November 17, 2008


AlbanyAttorney was Association's 84th President

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 Bar."

"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 1977-1978.

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.