The Honorable Michael S. Williams

Napa County Superior Court, Department retired


The Hon. Michael S. Williams was a judge for the Napa County Superior Court in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2012. At the time of his appointment, Williams filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Stephen T. Kroyer (Ret.). Williams was forced to resign from the bench in 2017.

He was a registered Democrat.

Williams was forced to resign from the bench after receiving a public censure from the Commission on Judicial Performance in July 2017. The decision was based on an incident that happened at an event at a San Francisco social club in 2016 where Williams was caught on camera stealing two business cardholders holding a value of between $30 and $50. The Commission determined that Williams' actions had undermined the integrity of the judiciary. His censure also stipulated that he was not to seek or hold a judicial office in the future. Williams returned the cardholders and issued an apology to the establishment.

Williams graduated with his B.S. and M.S. in agricultural economics from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Williams joined the Peace Corps in 1974. During that time, he served in Swaziland, Africa for two years as an adviser to the Ministry of Agriculture. He also worked for two years in Botswana after leaving the Peace Corps. Williams then returned to California, where he worked as a machinist for Fabco while attending law school at night. He went on to earn his J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1986.

His first position after law school was as a deputy public defender with the Napa County Public Defender's Office. Williams remained with the P.D.'s office for ten years. Then, in 1996, he joined the Napa County Superior Court, where he served as court counsel and a research attorney for five years. He was then selected to serve as a court commissioner for Napa County in 2001. He remained in that capacity for eleven years, until being elevated to the bench in 2012.

Recent Cases by Hon. Michael S. Williams

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