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

News

Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys Named 2019 IP Stars by Managing Intellectual Property

SAN FRANCISCO, May 21, 2019: Farella Braun + Martel’s James L. Day , Jeffrey M. Fisher , Eugene Mar , Stephanie P. Skaff and Roderick M. Thompson have been named IP Stars by Managing...

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Event

Bay Area Opportunity Zones 2.0

On the heels of recently released regulation by the US government, we dive back into the state of OZs in the Bay Area. What You'll Learn What are the most important takeaways from the...

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Event

Women in Cleantech & Sustainability

Lysondra Ludwig will speak at the WCS Talks - a full day TED-Style event and startup pitch competition hosted by Google.

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News

The Legal 500 United States 2019 Recognizes Farella Braun + Martel Practices & Attorneys

The 2019 edition of Legal 500 United States recognized Farella Braun + Martel among the top firms in the Construction, Land Use/Zoning, and Not-for-Profit practice areas. Recognized attorneys include: Construction Adam Dawson CJ Higley...

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News

Former City of Napa Planner Rick Tooker Joins Farella Braun + Martel

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Event

Cannabis and Employment Law

Rebecca Stephens will present the session "Cannabis and Employment Law" at the Network of Trial Law Firms' Litigation Management in a New York Minute – 2019 Edition event. Overview:  Medical marijuana is now legal in 33...

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Publication

Keeping Tabs on Energy Efficiency – New Benchmarking Requirements for San Francisco

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Publication

Legal Ins and Outs of 'Opportunity Zones' — So Far

A new tax incentive intended to stimulate investment in low-income communities known as opportunity zones has attracted significant attention from investors, developers, and business owners since its enactment under Section 1400Z-2 of the Internal...

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Publication

What California’s New Security Law Means to Your Business

Commonsense IoT security steps that startups and small business should consider to comply with California’s new law California recently enacted a new law, Senate Bill 327, that requires companies that make Internet of Things...

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Publication

Are You Background Checking Your Contractors? If So, Exercise Caution.

Employers who use background checks in their hiring processes are likely aware of the various requirements under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and analogous state statutes. They must provide clear disclosures and obtain...

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