Attorney Richard L. Williams is a member of the State Bar of Michigan. He has been actively practicing law since acceptance into the Bar in October 1978.
The principal areas of law that he has focused on during the three-plus decades of experience have been trial advocacy and business organizations. Mr. Williams attained Diplomate status with the Court Practice Institute in Chicago, Illinois, in 1978. He has worked at the Michigan Department of Commerce, Corporation and Securities Division, Franchise Registration for two years prior to admittance into State Bar of Michigan. During that time, he was also the chief legal clerk for Circuit Court Judge Paul Mahinske in Howell, Michigan. He has also taught upper division level contracts and business organizations at Michigan State University as well as at Lansing Community College and Thomas M. Cooley Law School.
In October 2017, he began his 40th year as a lawyer in private practice. He has represented more than seven thousand individuals and business entities in matters ranging from divorce, real estate, wills, corporations and personal injury/wrongful death to defending those who are criminally accused. Today there is a focus on driver license restoration, expungement of criminal records, the criminal defense and setting up new businesses via corporate form or otherwise. Other attorneys associated with my office handle other areas ranging from civil litigation, bankruptcy to divorce, these among others.
Personal & Educational History
Attorney Williams was born in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York in 1947. His father owned his own newspaper and was an investigative journalist by trade; his mother was a hospital dietitian with a Masters in Food Chemistry. He attended high school in Thompson, Connecticut at Marianapolis Preparatory School and graduated with a classical and a scientific diploma. Thereafter he attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and received a BA degree with majors in History and Chemistry, and a minor in Economics. He attended and graduated from Thomas Cooley Law School in May 1978.
He is married with seven children, which include six sons and one daughter. His outside interests include gardening, wilderness camping, playing and teaching music, cooking, writing, and competitive league bowling during winter months.
In June of 1978, Richard L. Williams, having just received his Juris Doctorate, was accepted by the nationally renowned Court Practice Institute in Chicago, Illinois, to attend their rigorous trial practice training and competition. Up to that point in time no attorney who had not yet been admitted to a State or Federal Bar had been accepted to undertake this curriculum.
Since that time Mr. Williams has had over one hundred jury and non-jury trials, ranging from divorce cases to simple traffic trials, most commonly criminal trials both on the District Court and Circuit Court level. Over the past 39 years of criminal trials, he has prevailed in 79 cases with attaining a not guilty verdict in all but 17.
Mr. Williams believes that the client’s wishes prevail in all matters that are ethically possible. He instills in each client the definition of the fiduciary duty owed by the attorney to the client, to wit: honesty, fairness in dealing, full disclosure of all material information which comes to the attention of the attorney as quickly as possible and acting in the best interests of the client. To this duty he means three things: protect one’s short-term best interests (“get me out of this situation as quickly, as cheaply, and as painlessly as possible”), their long-term best interests (“what effect will this choice be on my life down the road?”), and their financial best interests while the case in active. We guard against the costly poor choices that are often made by people under the stress of legal proceedings.
Usually, it is a failure in negotiations to successfully resolve a case which eventually mandates the ‘all or nothing’ nature of a conducting a trial on the facts of a case. Matters of law are handled beforehand by way of motions of one sort or another. Over the years we have found that rarely does a client attempt to run his or her own case. Most often the client relies on the ongoing continuing advice as to the pros and cons of each decision. Rarely too in terms of statistics is a criminal client completely innocent of all the charges levied against them. As such in my role as a defense attorney, I am usually not the ‘champion of the totally innocent’, but rather the ‘Champion of the overly accused (at best). Fortunately, guilt or innocence of one’s client is not the primary prerogative of the defense attorney, rather it is to protect the client and afford him or her all of their rights in their defense against charges levied against them in the testing of a prosecutorial proofs.
A Final Word on AdvocacyIt should be noted that the law is not just what is written down in books, statutes, and ordinances, and further, it is not just the wisdom given through prior case decisions or even the facts as presented in a case. More often than not in our common law jurisdictions, where equity softens the harshness of the “black letter law”, the outcome is often determined by what is boldly asserted and plausibly maintained to the trier of fact, in other words, by convincing persuasion to a judge or jury. Knowing the law certainly is a necessary prerequisite but an attorney’s ability to effectively communicate is perhaps his or her paramount importance.
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