The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio joins the Northeast Ohio community in remembering the life and legacy of former United States Attorney, Judge, and civil rights leader, the Honorable Judge James R. Williams. Judge Williams passed away on Friday, November 6, 2020, at the age of 88.
“On behalf of all the men and women in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District, we offer our most sincere condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Judge Williams,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “Judge Williams was a pioneer in the legal community, a civil rights hero and part of the exceptional history of men and women who have had the honor to serve as United States Attorney in this district. Judge Williams will be dearly missed by the many that knew him, but his achievements and legacy will live on in this community and beyond.”
Judge James R. Williams was appointed by President Carter to serve as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio from 1978-1982. He was appointed to the Akron Municipal Court in 1983 and elected to the Court in 1985 and again in 1987. In 1989, Judge Williams was appointed to serve on the Summit County Common Pleas Court and became the county’s first African-American Common Pleas Court judge. He was later elected to the Court in 1990 and re-elected in 1992 and 1998. Judge Williams retired in January of 2005 after 15 years of service as a common pleas judge.