William C. Killian Of Counsel
Former United States Attorney

801 Broad Street, Suite 428
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402
(423) 265-8804 – Office
(423) 661-5964 – Mobile

Areas of Focus

  • Government Investigations and Compliance
  • Civil Rights/Government
  • Internal Investigations
  • Healthcare
  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Civil and Criminal Investigations
  • Civil and Criminal Litigation


  • J.D., University of Tennessee College of Law, 1974
  • B.S., University of Tennessee, 1971

Bar Jurisdictions – Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court, 1988
  • State of Tennessee, 1975
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, 1987
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1996
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, 1975
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, 1993
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee, 1999
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, 2008
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky, 2017

Professional Accomplishments

  • U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, 2010-2015
  • Tennessee Court Reporting Board, 2009-2010
  • Assistant District Attorney, 12th Judicial District of Tennessee: 1976-1979, 1988-1990
  • Lead Counsel Verified, Criminal Law – Federal, 2017
  • Served as an expert witness on Criminal Law for Tennessee Disciplinary Counsel Office at a Board of Professional Responsibility Hearing
  • Hearing Officer for the Board of Professional Responsibility, 2016
  • Selected for inclusion in Mid-South Super Lawyer for Criminal Defense, 1999, 2016
  • Certified as a Civil and Lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and TN Board of Certification and Specialization 1995-2010
  • Tennessee Supreme Court-Approved Mediator, 2004-2010
  • Federal Court(Eastern District of Tennessee) Approved Mediator
  • Attorney General Advisory Committees:
    • Civil Rights Sub Committee
    • Health Care Fraud Working Group
    • National Security Subcommittee
  • Hearing Officer for the Tennessee Board of Professional Conduct, 2003-2010

Professional Associations

  • American Inns of Court, Brock-Cooper Chapter
  • American Bar Association (White Collar Crimes Section)
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member; House of Delegates, 2003-2010
  • National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association 1982-1996

Community Involvement

  • The University of Tennessee Knoxville Alumni Association Board of Governors
  • Chattanooga Area Red Cross Board, 2008-2010
  • Tennessee Army National Guard, 1970-1973

Representative Client Work

  • Representation of the Chattanooga City Mayor.
  • Defended Chattanooga police officers in civil litigation.
  • Negotiated the largest criminal settlement in the history of the Eastern District of Tennessee in the $92 Million Pilot Flying J Corporation Case.
  • Directed and assisted in the mediation of a $42 million-dollar health care fraud case of a medical equipment company.
  • While serving as the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee investigated and intercepted a shipment of nearly 70 counterfeit airbags from a Chinese manufacturer. The parts were originally thought to impact one U.S. manufacturer, but the investigation revealed that they impacted multiple manufacturers. Efforts resulted in investigations and/or prosecutions in 30 federal districts within the U.S. and on four continents.
  • Investigated and convicted two former engineers of stealing trade secrets from their previous employer, an American multinational tire manufacturer. Defendants had traveled to the manufacturing plant to service equipment and took photos of client’s devices with the intent to replicate them on their own. Both were convicted and served prison sentences.
  • Successfully indicted and convicted a former supervisor and employee of a federally owned utility company for falsifying electrical connections to the containment area of a nuclear plant.
  • Investigated and directed the prosecution of cases of national security interest, including but not limited to, foreign national scientists who were trying to sell nuclear secrets from a U.S. utility company to China.
  • Implemented a secret detection system, the bottle tracking program devised by Purdue to detect opioids being robbed from pharmacies. I worked with Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Robin Abrams of Purdue Pharma for several years. This detection system was responsible for the detection and successful prosecution of several armed robberies of pharmacies throughout east Tennessee. During my tenure as United States Attorney, there was substantial reduction in opioid robberies of pharmacies due to this program. We were one of the pioneer US Attorney districts to implement the program. Robin Abrams coordinated and monitored the program with my office.
  • Selected as the first full-time Assistant District Attorney for seven counties in Southeast Tennessee. Tried many criminal jury and non-jury cases and proceedings, involving violent crimes and white-collar crimes.
  • Lead or sole counsel on several hundred civil and criminal jury trials, non-jury trials and matters in numerous states, federal jurisdictions and appellate courts.

Honors and Awards

  • Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys, Tennessee
  • Tennessee Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense
  • National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys (NAFUSA)
  • Nominated as Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year by the Southeast Tennessee Legal Services

Recent Publications

  • Won’t Back Down – The Journey from Small Town Tennessee to Presidentially Appointed United States Attorney


  • James E. Hall – Former Director of the National Safety Board
    Hall and Associates, LLC
    233 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite 200
    Washington, DC 20003
    (423) 877-3126 – Home
    (202) 312-0600 – Office
  • Robert P. Cooper, Jr. – Former Tennessee Attorney General, 2006-2014
    Bass Berry and Sims
    3907 Kimpalong Drive
    Nashville, TN 37202
    (615) 742-7768
  • Ed Stanton – Former United States Attorney, Western District of Tennessee
    167 N Main Street, Suite 800
    Memphis, TN 38103
    (901) 734-7222
  • Aubrey Harwell – Current Practicing Lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee
    1201 Demonbreun Street, Suite 1000
    Nashville, TN 37203
    (615) 244-1713