Practice Areas
  • Business and Corporate
  • Real Estate, Construction and Development
  • Commercial Restructuring
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
Academic Credentials
  • The Ohio State University College of Law, J.D., Honors, Order of the Coif, 1987
  • The Ohio State University, B.S. (Business Administration), summa cum laude, 1984
Bar Admissions
  • Ohio, 1987
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, 1988
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Professional Credentials
  • American Bar Association
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
  • International Council of Shopping Centers
  • Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, AV® Preeminent Rating
  • Best Lawyers in America®, 2016 through 2022
  • Ohio Super Lawyer®, 2011 through 2022

Rick began his practice after graduating from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1987 as an associate in the Cleveland offices of the national law firm, Baker & Hostetler, LLP. At Baker & Hostetler, Rick concentrated his practice in the areas of corporate law, real estate and litigation. He practiced at Baker & Hostetler until 1990, gaining valuable experience representing clients in highly complex business transactions.

At Sonkin • Koberna, Rick has continued to represent a diverse group of clients in all aspects of business and real estate law. He represents both closely-held organizations and large, national corporations. Rick has significant experience in real estate acquisitions and dispositions, leasing and other matters involving commercial landlords and tenants. Since many of Rick’s clients are closely-held businesses, he has developed significant experience providing the owners of these businesses with succession planning advice and “general counsel” services. Rick has also represented buyers and sellers in highly sophisticated asset and stock acquisitions. His experience also includes the negotiation and drafting of many other types of contracts, including construction contracts, partnership and operating agreements, distributorship agreements, franchise agreements and employment contracts.

In addition to his business and real estate background, Rick represents individuals and companies in a wide variety of litigation, including construction disputes, business disputes and personal injury. He has significant involvement with the representation of automobile dealerships, and currently represents numerous automobile dealerships in Ohio and elsewhere.

Representative Engagements:
  • Lead counsel for a national drug store chain in the acquisition and development of numerous sites 
  • Represented seller of multiple point automobile dealership for approximately $80 million
  • Represented public company seller of 300+ acre industrial park in Northeast Ohio
  • Represented buyers in acquisition of several regional shopping centers
  • Represented numerous buyers and sellers of automobile franchises
  • Lead counsel in restructuring and merging of approximately 20 separately held entities into two parent holding companies
  • Negotiated credit agreement, promissory note and related security documents, and facilitated closing of $95 million senior secured credit facility
  • Lead counsel for development of hotel and conference center for an Ohio university foundation, including interim and final construction and ground leasing agreements and New Markets Tax Credit transaction
  • “Big Box” leasing for a major property owner/manager and numerous transactions with national chain tenants such as TJX Companies (TJ Maxx and Marshall’s), Bed Bath and Beyond, Staples, and Dick’s Sporting Goods
  • Financing, refinancing and loan work-outs for many clients
  • Counsel for buyers and sellers in numerous 1031 exchange transactions
  • Lead counsel for buyer of 100-unit residential apartment complex in Cleveland Heights, Ohio
  • Counsel for landlord in negotiation of key tenant lease for 73,284 square foot medical and office building in Middleburg Heights, Ohio
  • Representated property owners in BUSTR compliance matter
  • Representated property owner in connection with VAP grant award with the City of Sandusky, Ohio
  • Representated property owner in the development and leasing of shopping center in Independence, Ohio
  • Represented buyer of scrap metal processing company in 363 auction sale
  • Represented borrower and full recourse guarantors in restructuring of approximately $7,000,000 of debt and short sale of multiple apartment buildings, with guarantors’ debt for multi-million dollar shortfall settled for less than $200,000 each
  • Represented steel broker/processer and full recourse guarantor in secured party sale of its assets, with guarantor being released of multi-million dollar shortfall
  • Represented retailer and full recourse guarantor in restructuring of $9,000,000 debt
  • Represented numerous automobile dealerships in restructuring of floor plan and other commercial debt
  • Counsel for buyer in purchase of approximately 178 units in multiple apartment buildings in Lakewood, Ohio
  • Counsel for buyer in purchase of multiple location Parker-Hannifin distribution business
  • Counsel for buyer in acquisition of metal processing and distribution business