Judge Alexander Williams’ retirement from the bench and entry into private neutral practice with ADR Services is good news for the legal community. I co-mediated dozens of cases with the Judge while I was earning my LL.M from the Straus Institute and have spent many hours discussing the nuances of mediation practice with him. Once known for his temper (and the bow tie he appears to have forgotten to wear in the photo at right) the Judge has learned the rewards of patience.
Always one of the Los Angeles Superior Court’s most charming and articulate bench officers, Williams is now also among the most calm and canny settlement officers available in a town fairly crawling with mediators. Couple his bench strength with an Ivy League intelligence and unusual depth of knowledge of mediation theory and practice, and you have one of the new go-to guys on the block.
An excerpt from the Daily Journal’s article on Judge Williams below with a link if you’re a subscriber to read the entire article.
Retired Judge’s New Mantra: ‘Deal or Ordeal’
By Greg Katz
LOS ANGELES – Superior Court Judge Alexander H. Williams III is about to take his first job ever in the private sector. He will step down from the bench Sept. 15 and join Century City’s ADR Services as a mediator.
Williams started his law career in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps in 1969, worked as an assistant U.S. attorney from 1975 to 1984, and then was appointed to the bench by Gov. George Deukmejian.
Even earlier than that, he worked briefly as a police officer in his native Virginia.
“My very first day on the job, I wrecked a police car on a railroad track,” a catastrophe that made the front page of a local newspaper, he said with a laugh.
His dispute resolution career isn’t likely to be a trainwreck, though.
Once known for his fiery temper – “I used to be a judge beating up on parties,” he told the Daily Journal in 2004 – Williams long since has reversed that reputation.
After studying mediation at Pepperdine University’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution 10 years ago, Williams began to settle nearly all the cases in his courtroom. His skill and advocacy for dispute resolution won him the Southern California Mediation Association’s Peacemaker of the Year award in 2003.