Judge Gerald A. Williams on common mistakes made in and around courtrooms

“Don’t Do That!” Judge Gerald A. Williams on common mistakes made in and around courtrooms.  Legal advice, like medical advice, is often preventive. Frequently, the best recommendation is some variation of “Don’t do that!” Obviously, knowingly breaking the law is a bad idea; but most people are law abiding. I’m more concerned about people who think they know the law when they don’t. First mistake: Not showi ...

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If a romance fails and the other person won’t take no for an answer, there are some legal avenues you can pursue, says local judge Gerald A. Williams

Don’t Send Flowers after a Restraining Order Romantic feelings aren’t always reciprocal. If a romance fails and the other person won’t take no for an answer, there are some legal avenues you can pursue, says local judge Gerald A. Williams. With February comes Valentine’s Day and at least some level of pressure to have someone to love. Queen fans (or Glee fans) may be familiar with the lyric “Can anybody fin ...

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Before you hit the elliptical machine, make a resolution to get your legal documents in shape, recommends local judge Gerald A. Williams.

Legally Fit  Before you hit the elliptical machine, make a resolution to get your legal documents in shape, recommends local judge Gerald A. Williams. People who care about their personal fitness hate going to the gym in January. They know it will be crowded until after Valentine’s Day. Why? Almost everyone starts a new year with the intention of getting in shape. However, a new year is a good time to make ...

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Is it legal to depict religious scenes during the holiday season? Judge Gerald A. Williams examines whether local governments may rule against them.

Lawful? Is it legal to depict religious scenes during the holiday season? Judge Gerald A. Williams examines whether local governments may rule against them. Can a local government lawfully display a Nativity scene on government property during the holiday season? Does it matter if it’s also part of an overall holiday display? What about the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state? To f ...

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The History of Thanksgiving

The History of Thanksgiving Judge Gerald A. Williams on the lesser-known particulars of a traditional American holiday. Most of us grew up hearing about how pilgrims sailed for America on a ship called the Mayflower in pursuit of religious freedom. In 1621, they celebrated a harvest with 90 Native Americans who had taught them how to plant corn. While this story is familiar, the actual origin and purpose of ...

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Who Judges the Judges?

Who Judges the Judges? Judge Gerald A. Williams explains how Maricopa County judges are selected. In Maricopa County, judges are selected three different ways. Municipal court judges go through an interview process and are appointed. Justice court judges are elected. Superior court judges and appellate judges go through an interview process, are appointed by the governor, and then go through a yes or no ret ...

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To Protect and Serve: Judge Gerald A. Williams explains the responsibilities of your local constable.

To Protect and Serve: Judge Gerald A. Williams explains the responsibilities of your local constable. Unless you have been a domestic-abuse victim and needed someone to serve an order of protection on your behalf, you may not know what a constable does. In fact, if you ask most people what a constable is, they will probably tell you something about an unarmed British police officer. In Arizona, constables a ...

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Show Up: Why You Should Never Miss a Court Date

Show Up According to Judge Gerald A. Williams, nothing good will happen if you miss your court date Woody Allen is often quoted as saying “80 percent of life is showing up.” A similar statement could be made concerning court dates. What will happen if you miss your court date? The short answer is nothing good. Let’s say, just for the sake of argument, that you receive a traffic ticket containing the standar ...

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Avoiding Curfew Violation and Underage-Drinking: Judge Gerald A. Williams talks tough about common teen problems

Avoiding Curfew Violation and Underage-Drinking Judge Gerald A. Williams talks tough about common teen problems. I’ve unfortunately met more students from Boulder Creek High School in my courtroom than I have at Anthem Days. They are usually facing allegations of underage drinking, curfew violations, or both. Underage drinking is more serious, but breaking curfew is something that can be done accidently, es ...

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