Trina N. Goethals

Ms. Goethals’s practice area consists of several areas of state, federal, and regularity law.   Ms. Goethals is a general litigator who practices in state civil court, before regulatory bodies, and federal criminal defense. Ms. Goethals has tried bench and jury cases in both Federal and State courts.

State Court Litigation:  Ms. Goethals routinely practices in Ohio’s Common Pleas and Municipal Courts.  As a general state court litigator, Ms. Goethals defends private parties and companies that have been named in a lawsuit for breach of contract, negligence, property disputes, debts, fraud, and similar civil counts.

Federal Criminal Defense:  Ms. Goethals has experience is representing parties who are under investigation from a federal investigatory body, persons who have been charged with federal crimes, including drug crimes and white collar crimes, sentencing phase of a plea or finding of guilt, and representing potential witnesses. Ms. Goethals is a mentee of the Criminal Justice Act panel.  She is also the founder of the Ohio Chapter of the Women’s White Collar Defense Association, and the current Columbus City Leader.  The Women’s White Collar Defense Association currently has over 1000 members worldwide.

University Student Conduct and Title IX Defense:  Ms. Goethals has represented several male and female students at colleges and universities all over the state of Ohio who have been accused of student misconduct, either because of a criminal charge, hazing, or sexual assault. Student Conduct cases can be difficult to navigate through and commonly an attorney is not allowed to speak at a hearing stage.  Counsel can assist through this process in compiling witness statements and evidence gathering. Counsel should also guide a student through the hearing process, which may have the student directly give a statement, question and cross-examine a witness.

Professional License Defense: Ms. Goethals has represented many of Ohio’s professional licensees who have had a charged filed against them with their regulatory body.  Ms. Goethals has represented clients in front of the Ohio Real Estate Commission, the Ohio Casio Commission, the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Medical Board, and other regulatory bodies.  Ms. Goethals is well versed in meeting with the licensee to draft an appropriate response, assist in cooperating through an investigation phase, mediating or settling such charges, and if needed, defend through a hearing stage and the overseeing body.

Ms. Goethals is barred in Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Southern District of Ohio, Northern District of Ohio, and the Sixth Circuit.

Prior to earning her law degree Ms. Goethals was a newspaper reporter in the D.C. area.  In her free time, Ms. Goethals enjoys running with her dog Kili, and adventure travel where she finished the Great Wall of China Marathon, the original Greek Marathon, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Whitney.

Ms. Goethals is a member of the American Bar Association, she has served on the Young Professional Advisory Council for Goodwill Industries, and was selected for inclusion of Super Lawyers-Ohio Rising Star Edition in 2009-2014.


  • Capital University Law School, 2005, J.D.
  • University of Central Missouri, 2000, B.S., Journalism
Bar & Court Admissions
  • State of Ohio
  • State of Missouri
  • State of Florida
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • Sixth Circuit

Recent Cases

  • Assisted in representing a company that was investigated for possible Medicaid fraud in which a no charge letter generated;
  • Defended a legal malpractice case as second chair in a bench trial in which no liability was found against the defendant;
  • Represented a student against a Title IX charge that proceeded to a hearing, and was appealed by the Complainant, in which no violations were found against the student;
  • Represented a debtor on appeal in which the appellate court found grounds to remand the case to the trial court level for damages evaluation;
  • Assisted in representation of licensee in front of the Ohio Department of Education in which the hearing examiner found no violation after multiple day hearing.