Biography

William (Bill) Keane concentrates his litigation practice on white collar criminal defense, corporate internal investigations, and related matters. He is a Fellow of The American College of Trial Lawyers.

Bill has over thirty years of experience in every aspect of jury trials, administrative hearings and proceedings, and investigations by numerous enforcement and regulatory agencies, including U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Main Justice in Washington, D.C. Allegations involving his clients span a vast range of subject matters, including securities fraud, trade secret theft, antitrust, cybersecurity, Medicare fraud, banking violations, environmental law charges, violation of pharmaceutical distribution regulations, numerous forms of tax violations, mail, wire and computer fraud, government false claims, and export and money laundering violations. He also has an extensive track record in leading internal corporate investigations involving accounting, fraud, FCPA, trade secrets, and senior-executive employment issues. One particular specialty is defending professionals – attorneys and accountants.

Bill’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.

Prior to joining Farella, Bill was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. This experience provided him with an invaluable and thorough grounding in two essential capabilities for trial attorneys, particularly those involved in criminal prosecutions: extensive courtroom experience, and a deep understanding of how prosecutors think and work. For example, he’s effective at preparing clients for testimony and cross-examination because he knows what prosecutors will ask and how. 

As a practitioner, Bill prides himself on being prepared for all scenarios. He views preparation as the key to an effective defense, whether that be in the face of government testimony or interviews or an actual trial. He sees a good day for the defense as one in which, among other things, everything that occurred was foreseen and prepared for. He integrates this with a high degree of empathy and emotional intelligence. Most of his clients have never been involved in any sort of personal legal proceeding before, particularly one in which their personal assets, career or liberty are at risk. Bill’s role is to guide them through an unfamiliar, personally harrowing experience — and by providing an aggressive, expert defense — assist them in minimizing its impact and getting on with their lives and professions.

Bill has appeared as a legal analyst for local news programs on KTVU Channel 2, NBC-11 and KRON4, and nationally on NBC’s Today Show and SiriusXM RadioHe was the legal and courtroom advisor for the independent movie “The Skeptic.” 

Distinctions

  • Chambers USA: Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations - California (2021)
  • The Best Lawyers in America - White Collar Criminal Defense (2012-2022)
  • Benchmark Litigation (2011-2020)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers (2006-2021)
  • Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division, Northern District of California (San Jose)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Chair, Federal Criminal Procedure Committee, American College of Trial Lawyers (2018-2020)
  • Past Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel, Northern District of California (multiple terms)
  • Fellow, Board of Directors, Tony Patino Fellowship (University of Chicago, Columbia University, and U.C. Hastings Law School)
  • Served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Eugene F. Lynch (ret.), U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Firm Highlights

Publication

Illinois Courts Largely Favor Coverage for BIPA Cases Under CGL Policies

Since Illinois passed its Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) in 2008, there has been a proliferation of class action lawsuits filed pursuant to the statute. BIPA generally bars private entities from collecting, capturing, purchasing...

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Publication

Election Year Issues for Private Foundations and Public Charities (Webinar)

Cynthia Rowland discusses Nonprofit Education Series on "Election Year Issues for Private Foundations and Public Charities." Public and private foundations may support nonpartisan election-related activities, but only in limited ways and amounts. Join our interactive live...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Named Among 2022 Best Places to Work

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Publication

hiQ’s Groundbreaking Injunction Against LinkedIn Reaffirmed: Scraping of Publicly Available Data Likely Does Not Violate CFAA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed its prior decision , holding that LinkedIn could not block hiQ, a scraping entity, from scraping public LinkedIn profiles. The court found it was...

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Event

The 15th Annual Santa Fe Advanced Conference on Litigating Natural Resource Damages

Jim Colopy is a speaker at the 15th Annual Santa Fe Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages on the panel addressing "Federal Jurisdiction: Waters of the United States.” 

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News

Legal Experts Say Opioid Coverage Disputes Far From Over

Shanti Eagle was quoted in Law360 's article "Legal Experts Say Opioid Coverage Disputes Far From Over."  Read the article here (subscription required).

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Publication

Upside: Changes in the VCAP Liability Coverage Market

Over the past few years, there's been a dramatic rise in premiums in the venture capital liability insurance market and a steady increase in claims being submitted under those policies. We're also seeing a...

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News

LinkedIn Loses Data Appeal

Erik Olson was quoted in the article "LinkedIn Loses Data Appeal" in CDR Magazine . In the article, Erik said: We are pleased to see that the Ninth Circuit has again affirmed, in light...

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News

2022 Cannabis Insurance Market Update

Tyler Gerking was quoted in  PropertyCasualty360 's article "2022 Cannabis Insurance Market Update."  Read the full article here (subscription required). Watch the webinar "Cyber Insurance for the Cannabis Industry" here .

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Publication

Platform Ecosystems – The Landscape of US and EU Legislation (Webinar)

Stephanie Skaff and Nate Garhart discuss "Platform Ecosystems – The Landscape of US and EU Legislation." Several new bills targeting online platform companies are making their way through state and federal legislative bodies in the...

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