Media law attorney, First Amendment advocate and SPJ member Dick Goehler died March 15. He represented multiple media and news outlets in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area as a partner in the Frost Brown Todd law firm.
Goehler earned a law degree from the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated magna cum laude, after undergraduate studies at Miami University. In 1982, while at Notre Dame, he received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers award. He spoke on various First Amendment and media-law-related issues for SPJ chapter, regional and national programs.
“Anytime I asked anything, he came through, whether it was for advice, the use of his office for a session, or for money for sponsorships,” SPJ Region 4 Director and past Cincinnati chapter president James Pilcher said. “And he was one of the nation’s pre-eminent First Amendment lawyers. He will be missed.”
SPJ President Hagit Limor called Goehler “a warrior for the First Amendment.” Limor is a reporter for WCPO-TV, which Goehler represented. “Dick fought fiercely to protect journalists’ rights with an understated yet sharp sense of humor as armor. He didn’t speak of it much, but those who knew him well knew of his profound faith as a guidepost,” Limor said.
Aside from SPJ, Goehler was a member of National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the Potter Stewart American Inn of Court. His legal advocacy extended beyond professional media, and he served as board chairman for the Student Press Law Center. Outside of law, he was committed to civic life in the Cincinnati area, having served as vice chairman of the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau and board member for the upcoming 2012 World Choir Games taking place in the city.