Attorney Lorenzo Williams, Senior Partner in the Law Firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, P.L.L.C., was born January 26, 1952, in Miami, Florida to Alvin and Rosa Mae Williams. The second of seven children, born to working-class parents, Mr. Williams was raised in Goulds, Florida and Waynesboro, Georgia. Despite never attending college themselves, his parents ensured that each of their seven children received a college degree.
Education and Early Career
After graduating from high school, Mr. Williams continued his studies at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he majored in political science. Mr. Williams graduated from Shaw University with honors in 1974. In 1977, Mr. Williams earned his law degree from Willamette University School of Law in Salem, Oregon, and was admitted to practice law in Florida on March 28, 1978. Mr. Williams began his career working as staff counsel for the Urban League of Dade County. In July 1978, Mr. Williams joined fellow Shaw alumnus, Willie Gary, at the Law Firm of Gary & Lewis in Stuart, Florida. Two years later, Mr. Williams became a Senior Partner in the Law Firm of Gary, Williams & Parenti, et al. For over 30 years, he has specialized in civil litigation including personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, product liability and commercial cases. In May of 2017, Mr. Williams was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America.
During his 38 years of practice, Mr. Williams has successfully litigated more than 100 cases with verdicts and/or settlements exceeding $1 million. Mr. Williams’ legal career has been one of many milestones and successes. In 1995, a jury awarded Williams and the Law Firm of Gary, Williams & Parenti a record-breaking, $500 million against one of the world’s largest funeral home chains, The Loewen Group. In addition, Williams and his law partner, Willie Gary are noted for winning a $240 million jury verdict in Orange County against the Walt Disney Corporation for their clients, who alleged that Disney stole their idea for a sports theme park. In 2001, a jury awarded The Law Firm of Gary, Williams & Parenti et al. a $139.6 million verdict for the Maris Distributing Company against Anheuser Busch. In 2014, a Pensacola, Florida jury awarded the Law Firm of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary, P.L.L.C., on behalf of their client, an unprecedented $23.6 billion verdict against RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company. Another significant legal accomplishment was the $15 million arbitration award Mr. Williams obtained, on behalf of an African American computer distributor, against computer giant Hewlett Packard. This was the second-largest arbitration award in Rochester, New York. By appointment of a Federal Bankruptcy Court, Mr. Williams also successfully represented the Federal Trustee against one of the leading multi-national military aeronautic contractors, Lockheed Martin, resulting in a $10 million settlement. Believing that the law can be a great counterweight to injustice, Mr. Williams continues to excel in his field.
Mr. Williams’ commitment to excellence is reflected not only in his many professional accomplishments but also in his commitment to the community and social change. Mr. Williams served as the first African American President of the St. Lucie County Bar Association in Florida and the first African American member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Justice Association (formerly the Florida Trial Lawyers Association). Mr. Williams is also the first African American to receive an invitation and become a member of the Palm Beach Chapter of American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Mr. Williams is active in numerous professional and civic associations including the National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Mr. Williams is a member of the Board of Trustees of Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN; the Board of Councilors, College of Dental Medicine of Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; the Board of Trustees of Shaw University, Raleigh, NC; the Treasure Coast Campus Advisory Board of Florida Atlantic University, Port St. Lucie, FL; and the Board of Visitors of Willamette University College of Law, Salem, OR.; and the Advisory Board of Seacoast National Bank, Stuart, Florida. In 2014, he was the recipient of the American Diabetes Association’s ‘Father of The Year” award.
Mr. Williams and his wife of over 36 years, Jovita Williams, are the proud parents of four children: Dr. Rashondia Gaines, Dental/Clinical Professor, Nova Southeastern University; Ayanna Williams, Esq, practicing law in Philadelphia, PA and Adjunct Professor of Law/Villanova Law School, Villanova, PA; and twin sons, Akeem Williams, Esq, Commercial Litigant with the law firm, Lindsay Hart, LLP in Portland, OR; and Amar Williams, Esq, who practices alongside his father at Gary, Williams, Parenti, et al.