Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Services Tomorrow for Former Judge Ernest G. Williams
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Services will be held tomorrow for retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ernest G. Williams, who died last Thursday at age 83.
Tomorrow’s burial service will be held at 11 a.m. at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, to be followed by a celebration of Williams’ life at The Castaway Restaurant at 1250 Harvard Rd. in Burbank.
Williams was appointed to the court in 1985 by then-Gov. George Deukmejian. He retired in 1998, but subsequently continued to hear cases by assignment.
Born in Waterville, Maine, Williams came to California at an early age. After graduating from from Hollywood High School in 1942, he joined the U.S. Army and served during World War II where he was posted in New York City and Los Angeles.
He later attended Los Angeles City College from 1947 to 1950, and graduated from Loyola Law School in 1953. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1954.
Williams practiced privately for over 30 years before taking the bench, concentrating on civil litigation, personal injury and commercial law. He was certified by the California Trial Lawyers Association as a specialist in personal injury and general civil trial law in 1980, and served as a judicial arbitrator for the Los Angeles Superior Court and the American Arbitration Association prior to his appointment to the bench.
Williams was a member of the California Judges Association, the American Bar Association, and Los Angeles County Bar Association. He was also a former member of the Board of Directors of the Arab-American Bar Association, past commander of American Legion Post 792, past president of the Maronite Welfare Society of Our Lady of Mt. Lebanon Church, past president of the Incarnation Church Booster Club in Glendale, and a former vice commissioner of the Babe Ruth Glendale Program.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul Gutman said of Williams that “a kinder, sweeter, better person never put on a robe.”
Gutman noted that Williams annually hosted a luncheon at Taix restaurant that he paid for out of his own pocket in order to encourage collegiality, and said that Williams was “always quick to assist on the one hand, and to guide with the other.”
“He was a super person,” Gutman added.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy echoed Gutman’s comments, citing an annual reception for new judges that Williams held at his own home and remarking that he was “a kind and generous man, a gracious host, and an excellent colleague.”
Williams’ family has requested in lieu of flowers that a donation be made in his memory to either St. Jude Hospital or the Doheny Eye Institute.
The family has requested no visitors until after the funeral to allow them time to mourn.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company