Law Offices of Abato, Rubenstein, and Abato, P.A.

809 Gleneagles Court Suite 320
Baltimore, Maryland 21286
(410) 321-0990
(410) 321-1419 Fax

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Founders: Cosimo C. Abato
  Bernard W. Rubenstein
  Anthony A. Abato, Jr.

Cosimo C. Abato’s career as a Broadway musician, and later as General Counsel of the American Federation of Musicians (see below)

Bernard W. Rubenstein’s role in groundbreaking Supreme Court cases such as Weingarten and DelCostello (see below)

The firm of Abato, Rubenstein and Abato, P.A. was created in 1984 by the merger of two firms, Abato and Abato, P.A., and Edelman and Rubenstein, P.A.  Both firms represented numerous benefit funds and labor unions in the Baltimore area and surrounding states.  At that time the Abato firm represented unions in construction, stevedoring, retail food sales, bakeries, distilleries, trucking, music and entertainment, manufacturing, chemicals, schools, and government.  The Rubenstein firm represented unions in the garment, clothing and textile industry, transit, trucking, electrical generation and distribution, manufacturing, racetracks, and broadcasting.  Both firms represented pension and welfare funds in these sectors and others. 

Cosimo C. Abato and Thomas E. Bracken established the firm of Bracken and Abato in 1962.  Anthony A. Abato, Jr. joined his brother Cosimo in the practice in 1965.  The firm became Bracken and Abato, P.A. in 1970, then changed its name to Abato and Abato, P.A. in 1974 when Thomas Bracken left to become an administrative law judge. 

Cosimo C. Abato – Cosimo C. Abato played the clarinet and saxophone professionally in Baltimore and New York.  He won scholarships to the Peabody Institute and the Juilliard School.  He performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the U.S. Army Field Band.  He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from New York University in 1955, and from NYU Law School in 1957.  During college and law school, he worked as a musician in New York on radio and television shows, Broadway musicals, and recordings with artists including Percy Faith, Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Mathis, Mitch Miller, and Vic Damone. 

Cos Abato began practicing law in the Solicitor’s Office of the U.S. Department of Labor in 1958, and from 1960 to 1962 he worked for the Baltimore office of the National Labor Relations Board.  He entered private practice in 1962 in the firm of Bracken and Abato.  He was a member of Local 40-543 of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, and served as General Counsel to that International Union from 1978 until 1987.  Cosimo Abato was a brilliant and forceful advocate for his clients in arbitration and negotiation.  He led the firm’s labor practice and served as its president.  He continued to practice as a senior labor attorney until his untimely death in 1995. 

Bernard W. Rubenstein – Bernard W. Rubenstein graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University in 1940, and from Yale University School of Law in 1948.  He practiced law with several firms until 1953, when he established his own practice representing labor unions and became General Counsel for Division 1300 of the Amalgamated Transit Union.  He represented that union in the dramatic 1956 strike against the Baltimore Transit Company, which led to the only Grand Inquest ever held by the Maryland Legislature. 

Bernie Rubenstein joined the firm of Edelman, Levin, Levy and Rubenstein in 1961.  Jacob J. Edelman, a member of the Baltimore City Council known as the “Silver Fox” for his beautiful oratory and silver hair, was the senior partner and a prominent union attorney in Baltimore.  Edelman had emigrated from Russia at 13 and worked his way through school as a cutter in clothing factories.  His firm represented the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers’ Union, and Teamsters Local 355, among others.  Bernard Rubenstein handled Ladies’ Garment Workers v. Quality Manufacturing Co., 420 U.S. 276 (1975), a Supreme Court case argued as a companion case to NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., 420 U.S. 251 (1975).  The firm of Edelman and Rubenstein handled the landmark 1983 Supreme Court case establishing the six-month statute of limitations for cases alleging breach of a union’s duty of fair representation, DelCostello v. Teamsters, 462 U.S. 151 (1983).  The lead attorney for Teamsters Local 557 in that case was the late Carl S. Yaller, later General Counsel to the Glass, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers International Union, then the GMP.          

Anthony A. Abato, Jr. – Anthony A. Abato, Jr. graduated from the University of Maryland in 1955, and worked for the FBI until commissioned in the U.S. Air Force.  He then worked for the Department of Labor while attending law school at George Washington University.  He participated in the Department’s administration of the Welfare and Pension Plans Disclosure Act, the precursor of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). 

Tony Abato graduated from law school in 1963 and went to work in the Solicitor’s Office at the Department of Labor.  In 1965 he joined Bracken and Abato.  He enjoyed a lifelong partnership with his beloved brother, Cosimo.  Tony Abato pioneered the firm’s practice representing jointly-trusteed multiemployer benefit funds, and served an increasing number of clients as the law continued to develop after the passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).  Tony Abato was a member of the DOL-appointed Attorney Working Group which educated Congress and assisted in the drafting of ERISA.  For a number of years he headed the firm’s employee benefits section and oversaw its litigation practice.

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