What has been referred to as the “Williamson pleas” in Lafayette City Court came to an inglorious but long overdue ending in Lafayette City Court when the District Attorney’s Office withdrew efforts to attempt to change the minds of Judges Saloom and Bouillion as to whether it was proper for Robert Williamson, a private investigator presently under indictment in the Federal court system, to handle the affairs of individuals charged with driving under the influence. After more than two years of lawsuits, motions, public records requests and contentious opposition, the matter is finally over. The rulings of the judges make it abundantly clear that a person who does not have a license to practice law cannot meddle in the realm of licensed attorneys.
So what’s the big deal?
Isn’t this about getting the “guilty” off the hook? Giving the blessing to drink and drive? Telling people that the first one is free? Hardly.
I have made it abundantly clear that I consider driving under the influence to be very serious business that can lead to tragic and severe consequences. Loss of life or injury to others results in prison. Convictions can lead to loss of jobs, employment opportunity and untold hardship. Anyone who has ever been served by my office knows the consequences full well and leaves the relationship with the understanding that they are positioned to be success stories in endeavors of their choosing and not repeat offenders.
Did Robert Williamson that his accomplices at any point review any evidence to see if a person was most likely guilty? No.
Was there an effort to discuss the consequences of subsequent violations? No.
Did he bother to try to send anyone to a professional find out what the underlying reason for the conduct was so as to correct a problem? No.
Good lawyers insure that the client’s rights are protected and interests served in the legal process. Better lawyers do this while having the courage to assist clients in dealing with the causes that allowed for the problems to occur in the first place.
Robert Williamson and his cohort were only interested in money. That is why good people came back as repeat offenders. Simple as that.
Justice was finally served, at least in part.
Now let’s just see what happens to old Robert.