“My previous experience as a lawyer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation taught me how important I feel it is for a property owner facing condemnation to have an experienced lawyer fighting for them.”
- Stan Abrams
Attorney Stan Abrams (Partner)
Stan Abrams joined the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin in 2012 to lead the firm’s eminent domain practice. He is a Partner of the firm and has earned a reputation as a tireless advocate for property owners.
Prior to joining the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, Stan worked as an assistant attorney general for the North Carolina Department of Justice, where he represented the North Carolina Department of Transportation in condemnation litigation throughout the state. In doing so, he gained valuable perspective about the state’s approach to eminent domain takings.
Stan has argued cases before the North Carolina Court of Appeals and the North Carolina Supreme Court, and he has tried dozens of jury trials throughout North Carolina.
He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum,4 North Carolina Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the North Carolina Advocates for Justice. Stan has also served as a trial advocacy instructor for the North Carolina Department of Justice.
The Path to the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
There’s just something about people who grow up in a small town — a town where you know your neighbors and they know you. Stan Abrams grew up in such a town: Wilson, N.C.
It’s a place where you learn to say what you mean and mean what you say. You do for your neighbor just as you do for yourself. Families keep you accountable. And your handshake is as good as law.
A client of Stan’s once said, “I’ll tell you right now, Stan shook my hand and looked me in the eye. I knew right away he was human. He was sincere. He was professional. All of that comes out immediately.”
These characteristics shaped Stan since boyhood. His father was a lawyer in Wilson, and Stan worked off and on in his father’s firm since he can remember — “knee-high to a grasshopper.” His family was close.
“Watching my father use his law degree to help all kinds of people in all kinds of situations, there was never any doubt in my mind I wanted to do the same for people,” Stan recalls.
The town’s character hasn’t changed much since Stan was a young boy and neither has Stan’s. After practicing law in Wilson for many years, Stan became an Assistant Attorney General for the state of North Carolina, where he represented the NCDOT.
“I felt privileged to help the state build roads and so forth to improve and advance our infrastructure. After all, you want to spend taxpayer money wisely. But then I saw a pattern emerge. Property owners were doing more giving and the state was doing more taking — all because many property owners did not have someone with sound eminent domain legal experience on their side to help them get a fair price for their land. It stunned me to see how many property owners simply did not know that you just don’t have to take the government’s first offer.”
That realization became an “aha moment” for Stan. Why couldn’t he be the one to help — really help — some of these property owners? And that’s when he decided to leave the NCDOT and head up the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm as lead counsel in 2012.
Grover and Katherine Smith were among Stan’s first clients at the new firm. The NCDOT wanted to cut a road right through the middle of their cattle farm — a farm that had been in their family for over 200 years. This would essentially put them out of the cattle business. Just like that. They chose Stan to represent them because of his previous NCDOT experience.
“It was a sad situation. Ultimately, we couldn’t stop the road, but we were able to convince the NCDOT to pay them more than triple1 their original offer,” Stan said.
Stan received his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, and an undergraduate degree in Pre-Law from Bob Jones University in South Carolina.
Outside of work, Stan donates his time and attention to many causes. He has served on many boards, coached several youth sports teams, and acts as Treasurer for the Durham Rescue Mission. In 2023, the North Carolina Bar Association awarded Stan a Citizen Lawyer Award for his volunteer efforts with “worthy community or civic causes to improve the quality of life of those in their local or statewide communities.”
For legal reasons and client confidentiality, reviews have been slightly edited to remove identifying information and correct typos.