Senior U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams, a founder of what is now McGuireWoods LLP and a federal judge for more than 30 years, died at his home on Feb. 19. He was 87.
A native of Morrisville, Judge Williams joined the U.S. Army Signal Corps after graduating from high school and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
He graduated from the University of Virginia law school in 1951 and joined Parris, Butcher and Parris and was a partner in Battle, Neal, Harris, Minor & Williams when it merged with McGuire, Woods, King, Davis & Patterson to form McGuire, Woods & Battle in 1966.
Six years later, he was appointed to the Richmond Circuit Court but left after four years to rejoin the law firm.
President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the federal bench in Richmond in 1980.
Although he had been in failing health for the last few years, he continued to work from his home and authored a half dozen opinions for the court in the first month of this year.