William D. Buckley is Of Counsel to Marks, O’Neill, O’Brien, Doherty & Kelly. He is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan.
Prior to graduation from Seton Hall University School of Law, Bill was a high school social studies teacher. He completed his law degree in the evening division while serving as an assistant principal in Jersey City. He then left education and moved on to judicial clerkships with Associate Justice Alan B. Handler of the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Trenton, and then in Detroit with United States District Judge Barbara K. Hackett in the Eastern District of Michigan.
A native of Long Island, Bill returned to New York in 1991 and practiced commercial litigation in two small Manhattan firms. In 1995 he joined the appellate practice team of an international insurance carrier’s in-house defense attorneys who were representing the company’s insureds. In 2000, he started a 23-year tenure as appellate counsel with a 25-lawyer New York defense firm, where he was responsible for all aspects of appeals on cases involving medical malpractice, other professional malpractice, premises liability, N.Y. Labor Law, products liability, claims of alleged violations of civil rights, insurance coverage, and commercial litigation. He often appeared in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and four of his cases reached the N.Y. Court of Appeals.
For most of his years in that firm, Bill was the office’s counsel to the Department of Psychiatry in a large inner-city hospital. In addition to counseling the administration and psychiatrists on regulations and statutes, he handled all special proceedings and evidentiary hearings arising under the N.Y. Mental Hygiene Law that involved involuntary admission of patients to the hospital, judicial permission to treat patients who had lost the capacity to make their own reasoned decisions on psychiatric and medical care, and obtaining court orders to compel patients, under New York’s “Kendra’s Law,” to accept assisted outpatient treatment upon discharge from the hospital.
Bill loves teaching and was an adjunct member of the faculty of New York Law School between 2008 and 2013, where he ran a seminar on legal analysis and writing for students in the last semester of their legal education. During his twenty-three years in a private firm, he was responsible for overseeing the training and work of their younger lawyers. As appellate counsel he was responsible for research during trials and assisting lawyers with drafting and arguing complex motions. He has frequently lectured on appellate practice and writing for continuing legal education programs and for eight years was a private tutor for Marino Bar Review.
Since his admission to practice, Bill has always participated in bar associations and the work of their committees. He has been a member of the New York City Bar Association since 1991 and has sat on its Committees on Courts of Higher Jurisdiction, Professional Conduct of Attorneys, and Capital Punishment. He is past secretary of the Committee on Appellate Courts at New York County Lawyers. For over twenty years he was an arbitrator in the Small Claims Court of the Civil Court of the City of New York.
Bill is active in the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in the City of New York and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. He has often served on the parish council of his church and over the course of years has been on the advisory board to the principals of three Catholic high schools (one in Michigan, two in New Jersey). Since 2018 he has been a member of the Alumni Advisory Board of Le Moyne College. He is president of the New York alumni club of Alpha Sigma Nu (the honor society for Jesuit colleges and universities).
Bill keeps up with many alumni from his days in high school and college, former co-workers, old neighbors, and his siblings and many cousins. He enjoys gathering with them for good conversation about his family’s genealogy, their vacations in Europe (or anywhere), and the latest books, articles, films, and documentaries on history, politics, and social issues.