Jeffrey R. Williams

Partner ( San Francisco )

Direct 415.275.8555 LinkedIn


Jeff has earned the respect and regard of his clients and colleagues for being both fair and compassionate but also compelling and unwavering in the presentation and argument of his clients' cases. As a lifetime learner, he also relishes the opportunity to study and effectively communicate the technical, scientific, and medical issues that are almost always at the core of his defense of his clients. If asked, he will tell you that nothing he does is as professionally satisfying—or simply as much fun—as figuring out how to take a challenging engineering or technical concept and explain it to a jury.

Jeff possesses three decades of high-level experience in complex product liability defense litigation. He has handled claims involving the use of consumer products and heavy industrial equipment that resulted in catastrophic injury or death, and has worked with his clients to shape national litigation strategies. He has also managed teams of trial lawyers working in different parts of the country, successfully guiding them through negotiation, arbitration, and resolution.

For the past 20 years, Jeff has taught Civil Pretrial Practice to 3L's at University of California - Hastings College of the Law, where he also holds the distinction—along with his father and his daughter—of belonging to an exclusive group of families that can boast three generations of graduates from that school.


Representative Engagements

  • Represents a leading manufacturer of aerial devices and related equipment in cases involving electrocution, serious injury, and death.
  • Helped manufacturer of consumer power equipment develop a successful national strategy for the defense of repeat product liability litigation alleging design defect of home use power tool based upon recent invention plaintiffs claimed all such tools should have incorporated.
  • Represents a manufacturer of common household furnishings in cases involving death or serious injury of young children.
  • Represented nationally-known sporting goods company in case arising out of youth sports camp and permanent brain injury suffered by 13-year-old.
  • Represented trust administering hundreds of toxic tort claims pending appeal of national class action settlement; supervised negotiation and arbitration on claims nationwide.
  • Represents a diverse collection of defendants in repeat asbestos litigation, from premises owners to manufacturers of industrial equipment.
  • Represented a major aircraft manufacturer in personal injury claims arising out of use of, and evacuation of, commercial airliners.



University of California ­ Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1978, Note and Comment Editor, Hastings Law Journal, Thurston Society

University of California ­ Berkeley, B.A., 1975
Intercollegiate Sport: Cal Crew

Bar Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Professional Memberships

American Bar Association
American Bar Foundation

International Association of Defense Counsel
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Northern California Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Network of Trial Law Firms
Past Chair

Teaching Appointments

Adjunct Professor of Law, University of California – Hastings College of the Law

Honors & Awards

The Best Lawyers in America, Best Lawyers® (Product Liability Litigation-Defendants, 2018-2024)
Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America, Lawdragon Inc. (2023-2024)
Top Rated Litigators, Martindale-Hubbell and ALM (2018-2021)
Northern California Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters (2013-2015, 2019-2023)
Peer Reviewed AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell (Since 1992)

Publications & Presentations

“Social Inflation, Punitive Damages, and U.S. Litigation Trends: Where are claims and verdicts headed?,” (co-panelist) Lloyd’s Market Association (September 22, 2020)
“Beating Conspiracy Claims,” Network of Trial Law Firms seminar, New York (2006)
“Punitive Damages After State Farm,” Network of Trial Law Firms seminar, Palm Beach, FL (2003)
“Effective Preparation of In­house Counsel for Mediation Leadership,” Network of Trial Law    Firms seminar, Stamford, CN (2001)