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 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.
- Personal Injury
- Wrongful Death
- Product Liability
- Civil Litigation
- Commercial Litigation
- Medical Malpractice
- Joined Firm, 1978
- Staff Counsel, Urban League of Dade County, 1977
- Willamette University School of Law, J.D., 1977
- Shaw University, B.A. with Honors, 1974
Bar & Court Admissions
- Florida Bar, February 1978
- All State Courts of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth District
- U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), 2005 – Present
- American Bar Association – State Representative, 1999 – 2002
- Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers
- Eagle Member, 1997 – Present
- Board of Directors, 1997 – 2003
- Long Range Planning Committee
- Hospital Lien Task Force
- Candidate Recruitment Task Force
- National Bar Association, Past Director, Region 11
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- American Trial Lawyers Association, Minority Caucus
- St. Lucie County Bar Association President, 1988 -1989
- 19th Judicial Circuit Nominating Committee 1999 – Present Vice Chairperson, 2000 – Present
- General Counsel, Florida Mortician’s Association, 1998 – Present
- Willamette University College of Law, Salem, Oregon – Board of Visitors, 2000 – Present
- Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee – Board of Trustees, 2001 – Present
- Shaw University, Raleigh, North Carolina
- Board of Trustees, 1994 – Present
- President, Athletic Booster Club, 2000 – Present
- Chairman, Development Committee
- Executive Committee
- Presidential Search Committee
- Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Board of Councilors, College of Dental Medicine
- Florida Atlantic University, Port Saint Lucie, Florida
- Treasure Coast Campus Advisory Board
- Black Family Channel
- Board of Directors, 1999
- The Gary Foundation – Board of Directors, 1994 – Present
- Morehouse School of Religion Board of Directors – Feb. 2008 – Present
- National Public Radio, President’s Council, 2002 – 2005
- Florida Highway Patrol Advisory Committee
- United Way of St. Lucie County, Past Board of Directors
- St. Lucie County Chapter of American Red Cross, Past Board of Directors
- St. Lucie County High Speed Rail Commission, Past Chairman
- Fort Pierce Downtown Redevelopment Board, 1989 – Present
- St. Lucie County Code Enforcement Board, Past Member
- Fort Pierce Investors, Inc., 1998 – Present
- School Board Member for St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Past Member
- Florida Chapter of the National Guardsmen, 1980 – Present
- Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Life Member
- Rainbow Push Coalition/Wall Street Project – Board of Directors 1999 – Present
- NAACP, Life Membership
- Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church – Board of Trustees, 1980 – Present
- The Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers, Golden Eagle Award, 1998
- Honorary Doctorate, Dr. of Humane Letters, Shaw University, 1997
- The President’s Career Service Award, Shaw University, 1990
- St. Lucie County NAACP W.I.N., 1996
Everything was handled so well and felt so easy, although I know it’s not an easy process. From the very beginning Ricky gave me everything I needed with regards to insurance information and getting help from a chiropractor. Ricky made it a point to check in on me periodically and keep me posted on the progress of the case. I was very happy with the resolution. When anyone asks me if I know a lawyer I give them Ricky’s name. Thank you so much!
I heard about Ricky through a friend. When I first got his number, I called right away and he was very helpful the whole time. If I had to give him a rating from 1 to 100, I would give him 100! Rick was very respectful, someone that is easy to talk to and relate to. I didn’t have to call, he always kept me informed and everything was right on. I highly recommend him. I feel grateful.
I was referred to Ricky Armand through a mutual acquaintance. I was overly happy with the resolution. Ricky was always easy to reach and he answered all my questions. As far as the case, I feel it was handled very well. I would definitely refer him to someone else, it was high quality work. I can’t think of anything that could have been improved upon. Ricky and everyone at the firm treated me top rate right from the start.
I chose the firm, and to work with Ricky in particular because I wanted someone with integrity, character and good standing in the community. I wanted to know that I could trust them and believe that they had my best interest at hand. They performed above my expectations in all areas. I felt that their consultations with me went beyond being a client and more like a family member. The communication was frequent, and it was clear to me that they cared about justice and helping me during this very difficult circumstance. I highly recommend Ricky, he did everything possible for my case, and I was very happy with the resolution.
Ricky Armand represented me. From the very beginning Ricky showed he was very professional, asking me all of the questions about the case to get a very clear picture. He helped me understand my options and kept me informed all the time. He would call or text me whenever there was an update, and if he was busy when I called, he would get back to me right away. I was very happy with the resolution and how Ricky handled everything from dealing with the insurance company to the results he was able to negotiate. I would highly recommend Ricky to anyone else that needs legal representation.
Nick Voglio was great. He was wonderful. He got to the point and got the job done.
Nick Voglio was quite wonderful. Every time I spoke with him he made sure I understood what was going on with my case. He was very pleasant.
Ricky's enthusiasm, passion, and level professionalism were second to none. What I love about the entire office is that it exudes a level of Excellence that I have not experienced before. I highly recommend Ricky and the firm to anyone, and 100% valid in my experience, more than words can express. Sometimes you don't see all the hard work behind the scenes and only see the end result, but Ricky shared with me case law and everything he had to file to get the results he did. He went above and beyond and provided full disclosure, I truly got everything I could ask for from my attorney and believe that to get the settlement he did, Ricky managed to squeeze lemonade out of a rotten apple. I hope I don't need any other attorney, but if I do, I will call Ricky and refer him, which is a big deal for me because I take referrals very seriously since my name is also on it.
At a point when perhaps the most significant event in my life happened (a life altering crash that left me permanently injured and completely vulnerable), I could not have been in better hands personally, emotionally, mentally and legally than with the help of Nick Voglio and the team at Willie Gary Law. When you are literally on your back with no idea what happened and what is going to happen next in your life and have tremendous anxiety and concerns about your current and future injuries, overall health, mental state, legal position and financial life, there is no better team to depend on.
Nicholas J. Voglio was so very helpful to my daughter and I. Mr. Voglio not only showed compassion but I believe he truly cared about our feelings and outcome of our case. I also know that the staff, especially Samantha made us feel like family and that is so important.