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Long Live the King

He’s head litigator at his law firm, and was named one of the “Nation’s Top One Percent” by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the American Trial Lawyers Association. At 35, he was unanimously appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to temporarily fill a vacancy on the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

To top it all off, the Hon. James Williams, a 1998 graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law, is the first member of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club to serve as king of the Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras.

This is Zulu’s 100th year of incorporation, and event is run by the Mystic Krewe of Louisianians, with U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (who represents Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional district) serving as its chairman.

As reported in The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), James, who practices with Chehardy, Sherman, Williams, Murray, Recile, Stakelum & Hayes LLP, said, “Certainly, we have a long way to go in this country as far as civil and equal rights, but what an amazing story, to know that 100 years ago Zulu was formed because Mardi Gras was segregated, and now 100 years later a Zulu member reigns as the king of the Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras club.”

He added, “We in New Orleans take Mardi Gras very seriously, and that includes the royalty. It’s an opportunity for me and my family to play a part in bringing that which is good about New Orleans and Mardi Gras to the nation’s capital and put it on display.”

James is noted for his philanthropic work — he’s funded a scholarship for a student at the Good Shepherd School, which educates underserved children in New Orleans, and sponsors a Teach for America volunteer. Professionally, his legal work helped pave the way for Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson to become the first African-American chief justice, and he represented Dorian Johnson, a witness in the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown.

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