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William J. Goines is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Silicon Valley Office and focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, real estate, employment litigation and employment law. He has spent more than 40 years representing clients in jury and non-jury trials in a variety of business disputes, wrongful termination, employment discrimination litigation, trade secret and employee mobility, class actions, real estate matters, toxic tort litigation, and closely held and family-owned business disputes. Bill is also a recognized private mediator and arbitrator in Silicon Valley and serves as a Judge Pro Tem, Settlement Conference Judge, Special Discovery Master, Mediator and Arbitrator of disputes through both private and court-coordinated programs.


  • Complex commercial litigation and arbitration
  • Employment litigation
  • Class action defense
  • Financial institution litigation
  • Bad faith litigation
  • Real estate litigation
  • Toxic tort litigation



  • Representation of a prominent law firm in a suit brought on by a former attorney employee, asserting tort claims based upon the firm’s production of e-mails, in response to a subpoena, that the former employee claimed contained his work product. After the trial court had granted summary adjudication in the former employee’s favor – ruling that the employee owned the e-mails in question and, hence, that the law firm owed the former employee a duty to him to obtain his permission to produce them – filed a petition for a writ of mandate reversing the order and compelling the trial court to enter a new and different order in the law firm’s favor. In June 2017, the Court of Appeal entered a unanimous published decision directing the trial court to vacate its decision, reasoning that the law firm, not the employee, held any work product privilege, and hence, the firm owed no duty to the former employee to obtain his permission before producing the e-mails in question.The decision resolved a question of first impression under California law.
  • Strato-Retail, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company v. K.R.'s Express Co., II, et al. District Court, Clark County Nevada No. 0371594 (Consolidated). Prosecuted five claims for breach of lease and defended claims for fraud, rescission and damages emanating from a retail project located in the Stratosphere Casino & Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Mel Doney v. TRW Inc., an Ohio corporation, and its subsidiary, ESL, Inc., et al. Santa Clara County Superior Court Acton No. 676206. This action was brought by relatives of several ESL employees who were the victims of an unforeseeable violent rampage by a former ESL employee, Richard Wade Farley. The claims were based upon negligence in preventing workplace violence, however, the duties of the employer with regard to handling a claim of sexual harassment were also an issue in the case. Although this was a potentially high-profile litigation, Bill was able to handle it in a low-profile manner. At the outset of the case, Bill obtained an order dismissing ESL, Inc. on the grounds of workers' compensation preemption. Subsequently, Bill obtained summary judgment in favor of the remaining Defendant, TRW Inc. Plaintiff appealed the summary judgment to the California Supreme Court, which judgment was affirmed.
  • Robert W. Shutt, et al. v. TRW Inc., et al. Santa Clara County Superior Court Action No. 716064. Defeated class certification of an environmental liability action brought by members of a residential neighborhood against three high-tech companies resulting from injuries and diminution in property value arising from exposure to air and groundwater contamination.
  • Vinay Agrawal v. National Semiconductor Corporation. Santa Clara County Superior Court Action No. 1-03-CV-814051. Defended National Semiconductor Corporation ("NSC") in a claim for breach of employment contract that was delivered to plaintiff, Vinay Agrawal, following the acquisition of a company by NSC.
  • Lawrence A. Rennie v. National Semiconductor Corporation. United States District Court, Central District of California Action No. CV04-888MMM (JTL). Defended National Semiconductor Corporation ("NSC") in a claim of age discrimination prosecuted by a former employee who was separated from NSC during a reduction in workforce. Prior to the action being filed, Bill persuaded the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the claim of age discrimination had no merit, resulting in the dismissal of the EEOC charge of discrimination.
  • Trust of Fenton F. O'Connell and Estate of Gladys C. O'Connell. San Benito County Superior Court Action Nos. 6766 and 6810. Represented the co-trustees and co-executors in a variety of claims against the trust and state by creditors and family members. Obtained rulings in favor of the client on key issues submitted to the court, including a dismissal of all creditor claims.
  • Clinic Services Management Corporation v. National Semiconductor Corporation, Santa Clara County, Action 1-86-CV-619039. Represented National Semiconductor Corporation in a claim for property damage, decline in property value and personal injuries resulting from migration of TCE from one of National Semiconductor Corporation's fabrication facilities.
  • Represented National Semiconductor Corporation in a series of premises liability claims emanating from the use of products and materials containing asbestos during construction of National Semiconductor and Fairchild Semiconductor fabrication facilities in the 1960s and 1970s.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2007-2024
  • Listed, Benchmark Litigation
    • "California Litigation Star," 2023-2024
    • "Local Litigation Star," 2020-2024
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Real Estate - Litigation, 2017 and 2022
  • Listed, Super Lawyers magazine, Northern California Super Lawyers, 2005-2023
  • Listed, San Francisco magazine, "Top 100 Attorneys in Northern California," 2011
  • Recognized, San Jose magazine, "Silicon Valley's Top Lawyers," 2003-2004
  • Rated, AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0

°AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell DistinguishedSM and Martindale-Hubbell NotableSM are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.

  • Member, American Bar Association, 1974-Present
  • Member, Kara Board of Directors
  • Member, Santa Clara County Bar Association
    • Judiciary Committee, 1996
    • Executive Committee, Business Litigation Section, 1996
    • Civil Practice Committee, 1994-1995
  • Member, Santa Clara County Superior Court
    • Arbitration Administration Committee
    • Judge Pro Tem (Settlement, Law and Motion and Trial)
    • Mountain View-Los Altos School District
    • Faculty Advisory Committee, 1993-1995
  • Member, Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District Foundation
    • Board of Trustees, 1991-1996
  • Member, Los Altos School District Foundation
    • Board of Trustees, 1987-1990
  • Member, Los Altos Golf and Country Club
    • President, Board of Directors, 1991


  • J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1974
    • Associate Editor, Hastings College of Law, Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
    • Thurston Honor Society
  • A.B., University of California at Berkeley, 1971
  • California