Chris Williams, Founding Partner
A former Washington State Assistant Attorney General and Seattle Public Schools Senior General Counsel, Chris has spent most of his career focusing on children’s rights. He has experience as a trial and appellate attorney, as in-house counsel for the largest school district in the Pacific Northwest, and in advising a number of nonprofits. He brings a breadth of experience to bear for the clients of Cedar Law. He emphasizes a lifelong “government attorney” mentality that focuses on proactive, early resolution that protects client rights to the maximum extent possible.
His successes include:
- Reversal of college and K-12 student discipline (from suspensions to expulsions and at all levels),
- Assistance to boards with winding down of charter schools,
- Assistance with complaints to oversight agencies (DOE, HRC, AGO, etc.)
- Risk management consultations for entity clients and athletic programs,
- Obtaining wrongfully withheld college degrees,
- Granting WIAA (high school sports) eligibility to student athletes,
- Resolution of private school disputes and arbitrations,
- Reversing college admission denials,
- Counseling parents struggling with children engaged in dangerous behaviors,
- Improved programming for special education students, and
- Millions of dollars in collective recovery to students that were harmed in school environments, ranging from kindergarten to higher education.
Prior to law school he served as a VISTA volunteer with Milwaukee Public Schools. He later worked as a supervisor in a psychiatric treatment facility for children. As an Assistant Attorney General (AAG), he worked in Family Treatment Court and dealt with family separations caused by addiction. He has also served as a foster parent. He has numerous published opinions as an appellate attorney and years of trial work. While serving nonprofits he has provided proactive counsel and in one particularly notable case, he obtained an award of $2.5M for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families as part of a class action award.
He has volunteered his time in support of children in foster care, formerly incarcerated individuals through the Post Prison Education Program, the Council on American-Muslim Relations (CAIR), the ACLU, and worked with the Mountaineers to promote access to the outdoor experience for those with little experience in it. Promoting justice in the educational environment is his guiding motivation at Cedar.