Cathy C. Godshall

  • Areas of Practice

    • Taxation
    • Business
    • Nonprofit & Foundation
    • Employee Benefits

I am a corporate attorney with a focus in the areas of corporate tax, partnership tax and the taxation of tax-exempt entities. My practice involves serving as general counsel for both for-profit and tax-exempt clients. I help my clients navigate their business transactions with a unique emphasis on how tax implications affect their business goals.


My knowledge and background enable me to counsel my clients on all aspects of their business transactions. My for-profit clients benefit from my understanding of the tax implications of their transactions. My tax-exempt clients rely upon me to make certain that their organizational documents, operations and business arrangements comply with the federal tax laws that govern their tax-exempt status.


In addition, I have extensive experience in the area of non-qualified deferred compensation, and I am frequently retained by clients to ensure that their plans comply with the complex tax rules that apply to such arrangements.


My goal is to give clients sound business and legal advice to help them avoid future problems, resolve present ones, and make the right business decisions.


  • Experience
      • Focuses on the representation of tax-exempt entities, including public charities; community foundations and private foundations in corporate and tax issues, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and collaborations with for-profit and nonprofit entities, and unrelated business income tax issues
      • Represents professionals, businesses and closely-held corporations with general corporate tax, organizational and business succession planning, transactional matters and mergers and acquisitions
      • Counsels clients on employment and independent contractor agreements, buy-sell agreements, and financing arrangements.
      • Counsels clients in the area of non-qualified deferred compensation
      • Joined the firm as an Associate in 1976; was elected Partner in 1985
      • Served on the firm’s Board of Managers
  • Education & Admissions
      • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio (J.D., 1976)
      • Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio (B.A., magna cum laude, 1973)
    • Admissions
      • Ohio Bar
      • Member: Akron Bar Association
      • Member: American Bar Association
      • Member: Ohio State Bar Association
  • Awards & Honors
      • Named a Female 'Lawyer of the Year Honoree' by Best Lawyers in America®  for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2016)
      • Recognized by Best Lawyers "Women in Law" Business Edition for Employment Law, Tax Law and Trusts & Estates Law (2016)
      • Named Best Lawyers in America® ‘Lawyer of the Year’ in the Akron area for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2016)
      • Listed by Best Lawyers in America® (2007-2021)
      • Recognized in Best Lawyers Business Edition® for Trusts and Estates Law (2015)
      • Selected for inclusion in Ohio’s Super Lawyers® (2004-2005), as voted by her peers
      • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating of AV® Preeminent™, which is the highest possible rating in both legal and ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar
  • Professional & Civic Involvement
      • Trustee: Akron-Canton Regional Airport Authority
      • Trustee: Akron Art Museum
      • Trustee: Leadership Akron
    • Associations
      • Member: Akron Bar Association
      • Member: American Bar Association
      • Member: Ohio State Bar Association
  • Presentations & Publications
    • <strong>Presentations:</strong> <ul> <li>“Legal Issues with Ohio’s Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (“UPMIFA”),” Buckingham, Doolittle &amp; Burroughs, LLC Nonprofit Law Seminar (2010)</li> <li>“Correction Guidance Under § 409A,” The University of Akron National Tax Conference (2010)</li> <li>Frequent lecturer and author on executive compensation and on tax-exempt issues and the impact of the Pension Protection Act of 2006</li> <li>Former faculty member of the University of Akron, Masters of Taxation Program</li> </ul> <strong>Publications:</strong> <ul> <li>"<a href=";utm_source=ccl-weekly&amp;utm_campaign=ccl-weekly-20150906" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Is Your Deferred Compensation Plan a Potential Tax Disaster?</a>" <em>Crain's Cleveland Business Blog</em> (2015)</li> <li>Past Editor: <em>Case Western Reserve Law</em></li> </ul>