After over 37 years of active civil trail practice in Ohio; West Virginia and Pennsylvania, Mr. Godshall opened his mediation and arbitration practice entitled Douglas N. Godshall ADR, LLC on January 1, 2014. His practice has been exclusively devoted to mediation/arbitration/neutral advocacy since then.
Encouraged by lawyers, judges and experienced mediators, Mr. Godshall added mediation to his practice area approximately twenty years ago. He has handled mediations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania in civil, probate and domestic cases.
In 2012, Mr. Godshall was appointed as a Court Mediator by Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer in the Probate Court of Summit County, Ohio mediating all litigation cases, as well as selected guardianship and estate matters with his colleague, Bill Dowling.
Mr. Godshall was appointed Court Mediator by Judge Dixilene Park in the Probate Court of Start County, Ohio in 2013. In 2016 Judge Park appointed him Eldercaring Coordinator, where he leads a Pilot Project installing a new ADR program designed to assist elders at risk to achieve safety and autonomy.
In 2016, Mr. Godshall was appointed Court Mediator for the General Division of the Stark County Common Pleas Court.
He joined his colleagues, Jeff Wilkof, Joe Calabretta, and Judge Lee Sinclair in Attorneys Mediation Services, LLC, an iconic well known group of mediators in our area.
Mr. Godshall has served for over 35 years as a labor arbitrator for industrial disputes with the United Steel Workers of America and The Timken Company.
Mr. Godshall’s civil practice was in the area of general casualty and insurance defense law, railroad law, medical malpractice law, oil and gas law and workers’ compensation law. He has served as lead counsel in over 250 jury trials in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He has argued in the Ohio Supreme Court, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
In addition to trial experience, Mr. Godshall has lectured and made presentations to a number of professional associations, including the Stark County Bar Association, the Ohio Association of Mutual Insurers, the Ohio State Bar Association and the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel. Recently, Mr. Godshall has lectured widely on mediation and ADR issues.
In 2019, Mr. Godshall presented at the ABA Dispute Resolution Spring Conference. He also presented at the National Adult Protective Services Conference. He will be presenting at the National Guardianship Association in the Fall of 2019.
Mr. Godshall was appointed by Justice Cook and reappointed by Chief Justice Moyer to serve on the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialist. He was later named Chair of that Commission.
In 2017, Mr. Godshall was appointed by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and the President o the Ohio State Bar Association to serve on the Dispute Resolution Commission of the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Mr. Godshall served for a three-year term on the Board of Governors for the Ohio State Bar Association, where he also served as the Chair of the Committee on Legislative and Government Affairs. He is a Fell of the Ohio State Bar Foundation.
Mr. Godshall is active in the Akron Bar Association and currently serves on the Grievance Committee and the Executive Committee. He is also active in the Stark County Bar Association and served as Chair on a number of committees, including the Executive Committee and Chair for the Grievance Committee. He served for over twenty years as a Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary in Stark County, Ohio, which evaluates the trial court judges in Stark County, Ohio.
Mr. Godshall served in 2004 and 2006 as a member of the Ohio State Bar Association Commission on Judicial Candidates, responsible for rating the candidates for election to the Ohio Supreme Court in both years.
Mr. Godshall has been named a Master Bencher in The Scanlon-Bell Inn of Court in Akron, Ohio, and has served as a group leader for several years. He was President Elect for the years 2016-2018 commencing the Fall of 2016.
Mr. Godshall has been named as one of the Best Lawyers in the area of Commercial Litigation by The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Godshall has been named as a “Super Lawyer” in Civil Litigation, and since 2009 in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Mr. Godshall, a Special Forces Veteran of the Vietnam War, is a member of the Special Operations Association, and has been elected to its Board of Directors. He has been an invited guest of the Embassies of Vietnam and Laos in celebration of their Independence representing the Special Operations Association’s continuing support of MIA recoveries in South East Asia.
Mr. Godshall was recently named to the Board of Operation Legal Help, Ohio, which is tasked to serve Veterans with legal needs.
Mr. Godshall and his wife, Cathy Carter Godshall, a tax and corporate lawyer with Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, enjoy hiking the towpath trails of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Mr. Godshall eliminated a bucket list issue by completing the Marine Corps Marathon in 2006.
- Ohio, 1976
- Pennsylvania, 1993
- West Virginia, 1993
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, 1978
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Ohio, 1990
- U.S. District Court Southern District of West Virginia, 1993
- U.S. District Court Northern District of West Virginia, 1998
- U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1984
- Supreme Court of the United States of America, 1984
- Case Western Reserve University Law School, Cleveland, Ohio
- Juris Doctor - 1976
- Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1972
- Honors: magna cum laude
- Honors: President's Scholar (Top 5% Class)
- Limits of Expert Testimony under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. National Research Counsel, Transportation Research Board, 36th Annual Workshop on Transportation Law, Chicago, Illinois, July 21, 1997.
- Stark County Bar Association, Lectures on professional ethics
- Ohio Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Lecture on arson and bad faith
- National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Lecture on trial tactics
- Asheville, North Carolina, (Transportation Research Board), Lecture on presentation of crossing cases to 37th Annual Workshop on Transportation Law, 1998
Honors and Awards
- "AV" rated by Martindale Hubbell
- Named as one of the Best Lawyers for 2008 and 2009 in the area of Commercial Litigation by Best Lawyers of America
- Named as one a Super Lawyer from 2008 to present in the area of Civil Litigation
- Bronze Star with "V" for Valor, one oak leaf cluster, U.S. Army Special Forces
- Purple Heart, U.S. Army Special Forces
- Combat Infantryman's Badge, U.S. Army Special Forces
- Parachute Badge, U.S. Army Special Forces
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Ohio State Bar Association, Member
- Akron Bar Association, Member
- Stark County Bar Association, Member
- Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference, Life Member
- Scanlon/Bell Inn of Court , Master Bencher
- American Bar Association
- Ohio State Bar Association, Board of Governors, 2000 to 2003
- Ohio State Bar Association, Council of Delegates, 1994 to 2003
- Ohio State Bar Association, Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee, 2004 to Present
- Stark County Bar Association, Chair, Judiciary Committee
- Stark County Bar Association, Ex-Executive Committee
- Stark County Bar Association, Ex-Chair Grievance Committee
- Stark County Bar Association, Ex-Chair Law Day Committee
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Arbitrator, United Steelworkers of America and The Timken Company
- Ex-Defense Research Institute
- Ex-Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys
- Ex-National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
- Ex-Member, Tort and Risk Management Committee, Transportation Research Board
- Commissioner, Supreme Court of Ohio
- Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists, 1995 to 2000
- Commission on Certification of Attorneys as Specialists, Chair, 2000 to 2003
- Commissioner, Ohio State Bar Association on Judicial Candidates, 2004 to 2006
- Ohio State Bar Foundation, Fellow
Past Employment Positions
- U.S. Army Special Forces, Republic of Vietnam, Sergeant, Honorably Discharged, 1968 to 1969
Pro Bono Activities
- Board of Trustees, Old Trial School, Bath, Ohio, 1994 to 2001
- Old Trial School, Bath, Ohio, President of the Board, 1999 to 2007
- St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Akron, Ohio, Vestryman: 1994 to 1997; 2000 to present
- St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Akron, Ohio, Senior Warden: 1996 to 1997; 2009 to present
- Mentor, College Scholars, Inc., Akron, Ohio: 2004 to present