Bill is the Chair of the firm's Business Litigation Practice Group and has practiced at the firm for more than 30 years. In his more than 40 years of litigation experience he has handled nearly all aspects of commercial and business litigation in the state and federal courts. He is an experienced appellate lawyer and has argued dozens of cases in the New Hampshire Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In recent years his practice has focused on corporate litigation, including contract disputes, employment and trade secret litigation, corporate governance and shareholder disputes, and tax litigation.
As a former Assistant Attorney General in the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, he also has extensive experience in constitutional and administrative litigation.
Bill received his J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law (1972) and his B.A., with honors, from Trinity College, (1969), where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Before joining McLane, Bill was an Assistant Attorney General (1976-1981) and the Chief of the Civil Division (1978-1981) in the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office and an attorney at Herrick, Smith, Donald, Farley & Ketchum in Boston, Massachusetts (1972-1975).
Bill has been recognized as one of the leading business trial lawyers in New Hampshire, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. Recent work includes:
· Successfully argued for the decertification of one of the largest class actions certified in New Hampshire. Lawrence v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., 164 N.H. 93 (2012).
· Successfully challenged the constitutionality of a Massachusetts statute retroactively reversing default rules in testamentary instruments. Anderson v. BNY Mellon, 463 Mass. 299 (2012).
· Representation of Public Service of New Hampshire in two separate NH Supreme Court appeals relating to a multi-million dollar construction project. Appeal of Campaign for Ratepayers Rights, 162 N.H. 245 (2011); Appeal of Stonyfield Farms, 159 N.H. 227 (2009).
· Representation of limited partnership and partners in a tax dispute involving the New Hampshire Interest & Dividends Tax, N.H. Resident Limited Partners of The Lyme Timber Company v. Dept. Rev. Ad., 162 N.H. 98 (2011).
· Representation of a business in lengthy arbitration proceeding concerning alleged breach of fiduciary duties and valuation issues.
· Representation of Nike, Inc. and its subsidiary, Bauer Nike Hockey, Inc., in significant employment and contractual litigation in the New Hampshire Superior Court. This lawsuit involved substantial litigation over electronic discovery.
· Successful defense of David E. Kelley Productions and CBS Television in a suit for copyright infringement and to enjoin broadcast of a television series.
· Successful representation of Bauer Nike Hockey in a trade secret case, obtaining a decision enjoining a former employee from working for a competitor based on the doctrine of "inevitable disclosure."
· Representation of a United States subsidiary of a Canadian entertainment group in Federal Court on claims of invasion of privacy and defamation relating to statements published in Sports Illustrated magazine.
· Successful representation through trial and several appeals to the New Hampshire Supreme Court a class of nearly 20,000 taxpayers challenging the constitutionality of the New Hampshire Interest and Dividends tax, resulting in a several million dollar refund. Smith v. Department of Revenue Administration, 141 N.H. 681 (1997) and 148 N.H. 536 (2002).
· Successful representation of a start-up high-tech company and its officers in connection with claims of breach of fiduciary duty by its founder and principal shareholder.
Admissions & Recognition
New Hampshire and Massachusetts, U.S. District Courts for the Districts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Supreme Court of the United States.