Mission Statement

The Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys promotes fairness, excellence, and integrity in the civil justice system by providing resources and education to attorneys and others dedicated to the defense of civil actions.

Inclusion & Equity

OACTA believes that a diverse membership makes us a stronger organization. We encourage inclusion and equity in all aspects of our activities and are committed to nurturing a culture that supports and promotes it.  

The History of OACTA

Late in 1965, in a restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, Attorneys Frank "Bud" Hurd of Cleveland and Rudy Janata of Columbus, met with Norbert Werner, a mutual client, to organize a statewide civil defense attorney organization. They perceived a need for such an organization as a response to similar state and national associations that were becoming active on behalf of the personal injury bar.  In 1966, these pioneers founded the Ohio Defense Association, now known as the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys, with Bud Hurd as its first president.

OACTA initially focused on providing continuing legal education seminars and networking opportunities but quickly launched a newsletter, and a few years later, the OACTA Quarterly Review, both of which are flourishing today. In the 1980’s and 90’s OACTA took a lead role in the national tort reform initiative, providing legislative testimony and filed amicus briefs in major cases supporting those initiatives. In the fall of 2001, OACTA adopted its “scholars and experts” approach, and continues its vibrant amicus curiae program.

OACTA’s tradition of excellence in CLE programming has continued into the 21st century and, its members benefit from its Expert Witness Database and Member Request Network, as well as a strong alliance with the Defense Research Institute (DRI). OACTA’s Substantive Law and Member Services Committees allow members to serve in new ways.  The OACTA Foundation, established in 2015, will supplement its fund raising and service outreach activities begun with the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence and the Diversity Scholarship program.

In 2016, OACTA celebrated its 50th Anniversary.  A comprehensive Strategic Plan and a forward-thinking Board of Trustees poise the future success of OACTA to fulfill its mission to promote fairness, excellence and integrity in the civil justice system by providing resources and education to attorneys and others dedicated to the defense of civil actions.   

Code of Regulations


This organization is an association of Ohio attorneys who represent the interests of defendants in tort litigation and other parties in civil disputes who are paid for their services other than principally out of the recovery they obtain, and personnel from corporations, government bodies and insurance companies responsible for managing such matters, formed to act together to advocate in the courts, to educate the bar on common problems and to serve the public by promoting and improving the administration of justice.

Read our Code of Regulations

Past Presidents

View a list of the OACTA Past Presidents

OACTA Strategic Plan

View our Strategic Plan

Contact OACTA:

Phone: (614) 228-4727
Email:  [email protected]
Mailing Address: 400 W. Wilson Bridge Road, Ste. 120, Worthington, OH  43085