Falsey, William D.

Biography

Mr. Falsey joined Birch Horton in 2021. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Falsey worked in the Municipality of Anchorage where he served as Municipal Attorney (2015-2017) and later as Municipal Manager (2017-2020). As Manager, Mr. Falsey was responsible to the mayor for the overall conduct of the administrative functions of the municipality and oversaw nine departments (police, fire, health, employee relations, traffic, public transit, public works, maintenance & operations, project management & engineering); three utilities (solid waste collection and disposal, water and wastewater, and municipal light & power); two enterprises (the Port of Alaska and Merrill Field); and four offices (emergency management, transportation inspection, risk, and equal opportunity). As Municipal Attorney, Mr. Falsey was responsible for providing legal services to the whole of Anchorage’s municipal government; managing all civil litigation to which the municipality was a party; and providing judicial prosecution of misdemeanor criminal offenses in direct support of enforcement activities.
 
In his time at the Municipality, Mr. Falsey drafted numerous first-of-their kind ordinances and ballot measures; oversaw legal review of initiative, referenda and recall petitions; worked to successfully complete the sale of Anchorage’s municipally owned electric utility to Chugach Electric Association, the neighboring rural electrical cooperative, in a transaction valued at just under $1 billion; spearheaded efforts resulting in the successful completion of a new multi-million dollar petroleum/cement terminal at the Port of Alaska; helped lead Anchorage’s response to the magnitude 7.1 November 2018 earthquake; and served as Incident Commander for the City’s on-the-ground response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
 
Prior to his municipal service, Mr. Falsey served in the United States Department of the Interior as the Bureau of Land Management’s Deputy Chief of Staff. As a principal advisor to the bureau’s director, Mr. Falsey researched and provided counsel on a variety of policy issues, including resource development and permitting, environmental regulation, proposed legislation, land-use allocations and planning, energy projects, and matters related to the Arctic. As the agency’s principal point-of-contact for the solicitor’s office, Mr. Falsey acted as the bureau’s primary client representative in select legal negotiations, tracked the bureau’s numerous legal matters and developed effective defense strategies and settlements. As department appointee, Mr. Falsey served as the Secretary of the Interior’s representative on a presidential committee and participated in the development of secretarial directives affecting the bureau. As a member of teams chartered by the bureau’s executive leadership, Mr. Falsey developed recommendations to improve agency governance, and co-authored a roadmap to sharpen the bureau’s strategic focus.
 
In his private legal practice, Mr. Falsey has represented clients before the Alaska Superior Court, the Alaska Supreme Court, the Federal District Court of Alaska, the Alaska Public Offices Commission, and in several administrative forums.
 
Mr. Falsey has served as a board member, or in a leadership role, in numerous civic organizations.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut
    • J.D. - 2005
  • Stanford University, Stanford, California
    • B.S. Physics, with Distinction; Minors in History and Political Science; Phi Beta Kappa – 2002
  • The University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School
    • Executive Coursework, Advanced Investments-Management Program – 2019

Admitted to Practice

  • Alaska
  • U.S. District Court District of Alaska

Professional Associations

  • Alaska Bar Association
  • Anchorage Bar Association

Awards and Honors

  • Municipal Manager, Municipality of Anchorage, 2017-2020
  • Municipal Attorney, Municipality of Anchorage, 2015-2017
  • Assembly Commendation, AR 2021-133
  • Deputy Chief of Staff, Bureau of Land Management, United States Department of the Interior
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Alexander O. Bryner, Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court
  • BAR/BRI Professor, Alaska Property Law
  • Named “Future Star” in 2007 by Benchmark Litigation, a guide to America’s leading litigation firms and attorneys
  • Former Editor, Yale Journal of Regulation
  • Former Coker Fellow Teaching Assistant, Contracts

Representative Cases

  • State of Alaska v. Ketchikan Gateway Borough, 366 P.3d 86 (Alaska 2016) (constitutional challenge to required local funding of schools)
  • Lt. Governor of the State of Alaska v. Alaska Fisheries Conservation Alliance, 363 P.3d 105 (Alaska 2015) (statewide ballot initiative re: commercial set net fishing)

Pro-Bono Activities

  • United Way of Anchorage, Board member
  • Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, Board member
  • Alaska Municipal Attorneys Association, Municipal Law Section, Alaska Bar Association, former co-Chair
  • CIVICVentures, former President
  • Municipality of Anchorage, Police and Fire Retirement System, former Board member
  • Alaska State Society, former President
  • Federal Agency and Congressional Practice Section, Alaska Bar Association, former Chair
  • Board of Ethics, Municipality of Anchorage, former Board member
  • ARC of Anchorage, former Board member
  • Commonwealth North, former Board member
  • Alaska Common Ground, former Board member
  • Anchorage Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section, former President