Jim Williams is a summa cum laude graduate of George Mason University School of Law who began his legal career with a prestigious assignment as a law clerk to United States District Court Judge Glen M. Williams in Roanoke, Virginia. He practiced at Gentry, Locke, Rakes, and Moore in Roanoke and at Morris & Morris in Richmond before becoming litigation counsel for Progressive Insurance Company. With Progressive, he gained extensive experience as a trial attorney, giving him wide-ranging expertise in the complexities of Virginia insurance law, and knowledge of how the defense side approaches litigation.
In 1999, Jim left defense and coverage work and began representing injured plaintiffs. A veteran litigator, he has tried more than one hundred personal injury jury cases and was appellate counsel in Virginia’s leading scientific evidence case, Tittsworth v. Robinson. Jim Williams joined Burnett & Williams in 2006 as the lead partner in the Richmond area, with offices in Midlothian and Hopewell, Virginia. He is a regular contributor of law journal articles on personal injury law and litigation issues. Jim’s wealth of experience in insurance coverage matters provides invaluable expertise in an insurance-driven legal environment that becomes more complex each year.
Born in France and raised in Germany, Jim grew up speaking German, French, and English. He still speaks French with such a pure accent that native Frenchmen can’t tell he is American. He has recently taken up Spanish, delighting in discerning the differences linguistically between Spanish, French and English. Jim has passed his love of languages on to his five children. Ranging in age from mid-teens to mid-twenties, his children are his main focus and his primary source of joy. Over the years he has been an active participant in the Midlothian PTA and a leader of the Evergreen Athletic Association.
In 2006, Jim founded The Beth Williams Field of Dreams Foundation, a nonprofit organization named after his late wife, whom he lost to cancer. The foundation is dedicated to bringing people together to make sure children have the best facilities possible to play the sports they love. Partnering with the community, the foundation recently helped transform a 3-acre tract adjacent to the Watkins Annex from an eyesore into a multi-use athletic facility that will serve the entire Midlothian community.
Jim enjoys being outdoors, whether he is running with his dogs, playing golf, skiing, camping, or fishing. His most relaxing diversion, however, is flying airplanes: like his father and uncle before him, Jim is a licensed pilot.