Sharonda Williams Joins Fishman Haygood

Former City of New Orleans City Attorney Sharonda Williams has joined Fishman Haygood, LLP as Special Counsel following a distinguished career in public service and private practice.

Ms. Williams served as City Attorney from May 2013 through November 2015, handling many high profile City issues. She was the lead attorney handling the most comprehensive police consent decree in the history of the United States.  At the same time, she represented the City in another consent decree aimed at reforming the Orleans Parish Jail, which was then-recognized as one of the worst prisons in America.  Both of those consent decrees required Ms. Williams to engage in negotiations with the United States Department of Justice on a near daily basis. Ms. Williams also served as Chief Deputy City Attorney from October 2011 through May 2013.

“We are truly excited that Sharonda has joined our firm. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from her years of private practice and serving as City Attorney for the City of New Orleans, and she will be a tremendous resource for our clients,” Fishman Haygood Managing Partner Jim Swanson said.

Prior to joining the City of New Orleans legal staff, Ms. Williams was a partner in the general litigation section at Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, L.L.C., where she handled cases ranging from construction disputes, medical malpractice, insurance coverage disputes, entertainment law contract negotiations, intellectual property licensing issues, and bankruptcy adversary proceedings.

Ms. Williams has deep New Orleans ties and is very active in her community. She graduated summa cum laude from Xavier University New Orleans in 1994, and from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law in 2001.

She served as Chair of the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana from 2010-2011, and was also appointed to the Planning Committees for the National Association of Women Judges Conference in 2013 and the appellate Judges Educational Institute in for the 2012 Summit.

Sharonda has served as President of the Board of Bridge House, and was a Grace House Women of Substance Honoree in 2009. Sharonda was also honored as Loyola University’s Young Alumna of the Year in 2011, and she was also recognized as an Honoree at the Greater New Orleans Urban League Gala in 2011. She served as past president of the Louis A. Martinet Legal Society, Inc., from 2006-2007 and earned the organization’s prestigious A.P. Tureaud Award in 2014. She was also a member of the inaugural class of the Norman C. Francis Leadership Institute from 2012-2014, and has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union. In 2010, she was locally recognized by Gambit Weekly as a “40 under 40” honoree. She was also one of the City Business Women of the Year Honorees in 2011.