Attorney at Law
William J. (Bill) Sheaffer has worked for the past 10 years as a professional legal analyst and criminal trials expert for Cox Media Group’s ABC affiliate, WFTV, channel 9 news. Also, in that capacity, he has served as a contributor to ABC World News Tonight, CNN, HLN, City Confidential, Disney’s Animal Planet, Nightline, The Nancy Grace Show, as well as, documentaries and specials produced both in the U.S. and abroad.
Sheaffer has appeared as guest speaker before numerous professional and academic organizations throughout Central Florida. Presently, he is preparing for WFTV’s coverage of the Federal trial of Noor Salman, wife of the Pulse Nightclub terrorist, set currently for March 1, 2018, in the U.S. District Court in Orlando.
Board certified by both The Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Criminal Trials Expert, Sheaffer is recognized for his innovative defense strategies in problematic criminal cases. He has represented a broad spectrum of clients, including politicians and elected officials, members of the media, law enforcement officers, business professionals, real estate brokers, doctors, other lawyers, and entertainers to name a few. His practice history runs the gamut of serious felonies from complex white collar crime cases; drug trafficking, conspiracy, first degree murder and organized crime offenses.
The son of a long distance truck driver, Sheaffer has never lost sight of his Central Florida roots and values. After serving 4 years in the United States Navy as a corpsman, Sheaffer later graduated cum laude from University of Central Florida, then Nova Southeastern Law School, after which he served as a trial division felony prosecutor for the Orange/Osceola State Attorney’s Office.
From there he has enjoyed working in private practice with a criminal defense specialty, in both Federal & State courts. Historically, he has taken cases other lawyers would not, either because they were unpopular in the media or too difficult to win at trial. “To work a case to a positive resolution for my client definitely makes my week. Further, the longer you practice criminal defense, the clearer it becomes that if the System is to work, you have to do your homework, and be an uncompromising advocate for your client.” “I believe that every person accused deserves the most aggressive, vigorous and thorough defense, regardless of the nature of the allegations,” Sheaffer stated. Sheaffer staunchly believes that “a defense lawyer’s loyalty and duty is to his client. Period.” Sheaffer’s negotiating and courtroom skills, together with his sense of humor and unpretentious manner serve his clients well.
Recognized with an AV rating in Martindale Hubbell’s Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Sheaffer is admitted to practice in all three of Florida’s Federal District Courts, the U.S. Courts of Appeal 5th and 11th circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. His recognitions have included: The Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s who in America, Florida’s Top Lawyers by Florida Monthly Magazine and the State’s Legal Leaders-the top 1.6 % by Florida Trend Magazine. However, he really lights up when asked about being selected as one of The University of Central Florida’s Alumni of the Year. Sheaffer has been honored also, by both the Florida Supreme Court and the Orange County Bar Association for his pro bono work on behalf of children.