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 Radio. He was the legal and courtroom advisor for the independent movie “The Skeptic.”
- Chambers USA: Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations - California (2021)
- The Best Lawyers in America - White Collar Criminal Defense (2012-2021)
- Benchmark Litigation (2011-2020)
- Northern California Super Lawyers (2006-2020)
- 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