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William Hancock


1956 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
William Hancock Obituary
William N. Hancock

William N. Hancock passed away at age 61 on October 23, 2018. Born on November 4, 1956, and raised in Willow Glen, San Jose, Bill lived most of his life in San Francisco, where he and his wife Jessica Justino raised their daughter Justine Hancock, now of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Bill enjoyed the vibrancy of San Francisco, taking advantage of city life with family and friends. He loved cycling the back roads of the Bay Area and taking long walks with his cherished canine companion Grace. But he especially loved spending time at the Hancock family cabin on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, boating on the lake, hiking in the nearby Desolation Wilderness, and sharing adventures and conversation there with those who were closest to him.
A vibrant spirit with a wonderful, quirky sense of humor, he had a gift for asking penetrating questions, ruminating life's uncertainties with a clarity that was somehow both innocent and piercing. Bill was fun loving, generous, modest, and fair-minded. He was a great support and mentor to many, and formed close friendships that lasted for decades.
Bill gave generously to the institutions and causes he cared for, including KALW public radio, the San Francisco public schools and UC Santa Cruz.
In his professional life, Bill was a brilliant and highly successful attorney, specializing in civil appeals and widely recognized for his appellate skill. He was named a "SuperLawyer" and a "Best Lawyer in America" every year for nearly a decade. He spent 16 years as senior research attorney in the California Courts of Appeal for the First and Sixth Appellate Districts, where he analyzed hundreds of appeals. He later moved into the private sector, opened his own practice in 2004, and founded the appellate firm Eisenberg & Hancock in 2006. In 2012, he founded the California Appellate Law Group, which he managed until 2016 and of which he remained a member until his death. Recently, Bill played an important role in his firm's successful efforts to help protect Californians' access to beaches.
He graduated from UC Hastings College of the Law with Order of the Coif and Thurston Society honors, and, as an undergraduate, was a UC Santa Cruz "Banana Slug," graduating with honors.
Bill is survived by his wife Jessica, daughter Justine, sisters Jane and Kim (Steven), brother Tom (Dominique), niece Clara, and nephews Luc and Gabriel. He was preceded in death by his parents Merit and Carol, sister Noelle, and brother Michael. He will be profoundly missed by family, friends and colleagues.
Memorial service arrangements are pending. The family suggests that donations in Bill's memory be made to KALW Local Public Radio, San Francisco (kalw.org).

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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Nov. 11 to Nov. 17, 2018
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