Richard Leroy Williams

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Richard Leroy Williams (April 6, 1923 – February 19, 2011) was Virginia state judge and later a United States federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia.


Born in Morrisville, Virginia in 1923, Williams was the son of a police officer and a farm wife.[1] He joined the U.S. Air Force at age 17 and served during World War II, including as a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.[1]

After the war, Williams received an LL.B. legal degree in 1951 from the University of Virginia School of Law. He then began the private practice of law in Richmond, Virginia from 1951 to 1972, becoming a founding partner in the firm that would later be known as McGuireWoods.[1] In 1972, Williams was selected as a judge on the circuit court of the City of Richmond, Virginia. He served as a circuit court judge and a lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law until 1976, before returning to the private practice of law.

In 1979, Williams was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to a newly created seat as a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 29, 1980, and received his commission the next day. Presiding over a number of high-profile cases, Williams assumed senior status on May 1, 1992, ultimately serving a thirty-year career on the federal bench.

On February 19, 2011, Williams died from natural causes at his home in Richmond, Virginia. He was 87.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Richard L. Williams, veteran federal judge, dies at age 87". Richmond Times-Dispatch. February 21, 2011. 

External links[edit]

Legal offices
Preceded by
new seat
Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
Succeeded by
Raymond Alvin Jackson