Commercial Litigation Lawyers
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Kate currently serves as the Atlantic Regional Chair of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and she is a BYU Law Alumni Board member. In law school, Kate clerked for the Fourth Judicial District in Provo, Utah, as well as the Immigration Court of the Department of Justice in Philadelphia. Kate also participated in the Jessup International Moot Court Team and taught a graduate level course in mediation at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
Kate’s practice encompasses family law and domestic relations, including:
- Sophisticated and complex divorce and support cases
- Prenuptial agreements
- Contentious custody litigation
- Relocation cases
- Hague cases involving international abduction and retention of children by their parents
- Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University (J.D. 2002)
- Brigham Young University (B.A., 1999)
- New Jersey
- Atlantic Regional Chair, J. Reuben Clark Law Society
- BYU Law Alumni Board
Awards & Honors
- Selected as an “Unsung Hero” by The Legal Intelligencer for her pro bono work in 2010
- Selected to the Pro Bono Roll of Honor by the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania on October 27, 2011
- Family Law
Katherine R. Sookhoo, Esquire
Astor Weiss Kaplan & Mandel, LLP
200 South Broad Street, Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19102
David Gutin is a partner in the firm, with his practice focused on Family Law and Commercial Litigation. He co-chairs the Firm’s Family Law/Domestic Relations group. He has worked extensively in many facets of family law, including divorce, child custody, support, adoption and prenuptial agreements. Mr. Gutin has been a leader in the Philadelphia and South Jersey Jewish communities for more than 30 years.
- Rutgers University, B.A., high honors, Phi Beta Kappa, 1969
- Columbia University Law School, J.D., Stone Scholar, 1972
- New Jersey
- U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U. S. District Court of New Jersey
- Third Circuit Court of Appeals
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- New Jersey Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Community Service Award in 1982
- Philadelphia Federation’s Young Leadership Award in 1977
- Pennsylvania Super Lawyer® 2005-2020
- Served as the Chairman (2004 to 2007) of the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council
- Serves on the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Federation of Southern New Jersey
- Serves as President of Jewish Senior Housing and Healthcare Services, Voorhees, New Jersey
- Served as President of Congregation Beth El, Voorhees, New Jersey (2003 to 2005)
- Served on the boards of the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Jewish Family and Children’s Agency of Greater Philadelphia
Defamation, Bad Faith Litigation
“Defamation” relates to untrue statement(s) that hurts someone’s reputation. Written defamation is called “libel” and spoken defamation is called “slander.” A person who has been defamed has a cause of action. We handle defamation cases.
In Pennsylvania, “bad faith litigation” is covered by the Dragonetti Act which authorizes a lawsuit to recover damages caused by an opponent committing “wrongful use of civil proceedings.” The Act is violated if a person files a lawsuit without probable cause, primarily for an improper purpose, and the case is terminated in favor of the person against whom the case was brought. We have litigated Dragonetti Act cases and have recovered substantial funds in litigation under the Dragonetti Act.
Bank and Finance Disputes: Mortgage Foreclosure, Confessions of Judgment Litigation, Fraudulent Conveyances
Astor Weiss is very experienced in financial litigation, including mortgage foreclosures and confession of judgment cases (where before a judge ever sees the case the holder of note enters a judgment against another party). Recently, on behalf of a client we successfully convinced a court to open a judgment that had been filed as a “confessed judgment.”
We have litigated claims of fraudulent conveyance, which is an allegation that a person is attempting to avoid payment of debt by transferring money to another person or company. The cause of action is typically brought by creditors.
Financial litigation involves precise rules and law and we are well equipped and experienced to file any claim with a court or to defend in court in this area.
Intellectual Property: Patent, Trademark and Copyright and Domain Name Disputes
Astor Weiss litigates Intellectual Property cases of patent, trademark and copyright in federal courts. We also have experience litigating before the United States Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. At the same time, we have an active practice of trademark prosecution which involves obtaining federally registered trademarks for clients.
Intellectual Property cases almost always settle without a trial. Astor Weiss has the rare experience of winning a jury trial by proving copyright infringement. We did that for an independent professional photographer against a franchise company that used his pictures in posters and billboards in a number of different states without the photographer’s consent.
Our experience in both trademark prosecution and trademark litigation gives a depth of knowledge and experience that strengthens our services in both areas.
With the development of the internet, the use of a “domain name” on line is very important to businesses. An example of a domain name is “astorweiss.com”- the domain name used to access this website. Domain name disputes often include disputes over a trademark and we have extensive experience of handling disputes over domain names in court.
Intentional or Negligent Interference with Contractual Relationships or Business Relationships
Intentional or Negligent Interference with Contractual Relationships or Business Relationships occurs when a person intentionally or negligently damages another person’s contractual or other business relationships. There is a privilege to compete for business. Typical marketing efforts or ordinary and recognized steps taken to obtain a customer will not result in a valid cause of action of interference with contract or business relationship. Under the privilege of free competition, a competitor is free to divert business to himself as long as he uses fair and reasonable means. Thus, a person claiming a wrongful interference must present facts indicating that the interference is wrongful and is outside the realm of legitimate business transactions.
A person may be held liable for interference with a contract or business relationship if that person engages in unlawful or wrongful means. “Wrongful” in this context includes violations of federal or state law or unethical business practices, violence, fraud, misrepresentation, unfounded litigation, defamation, trade libel or trademark infringement, intimidation, coercion, or obstruction of a rival or his servants or workmen.
Astor Weiss has expertise in litigating and prevailing in these cases.