Attorney Robert Allard
Attorney Robert Allard continues to protect children by raising awareness of the childhood sexual abuse epidemic afflicting society. At the same time, Mr. Allard is one of the nation's leading attorneys when schools, daycare centers, churches, camps, and organizations fail to protect children.
Making Youth Sports Safer
Beginning in 2010 with the first of many lawsuits filed against USA Swimming, Mr. Allard's trailblazing legal team fights a battle to ban sexual predators from swim coaching positions. This organization oversees youth swimming clubs around the country and is in charge of training and selecting America’s Olympic swimming team. This legal battle is the first to successfully force the U.S. Olympic Committee to standardize background checks and implement childhood sexual abuse training across every Olympic sport. Consequently, his legal efforts have enhanced the protection of over one million vulnerable young athletes from predator coaches.
Mr. Allard’s landmark success is nationally recognized, earning him 2012’s California Attorney of the Year and National “Person of the Year” (ahead of swimmers such as Michel Phelps and Missy Franklin) in the sport of swimming. He subsequently earned recognition as one of the “Top 10 Most Impactful People in Swimming” by Swimming World in 2014.
Mr. Allard’s enhancement of child protection in sports is also the subject of a 2016 feature story by the San Jose Mercury News.
The majority of my 28 year legal career has been devoted to assisting survivors of sex abuse. At present, it is my entire focus, passion and sole source of my professional fulfillment. I have parents just like you coming to see us on a weekly basis. I have four children. I understand what you've gone through. Our team will do everything we can in our power to make this as painless of a process as possible. When you're looking at the next sixty five, seventy, seventy five years of your child's life, you'll learn it is necessary to secure his or her future. When therapy is needed, they get the best. If they become unemployed, they have some security. Generally, when they hit those bumps in the road, we will do whatever we can to ensure that they have the financial resources to help get them through.
Forcing Schools to Better Protect Students from Sexual Abuse
Bay Area school districts continue to have lax child protection programs. As a result of inadequate policies, teachers gain easy access to molest children at school. Mr. Allard’s legal team, including attorneys Lauren Cerri and Mark Boskovich, are forcing school administrators to change the way that students are protected from potential predators.
In a legal case involving four children sexually molested by their elementary school teacher at O.B. Whaley Elementary School, the landmark $15 million settlement resulted in the Evergreen School District completely revamping its child protection policies.
Another lawsuit involved three children from Paradise Valley Elementary School in Morgan Hill, sexually molested by their teacher in successive years. Much like in the O.B. Whaley case, this lawsuit involved a teacher sexually molesting students during recess and lunch periods in his classroom. As a condition of the $8.25 million settlement, the Morgan Hill Unified School District is required to implement mandatory predator identification training for all of its employees.
Mr. Allard’s legal team has successfully litigated claims on behalf of child sex abuse victims against many school districts. These school districts include San Francisco, San Mateo, San Jose, Tracy, San Ramon, Union City, Fremont, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Saratoga, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Los Banos.
Parents of child sex abuse victims share not only in the desire to obtain the best compensation possible for their children but to also create positive change out of their tragedies so that no other child has to endure sexual abuse. Through their shared commitment, Mr. Allard and his clients have taken steps to create stronger child protection systems for other students.
Changing the Laws to Protect Sex Abuse Victims
Proving that no attorney does more to protect children from sexual abuse, Mr. Allard engages in significant legislative efforts on behalf of victims. He recognizes that repressed memories prevent many victims from realizing that they have been harmed until much later in life. Thus, Mr. Allard is working to abolish arbitrary time limits that continue to deny victims compensation for their harm. For example, in California, the Statute of Limitations for child sex abuse victims is 26-years-old.
Until 2016, the voices of many sexual abuse victims remained silent as confidential settlements kept the names and the terms a secret. Due to the advocacy of Mr. Allard’s legal team, confidential agreements are now prohibited, and attorneys who violate the confidential settlement law are subject to State Bar proceedings.
In another move to protect children, Mr. Allard's legislative efforts are preventing the revictimization of child sex abuse victims. With the help of State Senator Jim Beall, there is now a law to protect victims from unlimited examinations by defense doctors. Senate Bill 755 sets a three-hour time limit and also requires that a licensed therapist with experience in child abuse and trauma conduct the exam.
Lastly, Mr. Allard’s team is stopping school districts from escaping accountability for the sexual abuse of children. For years, school districts were relying on a loophole to require victims of child sexual abuse after 2009 to present government claims within six months or a year of being molested, despite a law that gives child sex abuse victims up until the age of 26 to do so. Brought to their attention by Mr. Allard's legal team, the California Legislative Counsel issued an opinion that school districts must abide by the same age 26 law that applies to everyone else.
Currently, Mr. Allard is working to require that all teachers and school personnel receive mandatory training to identify predatory grooming behavior. This prevention-type training allows school personnel to better identify the “red flags” which almost always precede the sexual abuse of a child.
Beyond Sports and Schools
Mr. Allard has gone up against several childcare corporations, including national day care centers, group home facilities, foster care programs and the Boy Scouts of America, for failing to maintain adequate child abuse prevention programs.
In 2013, Mr. Allard’s team obtained an $8.4 million settlement against a statewide daycare provider. The provider negligently allowed a teacher’s aide to get access to and molest seven children under its care.
In 2015, two separate settlements totaling $2 million were obtained on behalf of 2 children who were sexually molested by an unsupervised counselor against one of the state’s largest foster care providers.
In 2016, they reached a $9 million settlement against a national childcare organization on behalf of 4 victims sexually abused by a camp counselor/teacher’s aide.
Trusted by sex abuse survivors and their families
While he continues to receive awards and recognition for his efforts, Mr. Allard’s greatest honor is the trust survivors and their families place in him. For this reason, Robert Allard draws strength and courage from his clients. It is the mutual journey of hope and healing that inspires Allard, qualities highlighted in an expose written about him by California’s “Plaintiff Magazine.”
A University of Notre Dame graduate, Mr. Allard earned his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Francisco in 1994. During his 20+ years of practicing law in the Santa Clara County, Mr. Allard has served on the Board of Governors for the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association (2001-2005). Additionally, he has served as President of the Board (2006).
On the personal side, Mr. Allard spends as much time as possible with his wife Niccole and their four incredible children - Jacq, Shea, Caden and Ashton. When he is not working, he is coaching, running, golfing or walking his dogs Fred and Frank.
A reputation for aggressive representation and the highest ethical standards
- California Lawyer of the Year by California Lawyer (2012)
- “Person of the Year” by national swimming publication entitled “SwimSwam” (2012)
- Santa Clara County Attorney of the Year an unprecedented four times (2007, 2009, 2012 and 2016)
- Top 100 National Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association (2010-present)
- America’s Top 100 Attorneys (Lifetime Achievement)
- Nation’s Top 1% of Attorneys in the USA (as bestowed by the National Association of Distinguished Trial Counsel)
- America’s Top 100 High Stakes Attorneys
- “Super Lawyers” (2008-present)
- “Lawyer of the Year” finalist by the Consumer Advocates of California (2012 and 2014)
- An AV rating — The very highest accolade for legal ability and ethical standards under the peer review system of Martindale-Hubbell, the national legal directory
Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P.
96. North Third Street, Suite 620
San Jose, CA 95112