• Personal Injury

    Have you or a loved one been injured or killed because of someone else's fault? We have litigated personal injury cases for 35+ years and have the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. Contact us now and click here to learn more about our successful personal injury practice.

  • Wrongful Death

    Wrongful death is when a person or company causes the tragic death of a loved one. Our attorneys can help if you have lost someone. Money can never replace what was lost, but it may provide security and help prevent future tragedies caused by dangerous companies and individuals. We have offices in Joplin and Carthage and can handle cases anywhere, anytime: Springfield, Kansas City, Columbia, Jefferson City, Rolla, etc. Contact us now and click here to learn more about BWO's wrongful death practice.

  • Medical Malpractice

    We pride ourselves on being strong and successful patient advocates for those who have been injured or killed because of medical error. The prestigious Journal of Patient Safety recently reported that as many as 440,000 people die every year from unnecessary medical mistakes. Although many doctors try their best, they are like everyone else and sometimes make mistakes. When mistakes happen, let BWO's expert patient advocates help you. Contact us now and click here to learn more about our substantial medical malpractice experience.

  • Automobile & Trucking Accidents

    Roadway crashes seriously injure and kill victims every day. If you or a love one has been involved in a car or truck accident, contact the lawyers at BWO today! We have 35+ years of experience to help you get the best result possible.

    Automobile &
    Trucking Accidents
  • Work Place Injuries

    Have you been hurt on the job? If so, you are at the right place because we can help. We are one of the leading Workers' Compensation law firms in the area. We have seen virtually every type of injury there is in our 35+ years of representing hurt workers. Plus, we have the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. We know the law and will work hard to ensure you get the best results possible. Contact us now and click here for more information about work place injuries.

    Work Place
  • Family Law & Divorce

    When you need assistance in the area of family law and divorce, the first thing you should do is call BWO because we can help. We have 35+ years of experience. Our trial attorneys have fought for our clients in almost every courthouse in front of every judge in Southwest Missouri. Contact BWO now and click here to learn more about our law firm's family law and divorce practice area.

    Family Law
    & Divorce
  • Criminal Law

    Buchanan, Williams, & O' Brien has a strong and well-deserved reputation of fighting for the rights of our criminal law clients. We have attorneys that understand the system and know what needs to be done to make sure our client's rights are protected. We have handled all types of criminal law cases and we can help you. Contact us now and click here to learn more about BWO's criminal law practice.


Walter Williams

Walt is a founding member of BWO and has effectively represented his clients for nearly forty years. He is one of the leading attorneys in the State of Missouri for family law issues and estate/trust litigation matters.

Walt provides his clients with a tremendous work ethic and deep reservoir of knowledge and experience. He has a wealth of courtroom and trial experience, having tried cases in virtually every courtroom with every judge in Southwest Missouri. Walt has built a career of tackling difficult legal situations. He represented Joe and Joyce Cruzan in the leading case in the United States on the right-to-die. The case attracted world-wide attention and was the first case of its kind to ever be decided by the United States Supreme Court. Walt appeared as counsel before the United States Supreme Court and he continues to receive requests today from legal scholars about the case and his role.

Walt received his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he also received a degree in business. He has practiced in the Joplin area all of his professional life. Walt and his wife, Ngoc, live in Joplin. Outside of the office, Walt’s hobbies include hunting, gun collecting, power boating, fishing, jogging, yoga, snow skiing, and working outside. He enjoys physical fitness and has served as commissioner of the Joplin Adult Soccer League in addition to coaching youth soccer.

Education: B.S. and J.D., University of Missouri-Columbia.

Bar & Admissions: Missouri; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.


Representative Cases

Cruzan by Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Dept. of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990) (litigation before the United States Supreme Court involving whether Walter’s clients, parents of a daughter in a persistent vegetative state, had authority to carry out their daughter’s wishes and withdraw artificial hydration and nutrition)

Cruzan by Cruzan v. Harmon, 760 S.W.2d 408 (Mo. banc 1988)

Martz v. Martz, 323 S.W.3d 53 (Mo. App. S.D. 2010) (upholding favorable result for Walter’s client in family law litigation)

Brill v. Brill, 65 S.W.3d 583 (Mo. App. S.D. 2002) (Walter represented his client before appellate court that addressed issues involving divorce, child support and maintenance, and disposal of marital property)

Babbitt v. Babbitt, 15 S.W.3d 787 (Mo. App. S.D. 2000) (upholding favorable result for Walter’s client in dispute involving child custody)

Jones v. Jones, 937 S.W.2d 352 (Mo. App. S.D. 1996) (affirming trial court’s judgment awarding custody and control of child to Walter’s client)

Weston v. Weston, 882 S.W.2d 337 (Mo. App. S.D. 1994) (affirming favorable result for Walter’s client in divorce proceeding)

Murray v. Ray, 862 S.W.2d 931 (Mo. App. S.D. 1993) (remanding with instruction that verdict be entered in favor of Walter’s client in employment dispute involving alleged improper interference with contract)

McKee Const. Co. v. Stanley Plumbing & Heating Co., 828 S.W.2d 700 (Mo. App. S.D. 1992) (upholding favorable result for Walter’s client in business litigation dispute)

Williams v. North River Ins. Co., 579 S.W.2d 410 (Mo. App. S.D. 1979) (affirming judgment for Walter’s clients in dispute where insurance company refused to provide coverage to Walter’s clients for the destruction of their home in a fire)

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