William Difenderfer has built a reputation on his powerful courtroom victories spanning the last three decades. Bill is one of the select, few criminal defense attorneys that has taken cases to trial and won verdicts for his clients. He has tried and won several nationally known cases, and has defended against every type of criminal charge. Bill practices in both state and federal court, handling cases from Criminal Homicide where the government is seeking the death penalty to Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and everything in between.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Bill attended law school while continuing to work in local steel mills during summers, weekends and holidays. After graduation in 1983, Bill established his law firm in downtown Pittsburgh. Due to the rapid expansion of his practice, Bill recruited two impressive prosecutors to join his team, Lee Rothman and Ken Haber, who after 20 years are still his partners today. Over the past two decades, Bill, Lee and Ken have thrived in the criminal defense field not because of savvy marketing skills or billboards with catchy slogans – but for one reason: they are aggressive lawyers who try cases and win.
No stranger to cases which generate significant media attention, a simple Google search will reveal many of Bill’s most high-profile cases. In 1992, Bill represented a North Side man who was convicted of shooting his former girlfriend and murdering her new boyfriend. At the sentencing phase, Bill was able to convince the jury to spare his life. This case was the beginning of a string of high-profile homicide cases for Bill who has racked up his share of wins against county prosecutors. Bill has won complete acquittals in over twenty homicide cases, has avoided life sentences in over thirty and has survived the government’s attempt to impose the death penalty in four.
In recent years, Bill defended a research physician in a nationally publicized murder trial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This past year, Bill earned another full acquittal in a homicide case where the jury deliberated only a few hours before returning a Not Guilty verdict on all counts. Additionally in 2017, an Allegheny County jury returned a Not Guilty verdict in a shooting case of a McDonald’s employee that occurred in 2015 after only an hour of deliberation.
Not every case goes to trial. In fact, the large majority of criminal matters are settled with a plea agreement. However, when negotiating a plea deal, an impressive trial record can be a lawyer’s best bargaining chip. Over the years, Bill has built relationships and gained the experience to get either job done with the best possible outcome.
- Criminal Law
- Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law, Ada, Ohio
- Pennsylvania, 1983