been accused by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services of obtaining his resident status by means of a sham marriage.  Dr. Williams’ review of the immigrant’s life history and psychological status led him to conclude that, more likely than not, the immigrant’s marriage was the result of genuine emotions and genuine commitment and was not done for immigration purposes.  The Immigration Service later dropped their sham marriage assertion without comment.
  • Sexual harassment:  Dr. Williams was retained by a police department that was defending a claim of sexual harassment brought by a female employee.  This employee had been involved in a sexual relationship with one of her superiors.  The plaintiff had introduced “social framework analysis” and testimony by a social psychologist to document that the working environment would be experienced as harassing by most female employees.  Dr. Williams testified that such a social framework analysis was not appropriate evidence and that the individual plaintiff needed to undergo a psychological evaluation to determine whether  she, in particular, had suffered ill effects of the harassment that was the basis for her damage claim.
  • Psychotherapy malpractice:  Dr. Williams was retained by the psychotherapist-defendant in an unusual case in which alienation of affection was claimed by the ex-husband of a psychotherapy patient.  The ex-husband claimed that the relationship between his ex-wife and her female therapist had become sexual and had led to the dissolution of the marriage.  This suit was brought in one of the few states in which alienation of affection claims may still be brought, and the ex-wife herself was not a party to the case.  Dr. Williams testified that there was no basis, in his review of the discoverable documents, to conclude that a sexual relationship, or any other psychotherapy malpractice, had occurred.
  • Personal injury:  A woman sued her ex-boyfriend, the owner of a Doberman Pincher, for injuries that resulted from numerous dog bites that occurred during a vicious attack.  The bites had also caused facial disfiguration.  Dr. Williams was retained by the plaintiff to document the psychological consequences of the disfiguration and to assist in determining the monetary costs of the damages.
  • Housing discrimination:  Dr. Williams was retained by a property owner who was defending a lawsuit claiming that he preferred to rent to Korean tenants and was systematically engaged in discrimination against tenants who were not Korean.  The tenants who brought the suit used a psychological analysis of the overall causes and consequences of racial discrimination.  Dr. Williams provided a declaration stating that each plaintiff must undergo an independent psychological evaluation to determine the extent of harm and causation of that harm for the particular plaintiff.
  • Psychotherapy malpractice:  Dr. Williams was retained by a plaintiff who claimed that her life-coaching trainer had engaged in practices that essentially constituted psychotherapy and had then engaged in a sexual relationship with her.  Dr. Williams testified that the discoverable evidence indicated that all the elements of psychotherapy were present and that sexual relationships between psychotherapist and client are unethical and could have led to the harm claimed by the plaintiff.
  • Criminal intent—sex with a minor:  Dr. Williams was retained by a criminal defendant accused of using the internet and crossing state lines to engage in sexual activity with a minor.  The defendant claimed that the sexual activity had been spontaneous and unpremeditated and that the criminal charges should be mitigated on that basis.  After reviewing the evidence, Dr. Williams and the defendant’s attorney were able to educate the defendant as the appropriateness of the original charges and that accepting the plea bargain that was on the table was in the defendant’s best interests.
  • Competency to stand trial—murder:  Dr. Williams was retained by a criminal defendant who was accused of killing his infant son by beatings and suffocation.  The defense attorney believed the defendant was not competent to stand trial.  Dr. Williams evaluated the defendant in jail using the Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial measure developed by Rogers and associates.  Using this systematic method, Dr. Williams advised the attorney that his client was, indeed, competent.
  • Police Board of Rights Hearing: Dr. Williams evaluated a female police officer and testified on her behalf at a Los Angeles Police Department Board of Rights Hearing. A tribunal of administrative police officers was asked to rule on the officer's fitness to carry a weapon. Her fitness had been questioned because she had sought treatment for depression. The police department's in-house psychologist testified that she was unfit for duty while Dr. Williams testified that she was fit for duty. The Board of Rights denied the officer's request to return to duty. Based on the record of that hearing, the decision was appealed and overturned at Superior Court. The officer was awarded full retirement.
  • Psychiatric malpractice:  Dr. Williams was retained by an attorney whose firm specialized in licensing board defense for psychotherapy malpractice cases.  The client, a psychiatrist, was accused of initiating a sexual relationship with the female partner of his male patient.  The psychiatrist intended to argue his case before the Medical Board and hoped retain his medical license.  Dr. Williams wrote an opinion that the attorney presented to the defendant.  This written opinion enabled the defendant to understand that a successful defense was extremely unlikely.  The psychiatrist surrendered his medical license.
  • Priest abuse:  Dr. Williams was retained by a plaintiff who was suing a diocese for sexual abuse that had occurred approximately 30 years previously, when the plaintiff had been a minor.  Dr. Williams carried out a psychological evaluation of the plaintiff and determined that the emotional damages had been extensive and documented the nature of these damages.
  • Date rape:  Dr. Williams was retained by a civil defendant in a case in which the plaintiff claimed emotional damages resulting from date rape.  Dr. Williams evaluated the plaintiff and testified that there were no such damages and that the plaintiff was not credible in a variety of respects.  The plaintiff’s claim centered on her argument that she had been intoxicated at the time the events occurred and, consequently, had been unable to give consent.  Forensic toxicology testimony was consistent with the defense claim that the plaintiff had not been intoxicated during the time period in question and that the sexual activity had been consenting.
  • Custody:  Dr. Williams was retained by a mother who had reason to believe her ex-husband was planning to kill her and her new husband.  Dr. Williams reviewed documents that had been submitted to court by the court-appointed custody evaluator.  The custody evaluator implied that the murder threat was not credible and offered a custody opinion that was reasonable, as long as one assumed that there had been no murder plot.  Dr. Williams offered a written opinion stating that the custody evaluator had no scientific or psychological basis to rule out the existence of the murder plot and that law enforcement methods, rather than psychological methods, were required to address this question.  Dr. Williams recommended that the terms of custody be revised until this matter could be put to rest.
  • Wrongful death:  Dr. Williams was retained by plaintiff-parents who claimed that their mentally ill son, who had been shot and killed by police, had received inadequate care by his psychologist on the day of his death and should have been placed on a psychiatric hold for his own protection instead of being allowed to leave the doctor’s office.  Dr. Williams testified that the care had been inadequate and had been a proximal cause of the young man’s death.
  • Wrongful termination:  Dr. Williams was retained by a municipality that was accused of wrongfully terminating an employee who had stolen city property.  The employee claimed he suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder and was entitled to accommodations under the Americans With Disabilities Act because his hoarding behavior was caused by his disease.  Dr. Williams prepared an opinion that the employee more likely suffered from kleptomania, a condition not protected by the ADA, or that he suffered from no mental condition whatsoever and that his criminal behavior had been carried out as a result of his own choices.
  • Fitness to parent, Juvenile Dependency Court:  Dr. Williams was retained by a law firm that practices in Juvenile Dependency Court.  Their client was being deprived of custody of her two children largely due to an unfavorable report carried out by a court-appointed psychologist.  The previous psychologist had concluded, in part, that the client suffers from a personality disorder that renders her unfit to parent.  Dr. Williams re-evaluated the client using interview and objective psychological testing and determined that she was fit to parent.  Dr. Williams agreed that the client suffered from a personality disorder.  However, he testified that the presence of a personality disorder is neither unusual nor disabling and, in and of itself, should have no bearing on parental rights in the absence of compelling evidence that the mother is unfit.  Custody was restored.
  • Fitness to parent, Family Court:  Dr. Williams has been retained in numerous cases in which one divorcing spouse raised questions about the mental stability of the other divorcing spouse.  These questions threatened the custodial rights of the parent about whom the questions had been raised.  Such questions included claims of inappropriate anger, psychosis, sadism and paranoia.  Although a court-ordered custody evaluation was carried out, the attorney for the accused parent sought to bolster that parent's case by requesting an additional evaluation by Dr. Williams.  Dr. Williams used interview and objective psychological testing to determine whether the individual suffered from any mental disorder that would compromise the ability to provide appropriate care for children.  Dr. Williams testified as to his conclusions in Family Court.