By Alex Topor
William F. (“Bill”) Caye II went to Duquesne University Law School to pursue a career in law for reasons close to his heart — his family. Caye’s grandfather was killed in an industrial accident. The treatment Caye’s grandmother, mother and uncle received from caring lawyers left a lasting impact on him.
“The treatment my family received left a profound place for service and helping others on me and I felt it was something I wanted to do one day,” Caye said. “Also, my godfather, John Tighe, was an attorney and my mother worked at a personal injury law firm that specialized in helping out the little guy.”
After working in several different areas of law, Caye, 52, opened his own practice in 2000, William F. Caye II, LLC.
Caye has worked as a law clerk, trial counsel, advisor, and deputy and senior deputy attorney generals throughout his career. In fact, Caye worked as an assistant district attorney at Magisterial District Judge Mary Ann Cercone’s office in McKees Rocks early in his career.
Caye coincidentally represented the Commonwealth in cases before then Court of Common Pleas Judge David Cercone, who began his law career serving Stowe Township and McKees Rocks.
“Judge David Cercone had a big impact on my life and my career when I was a young lawyer. The Cercone family is steeped in the tradition of service to the community. A prosecutor and judges can touch a lot of lives in the hard working, blue collar area of McKees Rocks,” Caye said. “David actually introduced my wife and I because she was working in his court room at the time. It was love at first sight.”
He has had a long professional career in which he has looked out for others in his field of work. The Brookline native frequently mentors and consults for other young professionals and students, teaches when possible and offers internship opportunities for young law students.
“Having my own practice isn’t something I’ve always thought about. I just think it was part of my evolution,” Caye said. “I enjoy working with other people and collaborating, but I also enjoy calling my own shots and being my own boss. I also believe at this stage in my career that I should help provide for people that don’t have the funds or resources."
“I do a lot of work not in a traditional way but pro bono because I feel it's the right thing to do. If I do not do the type of legal work, I refer them to someone else that may be better suited to handle that type of case or situation.”
Another step in the evolution of his career is running for judicial office. In 2015, Caye ran for a seat on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. In 2017, he ran for a seat on the Pennsylvania Superior Court. He improved his vote totals significantly in both elections.
Caye is not running this election, though he is not ruling out a run for Common Pleas Court Judge in Allegheny County, in 2021.
“I felt I was a viable candidate with experience and a breadth of knowledge to apply in the positions I ran for in the past,” Caye said.
“Looking at cases from all perspectives such as a former law clerk, a former prosecutor and a current defense attorney gives me unique experience in that critical setting because I’ve helped all parties make tough but reasonable decisions. I have remained true to my calling, throughout my career, to be of valued service and provide help to others when they need it most.”