Experienced Lawyers Serving Greater New Orleans
Trusted New Orleans Lawyers Courtroom. Boardroom. Community. And All Places in Between.

About Our Trial Team

The Chehardy Sherman Williams Trial Team is a special team of skilled attorneys who have experience with catastrophic personal injury and high profile cases. We are hard-working, efficient and dedicated to putting in the work to get results. What makes our team unique is that we are supported by a larger firm of more than 20 attorneys and we have the manpower you need to give you the representation you deserve.

The Chehardy Sherman Williams Trial Team has achieved an unprecedented record of success in personal injury and business litigation, recovering more than $150 million for individual clients (excluding class actions). The team is lead by attorney James M. Williams, who is known as “rescue counsel” by some of the top 10 largest companies in the world, and is hired as trial counsel to be implanted into existing high stakes and problematic litigation.

Under Williams’ leadership, the Trial Team has experience handling high profile litigation in a tasteful and effective way, and has repeatedly demonstrated an ability to achieve legal victories in these cases while strategically working to preserve positive public perception. Clients have included international corporations, politicians, public figures, individuals and small businesses.

James Williams

James Williams is a nationally-recognized trial attorney who has litigated cases in 15 different states. He is one of the “Nation’s Top One Percent” of attorneys according to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel. He has been named a “Super lawyer” by the rating service that recognizes the top 5 percent of lawyers in each state. He has also been selected to the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the American Trial Lawyers Association. He is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a society to which only one half of one percent (0.5%) of American lawyers are invited to belong. In addition, Williams has been certified as one of the “Top Trial Lawyers in America” by the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Referred to as “rescue counsel” by some of the top 10 largest companies in the world, Williams is often hired as trial counsel to be implanted into existing high stakes and problematic litigation. His litigation success on behalf of businesses caused him to be one of only seven lawyers inducted into the inaugural class of the New Orleans CityBusiness magazine “Hall of Fame.” It also earned him a six-year stint on the board of directors for the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, he was the keynote speaker for an annual meeting of the Defense Research Institute (DRI).

In 2012, Williams was lead counsel for Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson in a civil rights lawsuit she filed when the State of Louisiana attempted to block her ascension to Chief Justice. He argued and won her case before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and she became the first African-American Chief Justice in the 200-year history of the Louisiana Supreme Court. In 2014, Williams represented Dorian Johnson who was with Michael Brown when he was killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. That same year, he successfully represented then-United States Senator Mary Landrieu in a challenge to her residency.

In 2009-2010, Williams took a leave of absence from practicing law to serve as the judge (pro tempore) presiding over Division “J” of the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans. He was unanimously appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to fill a vacancy on the court. Williams was only 35-years old at the time, making him the youngest judge in the State of Louisiana.

Mr. Williams has litigated cases in California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas; as well as Milan, Italy.

Practice Areas

  • Personal Injury
  • Civil Litigation
  • Wrongful Death
  • Product Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Medical Negligence
  • Labor & Employment Disputes
  • Class Actions

Jury Research

Jury Research - Mock Trial

Our attorneys have spent many hours arguing clients’ cases in the courtroom, but although we have real trial experience, it is invaluable to gain insight into the details of a case before even stepping foot in the actual courtroom.

By using the “mock trial” or simulated courtroom approach, our attorneys are able to present your case to local “jurors,” who are paid for their time and believe that the case is real. A retired judge presides with paid actor witnesses testifying on both sides. Through this simulation process, our trial team is able to observe jury deliberations and understand what points may have appealed to jurors and determine the strengths and weaknesses of case. Using this unique and valuable insight, the CSW Trial Team can adjust our litigation strategy as needed.

The knowledge gained from this Mock Trial process, along with our experience and determination, has helped the CSW Trial Team recover more than $150 million for our personal injury clients.

Jury Selection

Jury selection is a critical aspect of a trial; the feelings and beliefs of individuals can have a huge impact on the outcome of a case. Our hours spent in actual cases gives the CSW Trial Team a special knowledge and skillset for how to effectively select a jury. We pull from a pool of jurors based on the case’s location and assess each juror’s leadership potential as well as any potential pretrial biases. The CSW Trial Team has aided in the jury selection process for many clients, including fellow attorneys and law firms.

Notable Rewards

  • $75 million - Insurance Litigation - Insurance recoveries for individual victims of Hurricane Katrina.
  • $68 million - Insurance Litigation - Insurance recoveries for individual victims of Superstorm Sandy.
  • $49 million - Personal Injury / Automobile Accident - Judgment for the victim of an automobile accident involving a commercial vehicle.
  • $26.2 million - Commercial Property Damage/Loss of Business - Hurricane Katrina commercial property settlement for a Metairie high-rise building.
  • $9.25 million - Breach of Contract - Joint venture arising out of a client’s ownership interest in a power plant in El Salvador.
  • $7.4 million - Commercial Property Damage/Loss of Business - Hurricane Katrina commercial property settlement for an office building in downtown New Orleans.
  • $5.7 million - Jury Verdict - Six-week trial involving a business dispute on behalf of a closely held insurance agency doing business in Puerto Rico.
  • $4 million - Jury verdict - Retail center in St. Bernard Parish, which was damaged during Katrina.
  • $3 million - Emily Murray
  • $2.3 million - Vaughn Gonsoulin
  • $3 million - Black Elk


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