Richard Goehler finds himself equally comfortable inside a newsroom or before a trial judge.

Goehler represents media clients in every aspect of constitutional and newsroom-related matters as a member of Frost Brown Todd, a firm with one of the largest First Amendment, media, libel, copyright, and advertising law practices in the United States.

"We cover everything from start to finish," explains Goehler, a graduate of Miami University and the University of Notre Dame Law School.

The attorney "” who recently (and successfully) represented a national business magazine in federal court litigation battling an attempt at prior restraint "” also works on a number of publications, including his firm's national newsletter, FBT Media Law Advisory, and The Media Law Handbook for Radio Broadcasters. Goehler also teaches mass media law at the Miami University Communications Department.

All this can keep a First Amendment attorney busy, as can expectations within the firm that include being immediately accessible and knowing the issues. "We all have a clear vision of what the firm represents," says Goehler of his colleagues. "We are constantly bouncing ideas off each other."

Goehler cites three cases in particular that required long hours to bring in a positive verdict for his clients. One was when he represented BusinessWeek, which was fending off a corporation trying to prevent the magazine from publishing a story (the final article, when the judge allowed the editors to publish it, "was the largest seller in their history"). Another significant case involved defending a Channel 5 reporter against a libel suit filed by a local stockbroker ("That was a jury trial, and media cases don't often go well before a jury, but we won"). In the third case, Goehler defended a Lima radio station against a libel and defamation lawsuit filed by a public official. Again, he won.

Working within this area of law requires a certain amount of idealism, Goehler says.

"You do have to step back and see what your client wants and if it meets your own ethical ideals. You need some foresight in this business.

"[And] you have to have a passion because it will be your personal interests that sustain you. If you don't have a passion, you will hit a burnout stage."