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Ann Arbor, MI 48103
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Stephen B. Goethel

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Stephen B. Goethel Partner

“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

Mr. Goethel is a partner at the highly-respected Ann Arbor law firm of Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC and the Center for Medical Truth and Justice. He has been litigating medical malpractice and personal injury cases for some 40+ years. He has numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts holding negligent doctors, hospitals and health care providers accountable for injuries caused to victims of malpractice.

Mr. Goethel has been named repeatedly to Best Lawyers in America, Best Law Firms in America and Super Lawyers. He is listed among Michigan’s top lawyers by Crain’s Detroit Business Magazine. 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 25 years. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He takes pride representing the interests of the underprivileged and common individual against the large, corporate interests in health care and insurance industry.

Steve earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University. He then worked as a judicial clerk in the Oakland County Circuit Court while attending law school at night. It was there that he developed his passion for medical malpractice cases. Far and away the most gripping trials were medical negligence or medical malpractice cases. The effect on victims was profound, the medicine interesting and trial dynamics fascinating. The lawyers trying these cases were among the best in the business.

Mr. Goethel graduated with his juris doctorate in 1979 from the Detroit College of Law (now Michigan State University College of Law). He joined the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office. After working there for a year, he left to join Carlin, Rano & Goethel where he began to focus on protecting the rights of the victims of negligence. In 1983 Mr. Goethel joined O’Brien, Moran and Stein in Ann Arbor a pre-eminent group of nationally known trial lawyers that gave him the ability to concentrate on protecting the rights of medical malpractice victims.

Since 1983 Steve has handled hundreds of malpractice cases in virtually all areas of medicine from neuro-surgery to birth trauma; from misdiagnosis to wrongful death. He has achieved multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements throughout Michigan and across the country.

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 has served as a member of the Executive Board. He has also served an adjunct professor at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School teaching Medical Malpractice Law.

*AV®, BV®, AV Preeminent® and BV Distinguished® are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general practice standards.

Stephen B. Goethel

Rated by Super Lawyers

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Goethel MAFJ

Areas Of Practice

  • Personal Injury
  • Medical Malpractice


Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, Michigan

  • J.D. – 1979

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

  • B.A. – 1975
  • Major: Business

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

Published Works

  • The Michigan Court of Claims Battle, Journal of the Michigan Assn. for Justice, Vol XLV, No. 3 (January, 2014)
  • Negligence Lawyer? There’s an app for that. The proliferation and suitability of Apple’s iPad in litigation practice, State Bar of Michigan, Negligence Law Section (2013)
  • Chiropractic Malpractice Course Book, West (Thomson Reuters) and National Business Institute (2012)
  • Immunity for Some is Justice For None, State Bar of Michigan, Negligence Law Section (2011)
  • Peer Review: Not An Iron Curtain, Michigan Assoc. for Justice (2010)


  • The Medicolegal Intersection: Communication and Patient Safety Practices, Michigan Medicine Healthcare Administration Scholars Program, 2023
  • Patient Safety in Nursing Practice, Washtenaw Community College, 2023
  • Attorney Conducted Voir Dire, SBM Negligence Section Spring Meeting, 2023
  • Effective Voir Dire, Michigan Association for Justice, Seminar in the Snow, 2020
  • Nursing Malpractice, Washtenaw Community College, 2019
  • Effective Demonstrative Exhibits, Nat’l Business Institute, Paralegals, 2018
  • Principles of Witness and Case Sequencing at Trial, Mich Assoc for Justice, 2015
  • Choice Theory, MAJ Annual Convention, 2014
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 2013 – 2014
  • Responding to Surgical Complications, AAJ Da Vinci Robotic Surgery Litigation, 2013
  • Panelist, Expert Witnesses, American Inns of Court, Washtenaw County, 2013
  • Using Rules of the Road, Polarizing and Case Themes, Mich Assoc for Justice, Defense Medical Examiner Seminar, 2013
  • Voir Dire: Using Jury Research to Mold Case Nuances in Voir Dire, Michigan Association for Justice Annual Medical Malpractice Seminar, 2013
  • Fundamentals of Robotic Surgery Litigation, MAJ Annual Medical Malpractice Seminar, 2013
  • SB 652: What Happened to the Court of Claims, MAJ Medical Malpractice, 2013
  • Emergency Medical Services: Responsibilities and Liabilities, Huron Valley Paramedic Program, 2013
  • Chiropractic Malpractice, West (Thomson Reuters), 2012
  • They made their bed, but do that have to lie in it? The use of hospital internal policies post-Jilek., MAJ Medical Negligence Annual Seminar, 2012
  • Taking the fight to the insurance company’s front door: Consent judgments and garnishment actions to prevail in medical malpractice insurance coverage disputes., MAJ Medical Negligence Annual Seminar, 2012
  • Maximize your client’s recovery: Making sense of Michigan’s hybrid collateral source rule., MAJ Medical Negligence Annual Seminar, 2012
  • Taking Effective Expert Witness Depositions, Michigan Association for Justice, 2011
  • Expert Depositions to Establish Rules and Trial Themes, Michigan Association for Justice Deposition Workshop, 2010
  • Opening Statement Using Rules of the Road: Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy – actual case presentation, Michigan Association for Justice Annual Medical Malpractice Seminar, 2010

Honors And Awards

  • Richard B. Baxter Exemplary Advocate Award, American Board Of Trial Advocates (2023)
  • Blair Moody Award, Washtenaw Association for Justice, 2023
  • Best Lawyers in America – Medical Malpractice – Plaintiffs (2010 – Present)
  • Super Lawyers – Medical Malpractice, Plaintiff (2010 – Present)
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Michigan, National Trial Lawyers Association (2013-2014)
  • Best Law Firms – US News & World Report 2014-2015
  • Pace Setter, Michigan Association for Justice (2011)
  • D Business Top Lawyer (Medical Malpractice; Personal Injury) (2011 – Present)
  • Top Attorneys in Michigan, New York Times
  • “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubble, the Highest Rating Available for both Legal Ability and Legal Ethics, (2000 – Present)

Professional Associations And Memberships

  • State Bar of Michigan, Negligence Law Section, Member
  • American Association for Justice, Medical Negligence Section, Birth Trauma Section, Member
  • Michigan Association for Justice, Member, Executive Board
  • Washtenaw Association for Justice
  • Washtenaw County Bar Association
  • Ingham County Bar Association
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)

Past Employment Positions

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

Practice Areas


Goethel Engelhardt, PLLC

3049 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

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