Brennan McKenna Manzi Shay, Chartered

6305 Ivy Lane, Suite 700
Greenbelt, Maryland 20770

Phone: (301) 474-0044
Fax: (301) 474-5730

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    Attorney Profile:

    William C. Brennan, Jr.

    William C. Brennan, Jr., is a partner in the law firm of Brennan McKenna with offices in Greenbelt, Maryland. His practice is focused on criminal defense and complex civil litigation.

    Mr. Brennan has practiced law for over 30 years, primarily in Maryland and in federal courts. He has been involved, at the trial and appellate levels, in U.S. District and Circuit Courts in the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Virginia, and West Virginia. Mr. Brennan has successfully litigated over 20 death penalty cases and he has qualified as an expert witness in death penalty litigation in the State of Maryland.  Other criminal trial work includes major murder cases, white collar crimes and drug conspiracies involving complex wire-tap issues. Mr. Brennan has served as local counsel for major law firms in civil litigation involving individuals and corporate institutions, and he has participated in corporate internal investigations. Mr. Brennan is well-known in the legal community for his representation of clients before the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission and the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities.

    As a guest lecturer, Mr. Brennan has spoken before the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the NLADA Life in Balance Death Penalty Conference, the Judicial Educational Conference for the District Court of Maryland, the Maryland State's Attorneys' Association, and the Maryland Public Defenders' Conference. In 1999 he was the recipient of the John Adams Award for Extraordinary Defense Service awarded by the Federal Defenders of Maryland and in 2006 he was honored with the Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award for Exemplifying the Highest Professional Standards and Achievements by the Section of Criminal Law and Practice of the Maryland State Bar Association.

    Mr. Brennan is a member of the Maryland and District of Columbia Bars, the U.S. District Courts for Maryland and the District of Columbia, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 1st, 4th, 6th and Federal Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court. He is also a member of various legal organizations including the American Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association (Criminal Law Section Council 1984-1996; 2000 - present), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' Association (Board of Directors 1999 - present).  Mr. Brennan co-founded the Marlborough Chapter of the American Inns of Court.  He is also a member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.  Mr. Brennan currently serves as Co-chairman of the Character Committee of the Court of Appeals of Maryland for the Fourth Appellate Circuit.  In 2010, Mr. Brennan was selected to serve on the United States Sentencing Commission's Practitioner's Advisory Group.

    Mr. Brennan became a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2000.  In April 2002 Washingtonian Magazine named Mr. Brennan as one of the top 75 lawyers in the Washington, D.C. area in an article entitled Best 75 Lawyers.  Mr. Brennan was also listed in the 2006 edition of the Best Lawyers in America and in the 2007 edition of Maryland Super Lawyers.

    The recipient of a number of educational awards, Mr. Brennan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Boston College and received his law degree from The Catholic University of America.

    Areas of Practice: 
    Criminal Defense Law
    Personal Injury Law
    Civil Litigation
    Litigation Percentage:
    95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
    Bar Admissions:
    Maryland, 1976
    District of Columbia, 1977
    U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 1977
    U.S. Supreme Court, 1980
    U.S. District Court District of Maryland, 1977
    U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 1977
    U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1977
    U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit, 1984
    U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1997
    Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, Washington, District of Columbia, 1976

    Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, 1973
    B.A., Major: History
    Honors: Magna Cum Laude 
    Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    Honors and Awards:
    Daniel O'Connell Law Society: Defense Attorney of the Year, 2003

    Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, 2000

    John Adams Award: Federal Defenders Award, U.S. District Court, Maryland, 1998
    Professional Associations and Memberships:
    U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit, Judicial Conference, 1999 - Present
    Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' Association, 1986 - Present
    (Board of Directors 1999-present)
    National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1985 - Present
    Member, Criminal Law Section Council
    Marlborough American Inn of Court, 1988 - 1990
    Prince George's County Bar Association, 1995 - 1996
    (Chairman, Criminal Law Committee, 1985/86)
    Character Committee, Fourth Appellate Circuit, 1995 - Present
    (Chairman 2000-present)