U.S. News Selects Astrachan Gunst Thomas, P.C. Tier 1 Law Firm

Astrachan Gunst Thomas, P.C. proudly announces that U.S. News Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" has again selected AGT to a Tier 1 ranking among firms practicing in the areas of IP litigation, copyright, trademark, and entertainment law – music in its 2016 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms."

Selection was determined through client input, the community's regard for the firm's lawyers and other data.

Firm Managing Principal, Donna M.D. Thomas said, "We are only eight lawyers, but we stand neck and neck with the country's most prominent, and largest, law firms. We are proud of our accomplishment, and we intend to maintain this level of excellence."

International Trademark Association (INTA) Selects Jim Astrachan as a Trademark Mediator

Astrachan Gunst Thomas, P.C. proudly announces that the International Trademark Association (INTA) has named Firm Principal, Jim Astrachan to its International Trademark Mediators Network.

INTA’s Trademark Mediators Network is the only panel of mediators with dual expertise in trademark and unfair competition law as well as the art of mediating disputes.

Settlement rates for these mediated disputes reach 70%.

Firm Managing Principal, Donna M.D. Thomas said, “We are honored that Jim has been selected as a member of INTA’s Trademark Mediators Network.  Jim’s forty years of experience handling intellectual property litigation and business matters will be of great value to parties seeking effective ADR of trademark and unfair competition disputes.”

Founded in 1878, INTA is a non-profit, global association of trademark owners and professionals, 30,000 plus, dedicated to supporting trademarks and related intellectual property in order to protect consumers and to promote fair and effective commerce.

Astrachan Gunst Thomas, P.C. practices intellectual property, business/mergers and acquisitions, commercial litigation and employment law.

Cross-posted at CityBizList.com.


Announcing Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin, P.C.

Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin, P.C. is delighted to announce, effective April 1, 2010, its name will change to Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin Rubin, P.C., adding the name of Julie R. Rubin to the firm name. Ms. Rubin joined the firm in January 2000 and became a principal in 2005. Ms. Rubin's law partners, Donna Thomas, Jim Astrachan and Peter Gunst, offer her their congratulations and recognition of her commitment to the firm and its clients. Donna Thomas stated, "We couldn't be happier to make it official. Julie is a substantial component of the firm's success."

Ms. Rubin's practice includes litigating complex commercial cases and counseling businesses on issues of employment and management, and protection of confidential information and intellectual property assets. She is licensed to practice law in Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania and the Northern District of Texas, is a member of the American Bar Association, the Maryland Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Women's Bar Association of Maryland, and the Bar Association of Baltimore City. Ms. Rubin was awarded an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest such rating available to any lawyer.

Ms. Rubin is an adjunct professor in the Intellectual Property department of the University of Maryland School of Law. She serves as a Director of CollegeBound Foundation and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Bryn Mawr School. Ms. Rubin also sits on the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities and the Peer Review Panel of the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland.

Ms. Rubin is monthly columnist for SmartCEO on business and employment issues, and frequently lectures before management and business owner audiences on these topics. Her publications have also appeared in The Daily Record, The Business Lawyer, The Maryland Bar Journal, and CityBizList.com, among others. Ms. Rubin frequently appears on WBFF Fox 45 as a legal news commentator, has been named one of Maryland's Legal Elite, and a Rising Star by SuperLawyers.

IP Blog

Jim Astrachan was twittering his thumbs this winter to create a new intellectual property-related blog entitled, "Trademark, Copyright Advertising Law Madness." Check it out at http://usiplaw.blogspot.com/. Let him know what you think of it, but be nice. Jim's blog is linked to 1970s law school classmate Jay Liner's "The Baltimore Organ", www.baltimoreorgan.com.

AGT Client Receives Grammy Nomination

Congratulations to MILKSHAKE, Baltimore's own rock band for kids, for receiving a Grammy Nomination for Best Musical Album for Children! The album "Great Day" was nominated as one of the 5 best kids' albums released last year. The awards will be announced on January 31, in Los Angeles, California. In 2009, MILKSHAKE also conceptualized "The Milkshake Show" for television and again toured the country playing live concerts for their fans. MILKSHAKE is represented by our very own Frank Morgan. Rumor has it Frank will attend the Grammy's but not be asked to sing. Stay tuned for our "Who are you wearing?" segment.

Maryland Super Lawyers

Jim Astrachan, Donna Thomas and Frank Morgan have again been named Super Lawyers for 2010 in the area of Intellectual Property, although Frank is more entertaining. Peter Gunst was again named a Super Lawyer in the area of Business Litigation, and Julie Rubin was again named a Rising Star for Business Litigation. Not bad for a small firm.

Top Women Lawyers

Super Lawyers named Donna Thomas one of Baltimore's Top 25 Women Attorneys. Go Donna!

Maryland Lawyers for the Arts 25th Anniversary Logo

Todd Jones-Prettyman, our own Todd Jones-Prettyman, was asked to design a 25th Anniversary logo for the MLA - Maryland Lawyers for the Arts, based on its current logo, which he also designed. Todd believes that the 25th Anniversary logo will be used in place of the current logo for the entirety of 2010. Todd provided MLA with five versions of the logo and a sticker design (to be used on already printed material). Holy cow, Todd! We knew you were a lawyer, but identity designer? That's super.

The Briefings of Daniel Doty in the Court of Appeals

Daniel Doty's writing and research skills played a key role in an appellate win for a client at his previous firm.

Higginbotham was an employee of the Public Service Commission of Maryland when, in 2004, then-Chairman Schisler simultaneously fired Higginbotham and four other Democratic Party-affiliated PSC employees. Schisler ordered that large photographs of the purged employees be posted in the lobby of the William Donald Schaefer Tower.

The limitations period generally applicable to defamation claims under section 5-105 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article is one year. Higginbotham, through an unrelated previous attorney, filed a lawsuit under the Maryland Tort Claims Act that included a claim for defamation within the general limitations period, but did not specify that the photographs were part of that claim. Subsequently, Higginbotham hired Schulman and Kaufman, Daniel's prior firm, and amended the complaint to make the photographs part of the defamation claim. The amendment was made less than three years, but more than one year, after posting. (Are you still with us here?) The Circuit Court for Baltimore City held that the amended complaint did not relate back to the original complaint and granted summary judgment in favor of all defendants. On December 30, 2009, on briefing in which Daniel played a key role, and oral argument by Mr. Howard Schulman, the Court of Appeals reversed the Circuit Court as to the PSC, holding that section 12-106(b)(3) of the State Government Article created a uniform three-year statute of limitations for all claims filed under the MTCA, without regard to the period that otherwise would apply. See Higginbotham v. Public Service Commission of Maryland, ___ Md. ___ (Sept. Term, 2008 No. 155) (filed December 30, 2009).

Go, Daniel! And congratulations to Schulman and Kaufman!

Jim Astrachan Testifies in Favor of Expanding Maryland's Reporter Shield Law

On March 18, 2009 Jim appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to testify in favor of expanding Maryland's Reporter Shield Law, which protects journalists from having to reveal their sources to include electronic media.
Click here to read Jim's testimony.

Jim Astrachan Testifies in Favor of Cameras in Criminal Sentencing Proceedings

On March 11, 2009 Jim traveled to Annapolis on behalf of the MD/DC/DE Broadcasters Association to testify bin support of allowing cameras in criminal sentencing proceedings as s crime deterrent and an educational tool.
Click here to read Jim's testimony.

Jim Astrachan's second Letter to the Editor was printed in the April 13, 2008 edition of The Baltimore Sun

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Jim Astrachan's Letter to the Editor was printed in the March 16, 2008 edition of The Baltimore Sun

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Jim Astrachan Submits Testimony in Favor of Cameras in the Criminal Courtroom

On February 5, 2008 Jim submitted testimony in support of cameras in the criminal courtroom to the Maryland House Judiciary Committee on behalf of the MD/DC/DE Broadcasters Association.
Click here to read Jim's testimony.

Jim Astrachan Testifies in Favor of Cameras in the Criminal Courtroom

On November 5, 2007 Jim traveled to Annapolis on behalf of the MD/DC/DE Broadcasters Association to testify before the Special Judiciary Committee to Study Extended Media Coverage to urge that news cameras be permitted in Maryland's criminal courtrooms. Jim was quoted in The Baltimore Sun as saying "I'm sad to say, Maryland lags far behind the majority of states in its permissiveness. The Constitution demands a fair trial. Televising a trial makes it more accessible, more public ... more fair."
Click here to read Jim's testimony.

Meredith Blake Martin and Julia A. Carolan Join the Firm

June, 2007 Click here to view the press release

Jim Astrachan and Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin Take Over Authorship of THE LAW OF ADVERTISING

Published by Matthew Bender - LexisNexis (Click Here for more information.)

Charles F. Morgan Joins the Firm

April,2007 Click here to view The Daily Record announcement.

Peter Argues a Big One and Wins

On March 22, the crew headed to D.C. to hear Peter Gunst oppose and defeat Defendant Convera Corporation's summary judgment motion in the U.S. District Court in a trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement case dealing with computer code. A jury trial is expected to be scheduled shortly.

Advertising Association Opposes House Bill 448 (Sales Tax)

Members of the Baltimore creative community met at our offices to discuss actively opposing Maryland House Bill 448, which is scheduled for hearing on March 14th. The bill would impose a sales tax on services not included in the state's current law, including numerous advertising-related services.

Opponents of the bill argue that it would harm Maryland business by placing it at a disadvantage and force customers to obtain services in other states that do not tax. While in theory the immediate influx of revenue would appear to cure the state's projected deficit, realistically it will only temporarily alleviate the deficit. The proposed bill will place local businesses in financial harm's way, which can only dampen our economy in the long term.

A New Face at the Firm

Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin is pleased to welcome our new law clerk, Molly Dennison. Molly will be with us full time except when her law school classes at Maryland get in the way. Welcome Molly!

The Verdict Is In

Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin has been named by the readers of SmartCEO Magazine as one of the leading law firms in the Baltimore area. We couldn't be more proud of this prestigious honor bestowed upon our firm by the Baltimore Business Community.

Click here to view SmartCEO's profile on AGT.

Congratulations to Jim Astrachan

After many pro hac vice admissions in Pennsylvania, Jim Astrachan has become a member of the Pennsylvania Bar and has also been admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Jim Astrachan Again Named as a Best Lawyer in America for Intellectual Property and Advertising Law in 2007

Congratulations to Jim Astrachan for being named one of the Best Lawyers in America for intellectual property and advertising law . Jim was named through a national nomination process by American Lawyer Media in partnership with Best Lawyers in America.

Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin Named by SmartCEO Magazine as one of the Areas Leading Law Firms

We are happy and proud to be included.

Jim Astrachan Named one of the Best Lawyers in America

Congratulations to Jim Astrachan for being named one of the Best Lawyers in America. Jim was named through a national nomination process and has been named twice by Baltimore Magazine as one of Baltimore's Best Attorneys.

Two Astrachan Gunst Thomas Rubin Lawyers Named Maryland Legal Elite

Congratulations to Jim Astrachan and Julie Rubin for being selected Maryland's Legal Elite by SmartCEO Magazine. Jim and Julie were nominated by colleagues, clients, business owners and industry leaders. According to the selection criteria, recognition indicates that an attorney's abilities are worthy of peer acclaim and that he or she has achieved a distinct level of excellence in the law.

Jim Astrachan Featured in Fortune Magazine

Apparently, the terrains of I.P. law aren't the only areas Jim's able to navigate. Now he's taking on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and (eventually) the Atlantic Ocean.

Jim's new hobby has sailed him right into the pages of Fortune Magazine's February 6th issue. The article, "Dreams Afloat" by George Sass, Jr., describes Jim's discovery of sailing as a remedy for stress. It relates how Jim began by taking certification classes and now is secure enough with the lines to bring friends and associates on board for the "three-hour cruise." Rumor has it he is always on the lookout for crew. And no one has been reported missing (yet).

Jim Astrachan in City Paper

Jim is featured in City Paper. As President of the Advertising Association of Baltimore, Jim was unhappy with the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association's (BACVA) selection of a California and Canada based agency, rather than one of Baltimore's agencies, to develop a new slogan and logo for Baltimore City. In a letter to the Baltimore advertising community, Jim expressed his strong opinions against the decision. You may recall BACVA paid $500,000 for this work, although the City Paper reported that Cincinnati got it for free from the same folks BACVA hired. You may also recall that BACVA went outside Baltimore to hire a branding agency because it did not want its new agency to be "biased." Did BACVA know that its choice, the one that branded Cincinnati, had an office in that city? Did BACVA know that "Charm City" was created by a local agency guy and given to the City for free? Who's watching these guys? The full story is available at City Paper Online.