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Richard P. Goddard Partner

Rick co-chairs Calfee’s Labor and Employment group and is a partner in the Litigation group.  For more than 35 years, he has served as an advisor and litigation counsel to employers in the public and private sectors concerning all aspects of the employment relationship.  He has represented municipalities, public officials and police officers in a broad range of civil rights litigation throughout Ohio.  Rick’s construction industry work includes the representation of owners, architects, general contractors, subcontractors and materialmen in public and private construction projects, litigation and arbitration.


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Recent examples of Rick’s accomplishments as lead counsel include the following matters:

  • Following a three week jury trial, obtained a $2 Million judgment in favor of clients with awards of costs and attorney fees against all defendants, a declaratory judgment awarding client 100% ownership of disputed company stock, directed verdicts on defendants’ claims of tortious interference with business relations, defamation, and false light, and jury verdicts rejecting defendants’ claims of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.
  • Represented the owner and successfully negotiated with building trades counsel the Project Labor Agreements that governed more than $255 million of work for the construction of two of Ohio’s four casinos.
  • Defense verdict in jury trial of age discrimination claims by multiple physician plaintiffs following reduction in force and hospital reorganization.
  • Defense verdict in jury trial of wrongful arrest and excessive force claims by civil rights plaintiff in Northern District of Ohio against multiple police officers and municipality involving use of K-9 police dog.
  • Summary judgment and recovery of attorney fees against multiple plaintiffs and their counsel in Northern District of Ohio on federal and state claims against public employer and officials of reverse sex and race discrimination, hostile work environment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Successful mediation of multimillion-dollar claims arising from construction of new high school building complex, resulting in payment of contractor client’s claims and damages and dismissal of all claims by owner.
  • Successful jury trial defense against age discrimination claims by senior hospital staff professional.
  • Successful negotiation of settlement and dismissal of intentional tort claims against structural steel erector employer by quadriplegic plaintiff injured in two-story fall at construction site.
  • Representation of major public employer in sexual harassment investigation and termination of senior officer without litigation or compensation.
  • Defense verdict in jury trial of alleged whistleblower claims concerning nuclear power plant safety following involuntary termination of his employment.
  •  Defense verdict in jury trial in Northern District of Ohio against police officers and municipality on claims of race discrimination, wrongful arrest and excessive force.
  • Summary judgment on federal civil rights claims arising from suicide by hanging by prisoner in municipal jail.
  • Coordination of investigation and negotiated resolution of OSHA penalties initially imposed for fatality caused by disintegrating fly wheel in production facility.
  • Successful defense and resolution of intentional tort claims arising from exposure to chemicals in workplace with allegedly resulting neurological injuries.

Outside of the firm, Rick served as secretary and trustee of The Edward and Betty Sloat Foundation and as a director and past President of The Cleveland Music School Settlement. He is an active member of the American, Ohio and Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations and the ABA’s Litigation and Labor and Employment Law Sections and has served as an arbitrator on the American Arbitration Association’s Construction Industry Arbitration Panel.

Rick began his tenure with Calfee in 1979 and became a partner in 1987.