Abram J. Pafford

Counsel
Abram is a litigator whose practice spans a number of substantive areas.
Abram Pafford, Counsel, Washington, DC at Arent Fox LLP

Abram has particular expertise in the areas of government contracts, white-collar investigations and litigation, and appeals. 

An accomplished appellate advocate, Abe has argued over two dozen cases in various state and federal courts of appeal. He also has a track record of success in commercial litigation matters in the state and federal trial courts, including successfully prosecuting and defending lawsuits involving claims ranging from fraudulent inducement and tortious interference to breach of contract and alleged violations of the securities laws. Many of these cases have arisen in the context of breakup disputes and control disputes in closely held companies, partnerships, and corporations. 

Abe also helps corporations facing regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings in industries that include financial services, real estate, energy, and health care. In recent years he has successfully represented witnesses, subjects, and targets in connection with federal grand jury investigations, often in cases with significant political implications that are being prosecuted by the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section. 

Client Work

At the appellate level, Abe regularly represents clients involved in commercial disputes as well as those seeking to appeal their convictions and sentences in state and federal courts. He has obtained reversals or significant reductions of sentence in cases that involve charges ranging from capital murder and narcotics trafficking to armed robbery and obstruction of justice. Abe has also had a significant role representing parties or amici in other appellate matters before various federal and state appellate courts, including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, the Missouri Court of Appeals, the Virginia Court of Appeals, and the Virginia Supreme Court.

While Abe's litigation and advisory practice is generalist in nature, he has particularly extensive experience in representing government contractors of all sizes across the full spectrum of government contract matters. His government contracts litigation experience encompasses the prosecution of claims arising under the Contract Disputes Act, the defense of lawsuits initiated by the Department of Justice under the False Claims Act, and the successful representation of protesters as well as intervenors in pre-award and post-award bid protests before the United States Court of Federal Claims and the GAO.

Abe has also represented government contractors in a variety of administrative settings, including matters relating to the protection of proprietary contractor information under the Freedom of Information Act, the disputed status of contractors and subcontractors under the Small Business Administration’s size regulations, and the defense of contractors facing potential exclusion from federal or state contracting pursuant to agency debarment proceedings.

Representative Matters

Abe's law practice is varied and his previous work includes:

  • Successfully prosecuted and defended lawsuits involving claims ranging from fraudulent inducement and tortious interference to breach of contract and alleged violations of the securities laws. 
  • Represented Mississippi resident Cory Maye in connection with the high-profile appeal of Mr. Maye’s capital murder conviction, achieving appellate victories in the Mississippi Court of Appeals and the Mississippi Supreme Court. 
  • Regularly represented clients seeking to appeal their convictions and sentences in state and federal courts, and in recent years has obtained reversals or significant reductions of sentence in cases that involve charges ranging from murder and narcotics trafficking to armed robbery and obstruction of justice.
  • Extensive experience in government contracts litigation, encompassing the prosecution of claims arising under the Contract Disputes Act, the defense of lawsuits initiated by the Department of Justice under the False Claims Act, and the successful representation of protesters as well as intervenors in pre-award and post-award bid protests before the United States Court of Federal Claims and the GAO.
  • Experienced in high-stakes insurance coverage disputes involving corporate policyholders in complex coverage disputes involving hundreds of millions of dollars in underlying environmental and product-related liabilities.
  • Served as a Special Attorney General for the State of Minnesota, developing and litigating claims by the State against commercial insurers pursuant to Minnesota laws governing landfill cleanup and remediation.

Previous Work

Immediately prior to joining Arent Fox, Abe managed his own litigation boutique based in Virginia and Washington, DC. Abe has also practiced in the litigation departments of two other large national law firms. In addition to his law firm experience, Abe served as a law clerk to Judge Eric G. Bruggink of the United States Court of Federal Claims, and Judge D. Brooks Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.