William "Bill" Killian Photo
  • Bio

William C. "Bill" Killian

Of Counsel

William C. "Bill" Killian Of Counsel
Former United States Attorney

801 Broad Street, Suite 428
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37402

(423) 265-8804 - Office

(423)661-5964 - Mobile

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Focus

  • Government Investigations and Compliance
    • Healthcare, Trade Secrets, Trademarks, Patents
  • Federal White Collar Civil and Criminal Litigation
  • Civil and Criminal Internal Investigations
  • Civil Rights/Government Investigations and 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
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee, 2023

Professional Accomplishments

  • Presidentially appointed United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, 2010-2015
  • Board Member, State of Tennessee Court Reporting Board, 2009-2010, appointed by State Supreme Court
  • 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, 2005-2010, 2016 to 2022
  • Selected for inclusion in Mid-South Super Lawyer for Criminal Defense, 1999, 2016
  • Certified as a Civil and Criminal Trial 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, 2003-2010, 2016-Present
  • Federal Court (Eastern District of Tennessee) Approved Arbitrator, 2022-Present
  • Served on Mayor of Chattanooga’s Chief of Police Selection Committee, 2017
  • Attorney General Advisory Committees:
    • Civil Rights Sub Committee
    • Health Care Fraud Working Group
    • National Security Subcommittee

Professional Associations

  • American Inns of Court, Brock-Cooper Chapter, Master Emeritus, 2003-Present
  • American Bar Association (White Collar Crimes Section), 2015-2019
  • Tennessee Bar Association, Member; House of Delegates, 2003-2010
  • National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys, 2015-Present
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, 1982-1996

Community Involvement

  • The University of Tennessee College of Law Dean’s Circle and Alumni Council, 2020-Present
  • The University of Tennessee Knoxville Alumni Association Board of Governors, 2018-2020
  • Chattanooga Area Red Cross Board, 2008-2010
  • Tennessee Army National Guard, 1970-1973
  • Chair of Southeast Tennessee Legal Services Board, 1994-1996

Honors and Awards

  • Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys, Tennessee, 2018
  • Tennessee Bar Foundation, Fellow, 2002-present
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense, 2008, 2018
  • Nominated as Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year by the Southeast Tennessee Legal Services, 1996

Representative Client Work Related to Drug Diversion, Security, and Patent/Trademark Protection

  • Negotiated a $92 million-dollar corporate criminal settlement, the largest criminal fraud settlement in the history of the Eastern District of Tennessee.
  • Directed and participated in the mediation of a $42 million-dollar health care fraud case of a medical equipment company, the largest in the district’s history at the time.
  • 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 foreign manufacturer. The parts were originally thought to impact one U.S. manufacturer, but the investigation revealed that they impacted multiple automobile 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 to an adverse foreign country from a U.S. utility company.
  • 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.
  • Served for over 4 years as co-counsel to Branstetter, Stranch & Jennings in opioid litigation in Tennessee, and in various federal and bankruptcy courts nationwide, against various manufacturers, distributors, prescribers, and retailers of opioid pills.


  • William C. Killian has spoken in many forums on various topics, including the following:
    • Alicante, Spain: European Union Police Office (Europol) and United States Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center jointly sponsored seminar; Automotive Components Patent and Trademark Protection, Nov. 2011
    • Washington, D.C.: United States Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, Innovative and Unique Strategies for Intellectual Property Protection, Dec. 2011
    • Washington D.C.: Pharmaceutical Compliance Congress; Federal False Claims Act, 2016, 2017
    • San Antonio, Texas: Association of Certified Fraud Examiners; Civil and Criminal Aspects of the False Claims Act, 2018
    • Nashville, Tennessee: Tennessee Bar Association Panel Moderator; Pitfalls and Caution of the False Claims Act, 2018
    • Various trial practice topics for Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and Tennessee Bar Association, 1984-2009
    • Taught Civil and Criminal Trial Practice as Adjunct Professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law, 2003

Recent Publications

  • Won’t Back Down – The Journey from Small Town Tennessee to Presidentially Appointed United States Attorney, Amazon, KDP Book Publishing, January 2019

Other Publications

  • “Preparing your Witness for Testimony” – Tennessee Trial Lawyer Magazine, 1996


  • Lynda Motes Hill – Clerk of Court, MDTN
    United States District Court
    Fred D. Thompson U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building
    719 Church Street
    Nashville, TN 37203
  • Robert P. Cooper, Jr. – Former Tennessee Attorney General, 2006-2014; Current Practicing Attorney in Nashville, Tennessee
    Bass, Berry & Sims PLC
    3907 Kimpalong Drive
    Nashville, Tennessee 37202
  • Ed Stanton – Former United States Attorney, Western District of Tennessee; Current Litigation Practice Group Leader
    Butler Snow LLP
    6075 Poplar Avenue, #500
    Memphis, Tennessee 38119
  • Aubrey Harwell – Current Practicing Attorney in Nashville, Tennessee
    1201 Demonbreun Street, Suite 1000
    Nashville, Tennessee 37203
  • Brad Byerley - Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Division (NOFD) of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
    3838 N. Causeway Blvd.
    Suite 1800, Three Lakeway Center
    New Orleans, LA 70002

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