JMU Alumnus Williams Addresses Graduates at Dec. 12 Commencement

From: Public Affairs

J. Craig Williams, a partner in an international litigation and business law firm, returns to his alma mater Saturday, Dec. 12, to speak at James Madison University's fall commencement program.

He will address nearly 700 graduates and their guests at the 10 a.m. ceremony in the JMU Convocation Center. A total of 602 undergraduate students are expected to receive degrees, while 91 graduate students will receive degrees. One doctor of philosophy, one master of fine arts, six educational specialist and 83 master's degrees will be conferred.

Williams, who graduated from JMU in 1979 with a B.S. in communication arts and a minor in biology, received his J.D. with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law. He has melded his interests in the law and writing to produce a book, "How to Get Sued: An Instructional Guide," and a blog, "May It Please The Court," http://www.mayitpleasethecourt.com. He is working on a second book, "Bad Decisions? 10 Famous Cases That Went Wrong."

Williams specializes in the areas of complex business litigation with emphasis on environmental, intellectual property, real estate, technology law and labor matters as a partner in the Orange County, Calif., office of Sedgwick, Detert, Moran and Arnold. He was recently recognized in "OCMetro Magazine" as "O.C.'s Top Lawyers" in the area of litigation.

He has lectured as an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa College of Law on trial advocacy, Stanford Law School on environmental insurance coverage, Chapman University School of Law on legal writing and research and University of California at Irvine on toxics law.

He has maintained strong ties with JMU since his college days, when his family lived in Harrisonburg while his father served as the minister of St. Stephen's United Church of Christ. His brother, Todd Thomas Williams, graduated from JMU in 1986. Their mother worked in the athletics office at JMU during the time that the Williams brothers attended the university.



Dec. 8, 2009