Michael D. Goler


Michael approaches each matter with zeal and a fresh perspective.

He focuses his practice on corporate, real estate, and finance law. He represents owners, developers, tenants and lenders in project development, from entity structure and project conceptualizing to site assemblage, acquisition, governmental approvals, financing, leasing, environmental issues such as USTs, Brownfields, and inter-creditor relationships, as well as complex unsubordinated ground lease financings and government insured transactions. His transaction experience also includes handling a wide range of corporate matters, including succession planning for multi-generational family businesses.

Having served as in-house counsel to a major federally chartered thrift, Michael uses his extensive experience with regulatory and financing matters to assist lenders and borrowers in loan negotiations, workouts, restructures, secondary market and servicing matters. He also represents borrowers, lenders, landlords and tenants in state and federal court actions, including bankruptcy proceedings.

As a Fellow of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys and vice-chair of the ABA RPTE Gatekeeper task force, Michael collaborated on responses to efforts by the U.S. government to implement proposed “gatekeeper” anti-money laundering regulations, and currently serves as a liaison to a joint task force which continues to analyze, respond to, and negotiate with the International Financial Activity Task Force and the government’s continued efforts to regulate real estate transactions and the activities of attorneys in those transactions in response to the concerns of money laundering and counter-terrorism financing risks.

When Skill Matters

  • Represents clients in real estate, development, and financing transactions, including ground lease and mixed use developments for commercial properties (including shopping centers, office buildings, and multi-family projects) in Ohio and across the country.
  • Represented a Canadian company in negotiations for agreements to operate for port authority facilities.
  • Represented property owner in the redevelopment of a retail shopping center, including negotiations with the local municipality to delineate, swap and re-plat multiple properties, and drafting cross-easement development agreements with an unrelated developer of a new residential development adjacent to the shopping center.
  • Represented multi-generational family-owned industrial company in the acquisition and industrial development bond financing of a new suburban headquarters.
  • Counsel to Illinois industrial concern in the acquisition, subsequent expansion, and $77 million dollar refinancing of Ohio properties.
  • Represented national food processor conglomerate in its initial and subsequent restructured $657 million revolving loan and $40 million term loan in connection with acquisition and expansion of Ohio industrial properties.
  • Represented Washington “hard money” lender in transactions across the country, as well as in Ohio litigation to enforce and foreclose its liens.
  • Represented a technology company in its acquisition of a Mexican corporation.
  • Represented a real estate developer in the defeasance of a CMBS loan and the eventual sale and 1031 deferral of transaction proceeds.
  • Represented an information technology company in a 144A securities issuance.
  • Represented national bank in industrial development bond financings, commercial real estate financings, ESOP loans and atypical private banking loans (such as the refinancing of a major Cleveland marina, and financing of rolling stock, airplanes, and ocean freighters).
  • Represented local operating company in the acquisition of multiple properties from independent property owners and lien-holding creditors to create a new campus headquarters, including facilitation of a voluntary cleanup under Ohio’s Brownfields program.

Articles + Presentations

  • Technology Tips: Staying Afloat While You Work Remote (Presenter, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Real Estate Institute, 2020)
  • Cybersecurity for Lawyers (Presenter, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Real Estate Institute, 2019)
  • How Do You Pay Attention to AI When You Don’t Even Like Your Computer (Presenter, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Real Estate Institute, 2018)
  • Hello, Did Anyone See Where My Data Went? (Presenter, Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Real Estate Institute, 2017)
  • Be Careful What You Promise: A Critical, Cross-Border Discussion of Guaranties, Indemnities and “Bad Boy” Carve-Outs (Presenter, American College of Mortgage Attorneys Annual Meeting, 2016)
  • Current Update on Gatekeeper and Money-Laundering Regulations(Presenter, American College of Mortgage Attorneys Annual Meeting, 2013)
  • Gatekeeper Regulations and Voluntary Best Practices (Presenter, Ohio State Bar Association Webinar, 2013)

Distinctions + Awards

  • Who’s Who Legal: Real Estate – Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree (2017)
  • Best Lawyers in America – Real Estate Law
  • Ohio Super Lawyers – Real Estate Law
  • AV-Preeminent Rated (Martindale-Hubbell)
  • Bob Rosewater Memorial Award Honoree (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association)
  • Moses Award (Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Environmental Law Section)
  • Donald H. Messinger Board Service Award (Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center)
  • Daniel D. Dauby Award (Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center)
  • Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer of the Year Award (Association of Fundraising Professionals)

Civic Involvement

  • Cleveland Hearing & Speech Center – Board of Directors; Past President; Planned Giving Advisory Council
  • Project Friendship and its successor agency, Youth Visions – Board of Trustees, Former Member
  • Jewish Community Center of Cleveland – Board of Trustees, Former Member

Professional Affiliations

  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association – Real Estate Section, Former Chair; Real Estate Institute Committee, Former Chair; Environmental Law Section, Founder and Inaugural Chair
  • American Bar Association – Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section; Business Law Section; Law Practice Division, Council and LTRC; Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems, Liaison; Standing Committee on Publication Oversight
  • American College of Mortgage Attorneys – Former Regent; Programming Committee; Opinions Committee; Legislative Committee; Technology Committee, Past Chair

Related Practices

  • Business Law + Corporate Transactions
  • Business Succession
  • Corporate Finance
  • Real Estate + Construction


  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, JD

  • Union College, BA cum laude


  • Ohio

  • U.S. Court of Appeals – Sixth Circuit

  • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Ohio

Want to learn more?