Attorney at Law
PRACTICE AREAS: CRIMINAL DEFENSE – FEDERAL & STATE BOARD CERTIFIED BY THE FLORIDA BAR AND THE NATIONAL BOARD OF TRIAL ADVOCACY • ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – DEFENSE OF PROFESSIONAL LICENSES
Bill Sheaffer has a unique perspective. Having served as United States Navy corpsman, and an Assistant State’s Attorney, he now works a defense lawyer and TV legal analyst. Based upon his life’s experience, he tells young lawyers, interns and students: that not everything is as it might appear; endeavor to keep an open mind, and consider all aspects of an issue.
Sheaffer believes that “every person accused deserves the most aggressive, vigorous and thorough defense, regardless of the nature of the accusation.” He firmly believes that “a defense lawyer’s duty and loyalty is to his client. Period.” He got the trial bug when he started trying misdemeanor cases while working as a 3rd year law school intern for the Broward County State Attorney’s Office. Upon graduation he served a stint as a felony trial lawyer for the Orange/Osceola State Attorney’s Office, after which he went into private practice defending those accused of crime in both federal and state courts. He recognized the importance of trial board certification and has been Board Certified as a Criminal Trial Expert by both the Florida Bar, and, the National Board of Trial Advocacy for most of his career. His cases run the gamut from complex white collar crime such as money laundering, embezzlement, wire, mail, health care, and insurance fraud, to drug crimes, sex crimes and first degree murder. Sheaffer’s clients are political figures, law enforcement officers, physicians, veterinarians, scientists and engineers, entertainers, corporate officers, business owners and other lawyers.
You may recognize Sheaffer from his daily appearances as the Chief Legal Analyst and resident criminal trial expert at ABC/WFTV (Ch.9) EyeWitness News, Central Florida’s leading news station. People still stop him to discuss his gavel to gavel commentary and coverage together with Anchor Greg Warmoth, of Florida’s most notorious, modern day murder cases: State vs. Casey Anthony and State vs. George Zimmerman. “The response numbers we got at WFTV were incredible, and in fact, world-wide,” says Sheaffer. His commentary continues to be sought on legal issues by ABC World News Tonight, HLN’s Nancy Grace and The Philips Phile on 104.1 Radio, WDBO Radio, radio stations from South Florida to Canada, and, of course, the Orlando Sentinel.
The son of a Sanford, Florida long distance truck driver, Sheaffer remains dedicated to the local community and his Central Florida roots. Sheaffer graduated with honors from the University of Central Florida (degree: Philosophy) and earned his J.D. degree from Nova University College of law. His honors include: Alumni of the Year 2012 from the University of Central Florida, recognition by both the Florida Supreme Court and the Orange County Bar Association for his pro bono work for children, Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell’s Register of Preeminent Lawyers with an AV rating (the highest possible rating) for 30 years, as well as Who’s Who in American Lawyers and Who’s Who in America.
Sheaffer particularly enjoys working each year with the Florida High Schools’ Annual Mock Trial Competition series, as well as the University of Central Florida’s Mock Trial Tournament, and, UCF’s Ethics Bowl Competition series, during which he serves as judge and advisor to student competitors. Says Sheaffer with a smile, “These kids are our future lawyers and are so eager to learn as much as they can about the Justice System.”
William J. Sheaffer, P.A.
609 E. Central Blvd.
Orlando, Fl. 32801
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