James Williams: A Trailblazing Trial Lawyer in New Orleans

Unparalleled Success in High-stakes Litigation

James Williams, an esteemed trial lawyer, boasts an extraordinary track record of triumphs in high-stakes cases. Through his strategic prowess and legal expertise, he has secured hundreds of millions of dollars for individuals and small businesses. In the face of multi-million and multi-billion dollar lawsuits, Mr. Williams has rescued companies from financial ruin, quashing runaway jury verdicts. Recognized widely as “rescue counsel,” he is frequently sought after to join ongoing high-stakes and high-value plaintiff and defense litigation.

The Effectiveness of James Williams: A New Orleans Trial Lawyer

Getting to Know Attorney James Williams

James Williams is hailed for his legal prowess not only locally but also on a national scale. Among his impressive accolades, he has been named a “Super Lawyer” by a prestigious rating service that recognizes the top 5 percent of lawyers in each state. Additionally, he has been selected as one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the American Trial Lawyers Association. His exceptional skills have also led to his induction as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an esteemed society to which only 0.5 percent of American lawyers are invited. Notably, Mr. Williams is certified as one of the “Top Trial Lawyers in America” by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

James Williams’ Journey in the Legal Field

In 2007, at the remarkable age of 33 and after just eight years of practicing law, James Williams was honored as the youngest inductee into the New Orleans CityBusiness magazine “Hall of Fame.” His courtroom triumphs and unwavering dedication to justice led to this prestigious recognition.

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Mr. Williams’ commitment to the legal profession was evident when he took a leave of absence from practicing law in 2009-2010 to serve as the judge (pro tempore) presiding over Division “J” of the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. At the age of 35, he became the youngest judge in the State of Louisiana. This appointment, unanimously bestowed upon him by the Louisiana Supreme Court, speaks volumes about his expertise and judicial acumen.

James Williams has also garnered acclaim for his adept handling of high-profile litigation. He has consistently achieved legal victories while meticulously preserving positive public perception. Noteworthy cases include his representation of Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson in a civil rights lawsuit, resulting in her historic ascension to Chief Justice as the first African-American in the court’s two-century-long history. He also represented Dorian Johnson, a key figure in the tragic events surrounding Michael Brown’s death, as well as then-United States Senator Mary Landrieu in a residency challenge.

Moreover, Mr. Williams successfully defended Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman in Federal Court, averting a federal takeover of the Orleans Parish jails. In a highly publicized “freedom of speech” lawsuit, he stood up for David Palpus, a high school student whose artwork was wrongfully removed from display in the Capitol by a Congressman who disagreed with its content. His relentless dedication to justice and unwavering advocacy have made him a trusted name in legal circles.

In 2017, New Orleans Magazine recognized James Williams as the go-to lawyer for “Bet-the-Company Litigation” in their annual review of the region’s top legal professionals.

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James Williams: Active Community Contributor in New Orleans

James Williams’ professional accomplishments are paralleled by his strong commitment to serving his community. He proudly served as the Chairman of the Louisiana State University (LSU) Board of Supervisors, securing unanimous support from his fellow board members. Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Mr. Williams to a six-year term on the LSU Board of Supervisors in 2016, recognizing his exceptional contributions. His subsequent election as Chairman marked him as the first African-American LSU alum to hold this esteemed position. Governor Edwards reaffirmed his faith in Mr. Williams by reappointing him to a second six-year term in 2022.

The esteemed Congressman Cedric Richmond handpicked James Williams to reign as King of the esteemed Krewe of Louisianans’ “Washington Mardi Gras” in 2016, making him the youngest person ever to receive this honor. Past Kings include prominent figures such as Congressman Hon. Hale Boggs, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, renowned “Blue Dog” artist George Rodrigue, and shipping magnate Boysie Bollinger.

Commitment to justice extends beyond his legal career. In 2008, James Williams generously donated $50,000 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Bar Association’s local affiliate chapter, Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society. As a past president of the Martinet Society, he funds the Louise Halper Award, presented annually to a student who publishes a scholarly article on civil rights and social justice at his alma mater, Washington & Lee University School of Law. Furthermore, Mr. Williams established an $80,000 scholarship at “The Good Shepherd School,” a privately funded New Orleans institution catering to children living below the poverty line. He also sponsors a teacher in the “Teach for America” program in New Orleans.

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In addition to his professional and philanthropic endeavors, James Williams finds time to engage with his community. He has actively coached little league basketball and served as a Sunday School teacher at Tulane Memorial Baptist Church. As a chapter advisor to the Rho Iota Chapter at Tulane University of his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, and as General Counsel to the New Orleans alumni chapter (Sigma Lambda) of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, he continues to make a lasting impact. Furthermore, he served as an adjunct professor at Tulane University, imparting his extensive legal knowledge in the classroom.

James Williams’ Academic Background

James Williams holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University and a Juris Doctor degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law. During his time at Washington & Lee, he served as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice in his third year. Notably, he collaborated with United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on a law journal publication entitled “Civility” during his third year as a law student. In his second year, he published a journal article analyzing the United States Supreme Court’s treatment of the disparity between powder cocaine and crack cocaine in federal sentencing guidelines. Additionally, he served as the president of the Black Law Students Association during his second year. Following his law school journey, Mr. Williams had the honor of serving as a law clerk to Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette J. Johnson.

For the best legal representation in New Orleans, turn to Garrity Traina, where James Williams and the team are committed to your success.