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

  • Dispute re purchase of Bentley from dealership.
  • Dispute over restoration of vintage Ferrari “Daytona.”
  • Several Lemon law cases against luxury European automobile brands.
  • Numerous “Lemon Law” cases

Business

  • Competing claims of mis-management of golf and lake projects at 400+ home residential development.
  • Competing complaint and cross-complaint alleging breach of contract and associated business torts between a medical clinic and an electronic medical records (EMR) vendor, who were parties to a billing agreement.
  • Breach of contract action by major metropolitan utility against contractor involving dismantling and disposing of huge electric transformer. Defendant claimed that its bid was an obvious mistake and overvaluation of potential salvage value of components of the transformer.
  • Competing complaint and cross-complaint before Superior Court in northern California alleging breach of contract and associated business torts growing out of a Billing Service Agreementbetween a large medical clinic and an electronic medical records (EMR) service.
  • Numerous other cases involving allegations of breach of contract and/or fiduciary duty.
  • Owner/Contractor/Subcontractor disputes.
  • Allegations by U.S. retailer of contract breaches by manufacturer of teak furniture in Asia.
  • Allegations of fraud in sale of business.
  • Alleged breach of consultant contract involving DTLA restaurant.
  • Business breakup.
  • Unfair competition case arising in the Port Services industry.
  • Breach of contract/construction defect.
  • Dispute re manufacture and sale of scented candles.
  • Business “divorce.”
  • Federal collection action re multi-million dollar judgment on breach of contract case between mortgage bank and mortgage purchaser/processor bank.
  • Breach of contract/embezzlement claims re business expenditures.
  • Case involving corporate governance and dissolution.
  • Allegation that one party fraudulently opened bank account in other party’s name and diverted funds.
  • Pre-filing dispute re commercial software and services agreements. Complex business arrangement settlement.
  • Case against water company re intrusion of polluted water into business office building.
  • Allegations of breach of contract and fraud in development of television-related smart phone application.
  • Federal court business dispute involving claims of unfair competition and “RICO” violations re manufacture of furniture in Indonesia.
  • Loan/collection dispute.
  • Business/real estate dispute over access and parking issues between adjacent properties in DTLA manufacturing district (mediation conducted on site).
  • Business/collections dispute between chair manufacturer and office furniture retailer.
  • Allegations of theft/conversion/receipt of stolen bulk paper and cardboard container elements.
  • Licensing dispute: parties agree to narrow range and clear process to make a new licensing deal as part of settlement.
  • Business case involving seafood wholesaler and processing plaint; settlement consisted of crafting new business deal.
  • Alleged breach of contract involving $500,000 business investment to qualify for EB-5 investor visa.
  • Numerous cases involving allegations of breach of contract and/or fiduciary duty

view all

Civil rights

  • Claims of discrimination arising in employment and housing situations.

Complex Litigation

  • Class Actions alleging violations of various statutory and/or regulatory requirements.
  • Dispute between trustees and beneficiary of family revocable trust; settlement included resignation of trustees.
  • Class Action involving NOI (Notice of Intent) re repossessed vehicles issued by loan servicer.
  • Dispute re costs of construction repair.

Elder Abuse

  • Several Nursing Home / Skilled Nursing Facility cases involving allegations of abuse
  • Nursing home neglect/elder abuse claims.
  • Claims of negligence/elder abuse against nursing home.
  • Claims of elder abuse and wrongful death against nursing home.

Employment

  • Pre-filing allegations of disability discrimination (FEHA), failure to engage in interactive process, failure to prevent discrimination, retaliation (FEHA), harassment (FEHA), and wrongful termination in violation of public policy. The allegations were against a 40-year employee. Another factor in the mediation was the fact that the Woolsey fire had destroyed much of the defendant’s property.
  • Alleged discrimination and wrongful termination of ex-Marine civilian employee of U.S. military contractor in forward area of operations in Afghanistan.
  • Suit by paraplegic medical doctor against hospital and staffing corporation for failure to accommodate and wrongful discharge.
  • Allegations of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, wrongful discharge, failure to accommodate and engage in interactive process, plus whistleblower claims, by plaintiff with multiple health problems and extensive time off for surgeries.
  • Numerous cases alleging discrimination and/or wrongful discharge.
  • Allegations of invasion of privacy and wrongful termination
  • Sexual harassment claims against security systems employer.
  • Numerous wrongful termination cases.
  • Employment: sexual harassment.
  • Employment discrimination case against a museum in southern California.
  • Pre-filing employment case involving national veterans’ organization.
  • Employment case (sexual harassment and wage-and-hour violations) against iconic Hollywood hotel.
  • Wrongful termination (with parallel worker compensation case).
  • Employment: allegations of racial harassment of one salesperson and sexual harassment of another at auto dealership.

view all

Entertainment

  • Dispute between surviving members of an iconic rock band; settlement led to agreement re touring together.
  • Dispute between music star and celebrity shop owners concerning alleged misuse of credit card.
  • Dispute between former NFL running back and post-football business partners.
  • Defamation Case, pending in New York and foreign courts, wherein Plaintiff entertainment celebrity alleged libel by international media company based abroad
  • Dispute over production of reality TV show.

FELA

  • FELA cases brought against AMTRAK by railroad employees for personal injuries.

Government Entities

  • Breach of contract action by major metropolitan utility against contractor involving dismantling and disposing of huge electric transformer. Defendant claimed that its bid was an obvious mistake and overvaluation of potential salvage value of components of the transformer.
  • Numerous cases alleging personal injury or other harm caused by local city or county governments.
  • Allegations of discrimination, harassment and retaliation against the County of Los Angeles.
  • Employment case against City of Los Angeles.
  • Suit re water damage due to broken LADWP water main.
  • “Reverse validation” actions by taxpayers attacking parcel tax of unified school districts allegedly in violation of Government Code Section 50079.
  • Automobile accident involving LADWP vehicle.
  • Employment case: sexual orientation discrimination and retaliation against City of Los Angeles.
  • Personal injury: private auto vs. LADWP truck.
  • Automobile accident suit against LADWP with unique damage calculation issues.

view all

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 conditions.
  • Habitability case with extensive violations of housing and health laws and one self-insured and two uninsured owner defendants.
  • Habitability case; 28 plaintiffs.
  • Habitability case: 31 plaintiffs, 4 carriers.
  • Habitability case re: trailer park.
  • Habitability case involving lead, mold, assault.
  • Unlawful detainer/discrimination/habitability.
  • Allegations of discrimination on basis of familial status (children) in low-income housing.

view all

Insurance

  • Out-of-state multi-party insurance bad faith case arising out of damage caused by massive hail storm. (Mediation session lasted 16 hours).
  • Numerous cases involving allegations of Insurance bad faith.
  • Subrogation claim re allegedly faulty maintenance on airplane that subsequently crashed in Africa.
  • Allegations of fraud and misrepresentation against insurance company claiming that it persuaded client to change to less advantageous and more expensive policy.
  • Insurance subrogation dispute re apartment fire.
  • Business dispute: resolution provides for different settlement payment amounts depending on rulings of the Court on specified pending motions.
  • Insurance bad faith claim re home health care policy.

view all

Intellectual Property

  • Patent/copyright infringement re plush toys.

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
  • Complaints of legal malpractice with cross-complaints for legal fees.
  • Attorney fee dispute declaratory relief action (related to case AHW settled previous year).
  • Alleged attorney malpractice re attempts to get financing for client.
  • Fraud claims against attorney.
  • Alleged attorney malpractice/fraud.

view all

Media

  • Defamation case in New York and foreign courts wherein Plaintiff entertainment celebrity alleged libel by international media company based abroad.
  • Defamation suit against two national television networks alleging that defendants defamed plaintiff by suggesting that he had HIV-AIDS and was drug user.
  • Defamation case; resolution involved cash and retraction.

Partnership Dissolution

  • Partnership dissolution/buyout.

Personal Injury

  • Survivor representative FELA claim for deceased spouse’s injuries while working for a railroad service.
  • Complex personal injury case involving a mall shooting
  • Claim against AMTRAK for wrongful death at railroad crossing. Significant comparative/contributory negligence issues.
  • Traffic accident where motorcycle rider seriously injured by car driven by television star who allegedly made an illegal turn
  • Excessive force case against restaurant chain growing out of bar fight.
  • FELA cases involving AMTRAK employee claims of injury on the job
  • Collision between railroad train and tractor-trailer.
  • Traffic accident involving bus and beverage truck.
  • Personal injury at Hollywood Bowl.
  • Automobile vs. truck accident with 5 victims.
  • 80 year old plaintiff in crosswalk injured by auto passenger who tried to prevent him from blocking crosswalk and pounding on car.
  • Slip and fall involving pregnant plaintiff with serious permanent injury (baby was ok).
  • Personal injury/premises liability: Plaintiff hit by falling display in hotel lobby when she sat on it.
  • Personal Injury: automobile-bus collision, 9 claimants, minimal insurance.

view all

Product Liability

  • Pacifier cut child’s nose when he fell.

Prop 65

  • Numerous cases of allegations of selling products containing dangerous substances without required Prop 65 warnings
  • Prop 65 case re products made in China allegedly containing lead.

Real Estate

  • Breach of lease matter regarding a restaurant in a shopping mall with a cross-complaint for fraud in inducement.
  • Breach of commercial property sublease.
  • Real estate commissions dispute.
  • Alleged misuse of easement.
  • Real estate/easement dispute.
  • Shopping center lease dispute.
  • Partition suit among family members.
  • Suit for deficiency judgment on commercial real estate loan.
  • Allegations of mortgage fraud and negligent misrepresentation in connection with real estate in Nevada.
  • Claims of fraud/misrepresentation/breach of contract in commercial property sale.
  • Partition dispute between siblings.
  • Breach of lease.
  • Dispute re easement governing spaces between industrial buildings in DTLA.
  • HOA disputeDeclaratory Relief action for fraudulent transfer of condominium to avoid payment of Bankruptcy Court judgment.
  • 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
  • Alleged non-disclosures in sale of development property.
  • Dispute over funds in escrow in failed sale of luxury home.
  • Dispute re joint venture home construction.
  • Dispute re sale of apartment house in Hollywood.
  • Claims of mortgage fraud and equity skimming.
  • Business/real estate dispute over access and parking issues between adjacent properties in DTLA manufacturing district (mediation conducted on site).
  • Dispute re commercial real estate/storm water drain construction and costs.
  • Claim of non-disclosure of water damage in sale of home.

view all

Sexual Assault / Harassment

  • Airline passenger suit against airline for alleged negligence in permitting fellow passenger to get so drunk that he impermissibly touched plaintiff’s thigh.

Wage & Hour

  • Numerous employment cases alleging wage and hour violations among other claims.
  • Wage and hour claim by 3 plaintiffs against restaurant group.