William T. Easton, Esq.

Partner
(585) 423-8290 ext. 112 | e-mail

Bill has thirty years of experience handling complex criminal cases at trial and on appeal, in both state and federal courts.  He has been designated as Learned Counsel for federal death penalty cases in the Western, Northern, and Southern Districts of New York.  He he has represented persons charged with homicide in over twenty counties across New York State.  At trial, Bill has won acquittals and dismissals for clients accused of serious crimes, including murder, kidnapping, and rape, as well as fraud and criminal tax offenses.  On appeal, Bill has also obtained reversals of these types of offenses.

He was named Best Lawyers’ 2015 Rochester-area Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar “Lawyer of the Year.”

Bill started his legal career as an assistant public defender in the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office.  From there, Bill went into private practice for a six-year stint before becoming the supervising attorney of the region’s Capital Defender Office, which covered thirty counties in upstate New York.

At the Capital Defender’s Office, Bill was involved—either as the lead attorney or as a consultant—in every death penalty trial held in western New York following the reenactment of the death penalty.  The New York Court of Appeals’ 2004 ruling that the death penalty statute was unconstitutional represented a triumph for capital defense attorneys across the state.  For Bill, it was a triumph tinged with a bit of regret as he was compelled to let his staff go and close down the Capital Defender’s Office in 2005.

After that, Bill returned to private practice, focusing on federal defense and complicated state court litigation, and ultimately became a partner at ETKS.

Bill teaches a death penalty course at SUNY Buffalo Law School and has lectured on criminal law at both Cornell Law School and Syracuse University College of Law.  He serves as a fact-finder for the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct and has presented to professional associations on a variety of topics, including expert witnesses, evidence and jury selection.

Bill was honored by the defense community in 2011 with the presentation of the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office’s Jeffrey A. Jacob’s Memorial Award, which recognized Bill’s fierce client advocacy, commitment to justice, and outstanding trial work.  In 1999, the Monroe County Bar Association presented Bill with the Charles F. Crimi Memorial Award for his commitment to the legal needs of the poor and disadvantaged.

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Education

  • New York University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1984
  • Hamilton College, B.A., summa cum laude, 1979
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Memberships

  • Monroe County Bar Association
  • New York State Defenders Association
  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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Awards & Honors

  • Best Lawyers’ Rochester-area Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar “Lawyer of the Year” (2015)
  • Jeffrey A. Jacobs Memorial Award, Monroe County Public Defender’s Office (2011)
  • Charles F. Crimi Memorial Award, Monroe County Bar Association (1999)
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