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Richard A. Naegele, Esq.


PRACTICE AREA: Employment & Labor (Employee Benefits & ERISA)

Mr. Naegele is a member of the Corporate and Business Transactions Department and Chairperson of the Fringe Benefits Division. He served on the Firm’s Board of Directors and continues to serve as Vice President. Mr. Naegele focuses on pension and employee benefits and has shared his expertise in these areas as the author of several books and more than 20 articles on a variety of tax and retirement planning subjects that have appeared in The Journal of Accountancy, The ASPPA Journal, The Tax Adviser, The CPA Journal, and other national publications. Throughout his career, Mr. Naegele has served as a lecturer on employee benefits, ERISA, and tax issues at more than 300 seminars and conferences sponsored by legal, accounting, and actuarial organizations, including the American Bar Association; Ohio State Bar Association; Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia Societies of CPA’s; ASPPA; Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and University of Montana Schools of Law. Mr. Naegele is a Fellow of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© (Employee Benefits/ERISA), and has been selected to the 2012 through 2024 Ohio Super Lawyers© List (Employee Benefits).

Martindale-Hubbell has awarded Mr. Naegele an AV rating for preeminent legal ability and having the highest ethical standards.

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Richard A Naegele


Tell us a little bit about your history and how you came to be at Wickens Herzer Panza.

I grew up in Vermilion, Ohio. I received my BA and MA from Ohio University where I was a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Government / Political Science. I joined Wickens Herzer Panza upon graduation from CWRU School of Law.

What one quote resonates with you, either personally or professionally (or both)?

“Waste no more time arguing about what a good person should be. Be one.”
– Marcus Aurelius

What is your passion? What are you passionate about? What makes you tick?

My life focus has been around my family, my health, my work and certain charitable causes. As Board Chair of the Lucy Idol Center (LIC) I have helped to provide guidance and focus to LIC. LIC provides services to persons with multiple physical and mental disabilities. I generally exercise everyday and enjoy reading and travel.

What's in your wallet/purse right this very minute? What do you never leave home without?

I always have a packed gym bag in my car so that I can exercise.

Why did you begin practicing this area of law in the first place?

I enjoy the detail and complexities of the retirement plan / ERISA area of law. Advising employers and both single employer and multiemployer retirement plans on ways to help employees provide for their retirement and to remain in compliance with complex federal laws is both interesting and important.

What else should we know about you?

I try to exercise every day, watch what I eat and maintain my health. My law partner, Dave Herzer, has always promoted the concept that it is difficult to be successful in any endeavor if you don't have your health.

1979 - Case Western Reserve University (J.D.)
1975 - Ohio University (M.A.)
1973 - Ohio University (B.A., cum laude)

State of Ohio
State of Colorado
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
U.S. Tax Court
U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. Supreme Court

American College of Employee Benefit Counsel (Fellow)
American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA)
Journal of Pension Planning & Compliance (Board of Editorial Advisors, 1996-2013)
Lucy Idol Center for the Handicapped (Chairman)
Lorain County Bar Association
Ohio State Bar Association

Author – Books:

  • Physician Practice Management: Essential Operational and Financial Knowledge (Chapter on “Tax Qualified Retirement Plans and Fringe Benefits”), Lawrence Wolper, Editor, Jones and Bartlett Publishing, (2005; Second Edition, 2013)
  • Demystifying Employer Retirement Plans: Pension Overview and Update for Non-Pension Attorneys, Ohio State Bar Association, (1999 and updated through 2016)

Author – Articles:


Lecturer on employee benefits, ERISA, and tax issues at more than 300 seminars and conferences sponsored by legal, accounting, and actuarial organizations including:

  • American Bar Association
  • American Law Institute (ALI/CLE)
  • ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries)
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Indiana Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • New Mexico Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Oklahoma Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • West Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • The Ohio State University School of Law – Pension and Benefits Seminars
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law – Tax Seminars
  • University of Montana School of Law Tax Institutes
  • NIPA (National Institute of Pension Administrators)
  • Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Named “Outstanding Seminar Instructor” (Ohio) by AICPA and Ohio Society of CPAs

Special Master by U.S. District Court to oversee operation of multiemployer pension plan (1994)
Plan Administrator by U.S. Bankruptcy Court and Ohio Common Pleas Court to oversee distress termination of several underfunded pension plans (including collectively bargained plans) with PBGC
Special Counsel to U.S. Bankruptcy Court Trustees (2009-Present)

Selected to the Ohio Super Lawyers© List (Employee Benefits) (2012-2024)
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© (Employee Benefits/ERISA) (2014-2024)
Martindale-Hubbell AV rating

Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel


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