Adam Abelson, named a 2020 Young Lawyer of the Year by The American Lawyer, represents clients in complex civil litigation, white collar criminal defense, and government investigations.
His criminal defense focus includes alleged complex financial, securities, and health care fraud, including under the False Claims Act. His civil litigation focus includes securities enforcement actions, complex commercial disputes, and antitrust and legal malpractice matters. He also represents health care providers and their patients in high-stakes disputes with health insurance companies.
Adam was a member of the Zuckerman trial team that successfully defended former White House Counsel Gregory Craig in a lengthy investigation and trial of charges based on allegations of false statements arising from a Foreign Agents Registration Act inquiry. The jury returned a not guilty verdict in September 2019.
He also maintains an active pro bono practice and is deeply involved in the community and legal profession. He is an appointed member of the American Bar Association’s Working Group on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, for which he worked to develop the ABA’s Ten Guidelines on Court Fines and Fees, and chaired its development of the ABA’s Principles on Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Policies. He has served on the board of the Job Opportunities Task Force since 2017, including serving as the Vice Chair.
Before joining Zuckerman Spaeder in 2012, he served as a law clerk to Judge Andre M. Davis of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and Judge Catherine C. Blake of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
- New York University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2010
- Order of the Coif
- Ann Petluck Poses Memorial Prize
- Managing Editor, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics
- Princeton University, B.A., cum laude, 2005
District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
- Hon. Andre M. Davis, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- Hon. Catherine C. Blake, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
- Chair, ABA Principles on Law Enforcement Body-Worn Camera Policies
- Member, American Bar Association Working Group on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System
- Contributing author, ABA Ten Guidelines on Court Fines and Fees
- Board Member (2017-present) and Vice Chair (2018-present), Job Opportunities Task Force
- Lawyers’ Alliance, Public Justice Center, 2016-present
- Member, Next Up Program, Greater Baltimore Committee, 2017-2018
- Represents United insureds in a case challenging the legality of the internal guidelines it uses when adjudicating mental health and substance abuse claims. Following a highly publicized trial in 2017, the district court ruled that United breached its fiduciary duties when it developed its guidelines and that its denials pursuant to those guidelines were wrongful. In November 2020, Court ruled on remedies, providing plaintiffs with robust, multi-faceted relief. Among other things, the Court, ordered UBH to reprocess all of the claims in question, reform its coverage criteria going forward for a period of 10 years, and improve employee training. The Court appointed a Special Master to oversee the reprocessing and reforms. The case is currently on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Represents a health plan in a False Claims Act investigation alleging failure to disclose error made by government actuary that caused overstatement of past capitation rates, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of asserted overpayments.
- Conducted an internal investigation for a trade association regarding board governance and employment-related allegations.
- Represented a foreign manufacturer of electronic connectors in a U.S. litigation in support of a Swiss arbitration proceeding.
- Defended former CFOs of a publicly traded company in SEC and DOJ investigations relating to the company’s accounting practices.
- Represented hospitals and trade associations in judicial challenges related to the 340B drug discount program.
- Represented a former NFL player in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in a lawsuit against the National Football League’s pension plans over benefits for disabilities resulting from brain damage during his NFL career.
- Represented a former employee of a now-defunct international law firm charged with participating in a complex scheme to defraud the firm’s lenders concerning the firm’s financial condition.
- Represented a foreign national targeted in an insider trading investigation conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice.
- Represented a post-acute health care company in litigation involving allegations of unfair competition and breach of contract.
- Represented a physician defending against allegations of improper prescribing practices.
- Represented an animal rights organization at trial and on appeal in an Endangered Species Act citizen-suit to protect endangered and threatened species in the custody of a roadside zoo, obtaining an injunction permanently prohibiting a zoo from possessing any endangered or threatened species.
- Represents a pro bono client in litigation brought against a mobile home operator for alleged violations of the Fair Housing Act.
- Represented a pro bono client in five-day trial in Domestic Relations Branch of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia. The trial court granted our client legal custody, primary physical custody, and child support.
- Represented an international law firm and a regional law firm against allegations of legal malpractice in litigation in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
Baltimore Judge Denies Calvert Sheriff’s Lawsuit Dismissal Attempt
June 29, 2022 | In the news
Zuckerman Spaeder Petitions Ninth Circuit for “Desperately Needed” En Banc Review of Panel Decision in Wit v. United Behavioral Health
May 06, 2022 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Client ACLU of Maryland Sues Calvert Co. Sheriff’s Office for Restricting Access to Records through Improper Fee Demand
March 02, 2022 | Press release
UnitedHealth Subsidiary Owes Millions in Fees in Coverage Suit
January 06, 2022 | In the news
Super Lawyers (Maryland)
2022 | Press release
High Court Ruling Can't Sink UnitedHealth ERISA Class
September 20, 2021 | In the news
36 Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized in 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America; Two Partners Named “Lawyer of the Year”; Three Associates Recognized as “Ones to Watch”
August 19, 2021 | Press release
UnitedHealth Rule Rewrite Evinces Shift In Mental Health Care
July 30, 2021 | In the news
Supreme Court declines Cumberland zoo’s appeal of pro-PETA ruling
The Daily Record
June 28, 2021 | In the news
In a Win for Zuckerman Spaeder Client PETA, Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against Maryland Zoo that Violated the Endangered Species Act
February 02, 2021 | Press release
The Long Road To A Class Action Win Over UnitedHealth
January 28, 2021 | In the news
The American Lawyer Awards: Zuckerman Spaeder is Boutique of the Year Finalist, Partner Aitan Goelman is Litigator of the Year Finalist, Partner Abelson Wins Young Lawyer of the Year
November 09, 2020 | Press release
After Delivering Landmark Win for Mental Health Patients, Judge Orders UnitedHealth to Reprocess Over 50,000 Claims and Reform Claims Handling
November 03, 2020 | Press release
The American Lawyer Industry Awards Finalists Are Announced
The American Lawyer
November 02, 2020 | In the news
Adam Abelson Selected to Maryland Daily Record’s 2020 VIP List
July 24, 2020 | Press release
National Law Journal Names Zuckerman Spaeder a “D.C. Litigation Department of the Year”
May 28, 2020 | Press release
Bill Taylor and Bill Murphy Named “Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers of the Year” for Greg Craig Acquittal
January 30, 2020 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Names Maggie O’Donnell and Adam Abelson as Partners
January 02, 2020 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder’s Adam Abelson Named One of Baltimore Business Journal’s 40 Under 40
November 14, 2019 | Press release
40 Under 40 2019: Adam Abelson, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
Baltimore Business Journal
November 14, 2019 | In the news
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida Illegally Denied Coverage to Patient with Severe Eating Disorder, According to New Zuckerman Spaeder Class Action Lawsuit
September 05, 2019 | Press release
UnitedHealth Seeks To Scuttle 50,000-Member ERISA Class
May 06, 2019 | In the news
Federal Court Rules that UnitedHealth Group Subsidiary Illegally Denied Mental Health and Substance Use Coverage to Tens of Thousands of Patients – Including Thousands of Children
March 05, 2019 | Press release
Judge Rips UnitedHealth's Shortsighted Behavioral Care Rules
March 05, 2019 | In the news
2nd Circ. Says Conn. Wine Law Not Anti-Competitive
February 20, 2019 | In the news
Zuckerman Spaeder Clients Win Lawsuits to Stop Cuts and End Implementation Delay of Changes to the 340B Drug Pricing Program
January 03, 2019 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Clients Win Lawsuits to Stop Cuts and End Delay of Changes to the 340B Drug Pricing Program
January 03, 2019 | In the news
Hospitals Sue HHS For Slow-Walking 340B Penalties
September 12, 2018 | In the news
4th Circ. Rules NFL Retirement Plan Wrongly Denied Benefits
June 23, 2017 | In the news
NFL must pay benefits for ex-player's brain injury, 4th Circuit says
The Daily Record
June 23, 2017 | In the news
Appeals Court Rules Against NFL Pension Plan, Finds Ex-Player "Totally Disabled" From Concussion and CTE
June 23, 2017 | Press release
The Daily Record Names Adam Abelson a 2017 Generation J.D. Honoree
April 17, 2017 | Press release
The Daily Record names its 2017 Leadership in Law winners
The Daily Record
March 16, 2017 | In the news
Zuckerman Spaeder Obtains Agreement to Dismiss Charges Against Client Zachary Warren
February 16, 2016 | Press release
Insider trading ‘minefields’ abound
Baltimore Business Journal
January 22, 2016 | Publication
Procrastinators Rejoice! Ethics Seminar for Virginia CLE
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
October 31, 2014 | Speaking Engagement
Procrastinators Rejoice! Ethics Seminar Series for Virginia CLE
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
October 31, 2013 | Speaking Engagement
The Prosecute-Extradite Dilemma: Concurrent Criminal Jurisdiction and Global Governance
UC Davis Journal of International Law and Policy
December 09, 2009 | Publication
Las externalidades y la seguridad privada: Un marco teórico para la regulación
Economía Política de la Seguridad Ciudadana (Fernando Carrión & Manuel Dammert eds.)
June 11, 2009 | Publication
“Book Note” (reviewing International Justice in Rwanda and the Balkans: Virtual Trials and the Struggle for State Cooperation, Victor Peskin)
NYU Journal of International Law and Politics
December 11, 2008 | Publication