Biography

William (Bill) Keane concentrates his litigation practice on white-collar criminal defense, corporate internal investigations, and related matters. He is a Fellow and Regent of the American College of Trial Lawyers and is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney.

Bill has over 30 years of experience in every aspect of jury trials, administrative hearings, parallel criminal-civil proceedings, and pre-charge investigations by numerous enforcement and regulatory agencies, including U.S. Attorney’s Offices, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and the California State Attorney General’s Office. Allegations involving his corporate and individual clients span a vast range of subject matters, including securities and accounting fraud, trade secret theft, digital currency, antitrust, cybersecurity, FCPA violations, 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 attorneys and accountants.

Bill also leads an active civil practice covering many of the same subject areas, in addition to complex business disputes and intellectual property matters.

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, (2021-2022), Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations, Band 4 (2023)
  • The Best Lawyers in America, White Collar Criminal Defense (2012-2024)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, White Collar (2006-2023)
  • Benchmark Litigation (2011-2023)
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Former Assistant U.S. Attorney, Criminal Division, Northern District of California (San Jose)
  • Board of Regents, American College of Trial Lawyers, Region 2 (California-Northern, Nevada) (2022-2026)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (2010)
  • 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
  • Board of Regents, American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL)

Firm Highlights

News

Farella Awards 2024 Diversity Scholarships to Bay Area Law Students

Farella Braun + Martel’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion + Belonging Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2024 Diversity Scholarship grants totaling $45,000 to Bay Area first-year law students Marcus Albino, Saamia Haqiq...

Read More
Publication

New PFAS Federal Drinking Water Standards Create Major Liability and Litigation Risk

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has released a final regulation setting individual drinking water maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for five per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These MCLs are incredibly stringent due to EPA’s stated concerns...

Read More
News

Burdened by Debt, Savvy SF Office Owners Get Creative

Restructuring, insolvency, and creditors rights partner Gary Kaplan provided expert commentary in The San Francisco Standard article, "Burdened by Debt, Savvy SF Office Owners Get Creative." In the article, Gary explained that in most cases...

Read More
Event

Unplugged: The Renewable Energy Speaker Series - The IRA's Environmental Justice Incentive Programs

Join Farella Braun + Martel and the Environmental Law Institute for the relaunch Unplugged: The Renewable Energy Speaker Series with Farella’s John Ugai and guest speakers Miana Campbell with U.S. Department of Energy, Maria Castillo with...

Read More
Publication

Where Are We Now, Following Maui County, Sackett, and the Latest EPA Guidance?

The last few years have seen significant developments in our understanding of the reach of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). (Indeed, “reach” here can be interpreted literally and figuratively.) The two issues plaguing...

Read More
Event

AI and Privacy: What Every Company Needs to Do Today

Sushila Chanana and Benjamin Buchwalter will discuss "AI and Privacy: What Every Company Needs to Do Today' at the ACC 2024 Privacy Summit.  This session will introduce basics of AI governance, such as ownership...

Read More
Publication

Copyright Law for Influencers and Brands: How Content Creators and Companies Hiring Them Can Navigate Copyright Law for a Successful Partnership

In recent years, the advent of the social media “influencer” has revolutionized advertising. Companies often partner with influencers to market their products, hoping to tap into the influencer’s devoted audience. Likewise, influencers create certain content...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Earns San Francisco Green Business Recertification

Read More
News

JPMorgan Chase Accuses TransUnion of Stealing 'Trade Secrets'

Intellectual property practice chair Eugene Mar provided expert commentary to American Banker for the article "JPMorgan Chase Accuses TransUnion of Stealing 'Trade Secrets'." In the article, he said: "By filing this as a trade...

Read More
Publication

Court Reinstates CPPA Enforcement Authority and Confirms No Delay Necessary for Enforcement of Future CCPA Regulations

A recent appellate decision has made clear that the regulations promulgated under California’s groundbreaking consumer privacy law, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA, as amended by the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA)), are ripe...

Read More