Two judges formed the cornerstone of Gordon Feinblatt LLC - Simon E. Sobeloff and Joseph R. Byrnes. Judge Sobeloff was admitted to the Bar at the age of 19 in 1914, and held a succession of public positions, including Solicitor General of the United States. He ultimately became Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Judge Byrnes graduated from the University of Baltimore Law School in 1931 and became an associate of the law firm of Tydings, Sauerwein, Levy & Archer, where David P. Gordon began his legal career as an associate in 1939. In 1946, they formed their own firm under the name of Byrnes & Gordon. Byrnes left private practice in 1952, when he was appointed a judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City.
When Judge Sobeloff left private practice that same year to become Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, he too left behind a flourishing law firm which included associates Eugene M. Feinblatt, Donald N. Rothman and Evan A. Chriss.
It seemed natural, then, for Gene Feinblatt and David Gordon, friends of many years, to merge the Byrnes & Gordon firm with the former associates of Judge Sobeloff. So in January 1953, Gordon and Feinblatt was formed. At its inception, the new firm also included Donald Rothman as a partner and six associates. In 1956 the firm changed its name to Gordon Feinblatt and Rothman.
The Firm as it exists today was shaped by the character and strengths of its founding partners, David Gordon, Gene Feinblatt and Donald Rothman.
David Gordon graduated from Columbia Law School in 1939. His practice covered a broad spectrum of commercial, real estate and construction law matters. He served as general counsel to many of the region's leading corporations.
Dealing with issues of importance to the city is a common thread throughout Gene Feinblatt's 50-year legal career. He was Chairman of the Baltimore Urban Renewal Agency when the city was putting together the urban renewal plans that resulted in the transformation of the Inner Harbor and the rehabilitation of inner-city neighborhoods. He later became Chairman of the Maryland Hospital Association, and helped develop the nation's first hospital cost review process. He also served as special counsel to the Maryland Stadium Authority during the development of Camden Yards.
Donald Rothman was the litigator of the trio. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1948. He served as Chairman of the Firm's Litigation Department for over 35 years, and became a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and one of the most sought after litigators in Maryland.
In 1972, the Firm merged with Hoffberger & Hollander and adopted the name - Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander. Hoffberger & Hollander had been founded in 1921 by Samuel Hoffberger, a skillful real estate lawyer and well-known businessman. At the time of the merger, Hoffberger & Hollander's lead partners were LeRoy E. Hoffberger and Morton J. Hollander. The merger brought together respected names and special areas of legal expertise.
In 1981, to accommodate its growth, the Firm purchased the Garrett Building, with a commitment to restore the building to its original grandeur as "one of the handsomest and most striking structures in the financial district." The building was originally built for the banking and brokerage house of Robert Garrett & Sons, and is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Photographs of many of the architectural elements found in the Garrett Building are pictured throughout this website.
In the 1980s, the Firm also made a decision to "pass the torch." In 1980, Herbert Goldman became Managing Partner at the age of 38, a position he held through 2012, at which time Michael C. Powell became Managing Member. In 1989, Barry F. Rosen was elected Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Firm at the age of 39, a position he still holds today. This leadership team has proven extraordinarily effective in guiding the Firm through its very successful transition from a first to a second generation law firm.
In 1995, the Firm added former Governor William Donald Schaefer as an attorney Of Counsel. The Firm was able to offer its clients his wealth of knowledge and experience first-hand until January, 1999. At that time, the former governor returned to public life as Comptroller to the Treasury of the State of Maryland.