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.
It doesn’t work out that way for everyone, but that’s not an isolated incident for Stan.
Despite all of his success1 — arguing cases before the NC Court of Appeals, the NC Supreme Court, and trying dozens of jury trials throughout North Carolina — talking with him makes you feel like you’re relaxing on a front porch swing sipping a cool glass of sweet tea. He’s just neighborly that way.
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.”
3Membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. Neither the Law Offices of James S. Farrin, P.C., nor Stan Abrams represents that similar results will be achieved in your case. Each case is different and must be evaluated separately.