Pass judgement on Staci Williams: The Golden Rule

Lawyer at Legislation Mag sat down with Pass judgement on Staci Williams, the presiding pass judgement on of the a hundred and first District Courtroom, to speak about her occupation. She used to be sworn into workplace January 2, 2015 and used to be re-elected in 2018.

AALM: How did you transition out of your occupation as an legal professional in your occupation as a pass judgement on? What precipitated the alternate?

SW: The will to serve. I served as an administrative pass judgement on for the Equivalent Employment Alternative Fee, a municipal court docket pass judgement on, and an arbitrator. Turning into a district court docket pass judgement on used to be the next move.

AALM: What recommendation do you’ve got for lawyers bearing in mind the transfer?

SW: The toughest factor any pass judgement on does is take a seat as an independent arbiter. It’s sounds simple to put other people and the ones newly in follow, however after spending a life-time taking an aspect, it may be very tricky. It is helping, prior to making a decision to document, to have the controversy with your self and ensure that is best for you. Being a pass judgement on is in point of fact public provider. You are going to no longer be compensated immediately for the time spent or effort in a case. There are not any annual or on-the-spot bonuses. Being a pass judgement on isn’t about monetary rewards, it’s concerning the paintings.

AALM: Describe your taste within the court docket.

SW: Since taking workplace in 2015, our mantra is that we wish the a hundred and first District Courtroom to be “the Courtroom of Selection” in Dallas County. We’ve got attempted to try this by means of making a pleasant atmosphere that’s hostility loose, whilst nonetheless keeping up the honour and appreciate for the judicial device.

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AALM: Describe your dating together with your personnel.

SW: Skilled. We handle such a lot that’s of necessary significance to such a lot of it could possibly every now and then be overwhelming. I ceaselessly assist them take note they’re other people too and that breaks are a important a part of paintings.

AALM: Do you’ve got any recommendation for lawyers making an attempt a case prior to your bench?

SW: Be ready. Be skilled. Dedicate your self to doing a just right activity on your shopper and as an officer of the court docket. After all, in case your place is untenable, concede and transfer on.

AALM: What do you like about your activity?

SW: The information that I’m able to assist other people conclude no matter factor has introduced them to me. No longer everybody will love the verdict, however there will likely be a call that provides all events finality.

AALM: What do you in finding maximum difficult about your occupation?

SW: The variety of problems that come prior to me. One I day I might pay attention an insurance coverage case, the following a TRO over mineral rights. There’s a extensive base of information that’s required and it’s in reality difficult and in the end very thrilling.

AALM: What do you leave out about being a attorney?

SW: Having the ability to set my very own hours and take time for myself. It’s more difficult to try this as a pass judgement on, understanding that individuals are relying on you.

AALM: What do you consider is the most important distinction between training legislation and presiding as a pass judgement on?

SW: As an legal professional, I used to be an recommend fiercely preventing for my shoppers playing the versatility to interpret the regulations to suit my shopper’s wishes. Alternatively, as an ordeal court docket pass judgement on my constancy is to the legislation. I’m not a participant at the box, I’m the umpire.

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AALM: Are there any adjustments within the criminal neighborhood that you’re fascinated with?

SW: I believe COVID-19 has led to everlasting alternate within the criminal box. Zoom and different platforms were sport changers. We notice that depositions and maximum hearings may also be carried out just about. The extra time the courts can provide again to events is of get advantages to them and makes all of the device extra environment friendly.

AALM: How are you concerned with the area people?

SW: Very… however no longer simply the neighborhood at massive, however quite a lot of teams inside of it from the Dallas Nation Bar Affiliation to The Preston Hole Democrats.

I’m in particular happy with the Electorate’ Civil Academy (CCA), a program to teach voters concerning the civil court docket device that I based in September 2015. The CCA explores the forms of instances heard within the civil courts and what occurs to a case from the time the case is filed till it’s disposed. The Electorate Civil Academy is loose to members (prices are absorbed by means of my marketing campaign finances) and introduced two times a 12 months, within the spring and fall. The CCA has graduated over 400 voters ranging in age from 7-92.

And has been carried out in over 12 places in Dallas County.

I actually have a program, basically for lawyers, known as Espresso and Bagels with the a hundred and first District Courtroom. Espresso and Bagels used to be first an in-person seminar concerning the a hundred and first District Courts operations and a featured a speaker on a criminal subject. With COVID-19, Espresso and Bagels has been transformed right into a periodic e-newsletter that includes updates at the everchanging insurance policies/practices of the civil courts all the way through the pandemic.

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AALM: Do you’ve got any mentors? What are one of the maximum necessary courses they taught you?

SW: I’m lucky to have mentors from all walks of existence. Judges, attorneys, trade homeowners, grocery clerks, submit males, the housekeepers. I believe the most efficient and maximum constant recommendation is the golden rule – do unto others as you might have them do unto you. I am going to paintings on a daily basis with that during thoughts.

AALM: Let us know a comic story both out of your days as a practitioner or out of your days at the bench.

SW: Courtroom coordinators have essentially the most tricky activity on the court docket space. If somebody has a query, they name the court docket coordinators. From time to time individuals are, to be truthful, no longer really nice or respectful. Now and again, I solution the court docket’s telephones. At some point, this paralegal used to be extraordinarily tricky, difficult, and condescending. After resolving her factor, she requested, “What’s your title, I want to record for my legal professional what you informed me.” I waited for approximately 5 seconds and mentioned, “Positive, that is Pass judgement on Williams.” There used to be lifeless silence at the telephone. The paralegal right away modified her tone and angle.

AALM: Proportion some other details about your self that you just assume our readers would experience.

SW: I’ve a dual sister named Traci who remains to be my perfect buddy and one in every of my fiercest marketing campaign supporters. I’m nonetheless just about my circle of relatives and am fortunate that my oldsters were in a position to wait each marketing campaign match since 2014!