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

  • The Best Lawyers in America (White Collar Criminal Defense)
  • Benchmark Litigation (2011-2019)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers
  • 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
  • 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

Who 'Owns' a Secret? Whether Trade Secret Licensees Have Standing to Sue in California

If the eye-popping damages awards in several recent lawsuits are any indication, companies are increasingly coming to see their private information as one of their most valuable assets—and California juries apparently agree. For example,...

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News

Farella Braun + Martel Named Among the Best Places to Work in the Bay Area 2019

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Publication

The 10th Circuit Correctly Construes “That Particular Part” Narrowly

We do not often write about coverage opinions from jurisdictions as far away as Oklahoma; however, a recent case from the Federal Tenth Circuit looked at one of our favorite topics and came out...

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Publication

Attorney General Finds Impact Fees on Density Bonus Projects Invalid

In response to questions from a variety of cities across the state regarding the application of “public benefit fees” to density bonus projects, the State Attorney General’s Office published an opinion on April 9...

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Event

North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to underwrite the North Coast Cannabis Industry Conference featuring keynote speaker Aaron Smith, co-founder and executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. The event will also feature...

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News

How to Plan for a Smooth Transition of Your Family Business

Family Wealth Senior Associate Lauren Galbraith discusses how family internal dynamics play a role in transferring significant assets, especially a business, between generations. Link to read the full article.

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News

Daily Journal Names Jeff Fisher Among Top IP Lawyers in California

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Event

Non-Profits, #MeToo and Talent Management in 2019

Barbara Murphy, Chandra Andrade and Rebecca Stephens, speakers, Non-Profits, #MeToo and Talent Management in 2019

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Publication

Individual Accountability in the Huawei Trade Secrets Prosecution

In the ongoing legal battle over the alleged theft of American trade secrets by Chinese telecom giant Huawei, one curious aspect is the lack of charges filed against any individual Huawei employees. On February...

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Event

CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split

Sarah Bell will speak on the Strafford live webinar, "CWA Regulation of Discharges to Groundwater: Permitting Uncertainty in Light of Circuit Court Split." This CLE webinar will discuss the "indirect discharge" theory of Clean...

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