Stephen B. Goethel

Email MeStephen B. Goethel

Ann Arbor, Michigan

“Virtually every client we represent has been through a devastating ordeal as a result of terrible medical care.  Many have lost a spouse, immediate family member or loved one.  Usually, without exception, the medical system has totally failed them -- or failed to listen to them.  One of the true rewards of the work we do is being there for the client, hearing their concerns and getting answers to the question why things went so wrong; all designed to help them put their lives back together as best possible.”  Steve Goethel

Steve has been litigating and trying medical malpractice and personal injury cases for over 30 years. He has successfully prosecuted malpractice cases throughout Michigan and the United States. He has numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts holding negligent doctors, hospitals and health care providers accountable for the harm they cause.

Steve has been named repeatedly to Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms in America and Super Lawyers. He holds an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubble, the highest rating available for both legal ability and legal ethics, a rating he has held for over 15 years. He takes pride representing the interests of the underprivileged and common individual against the large, corporate interests in health care and insurance industry.

Steve was born and raised in Grand Rapids. His passion for the law and the courtroom began while reading To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch, the lawyer appointed to represent an unjustly accused African - American, became a motivating influence in his life and career.

His passion for trial work grew after graduating from Michigan State University. Steve worked his way through law school at night working days as a judicial clerk in the Oakland County Circuit Court. Working in the courtroom day in, day out allowed Steve to watch some of the finest (and worst) lawyers in Michigan. It was there his interest in personal injury and medical malpractice cases developed. Far and away the most gripping trials were the medical negligence, or medical malpractice cases. The effect on the victims was profound; the medicine interesting; and trial dynamics fascinating. The lawyers trying these cases were among the best in the business. At the end of the day he would leave Court to attend law school. The regular law professors didn't work nights. Classes were taught by accomplished practicing lawyers who brought an immense understanding of the practice of law to the classroom.

Steve graduated law school in 1979 and became a member of the Michigan bar. To continue gaining courtroom experience, Steve joined the Oakland County prosecutor's office where he immediately began trying criminal cases and handling felony preliminary examinations. He left in 1980 to join the firm of Carlin, Rano and Goethel in Southfield to pursue his interest in personal injury work which he has done ever since.

In 1983 Steve was invited to join his current firm, then known as O'Brien, Moran & Stein. The opportunity to work for three pre-eminent, nationally known lawyers was an honor and a privilege. It also gave him the ability to begin work for victims of medical malpractice.

Since 1983 Steve has handled hundreds of malpractice cases in virtually all areas of medicine from surgery to birth trauma to neuro-surgery; from misdiagnosis to wrongful death. He has recovered millions for his clients.

He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the American Association for Justice as well as the Michigan Association for Justice where he sits as a member of the Executive Board.  He is also an adjunct professor of Law at the Thomas Cooley Law School.

His practice area includes all of Michigan. He has tried cases throughout the state.


Year Joined Firm

  • 1983

Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury
  • Medical Malpractice

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Michigan, 1979
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit, 1983


  • Detroit College of Law, Detroit, Michigan
    • J.D. - 1979
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
    • B.A. - 1975
    • Major: Business

Honors and Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Best Law Firms in America and Super Lawyers
  • "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubble, the Highest Rating Available for both Legal Ability and Legal Ethics

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Michigan, Member
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Michigan Association for Justice, Member, Executive Board

Past Employment Positions

  • Oakland County Circuit Court, Judicial Clerk
  • Carlin, Rano and Goethel in Southfield, 1980