William P. (Bill) Keane

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William P. Keane has obtained extensive trial experience in more than 30 years of criminal and civil litigation. His practice emphasizes white collar criminal and regulatory defense, corporate internal investigations, and includes civil commercial and intellectual property litigation. As a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, he chairs ACTL’s national Federal Criminal Procedure Committee and was state chair for Northern California. Mr. Keane is the past chair of Farella’s Complex Litigation Department. Prior to joining Farella, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Silicon Valley Office.

Mr. Keane’s federal jury trials include defending track coach Trevor Graham in one of three BALCO performance-enhancing drug cases. Mr. Graham received probation after Mr. Keane hung two of three counts. In the largest cheating scandal in America’s Cup history, he represented an Oracle Racing crew member in an administrative trial before an international jury of sailing experts. The jury recommendation saved his client’s career eligibility. Representing an employer, Mr. Keane recently resolved a disciplinary proceeding brought by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

His clients have faced investigations and cases by the U.S. Attorney's Office, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the U.S. Department of Justice involving securities fraud, antitrust, cyber security, Medicare fraud, banking, environmental law, off-label pharmaceutical marketing, pharma-distribution regulations, tax violations, mail, wire and computer fraud, government false claims, and export and money laundering violations. He leads internal investigations involving accounting, fraud, FCPA, trade-secrets, and senior-executive employment issues. Mr. Keane’s civil practice focuses on civil-enforcement actions, false claims and complex contract disputes, and intellectual property matters involving patent royalties, trade-secret misappropriation, software licensing, trademark and copyright. He recently defended a Chief Credit Officer named in litigation arising from a bank failure.

He is in The Best Lawyers in America (White Collar Criminal Defense), Benchmark Litigation (2011-2019), Northern California Super Lawyers, and a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. For the Northern District of California, Mr. Keane served twice on the court-appointed U.S. Magistrate Judge Selection Committee, was a court-appointed Lawyer Representative to the Judicial Conference, and was appointed four times as C.J.A. counsel for indigent defendants. He has taught federal criminal law and procedure, and legal writing at U.C. Hastings and trial advocacy at Stanford. He is a Fellow and Board Member of the Tony Patiño Fellowship, which awards scholarships at U.C. Hastings, University of Chicago, and Columbia University.

He appeared on San Francisco Bay Area TV news programs on KTVU Channel 2, NBC-11 and KRON4, and NBC’s Today Show as legal analyst for the BALCO steroids case U.S. v. Barry Bonds, and offered expert commentary on the Roger Clemens trial and Lance Armstrong investigation. Mr. Keane was the legal and courtroom advisor for the independent movie “The Skeptic.” He is quoted by national general media and legal publications.


  • Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division, Northern District of California (San Jose)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Past Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel, Northern District of California (multiple terms)
  • Fellow, Board of Directors, Tony Patino Fellowship (Chicago, Columbia and Hastings Law Schools)
  • Served as a law clerk to the Honorable Eugene F. Lynch, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California