Biography Photo of Scott A MacGriff

Scott A. MacGriff


Clients look to Scott’s experience as a seasoned trial attorney with the Department of Justice, and prior Firm experience when it comes to complex legal problems. Scott has first-chaired countless complex litigation matters, and has argued a significant number of matters before both Federal and State trial and appellate courts.

Primary Areas of Practice: Government Investigations, Internal Investigations, Government Contracts, ITAR/EAR Trade Compliance, Commercial Litigation, Commercial Contracts

Scott’s clients include large national and international defense contractors and commercial manufactures and suppliers, to small tech innovators and start-ups.  Scott provides practical, thoughtful and creative legal advice to solve legal and business issues.  Some of Scott’s recent activities for clients include: lead internal investigation for national public university into allegations of wrongful conduct by senior professors, resulting in dismissal and disciplinary proceedings as well as a federal investigation into those activities; co-lead oversight of internal investigation for large multinational defense contractor resulting in senior corporate personnel realignment, non-suit by auditors, and settlement in civil actions; counsel and review export compliance of manufacturing,  service industry, and University clients engaged in defense sector and governmental work, including ITAR, EAR and CCL related issues; design, develop and conduct client training on ITAR and EAR compliance; conduct pre-litigation advise, counseling and negotiation in defense sector whistleblower action resulting in seven-figure recovery for client; counsel and advise clients under investigation by federal and state law enforcement authorities; work on team counseling and advising clients on pre-cyber incident response preparations; review and advise on contract issues; and lead development of competitive intelligence investigations for international client. 

Scott’s recent work at the Department of Justice not only involved government contract trials and related procurement fraud prosecution, as well as customs/importation fraud prosecutions, but also direct, meaningful and significant experience working with the most senior United States, International, Afghan, and military officials, in an international context. Recently, Scott completed a 36 month deployment to Afghanistan on behalf of the Department of Justice, including an 18 month tour as the Justice Attaché for the United States. As Justice Attaché, Scott led the office of the Justice Attaché in an active conflict zone, and was responsible for managing the Department’s international criminal investigations and international capacity building efforts in Afghanistan.

Scott previously clerked For the Hon. James L. Ryan, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Scott is admitted to practice in the State of Michigan, but not admitted in the District of Columbia.


Education & Credentials


Wentworth Military Academy

Associate of Arts
  • Honor Roll distinction
  • Awarded National Superior Cadet Award from United States Department of Defense

University of Michigan

B.G.S., 1990

University of Detroit Mercy School of Law

J.D., 1996
  • Magna Cum Laude.
  • Frank Murphy Honor Society
  • Law Review: Editorial Board, Article and Book Review Editor
  • Moot Court Board of Directors
  • National Constitutional Law Competition Team, National Trial Team
  • American Inns of Court

Bar Admission

  • Michigan

Prominent Assignments

Investigations.  Scott has lead and conducted international and internal investigations for small clients and large clients, including manufacturing companies, service companies and universities, on issues related to officer misconduct, employee misconduct, discrimination, retaliatory conduct, and misuse of contracting vehicles.  

Litigation.  Scott has extensive Federal and state court trial experience, as well as national and international arbitration experience.  While working for the Government, Scott represent the United States against claims filed by government contractors in excess of several billion dollars, and prosecute related fraud claims. Cases involved various and numerous federal agencies (e.g., the Department of Defense and its subcomponents, NASA, Department of Commerce and General Services Administration), and related to, for example, procurement of defense related systems and supplies, construction of government facilities (in the United States and abroad), subcontractor issues, operational services, services contracts, leases, and takings claims.

Scott has also prosecuted fraud cases before the Court of International Trade, and he successfully expanded and clarified the scope and authority of the United States to prosecute claims under 19 U.S.C. § 1592, in United States v. Trek Leather Inc., et al, 781 F.Supp. 2d 1306, affm’d en banc, 767 F.3d 1288 (Fed. Cir. 2014).

Appeals.  Scott has argued appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit related to government contract decisions, GSA and ASBCA decisions, and MSPB decsions.

Compliance and Regulatory Advice.  Scott has experience counseling and reviewing export compliance of manufacturing clients engaged in defense sector and other work, including the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR), and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and items appearing on the Commerce Control List (CCL) along with related issues.  Scott has designed, developed and trained clients on ITAR and EAR compliance issues.  Scott addressed Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) issues while serving as Justice Attaché to Afghanistan.  He has assisted clients with thoughtful, strategic and timely resolutions to issues involving the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA).

International.  In addition to international arbitration related activities, international investigations, and international internal investigations, while working for the Government Scott led the operational as well as the capacity building efforts of the United States Department of Justice in Afghanistan, by working with allies, senior international military and civilian coalition leaders, and senior Afghan  government officials.  Capacity building efforts included assistance in the investigation and prosecution of terrorism, counter-narcotics, corruption offenses, and judicial, prosecutorial and investigative capacity building initiatives.  Scott has also lead and participated in numerous foreign training programs of Judges, Prosecutors, and investigators.


Professional Involvement

  • Michigan Bar Association


  • Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • Federal District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • Federal District Court for the Central District of Illinois
  • United States Court of Federal Claims
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit


  • April 2017 – Washington D.C.: Conducted Public Contracting Institute webinar: Just Out, Conversations With A Former DOJ Attorney
  • N’Djamena, Chad: Help create workshop program for regional west African prosecutors, investigators and judges from the Lake Chad Basin including Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria. Presentations will focus on developing non-military or concurrent alternatives to the regional criminal activities of Boko Haram. Through presentation and small group exercises the program is designed to examine deficiencies in domestic legislation, as well as related authorities and procedures necessary for an effective counterterrorism regime in order to create realistic, effective and achievable action plans for each country. The program contemplates regional or bi-lateral follow-up engagements.
  • November 2015 – Philippines (Cebu and Mindanao): Philippine criminology and law professors, and Ministry of Higher Education officials. Present on techniques: investigation techniques, case development and the technique of teaching the investigation techniques. Also co-present on trafficking in persons as a way to advance curriculum on non-traditional crimes, particularly those associated with transnational syndicates.
  • August 2015 – Washington D.C.: Afghanistan Judicial and Law Enforcement Officials. Present on counterterrorism investigations and prosecutions in the United States.
  • July 2015 - Malta: Presented at Foreign Terrorist Fighter Prosecutor Program Implementing the Global Counterterrorism Forum Good Practices to Address the Foreign Fighter Threat: Prosecuting Foreign Terrorist Fighter (FTF) Cases. The program brought together judges and prosecutors from Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Niger, and Senegal, along with US and UN professionals, for a week long workshop to discuss common challenges in bringing FTF prosecutions. Relevant regional topics discussed included intelligence and military sources, forensics, vulnerable victims, cooperating defendants, and international evidence. The program culminated in a multipart hypothetical problem during which the prosecutors, in smaller groups, tackled the issues discussed during the workshop within the framework of a realistic fact scenario.
  • June 2015 – Washington D.C.: Presented Iraq and Afghanistan War Zone Detention & Prosecution Experiences to judicial, prosecutorial and law enforcement officials from Niger.
  • January 2015 – Kabul, Afghanistan: Organized and presented historic first all-female legal conference at the Afghan Supreme Court: twenty-one female Afghan judges, prosecutors and investigators attended two-day conference focused upon the seven step investigative process.
  • November 2014 – New Delhi, India: Organized and presented at seven day international legal conference attended by senior Afghan officials from Supreme Court, Attorney General’s Office, Ministry of the Interior, National Directorate of Security, High Office of Oversight and Corruption, Kabul Bank Receivership, and Financial Intelligence Center. Presentations included: International Asset Tracking; Afghan Conspiracy Law; Afghan Money Laundering and Counterterrorism Financing Laws; Seven Step Process; case workshop.
  • November 2014 – Kabul, Afghanistan: Presented International Asset Tracking to Judges, prosecutors and investigators of the Counter-Narcotics Justice Center.
  • September 2014 – Parwan, Afghanistan: Taught two day seven-step investigative course for 100 provincial judges and prosecutors, as well as counterterrorism judges and prosecutors at the Justice Center in Parwan.
  • 2012 – 2013 – Afghanistan: Taught varied seminars on best practices in the context of Afghan law to Afghan law enforcement professionals.
Have a question or want to connect?