William T. O'Connell

William T. O'Connell

Partner

Office

Practice Groups

William O’Connell is a partner in the firm’s White Plains office and is one of the leaders of its appellate practice group. Bill concentrates his practice in the areas of appellate practice, New York Labor Law and construction site litigation, product liability, commercial litigation, and general defense litigation. He has successfully defended numerous property owners, construction companies, and product manufacturers in complex litigation in both federal and state courts. Bill has appeared on behalf of firm clients and won cases in three of New York’s four Appellate Divisions, two federal circuit courts, and other state trial and appellate courts.

Prior to joining Goldberg Segalla, Bill had more than a decade of experience as a judicial law clerk in the New York State trial and appellate courts, where he participated in drafting over 300 judicial opinions. He served as Executive Assistant to the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department; Principal Law Clerk to two Associate Justices of that court; and Law Secretary to a criminal trial judge in Supreme Court, New York County. Bill began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in New York County.

Recently litigated matters include:
  • Marlborough v. Azimut-Benetti, 505 Fed. Appx. (11th Cir. 2013): Obtained affirmance in the Eleventh Circuit of the district court’s grant of summary judgment to a foreign yacht manufacturer in  yacht purchaser’s action alleging breach of warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Act and violation of Florida’s deceptive acts and practices statute, and successfully opposed purchaser’s petition for writ of certiorari before U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Fernandez v. Performance Boats, S.A., Case No. 11-004158 CACE 02, Florida Circuit Court, Broward County, 17th Judicial Circuit: Won dismissal of yacht purchaser’s complaint alleging breach of contract and breach of warranty on forum non conveniens grounds.
  • Turner v. Davis, 105 A.D.3d 946 (2d Dep’t 2013): Won affirmance of dismissal of lead-paint exposure case in which, despite the fact that the defendant-wife was a co-owner of the affected premises with her ex-husband, the wife established that she had relinquished control of the premises by virtue of the divorce agreement and court order.
  • Abelleira v. City of New York, 35 Misc. 3d 1240(A) (Sup. Ct. Kings Co. 2012): Obtained dismissal of Labor Law § 240[1] and  241[6] causes of action by asking court to search the record and dismiss on the merits, after plaintiff prematurely moved for summary judgment prior to joinder of issue.
  • Zambrotta v. 2935 Equities, Kings County Index No. 18686/03: Obtained summary judgment dismissing a defendant’s third-party complaint seeking contractual indemnification on the ground that no agreement to indemnify was entered into prior to the plaintiff’s accident.
  • Holifield v. Seraphim, LLC, 92 A.D.3d 841 (2d Dep’t 2012): Obtained reversal of trial court’s order and dismissal of Labor Law § 240[1] and § 241[6] claims based on the statutory homeowners’ exemption, and the Labor Law 200 and negligence claims on the merits.
  • Lipari v. AT Spring, 2012 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2806 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co.): Successfully opposed a plaintiff’s two motions for severance or separate trials of damages action on Labor Law § 240[1] claim and third-party indemnity claims.
  • Delanoy v. City of White Plains, 83 A.D.3d 773 (2d Dep’t 2011): Successfully defeated municipal defendants’ appeal of the denial of their motion for summary judgment based on the doctrine of governmental immunity.
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
Prior Experience
  • Principal Law Clerk to Appellate Division Justice, Appellate Division, First Dept., 1997-1999; 2002-2008
  • Executive Assistant to Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, First Dept., 2000-2002
  • Law Clerk to Acting Supreme Court Justice, Criminal Term, NY County, 1991-1994
  • Assistant District Attorney, NY County District Attorney's Office, 1990-1991
Civic Activities
  • Coach, All Yonkers Youth Association – Flag Football League
  • St. Joseph's Church Men's Club, Bronxville, NY
Education
  • St. John's University School of Law, J.D., 1990
  • College of the Holy Cross, B.A., 1987
Publications/Presentations
  • Co-Author, “Jury Instructions,” Preparing for and Trying the Civil Lawsuit, 2d Ed., 2016 Rev., New York State Bar Association
  • Presenter, "Taking, Perfecting, and Arguing the Appeal," New York State Bar Association, February 18, 2016
  • Contributor, "Construction Site Personal Injury Litigation, New York Labor Law," New York State Bar Association 2010 Supplement