John ‘Jay’ Abom has more than 25 years’ experience in criminal law. A veteran litigator, he is a death penalty-certified attorney who has succeeded in keeping clients off death row. Jay defends those charged with crimes in state and federal court; he also advises clients in wills and estate administration.

Jay is a former Assistant District Attorney for Cumberland County where he prosecuted serious felonies, conducted grand jury investigations, assisted law enforcement with crime scenes, supervised the ARD program, and worked closely with lay and expert witnesses.

Jay has served, since 2003, as a United States Criminal Justice Act Panel Attorney, representing indigent federal criminal defendants before the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the Federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Jay’s work has been recognized with such honors as the 2020 Cumberland County Bar Association’s Distinguished Member Award and the yearly designation, since 2011, as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer. In 2008, the Cumberland County Bar Association appointed Jay chairman of its newly formed criminal law section. He is a Board-Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and serves as a Hearing Officer for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Jay is a graduate of Brown University and The Dickinson School of Law. He lives in Mechanicsburg, is a longtime volunteer with Cumberland Valley School District’s Eagle Foundation and is a coach for the Cumberland Valley Rugby Club. Jay also serves as Solicitor for the Downtown Carlisle Association.


Phone: 717-249-0900

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense

  • Homicide
  • DUI
  • Drugs
  • Fraud
  • Federal white-collar crimes
  • Assault
  • Traffic Offenses
  • Federal Criminal Defense

Wills & Estates

  • Wills and Living Wills
  • Power of Attorney
  • Guardianship
  • Probate and Estate Administration


  • J.D., Dickinson School of Law
  • B.A., Brown University


  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States District Court for the District of Columbia
  • All Pennsylvania Courts

Membership Affiliations

  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court Certified Death Penalty
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Solicitor Downtown Carlisle Association
  • Cumberland County, Dauphin County and Franklin County Bar Associations
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Greater Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Cumberland Valley Boys Rugby Club
  • Cumberland Valley Youth Rugby Association
  • Eastern Pennsylvania Rugby Referees Society