Judge Gerald A. Williams on the Second Amendment and Arizona firearm laws

Gun Ownership Judge Gerald A. Williams on the Second Amendment and Arizona firearm laws. The Second Amendment to our U.S. Constitution is a single short sentence: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” However, what those words mean remains the topic of heated debates. What is a Militia? A militia, a ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams talks fireworks and the law

Explosives Judge Gerald A. Williams talks fireworks and the law. Arizona’s fireworks laws begin by announcing that it is illegal to sell, possess, or use fireworks unless there is an exception to that general rule. A.R.S. § 36-1602. We have all seen fireworks used and for sale in Arizona, so obviously there are some significant exceptions. One obvious exception involves obtaining a permit for public display ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams talks holy matrimony

Wedding Season Judge Gerald A. Williams talks holy matrimony. I’ve had the honor of performing hundreds of wedding ceremonies since becoming a justice of the peace. Many people think I do nothing else and seem skeptical when I tell them that I’m a full-time trial court judge that performs weddings only as an additional duty and only then outside of normal court operating hours. So is June really wedding sea ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams talks baseballs and tort liability

Fly Ball Judge Gerald A. Williams talks baseballs and tort liability. It’s May. School will soon be out for summer, spring training seems like a distant memory, and our Arizona Diamondbacks will play 28 games (just in May). So what happens if you go to a baseball game and get hit by a baseball? Can you sue? Probably not successfully. The legal concept involved is called assumption of risk. Like many of our ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams drops in on a government class at Boulder Creek High School to discuss the Constitution

Constitutionality Judge Gerald A. Williams drops in on a government class at Boulder Creek High School to discuss the Constitution.   I recently had an opportunity to speak to some government classes at Boulder Creek High School. My topic was, “How Courts Examine Constitutionality.” Part of the lecture focused on two schools of thought: believers of a living Constitution vs. an originalist or textualis ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams on why being under the influence of medicine can trigger a DUI

DUI Judge Gerald A. Williams on why being under the influence of medicine can trigger a DUI. When most people think of a DUI, they think of drunk driving. They don’t think about being under the influence of prescription medicine. However, the results can be tragically similar. There are basically two different kinds of DUI drug charges. First, there is a DUI charge for merely having a drug in your body unde ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams answers commonly asked court questions

In Session Judge Gerald A. Williams answers commonly asked court questions.   For this month’s column, I asked our court staff to let me know the most common questions they receive from members of the public. These were some of them. Q: I live in Anthem and have never even been to Surprise. Why do I have to go to Surprise for my case? A: The short answer is “because that is where Maricopa County put th ...

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Why you should respect the police

Respect the Police  Judge Gerald A. Williams talks about why you give should law enforcement officials the same level of respect that he or she should be showing you. My father was briefly a military police officer; but I have never been a cop. Based on my observations as a private citizen, as a judge, and as someone who watches the news; being a law enforcement official is clearly difficult. It’s not a job ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams on the various liabilities posed by at-work holiday parties.

Holiday Minefield Judge Gerald A. Williams on the various liabilities posed by at-work holiday parties. In my family, we have a tradition that I read The Christmas Story each Christmas Eve. One of the holiday traditions we have at our courthouse is a cookie exchange. Employees that want to take part, sign up, and then agree to bring two or three cookies to everyone who participates. It’s a fun activity and ...

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Judge Gerald A. Williams on the presidential backstory behind the November holiday of giving thanks

Presidents and Thanksgiving By Gerald A. Williams Thanksgiving is hopefully an opportunity for family to get together, to share a meal, and to give thanks for what is going right in their lives. If you like college football, you may lament that Texas and Texas A & M or Oklahoma and Nebraska never play each other around Thanksgiving (or ever) anymore. But Thanksgiving as a holiday has some odd history. W ...

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