Young Attorney Argues in Front of Justices for First Time
Stephen Goldmeier watched dozens of Ohio Supreme Court proceedings before he argued in front of the justices during Off-Site Court in Cleveland in late September.
Goldmeier, a 27-year-old assistant public defender for the Buckeye state, wanted to make sure he was properly prepared because it was the first time he was arguing in front of the seven justices.
It takes some attorneys decades to have the opportunity to argue in front the court of last resort; others never even get a chance. It took less than six months for Goldmeier from when he was first admitted to the Ohio Bar.
“It was scary. It was pretty intimidating, but I had a lot of prep with the attorneys in my office and all my colleagues, so I had a lot of time to prepare,” Goldmeier said, “but yeah, it’s very nerve-racking.”
Goldmeier graduated from Otterbein College with an education degree. He planned to be a science teacher – helping students with chemistry and physics. He soon learned, though, that teaching wasn’t for him.
“I don’t know how I got in my mind that being a lawyer would be lower stress environment then teaching, but I made the switch and I said I’m going to go to law school,” Goldmeier said.
Shortly after receiving his law degree from DePaul University in Illinois in 2010, Goldmeier came back to his home state and his desire to serve others continued.
“I always wanted to do something that was going to help people live their regular lives, and helping criminal defendants and helping to find the way the government relates to people through the police and the criminal justice system was just a way to actually make a difference on a day-to-day basis and actually change the way that the law works to make it better for citizens,” Goldmeier said.
As Goldmeier tries to defend the public one case at a time, he hopes he will have more chances to go before the justices and argue for his clients’ constitutional rights.
“I’m still sort of decompressing, but yeah there will be more arguments hopefully. I’ll get a chance to come back and present in front of the court and there’s always more issues that need to be taken care of,” he said.