Our History

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Credit: Margalit Studio

STARKE, SHELDON P. passed three separate bars to practice law: Ohio (1971), Florida (1979), and New York (1983). Also, licensed: U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Military Court of Appeals, and various Federal Courts.

Brief History: (Pre-1971) Intern, the City of Cleveland Law Department. Then, the first law intern trained in a Sheriff’s Office, in the U.S., The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office (Greater Cleveland, Ohio).


After graduation: Executive Assistant to the Sheriff of Cuyahoga County . . . all departments, Criminal and Civil, esp. trained by Maj. Louis Kulis—the truly brilliant “Sherlock Holmes” of his time; Sheldon lectured at several Ohio Peace Officer Training Courses. He was appointed as a temporary prosecutor for Brookpark, Ohio at the Mayor’s request. In the 1990′s Sheldon assisted with British Police to solve a series of mysterious crimes, which ceased upon investigation and action by the authorities and Scotland Yard.

Substantial criminal and civil trial work. Criminal cases include Murder–the longest Murder Trial in Naples, Collier County Florida. In State of Florida vs. Pahl, Sheldon laid the ground work for changing Florida Law in abolishing the “Dead Man’s” Statute. Federal Criminal cases: Law of Conspiracy, U.S. vs. Williams (6th Cir. , 1973). He won a published opinion regarding Trademarks and Deceptive Trade Practice Act, Today’s Headline’s vs. Abel, written by a well-known and respected Common Pleas Court: Judge James McMonagle. Published cases by Common Pleas courts are uncommon. Sheldon filed the first spoliation (destruction of evidence) case before it was recognized as a legal claim by the Ohio Supreme Court, Katz vs. Metro Traffic CV 93 24699 Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He successfully prevailed in a consumer sales protection case Thomas vs. Schwartz Furs (four separate claims) that made new law in Ohio.

Federal practice: Represent Federal Employees vs. several agencies. Current: Represent all Senior Members of OSHA in largest class action of its kind vs. U.S. for Age Discrimination.

Extensive Entertainment Law Practice since 1971. Sheldon published more than 300 articles and scripts in almost every kind of  Entertainment Business. These works have been published on TV, radio, video, newspapers and magazines. He wrote and delivered weekly Entertainment Law segments for major radio stations (WWWE and WERE for more than five years) and many other stations (WNCX, WMMS, etc.) as a guest in the Entertainment Business and a guest on many TV and Radio shows.

Representative Past Clients: The Cleveland Playhouse; The Hanna Theater; The Colony Theater; other local theaters; WOIO (Fox) TV; PPI Industries (second largest producers of children’s media) with licenses for over 70% kids’ Saturday Morning Television; The SCENE Magazine; The Chicago Music Magazine. Many Advertising Agencies have used our assistance.

Sheldon was officially recognized by “Variety” as a lawyer for theater owners.

He was directly responsible for bringing the American Guild of Authors and Composers (AGAC) to Cleveland, Ohio. This was the first major attempt to bring Music Education for the public to Cleveland, Ohio. His office arranged for the Key to the City to be given to President of the Guild, then George David Weiss. AGAC was later named SGA, The Songwriters’ Guild of America. Sheldon was the key individual for making this happen in Cleveland, Ohio—twice.

Sheldon was instrumental in creating the most extensive entertainment expo in the world– Entertainment Business Expo in September, 1989. That Expo had 118 courses in three days. Famous people came from all over the world to attend and teach the seminars. There were typically three to five courses going on at the same time. The courses encompassed music, movies, TV, radio, video and media.

He has licensed or negotiated about a hundred videos or movies. He has negotiated for or represented rights to Movies of the Week, publishers, record companies, distributors, producers and TV and radio personalities around the world. Cleveland is not NY or LA but the cost of entertainment law here is a true bargain.

Sheldon has lectured lawyers on Entertainment Law for the Ohio State Bar Association and The Cleveland Law Library, for various Federal Agencies, and on other topics  at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Baldwin Wallace University, Kent State University, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland Institute of Art, Oberlin College, National Association of Music Merchant’s, Shad O’Shea & Friends, University of Akron and Lake County Community College, DJ Times and Mobil Beat. Sheldon did a series on entertainment law for TV.

In 1983 General Counsel for Enter-tel, Inc., which was the largest distributor of movies for TV in the Midwest U.S. Enter-tel, Inc. negotiated and produced The Quincy Jones Show for TV; Award winning, “America’s Best,” and on behalf of Enter-tel, Sheldon negotiated for various movie series, cartoons, and other product from around the world.

Sheldon was honored to be selected by the American Embassy Association to be the U.S. civilian attorney to wrap up the Bonn Embassy property. The Bonn Embassy was the famous “spy” embassy, created after WW II. His office defended The American Embassy Association. The EEOC Complaint was dismissed by the Acting Director of EEOC in the case of  The American Embassy Association v. Tewelde 100-98-0368. The case involved U.S. Constitutional questions regarding application of U.S. law to foreign employees of embassies around the world.

Sheldon represented an International Russian-American-owned company in Germany and Moscow, regarding licensing of  Motorola technology for financial institutions in Moscow.

Current: on behalf of a $25MM international company (references upon written request), doing business in Germany, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, India, Malaysia, Thailand, South Africa, France, Morocco.

Starkelaw.com is owned in whole by Sheldon P. Starke, Attorney at Law and is a “Gateway” to his office.