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Team Members



Judge Ernie Williams

  • Presiding Judge Williamson County General Sessions, Division II
  • Former U.S. Attorney Middle District TN
  • TN Supreme Court Rule 31 Civil and Family Law Mediator
  • Former County Commissioner

Judge Williams is a native of Wilson County, Tennessee and graduated from Ketron High School in Kingsport, Tennessee, in 1965. Judge Williams is a veteran who upon graduating high school entered the United States Marine Corps and served there from 1965 until 1969. His service included a tour in Vietnam as well as being selected as a member of the Marine Corps Color Guard in Washington, D.C. As such, he served at the White House and was ultimately honorably discharged as a sergeant.

Judge Williams returned from the Marine Corps and graduated from the University of Tennessee in December of 1974. He obtained his doctorate of jurisprudence from the Nashville School of Law in May of 1980. He ultimately moved to Franklin Tennessee and opened his own law practice where he quickly gained a reputation for being a skilled trial lawyer. His success as a defense attorney led many to believe that he would be a well-qualified United States Attorney and to prosecute federal crimes throughout Middle Tennessee. Pres. George HW Bush selected him to be the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee in 1991. In that role, he supervised the United States Attorney’s office in Nashville which was comprised of 75 employees and 19 assistant United States attorneys.

Judge Williams was considered to be a hands-on US attorney, actively involved in the trying of cases. These cases involved all types of federal crimes including large drug cases, sexual offenses, kidnappings and murders. He was admitted to the United States Supreme Court in 1992 and remains in good standing to this day.

Upon leaving the United States Attorney’s office, he returned to Franklin, Tennessee where he resumed his private practice. He and his wife Nancy were very active in the community and assumed many leadership roles. His wife served on the County Commission until her untimely death in 2002. At that time, the County Commission appointed Judge Williams to fill her vacancy. He was elected to two successive terms following his appointment to represent the 9th Commissioner, he chaired numerous committees, including the budget committee. He is past chairman and board member of My Friends House, an organization that houses and assists at-risk youth throughout the community. He has also served on numerous professional legal associations. He is a Certified Supreme Court Rule 31 Civil and Family Law Mediator.

Prior to coming to WB&N, Judge Williams was appointed as presiding judge of the Williamson County General Sessions Court, Division II. The General Sessions Court hears all types of small claims civil suits as well as criminal matters. As a General Sessions Judge, Judge Williams had the authority to dispose of misdemeanor cases and determine whether probable cause existed for felony charges to be brought before the Circuit Court.

Judge Williams has lived in Williamson County and been a practicing attorney for 34 years. There are few attorneys in the Middle Tennessee area that have not had cases against him, mediated by him or appeared in front of him. He has three children and five grandchildren.


Judge Ernie Williams

Presiding Judge Williamson County General Sessions, Division II; Former U.S. Attorney Middle District TN; TN Supreme Court Rule 31 Civil and Family Law Mediator; Former County Commissioner

Judge Robbie T Beal

  • Former Circuit Court Judge
  • Former Juvenile Court Magistrate
  • TN Supreme Court Rule 31 Family Law Mediator
  • Former Asst. District Attorney

Judge Robbie Beal was elected in 2006 as Circuit Court Judge for the 21st Judicial District that includes Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties. A Circuit Court judge is the trial level court responsible for trying all types of criminal cases; mostly felonies. This court also hears and renders decisions on divorce and post-divorce matters, contract disputes, probate issues, personal injury cases, and orders of protection. It is also responsible for hearing appeals from the juvenile court and general sessions court.

Judge Beal was one of three of the youngest Circuit Court judges elected in the state. As judge, he presided over hundreds of criminal, domestic, and civil cases. A sampling of the cases appealed from his court are available to view here. Prior to his election to Circuit Court, he was the Williamson County Juvenile Court Referee/Magistrate. He served in this capacity for 7 years. A Juvenile Magistrate hears all types of Juvenile matters in the same manner as a judge. Judge Beal ruled on hundreds of custody disputes, child support matters, and juvenile criminal (delinquent and unruly charges) matters.

This is Judge Beal’s second time to practice law with Ernie Williams. Then, as now, he was engaged in the general practice of law concentrating on all types of litigation. Prior to entering private practice the first time, Judge Beal was an Assistant District Attorney and was named the primary drug prosecutor for the judicial district. He tried dozens of cases involving drug offenses, DUI’s, aggravated assault, burglaries, sex offenses, and murder. Judge Beal’s first job out of law school was with the Public Defender’s Office in the 23rd Judicial District which includes Dickson, Cheatham, Humphreys, Houston, and Stewart counties. Again, he had the opportunity to try over 100 criminal jury trials. This includes four murder trials to a successful outcome. He was elected president of the Dickson County Bar Association.

Judge Beal graduated from Belmont University in 1987 in three years and Memphis State University Law School in 1991. He is married with one son. His wife and he were approved foster parents up until his appointment to Juvenile Court. Judge Beal was the first in his family to graduate college and is the grandson of a coal miner from Kentucky.


Judge Robbie T Beal

Former Circuit Court Judge; Former Juvenile Court Magistrate; TN Supreme Court Rule 31 Family Law Mediator; Former Asst. District Attorney

Erin W Nations

  • Former Law Clerk to Circuit Court Judges
  • Special Magistrate in Williamson County Juvenile Court
  • Member, John Marshall Chapter of American Inn of Court

Erin Nations focuses her practice in the area of family law, representing clients in divorce, child custody, child support, and adoption matters. Erin also practices in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, civil litigation, and juvenile matters. She serves clients in the Middle Tennessee area, taking cases in Williamson, Davidson, Hickman, Lewis, Perry, Maury, Marshall, Rutherford, and surrounding counties.

Erin grew up in Williamson County and attended Middle Tennessee State University, majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice Administration. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and went on to attend Nashville School of Law. While attending law school, she worked full time as a law clerk for the Circuit Court Judges of Williamson County.

Upon graduation from law school, Erin joined the Franklin based firm of Sidwell, Barrett, & Welch, where she had the opportunity to learn from several seasoned attorneys. After practicing for several years there, she decided to join forces with former judges Williams and Beal to form Williams, Beal, & Nations.

Erin is an active member of the legal community. She is a member of the John Marshall Chapter of the American Inns of Court and the Williamson County Bar Association. She has also been appointed as a Special Magistrate for the Williamson County Juvenile Court.

Erin W Nations

Former Law Clerk to Circuit Court Judges; Special Magistrate in Williamson County Juvenile Court; Member, John Marshall Chapter of American Inn of Court

Stephanie Veillette

Stephanie graduated with honors from Del Mar College with an A.A.S. Paralegal, and was named Paralegal of the Year. She has been in the legal field since 1992 working in Texas, Virginia, and Tennessee in various areas of the law, including medical malpractice, insurance defense, family law, and criminal defense. She first started working for Judge Williams in 2005 at the firm of Williams & Schwalb, PLLC. When Judge Williams took the bench in 2013, she remained with John D. Schwalb until she joined Judge Williams again at Williams, Beal & Nations.

A native of south Texas, Stephanie has called Tennessee home for over 10 years. She has 2 children, lives in Marshall County and is active in her church, school and community.


Stephanie Veillette