Hon. Alexander Williams III (Ret.)

Profile

Hon. Alexander Williams III brings over 24 years of judicial experience and more than 15 years of intensive teaching and training in dispute resolution to his ADR practice.

As a Superior Court judge in felony criminal and unlimited jurisdiction civil assignments, he presided over hundreds of jury and court trials. As he developed resolution skills, he began to settle civil cases for himself and for his colleagues on the bench. Ultimately, he was selected to serve as a full-time Settlement Judge – one of only two judges in that position at the time. In this unique judicial assignment, he resolved hundreds of unlimited jurisdiction civil cases during his last three years at the Court.

Judge Williams’ expertise in dispute resolution is not limited to his judicial experience. He supplements his work as a judge with extensive study and teaching of mediation. For fifteen years, he has served on the Adjunct Faculty at the world-renowned Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. In this capacity, he trains and teaches in both the academic courses and the professional programs of the Institute. He has taught judges and others about mediation around the United States and in other countries, including Nigeria, Brazil, India, France, and Australia.

Since joining ADR Services, Inc. in 2008, Judge Williams has established a robust mediation practice. He is known for being thorough in his preparation, reading all papers submitted to him, and understanding the facts and the law. In addition to his legal knowledge, he has earned praise for his natural ability to relate to people of all backgrounds. His skill in making parties feel comfortable and listening to them, while conveying their point of view to the other side, is invaluable to his success as a mediator.

Although he rose to leadership positions in the Court, the Justice Department, and the Navy, Judge Williams knows that the only authority he has in a mediation is the trust he earns from parties and counsel by the way he prepares and the way he conducts the mediation. As he is known to say, “God gave me two ears and one mouth. I am supposed to use them in proportion.”

In his free time, Judge Williams continues working to improve his Spanish, under the tutelage of his wife, Doris Weitz, a native of México and a Court-Certified Spanish Interpreter.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Successful private practice as a Mediator, Arbitrator and Discovery Referee since 2008
  • Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court for 24 years (1984-2008)
  • Full-time Settlement Judge for 3 years (2005-2008)
  • Settled hundreds of major civil cases as Superior Court Judge
  • Adjunct Professor, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law
  • Co-Teacher, California Judicial College Civil Settlements Course (2004-2007)
  • Instructor, Los Angeles Superior Court settlement courses (2004-2007)
  • Frequent instructor and speaker on dispute resolution
  • Hundreds of hours of ADR training (Pepperdine, Harvard, ABA, et al.)
  • “Peacemaker of the Year,” Southern California Mediation Association (2003)

Areas of Specialization

  • Business / Contract
  • Real Estate
  • Housing and Habitability
  • Personal Injury
  • Employment
  • Civil Rights
  • HOA Disputes
  • Professional Liability

Judicial Experience

1984-2008    Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court

  • 2005-2008   Full Time Settlement Court
  • 1992-2005    Unlimited Jurisdiction Civil Trial Court
  • 1984-1992     Felony Criminal Trial Court

Executive Committee, ADR Committee, California State-Federal Judicial Council, California Center for Judicial Education & Research (CJER) Governing Committee, Various other Court Committees.

Professional Experience

  • 1980-1984       Chief Assistant United States Attorney, Central District of California, Los Angeles. Twice court-appointed United States Attorney during this period.
  • 1979-1980       Chief, Narcotic & Dangerous Drug Section, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
  • 1975-1979       Assistant United States Attorney, Central District of California, Los Angeles
  • 1969-1999       United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps Officer
    – 1999 Retired with rank of Captain
    – 1975-1999 Inactive (Reserve) Duty: U.S. & abroad
    – 1969-1975 Active Duty, Pearl Harbor, HI & Long Beach, CA
  • 1967, 1969      Police Officer, Virginia Beach, Virginia

Education

  • 1969   University of Virginia School of Law, Bachelor of Laws
  • 1966   Yale University, Bachelor of Arts (cum laude)

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia (1969), California (1972), Hawai’i (1972)
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Various Federal Courts of Appeal and District Courts

Publications

“The Settlement Choice: Deal or Ordeal.” Advocate, Journal of the Consumer Attorneys Associations of Southern California. July 2007.

Professional Activities and Organizations

  • California Judges Association
  • American Bar Association (1970-2015)
  • California Lawyers Association: Labor and Employment Law Section; Litigation Section
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association: Labor and Employment Law Section; Litigation Section
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • California Dispute Resolution Council, Board of Directors (2010-2012)
  • Southern California Mediation Association
  • Judge Advocates Association
  • Military Officers Association of America
  • Association of the United States Navy

Representative Cases

Automobiles

  • Numerous “Lemon Law” cases

Business

  • Numerous cases involving allegations of breach of contract and/or fiduciary duty

Civil rights

  • Claims of discrimination arising in employment and housing situations

Complex Litigation

  • Numerous Class Actions alleging violations of various statutory and/or regulatory requirements

Elder Abuse

  • Several Nursing Home / Skilled Nursing Facility cases involving allegations of abuse

Employment

  • Numerous cases alleging discrimination and/or wrongful discharge

Entertainment

  • Defamation Case, pending in New York and foreign courts, wherein Plaintiff entertainment celebrity alleged libel by international media company based abroad
  • Dispute between music star and celebrity shop owners concerning alleged misuse of credit card
  • Dispute between surviving members of an iconic rock band; settlement led to agreement re touring together

Government Entities

  • Numerous cases alleging personal injury or other harm caused by local city or county governments

Health Care

  • Several cases alleging insufficient staffing of Nursing Homes / Skilled Nursing Facilities

Housing/Habitability

  • Numerous cases alleging non-habitability on account of rodents, cockroaches, bedbugs, and unsafe/unsanitary items or conditions

Korean

  • Several cases involving Christian congregation disputes
  • Numerous business disputes

Landlord/Tenant

  • Numerous cases alleging non-habitability on account of rodents, cockroaches, bedbugs, and unsafe/unsanitary items or conditions
  • Several unlawful detainer cases that ripened into unlimited jurisdiction civil rights claims of failure to accommodate

Legal Malpractice

  • Numerous cases of claims of legal malpractice
  • Allegations of malpractice by senior partner of well regarded law firm

Personal Injury

  • Traffic accident where motorcycle rider seriously injured by car driven by television star who allegedly made an illegal turn
  • Complex personal injury case involving a mall shooting
  • FELA cases involving AMTRAK employee claims of injury on the job

Prop 65

  • Numerous cases of allegations of selling products containing dangerous substances without required Prop 65 warnings

Real Estate

  • Dispute between Malibu neighbors re trees blocking views. Resolved on scene by visiting both homes
  • Numerous disputes involving alleged non-disclosures in sales or rental of residential and commercial properties

Wage & Hour

  • Numerous employment cases alleging wage and hour violations