Steven D. Gordon litigates federal civil and criminal cases. He has been lead counsel in more than 100 trials and has argued appeals in most of the federal circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.

White Collar Defense

Mr. Gordon represents corporate and individual clients under investigation or facing criminal charges. His corporate clients have included a number of government contractors and his individual clients have included business executives, government officials and private citizens. He has conducted a number of internal investigations for clients, including private and publicly held companies and state agencies.

Native American Litigation

Mr. Gordon represents Indian tribes in litigation against the federal government. These have included claims for breach of trust based on mismanagement of tribal trust funds and natural resources, and for breach of funding obligations under self-determination contracts. He has sued the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS) under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and has represented tribes in litigation involving the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

Civil Litigation

Mr. Gordon litigates complex civil and commercial cases, often against the federal government. He sues federal agencies under the APA and other federal statutes on behalf of clients who are regulated by those agencies. For example, he has represented a variety of private clients and state agencies in litigation against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). He has also tried a number of cases involving alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and related torts.

False Claims Act; Suspension and Debarment

Mr. Gordon defends federal contractors and program participants (grantees) against False Claims Act (FCA) suits brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) or by whistleblowers (qui tam). He also represents clients facing suspension or debarment from participating in federal contracting or other federal programs. He successfully litigated the only debarment case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.


Mr. Gordon briefs and argues cases in the federal courts of appeals and in the U.S. Supreme Court. Cases handled by Mr. Gordon include:

  • Jicarilla Apache Nation v. U.S., 564 U.S. 162 (2011)
  • Royal Brush Mfg., Inc. v. U.S., 75 F.4th 1250 (Fed. Cir. 2023)
  • Navajo Nation v. Dept. of Interior, 57 F.4th 285 (D.C. Cir. 2023)
  • U.S. ex rel. Cody v. ManTech International Corp., 746 Fed.Appx. 166 (4th Cir. 2018)

Before entering private practice, Mr. Gordon prosecuted crimes for 10 years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia, and served as Chief of the Felony Trial Division. He also served as a law clerk to the Hon. William J. Holloway Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Representative Experience

  • Defending government contractors in Inspector General investigations regarding possible fraud or misconduct
  • Conducting an internal investigation for a state agency regarding potential misuse of federal grant funds
  • Representing companies with respect to criminal antitrust investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Representing a construction company with respect to a state grand jury investigation into alleged bribery of state officials
  • Defending a contractor under investigation by a federal grand jury for alleged theft of a competitor's trade secrets
  • Representing a senior government official under investigation for potential ethics violations
  • Representing a partner in a national accounting firm with respect to a federal investigation of abusive tax shelters

  • Suing the federal government on behalf of tribes for breach of trust based on imprudent investment of tribal trust funds and mismanagement of tribal natural resources (oil and gas, timber)
  • Suing the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Indian Health Service (IHS) on behalf of tribes for breach of self-determination contracts
  • Suing the BIA to overturn a reduction of Head Start funding for a tribe
  • Representing a tribe in federal litigation over whether the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) properly approved a tribal casino

  • Defending a federal contractor against whistleblower retaliation claims brought by former executives
  • Defending companies charged with misappropriation of trade secrets
  • Representing a corporation in a major arbitration regarding breach of duties under an LLC operating agreement
  • Defending a professional organization against a lawsuit challenging its disciplinary process

  • Representing contractors in FCA investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Defending federal contractors in qui tam FCA suits filed by whistleblowers

  • Representing clients with respect to suspension and debarment actions brought by federal agencies, including the Army, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Interior


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude
  • Swarthmore College, B.A., with high honors
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • District of Columbia
Court Admissions
  • All Courts in the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • American Bar Association
  • Court of Federal Claims Bar Association, Board
  • Assistant U.S. Attorneys Association, Board
Honors & Awards
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Commercial Litigation, Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2005-2022
  • Washington, D.C., Super Lawyers magazine, 2009-2010, 2013-2021
  • Holland & Knight Pro Bono All-Star, 2020, 2021
  • Phi Beta Kappa


Speaking Engagements