The Wagner Law Group | Est. 1996

Sophisticated Legal Solutions Boutique-Style Service

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Diane Cohen




Practice Areas


Diane Goulder Cohen concentrates in ERISA and employee benefits law. She is responsible for assisting both privately held and publicly traded clients on a broad spectrum of ERISA and employee benefit issues including matters related to qualified retirement plans, nonqualified deferred compensation, health and welfare plans, and fiduciary compliance.

Diane has particular expertise in the following areas: employee benefits issues arising from mergers and acquisitions, resolution of prohibited transactions, Employee Stock Ownership Plans, plan audit representation, non-profit employee benefit design plan, which includes 403(b) and 457 plans, and other tax advantaged welfare plans, such as health and cafeteria plans.

Additionally, she has extensive experience representing clients before governmental agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and in addressing qualified plan issues through corrections programs. She also assists financial institutions and pension professionals in complying with relevant statutes and related regulations.

Prior to The Wagner Law Group, Diane served as the principal attorney of her own firm in Ohio. She has also served as an ERISA partner at two major Ohio law firms as well as Of Counsel at a leading Washington, D.C. law firm

She serves on the Pension Liaison Group for the Northeast Key District of the Internal Revenue Service.

Publications & Media

  • Phased Retirement Programs: Exploring the Benefits and Issues – Webinar for Lorman Education Services, Friday, April 20, 2018, 1:00 – 2:30 PM (ET) – More details here
  • Phased Retirement Programs: Exploring the Benefits and Issues – ERISA Webinar by Lorman (90 min) July 23, 2015
  • “Behavioral Finance In Retirement Plans: Are We Talking out of Both Sides of our Mouths?” – New England Employee Benefits Council Connection Series (Waltham, MA), March 7, 2014
  • BNA Tax Management Portfolio: “EPCRS – Plan Correction and Disqualification,” 2014 Edition
  • BNA Tax Management Portfolio: “EPCRS – Plan Correction and Disqualification,” 2010 Edition
  • BNA Tax and Accounting: “Navigating Qualified Plan Correction in Light of IRS and DOL Differing Perspectives,” 2009
  • Author, “Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System: A Guide for the Novice,” Benefits Law Journal, 2008
  • Speaker, with Joyce Kahn (IRS Manager, Employee Plans Correction Programs) Creative Pension and Benefits Seminar, “EPCRS Update,” 2005
  • Author, The Mature Retirement Plan-Still Not Old Enough to Know Better,” The Daily Reporter, 2001, 2002
  • Author, ERISA Allows Employers to Provide ‘Hot’ Benefits Without Getting Burned, The Daily Reporter, 2001
  • Speaker, PWMA Employment Relations Seminar, “Hot Topics in Employee Benefits,” 2001
  • Speaker, Nationwide Insurance Company Seminar, “Hot Topics in Employee Benefits,” 2001
  • Copresenter with IRS Representatives, Creative Pension and Benefits Seminar, “IRS Plan Correction Methods,” 2002
  • Author, “Employers Should Be Aware of Benefit Plans’ Administrative Issue,” The Daily Reporter, 2002
  • Speaker, Paine Webber Attorney Network Seminar, “ERISA 2000-Educate or Litigate,” 1999
  • Speaker, Ohio State Bar Association Seminar, “Choice of Entity and LLCs,” 1999
  • Copresenter with IRS Representatives, Creative Pension and Benefits Seminar, “Fixing the Broken Plan – IRS Corrective Procedures,” 1999 /
  • Speaker, Highland Capital Seminar, “Recent Developments Affecting Fiduciaries,” 1999
  • Speaker, Certified Employee Benefits Specialists Seminar, “Reporting and Disclosure Requirements,” 1998
  • Speaker, Creative Pension and Benefits Seminar, “IRS Update – Including Plan Restatements,” 1998
  • Speaker, M.A.P. (for United Way Agencies) Seminar, “Reporting & Legal Requirements of Plans,” 1997
  • Speaker, Women Lawyers of Franklin County, “Rainmaking,” 1997
  • Speaker, Women Business Owners Conference, “Building Your Professional Practice,” 1997
  • Speaker, Certified Employee Benefits Specialists, “Highlights of the Small Business Job protection Act of 1996,” 1996
  • Speaker, Paine Webber Attorney Network, “Estate and Tax Planning,” 1996
  • Speaker, Highland Capital Seminar, “Qualified Plan Overview – Practical Approaches to Compliance & Investing,” 1996
  • Speaker, Fawcett Center/Ohio State University, “Qualified Plan Building Blocks,” 1996
  • Speaker, Naples, Florida, “Recent Developments Affecting Fiduciaries,” 1996
  • Speaker, Columbus Bar Association, CPA and Columbus Life Underwriters’ Association, “Advanced Compensation Technique – Planning Options for Executives of Not-for-Profit,” 1995
  • Speaker, Lorman Business Center/Ohio Business Law Seminar, “Counseling the Employer Regarding Retirement Plan Choices,” 1995


  • Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York
    • Juris Doctor - 1975
  • Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
    • Bachelor of Arts - 1972
    • Honors: summa cum laude
    • Major: Political Science
    • Major: English

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio, 1975

Professional Associations

  • Columbus Bar Association, Employee Benefits Subcommittee, 1980
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Member, 1975
  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation, Member, 1975
  • American Bar Association, Section of Taxation


  • Who's Who of American Law
  • Who's Who of American Women
  • The Best Lawyers in America

Fraternities or Sororities

  • Phi Sigma Sigma
  • Tau Beta Sigma
  • Phi Lambda Delta
  • Phi Beta Kappa

Past Positions

  • Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, L.L.P., Columbus, Ohio, Partner, Head of Employee Benefits Practice Group, 1989 to 2005
  • Martin, Eichenberger & Baxter, Co., L.P.A., Worthington, Ohio, Partner, 1985 to 1989
  • James Tansey & Associates, Washington, D.C., Of Counsel, 1983 to 1985
  • Diane K. Goulder, Co., L.P.A., Worthington, Ohio, Principal, 1979 to 1985
  • Mayer, Terakedis & Blue (f/k/a Mayer, Terakedis & Weed), Columbus, Ohio, Associate, 1975 to 1979