Eric L. Yaffe

Eric Yaffe represents corporations and individuals in high stakes litigation and investigations across the country. He focuses his practice on white collar and government investigations, complex civil litigation, and franchise litigation. Eric works extensively in the area of white collar matters, representing companies and individuals in health care fraud, financial fraud, government contract fraud, obstruction of justice, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, conflicts of interest, trade secrets, ethics, and other matters.

Outside of the white collar space, Eric litigates complex civil and franchise litigation cases, including shareholder disputes, employment issues, antitrust, trademark infringement, covenants not to compete, false advertising, breach of contract, and tort, among other matters.

In addition to his active white collar and litigation practices, Eric also commits his efforts to matters pertaining to ethics in the legal profession. Eric has represented law firms and individuals in connection with admissions to the bar and alleged violations of the rules of professional conduct. He recently concluded a two-year term as Chair of the Board on Professional Responsibility for the District of Columbia. From 1991-2000, Eric worked for the U.S. Department of Justice as an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia and as a trial attorney for the Public Integrity Section. From 1999-2000, Eric was Deputy Chief of the department’s Campaign Finance Task Force.

Representative Experience

White Collar 

  • Represented Midwest healthcare clinic in Stark and anti-kickback civil qui tam matter brought in federal court and investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Represented individuals in investigations and cases brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in the Northeast alleging violations of the trade secret laws
  • Represented physician group in Stark and False Claims Act matter investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Virginia
  • Conducted internal investigation of potential False Claims Act violations for national health care contractor based in the Midwest
  • Represented national health care provider in civil qui tam action brought in federal court in the State of Washington in which the Relator alleged violations of the Stark and Anti-kickback laws, and upcoding
  • Represented former President of Taylor Bean Whitaker in criminal mortgage fraud case brought in federal court in Virginia
  • Represented individual in government’s investigation of multi-national telecommunications company for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
  • Represented former high-level executive of a large soft drink manufacturing and distribution company in the Department of Justice’s and SEC’s parallel investigations of the company for alleged false earnings claims
  • Represented key witness in the Department of Justice’s investigation in California of the Milberg Weiss law firm for alleged improprieties in the bringing of class action lawsuits
  • Represented Washington, D.C., corporation in internal investigation of potential conflicts of interest
  • Represented individual in jury trial in federal court in Virginia on conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges; trial resulted in client’s acquittal on all charges
  • Represented individual in Senate Ethics Committee investigation of Senator John Ensign (R-Nev.)
  • Represented company and individuals who were subjects of grand jury investigation in the Southern District of New York concerning President Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich

Civil/Franchise Cases

  • Represented national franchisor in five class actions brought in various federal and state courts for alleged improper imposition of sales taxes. Prevailed in each case on motion to dismiss or otherwise.
  • Represented large national franchisor in federal jury trial in Pennsylvania, defending against alleged multi-million dollar breach of development agreement, which resulted in finding of no liability on all counts for client
  • Represented several large national franchisors in federal courts across the country in preliminary injunctions concerning covenants not to compete, non-payment of royalties, and trademark infringement; prevailed in all matters
  • Represented national franchisor in jury trial in Florida concerning dispute over development rights. Jury found in client’s favor on all counts
  • Represented minority shareholder in action brought against majority shareholder of automobile dealerships in Michigan
  • Represented shareholder of a Virginia corporation in breach of contract and employment dispute involving other shareholders
  • Represented political fundraising and compliance software company against allegations brought in federal court in Washington, D.C. by competitor that it had engaged in false and deceptive advertising in violation of the Lanham Act; after 5-day trial, court found in favor of client on all counts brought against it
  • Represented national sandwich shop franchisor in antitrust case brought against it in San Diego, California by approximately 100 franchisees; prevailed on summary judgment on most counts, and then remainder of matter settled on favorable terms for client
  • Represented national ice cream shop franchisor in federal court action brought against it for breach of contract, fraud, and making false earnings claims in its FDD; prevailed on motion to dismiss all counts

Court Memberships

  • District of Columbia
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims


  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • The Best Lawyers in America©
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Franchise, 2010–2019
  • “Washington, DC’s Best Lawyers,” The Washington Post
  • “Washington, DC Super Lawyer,” Super Lawyers
  • "Top 100: 2018 Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers," Super Lawyers 
  • Marquis Who’s Who in America
  • Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award
  • The International Who’s Who of Franchise Lawyers
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated from Martindale-Hubbell


Professional Affiliations

  • International Franchise Association
  • American Bar Association, Forum Committee on Franchising, White Collar Crime and Litigation sections
  • The District of Columbia Court of Appeals: Chair of the Board on Professional Responsibility for the District of Columbia, 2014–2016; D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Advisory Committee on Admissions and Grievances, 2018–  
  • American University’s Washington College of Law, Adjunct Professorial Lecturer of Law

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