The New York State Bar Association mourns the passing of David
Sterling Williams, the Association’s 84th President. Williams, a
retired partner in the Albany law firm McNamee, Lochner, Titus &
Williams, P.C., served as Association President from 1981-1982.
“David was the consummate leader who was devoted to public
service and to promoting always the best interests of the
Association,” said State Bar President Bernice K. Leber (Arent Fox
LLP). “During his term as president, he addressed profound
and important issues to the profession including expanding the Law,
Youth & Citizenship program, increased lobbying efforts for civil
legal services and creating a Corporate Counsel Section. By
focusing on the needs of members and those whom they serve, David
thereby not only advanced but also directly raised the level of the
“Being President of the New York State Bar Association is like
being a member of a relay team, with new programs being started and
existing programs being advanced. Among Dave's contributions were NYSBA
initiatives, which I was intimately involved in, relating to the
Clients' Security Fund and Lawyer Registration, which were ultimately
achieved by judicial action and legislation approved during Dave's
term,” said 1979-1980 Association President Anthony Palermo of
Rochester (Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP).
“David succeeded me as President dealing effectively with the many
then-critical issues facing the Bar. He was a close colleague and
very dear friend,” said 1980-1981 Association President Alexander
T. Forger of New York.
Williams was elected to the Association’s Executive Committee as
Vice-President of the Third District, serving three terms before his
1979 election as a Member-At-Large. He served on the House of Delegates
from 1972 through 2008. He chaired the Business Law Section from
1973-1974 and the Association’s Finance Committee from
A native of Albany, Williams graduated from Colgate University and
served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He earned his law degree
from Albany Law School of Union University in 1949 and received the
Albany Law School Trustees Gold Medal Award in 2002.
He joined the firm Whalen, McNamee, Creble & Nichols in 1946 and was
made partner in 1950. He was of counsel since 1993. His practice was
focused on general corporate and trusts and estates law.
An active leader in the Albany community, Williams served as past
president of the Fort Orange Club, the Albany Academy Board of Trustees
and the Albany Rural Cemetery. He was a member of the Board of Directors
of Child’s Hospital, the Albany Guardian Society and the
Mohawk-Hudson Community Foundation, Inc.
Williams was well-regarded by his colleagues for his vast knowledge of
New York government and his affable manner.
“David was an old-school gentleman. Always gracious and
genial,” said 1985-1986 Association President Justin T. Vigdor of
Rochester (Boylan, Brown, Code, Vigdor & Wilson).
“He was always so pleasant to everyone. He will be
missed,” added 1987-1988 Association President Maryann Saccomando
Freedman of Buffalo (Cohen & Lombardo, P.C.).
The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest
voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, the
Association’s programs and activities have continuously served the
public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993