Rathke, Sarah K.

Sarah K. Rathke

Sarah Rathke is a trial lawyer specializing in manufacturing litigation, particularly complex supply chain disputes. She has argued and tried cases on behalf of manufacturers in forums throughout the US. Her clients include foreign, domestic, and multinational manufacturing entities. Her skills include a deep understanding of the process of bringing highly engineered products to market and conveying that understanding to judges and juries.

Sarah has litigated supply chain disputes involving automotive, aerospace, medical, construction and office products. She has also litigated trade secret disputes involving manufactured products and cases involving the purchase and sale of manufacturing entities.

Sarah has gained a reputation as an accomplished trial attorney. In 2012, she was one of three lawyers nationwide appointed to the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s (NITA) Next Generation faculty. She has lectured on trial advocacy at the Cleveland Marshall School of Law.

Sarah’s interest and involvement in manufacturing supply chain issues extends beyond the litigation context as well. She provides counselling to manufacturers concerning their supply chain contracts, the applicable law governing international supply chain relationships, and the advisability of incorporating alternative dispute (arbitration) clauses into supply chain agreements. Sarah also sits on the advisory board of the Friends of Max Hayes High School, a nonprofit organization that promotes the mission of the Max Hayes Career & Technical High School in Cleveland, a public high school that educates and trains high-quality manufacturing sector employees.

Sarah also has an active sports practice. Her representations include athletes, sports agents, and teams. Her sports-related litigation victories include the representation of NBA superstar LeBron James.



  • University of Michigan, J.D., 2001
  • Georgetown University, B.A., 1998


  • Ohio, 2001


  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Ohio, 2001
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio, 2003

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Trustee, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Foundation; CMBF is actively engaged in and funds numerous community programs, including the 3Rs program (“Rights, Responsibilities, Realities”) administered in the Cleveland public schools
  • Chair of the Board of Advisors, American Constitution Society, Northeast Ohio chapter, an organization dedicated to expressing and advancing a progressive approach to the law and politics
  • Member, planning committee, Cleveland United Way’s 2014 Rock the Catwalk event, an event dedicated to funding the initiatives of the United Way’s Women’s Leadership Counsel; also serves as the event’s sponsorship committee co-chair
  • Recognized as a Future Star in Ohio, Benchmark Litigation 2017
  • Recognized as a Benchmark Litigation Future Star for 2015 and 2016
  • Named an Ohio Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” an honor given to the top 2.5 percent of Ohio lawyers age 40 or under, eight times

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • Co-author, “Complying with Transparency Requirements in Procurement and Avoiding Legal Pitfalls,” ACC Docket, January/February 2016.
  • Book review, “Contracts that underwrite relationship harmony,” SCM World, January 6, 2016.
  • Quoted, “Slavery Labels Sought for U.S. Goods as SEC Reporting Law Mulled,” Chicago Tribune, December 11, 2015.
  • Quoted, “These Lawyers Want Slave Labor Warnings on Your Cat Food,” Bloomberg Business, December 10, 2015.
  • Interview, “New U.K. Law Turns Up Heat on Human Trafficking Transparency,” Compliance Weekly, September 29, 2015.
  • Interview, “California Transparency Act Lawsuit Could Be First of Many,” Inside Counsel Magazine, September 22, 2015.
  • Interview, “Supplier Relationship Management: 10 Ways to Build Strong Bonds with Vendors,” Vend Blog, September 21, 2015.
  • Interview, “Complaints Targeting Companies For Slave Labor Use May Be Start of a Trend,” Daily Journal, September 1, 2015.
  • Author, “Closing Arguments in Complex Cases,” ABA’s The Woman Advocate, August 27, 2015.
  • Author, “The Legal Side of Achieving Visibility in the Supply Chain,” ISM, August 2015. 
  • Author, “Supply Chain Dispute Resolution in the US,” Practical Law, July 2015. 
  • Co-author (with Simon Garbett), “Doing Business with the USA,” Operations Management, June 2015.
  • Interview, “Squire’s Rathke co-leads Venture to trial win,” Inside Counsel Magazine, June 17, 2015.
  • Interview, “Chain of Ethics,” Inside Counsel Magazine, May 28, 2015. 
  • Interview, “What OEMs need to know about reshoring manufacturing and their supply chains,” B2B News Network, April 27, 2015. 
  • Interview, “Lessons from an Apple Supplier Debacle,” Supply Chain Brain podcast, March 20, 2015.
  • Interview, “Buyer Beware,” Florida Business Observer, March 15, 2015.
  • Interview, “Forging an Ethical Supply Chain,” Inside Counsel Magazine, March 6, 2015. 
  • Interview, “How to Hammer out Supply Chain Disputes,” Inside Counsel Magazine, March 6, 2015. 
  • Presenter, The Importance of Verdict Forms to Trial Strategy, DRI Women in the Law Annual Conference, February 26, 2015.
  • Author, “Presenting Technical Information to the Factfinder,” The Voice (DRI Publication), February 26, 2015.
  • Interview, “How climate change will affect supply chain management,” B2B News Network, February 11, 2015.
  • Co-author (with Simon Garbett), “Three Legal Challenges When Dealing with U.S. Suppliers,” Supply Management, February 10, 2015.
  • Interview, “Legal Advice; Developing Successful Supply Chain Relationships,” Talking Logistics podcast, February 5, 2015.
  • Interview, “Avoiding and Defending Supply Chain Disputes,” The Core Business Show with Tim Jacquet, January 26, 2015.
  • Interview, “Legal Eagle and the Coach,” January 7, 2015.
  • Author, “Discovery and the Complex Supply Chain Dispute,” The Business Suit (DRI Publication), December 11, 2014.
  • Author, “The Rise of Women Trial Lawyers,” For the Defense (DRI Publication), April 2014.
  • Co-author, "Sixth Circuit Update," The Business Suit (DRI Publication), February 4, 2014.
  • Author, “Toward a More Rational and Cost-Effective Corporate Litigation Philosophy,” Cleveland Bar Journal, November 2012.
  • Co-author, “Presenting Bankruptcy Concepts To Juries,” The Bankruptcy Strategist, October 2011.
  • Author, “Serving Non-US Civil Defendants With Process; There May be An Easier Way,” Cleveland Bar Journal, November 2007.

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