James M. Williams
James M. Williams is a partner in the law firm founded by legendary trial lawyer Wendell Gauthier; Gauthier, Houghtaling & Williams. Mr. Williams practices in the area of civil litigation with a concentration in the areas of catastrophic personal injury and business litigation.
In August, 2010, Mr. Williams was named one of "Top 40 Lawyers Under 40" by the National Bar Association and IMPACT. He has been named to the list of "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" by the American Trial Lawyers Association and a "Louisiana Super Lawyer" in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and included in the 2011 and 2012 Business Edition of "Super Lawyers" which, according to the publication "showcases some of the key firms and players who have received outstanding results for their corporate clients." He is one of only 7 lawyers who were the first to be inducted into the New Orleans City Business Magazine "Hall of Fame." He has also been certified as one of the "Top Trial Lawyers in America" by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
In October, 2009, he was appointed Judge Pro Tempore by the Louisiana Supreme Court to fill the vacancy in Division "J" of Orleans Parish Civil District Court. At 35 years of age, he was the youngest judge in the state of Louisiana. He served until a new judge was elected to fill the seat four months later.
In February, 2004, the "National Law Journal" published an article about Mr. Williams' judgment in Williams v. New Orleans Public Belt Railroad which resulted in a $1.5 million recovery for an injured railroad worker. In January, 2005 the "Louisiana Advocates" published an article about Mr. Williams' verdict in Collins v. Radiofone which resulted in a $650,000 award to an automobile accident victim. In March, 2006, Mr. Williams obtained a verdict in Prothro v. Wal-Mart Stores which resulted in a $1.7 million award to an injured child in a federal court products liability action for a defectively assembled bicycle. The plaintiff in Prothro had only $20,000 in special damages.
Mr. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and a Juris Doctor degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia. While at W&L, Mr. Williams was Editor in Chief of the Journal for Civil Rights and Social Justice and was one of only six students selected as a Burk's Scholar. Additionally, he worked with United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to publish a scholarly article entitled "Civility." Mr. Williams has had several other publications including a study with psychology Professor Ivory Toldson exploring the role of racial identity in shaping the decisions of Black jurors for the purpose of enhancing the effectiveness of jury selection in urban communities.
Mr. Williams previously served as law clerk to Justice Bernette J. Johnson of the Louisiana Supreme Court. He also has served as an Adjunct Professor at Tulane University teaching Legal Aspects of Sports. He is a Past-President of the Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce and the New Orleans Bar Association. In 2011, he was named to the Board of Trustees of The Louise S. McGehee School in New Orleans. Mr. Williams sings the baritone voice in a local Barbershop Quartet.
Most importantly, Mr. Williams is the loving husband of a beautiful wife, Elizabeth and the proud father of two beautiful daughters. He was named "Father of the Year" in 2010 by the New Orleans chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., an organization of mothers who nurture future leaders by strengthening children.
2010 "Top 40 Lawyers," National Bar Association, IMPACT
2010 "Top 100 Trial Lawyers," American Trial Lawyers Association
2010, 2011, 2012 Louisiana SuperLawyer
2011, 2012 Super Lawyer, Business Edition
2009-2010 Judge Pro Tempore, Orleans Parish Civil District Court
2008, 2009 New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law Honoree
2009 Inductee, CityBusiness Leadership in Law Hall of Fame
2006, 2007 U.S. Congressional Black Caucus Emerging Leaders Honoree
2006 Million Dollar Advocates Forum
Past-President, Greater New Orleans Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc.
Board member, New Orleans Chamber of Commerce
Board member, New Orleans Bar Association
Board member, Good Shepherd Nativity Mission School
Member, Board of Trustees, Louise S. McGehee School