William T. Kay, Jr., Esq.
The journey of this law firm began essentially in 1969 when I was assigned to the position of a Battalion Defense Counsel at Ft. Lewis, Washington. Although not yet a lawyer I represented around forty (40) enlisted men on various charges under Special Courts Martial proceedings. In those days an officer was not required to be a lawyer in order to represent soldiers charged with violations of the Code of Military Justice. It was a defining experience that whetted my interest in pursuing a law degree.
Fast forward through my completion of law school in 1972 when I joined Wells Fargo Leasing Corporation in San Francisco. As in-house counsel, I managed and coordinated the corporation's legal work between in-house and outside counsel. This practice provided me with experience in complex business issues and contractual obligations.
Following the sojourn in San Francisco I became a deputy district attorney in Santa Clara County. This position thrust me into the courtroom almost immediately, actually on my third day of employment. Working in law enforcement enabled me to gain an understanding of people, of the importance of accepting responsibility for one's actions, and of the various reasons that people violate the criminal law of our state.
I moved to Humboldt County in 1977 after being introduced by a Superior Court Judge presiding in Santa Clara County to James R. McKittrick, a truly brilliant lawyer, who in those days was considered the "Perry Mason" of the north coast of California. This association, later partnership, began my involvement with civil practice in all forms, including personal injury, wrongful death, business litigation and divorce, to name a few.
After eight years of enjoying Jim's mentoring and company I was recruited as a partner in the Harland Law Firm to provide additional trial capability to the firm's existing talent. I worked primarily in the areas of personal injury, business and probate litigation. The Harland Firm was a relatively small firm of seven to eight attorneys. Each lawyer practiced in several areas of law, and the collaboration among the lawyers on legal matters was educational, productive and fun.
In 1998 I received an invitation to associate with Victor Ferro whose law partner, Timothy Cissna, had just received an appointment to the Superior Court of California. Vic was an old friend of mine and a good working relationship grew. My law practice changed again, for in addition to the areas of law that I practiced at the Harland firm, I returned to criminal law and was initiated into unlawful detainer actions.
In 2005 Vic Ferro decided to retire from the practice of law. I decided that the life and practice of a sole practitioner would be my next great adventure, and the Law Office of Will Kay was established.
In 2019 The Law Office of Will Kay entered into a professional association with Day-Wilson Law.
Honors and Publications
"The Law Office Team of Multiple Talents" - Article published in The Legal Secretary (November 2013)
Humboldt County Legal Professionals Association - Boss of the Year - (2013)
St. Joseph Health System - Management of Excellence Award - (1991)
Who's Who in American Law - Member - 1987
Who's Who in California - Member - 1988
Humboldt County Legal Professionals Association - Boss of the Year - (1986)
I believe that members of the legal profession should participate in community groups and activities. As a participant in community affairs, I have had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful and capable people. Long-standing relationships have been formed, and on several occasions these folks have assisted me in attending to legal matters. Some of the more significant groups with whom I have worked are set forth below.
Six Rivers National Bank - Founding Chair of the Board of Directors
St. Joseph and Redwood Memorial Hospitals - Past Chair of the Joint Board of Trustees
American Bar Foundation - Fellow
Humboldt County Bar - Past President
Rotary Club of Eureka - Past President
Humboldt State University Foundation - Past President
St. Bernard's Elementary School - Past President
United Way of Humboldt - Past Vice-President
The Ingomar Club - Past President
Will Kay: Attorney
Seattle University (1966) - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science.
United States Army (1967-1969), Second Lieutenant with service at various posts in the United States and the Republic of South Korea
University of San Diego School of Law (1972) - Juris Doctor
Joanie Weiser: Legal Assistant
California State University, San Bernardino (1974) Cum Laude - Bachelor of Arts in French and Political Science
Los Angeles Mission College (2010) - Certified California Paralegal
Battalion Defense Counsel, U.S. Army - Ft. Lewis, Washington (1969)
In-House Corporate Counsel, Wells Fargo Leasing Corporation - San Francisco, California (1973-1976)
Deputy District Attorney, County of Santa Clara - San Jose, California (1976-1977)
Partner, McKittrick & Kay, Attorneys at Law - Eureka, California (1977-1985)
Partner, Harland Law Firm - Eureka, California (1985-1998)
Partner, Ferro & Kay - Arcata, California (1998-2005)
Sole Practitioner, Law Office of Will Kay - Eureka, California (2005-Present)
Ancillary Legal Experience
Arbitrator - American Arbitration Association - 1980's
Court Appointed Mediator - 2009 to present
Court Appointed Special Master - 2010
Admitted to Practice
State of California
U.S. District Court (Northern)
U.S. Court of Appeal (Ninth Circuit)