Senior U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams, one of the founders of the McGuireWoods of today, died Saturday at age 87. Williams was a partner with Battle, Neal, Harris, Minor & Williams when that firm merged in 1966 with McGuire, Woods, King, Davis & Patterson to form McGuire, Woods & Battle. Except for a four-year period in the 1970s when Williams served as a Virginia state court judge, he practiced with McGuireWoods until he became a U.S. district judge in 1980.
“A giant has fallen,” said Richard Cullen, “a giant of the judiciary and a giant of our firm. The influence that Judge Williams had on the firm we are today is immeasurable. He led us, taught us and inspired us in so many ways – by his brilliant strategic mind, his love of courtroom give-and-take and his knack for cutting to the core of the most complex issue to cite but a few. His passing leaves a void that can never be filled, but his spirit will live on as long as there is a McGuireWoods. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and to the scores of friends he leaves behind.”
The family will receive friends on Tuesday evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Bennett Funeral Home, 3215 Cutshaw Avenue, Richmond. A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at St. James Episcopal Church, 1205 West Franklin Street, Richmond, with a reception to follow. Interment will be private.