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In Memoriam

1924 - 2018

University of Illinois, 1941 to 1943 and 1945 to 1946, Bachelor of Science.
U.S. Navy, 1943 to 1944.
Wayne State University, 1949, Juris Doctor. 

Founding Partner of Goodman, Crochett, Eden & Robb Detroit, Michigan, from 
1949 to 1971 (The first inter-racial law firm in the USA).
Traverse City & Suttons Bay, Michigan, from 1971 to 2018.

Cofounder of Sterling Law Office in 2001.

Founder and Past President of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.

Past Governor, Sixth Circuit, ATLA.

Past President MTLA.

Past National Co-Chair ATLA National Committee on Civil Rights.

Past Chair ATLA Railroad Law Section.

Past Chair Detroit Bar Association, Negligence Law Committee.



Michigan Bar, 1949 U.S. Supreme Court Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals U.S. District Court,
All Districts of Michigan U.S. District Courts in Ohio, Virginia and Indiana


  •  American Bar Association (ABA)

  •  Michigan State Bar Association

  •  Grand Traverse-Leelanau-Antrim Bar Association

  •  Michigan Trial Lawyers Association (MTLA)

  •  The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)

  •  Trial Lawyers for Public Justice (TLPJ)

  •  American College of Trial Lawyers

  •  National Lawyers Guild

  •  National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

  •  Senior Lawyer of N.W. Michigan


  •  Champion of Justice, Michigan Trial Lawyers Association 1998

  •  Champion of Justice, State Bar of Michigan 1994

  •  Outstanding Lawyer Alumni of Wayne State University 1975

  •  Listed in Best Lawyers in America, first and current edition

  •  Listed in Who’s Who in American Law

  •  Michael Frank Award, Outstanding Contributions to the Improvement of the Legal Professional, State Bar of Michigan 2004

  •  Outstanding Achievement Award, State Bar Of Michigan, Negligence Section 2009

Nominated by the Michigan Democratic Party to Candidacy for Michigan Supreme Court 1986; Board of Directors of Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency and Michigan Prospect; Past Board Member of Rehabilitation Institute of Detroit; Served on President Carter’s and Clinton’s Selection Committee for Western District Federal Judges and U.S. Attorney; Past State Officer and Director of Michigan ACLU; Volunteer Attorney for Penrickton Nursery School for Visually Handicapped Children, Taylor, MI; Court-Appointed Attorney in Matter of People v Jeanette Smith, 1979, and speaker on Battered Women’s Syndrome Nationally and Active in Legal Issues of Domestic Violence; Co-counsel and Lead Trial Counsel in Liuzzo v United States of America, against the FBI for the family of slain civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo, who was shot on March 25, 1965, the final day of the Voting Rights March, Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; Life Member- NAACP

 Citizens Advisory Committee to Grand Traverse Board of Commissioners on New Detention Facilities; Board Member Traverse City Light & Power (Municipal-Owned Utility); Trustee Traverse City Civic Players 1973-1978; Through Firm Supporter of Third Level Crisis Intervention Center’s Legal Services Programs; Wellness Network; PFLAG; Community Mental Health; WIAA Public Radio; and Environment Issues in our Area of Northem Michigan.

 Original Co-author, Lawyers Desk Reference. Co-author, Rights of Railroad Workers. Editor of “Handling Child Pedestrian Cases” and “Handling Power Press Injuries” sections of Am Jur Trials. Author, Accidents and Injuries at Work – A Guide to Railroad Workers Legal Rights and Articles for The Practical Lawyer, and Journal of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

 Married to Cindy Mathias; Stepson Ben: NYC Starbucks-Management Position; Son Matthew: Michigan State University; Daughter Laura: Iowa Fairfield University-Assistant to the President; Sons Allen & Blair: Leelanau & Grand Traverse Counties Construction Business

Fooling around on our farm; acting, especially doing Mark Twain as a one-person show. I have been in Actors Equity since the 1980′s. Golfing and fly-fishing with my youngest son. I am especially concerned about the civil and human rights of our people and I talk and lead discussions with high school students about the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and encourage others to practice a life free of prejudice.

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Sterling Law areas of practice include specialization in advocacy and divorce tailored for men. Sterling Law has a strong and successful history of representing both women and men in all areas of family law, including divorce.

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