Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Superior Court Judge Alexander Williams to Retire
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Alexander H. Williams III is retiring after 24 years on the bench, and 39 years of public service.
Williams, 64, said yesterday that he will serve his last day on the bench Aug. 27, and that he plans to become a private judge with ADR Services in Century City and to continue teaching mediation at Pepperdine Law School.
He told the MetNews that his last official day on the court—Sept. 15—will also mark his seventh wedding anniversary.
“The symbolism is deliberate,” he said, explaining that he has “the privilege of being married to my best friend,” and that he is stepping down because “it is time to spend more time with my wife and family.”
Born in Virginia
Appointed to the court by then-Gov. George Deukmejian in 1984, Williams was born in Virginia and attended college at Yale University.
He attended the University of Virginia School of Law while working as a police officer in Virginia Beach, and, after graduating in 1969, was admitted to the State Bar of Virgina.
Williams spent the first six years of his legal career serving as a judge advocate in the U.S. Navy in Hawaii and California, and was admitted to practice law in both states in 1972.
He later served in the U.S. Naval Reserve’s Judge Advocate General Corps, retiring in 1999 after 30 years of service.
Williams joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California in 1975 where he served as a prosecutor and chief of the controlled substance unit, and in 1979 spent a year as chief of the federal Department of Justice’s narcotic and dangerous drug section. He became chief assistant U.S. Attorney in 1980, and briefly served as acting U.S. Attorney until his appointment to the bench.
Re-elected to the bench without opposition in 1986 and 1992, he drew a challenge in 1998 after drawing formal discipline from the Commission on Judicial Performance the previous year over a profanity-laced tirade triggered by the refusal of certain litigants to accept what the judge considered to be an extremely fair settlement offer.
Nonetheless, he was re-elected with 64 percent of the vote following a campaign in which he said he was sorry about what had transpired, and that he had worked hard to control his temper and exhibit a more even-tempered nature.
In the face of a potential electoral challenge in 2004 that did not materialize when his intended opponent failed to file the requisite paperwork to mount a challenge, Williams told the MetNews that he was an “older, wiser and better judge than I was then.” he added, “I’ve worked very hard and I’m very proud of what I have done.”
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company