OACDL Lawyer of the Year Award

The OACDL Lawyer of the year award is an award given by you to one of you. It is an annual award that is given by you to a member in good standing who best lives up to the ideals and values of this association. Its recipient receives an award that means more than any other because it comes from his colleagues who appreciate the quality of his work and contributions to our profession.

2018 Winner
Kort Gatterdam

(pictured with LOTY Chair Joe Humpolick)

2018 LOTY Kort Gatterdam

2017 Winner
David Stebbins

Pictured with OACDL President Ken Bailey

 David Stebbins and Ken Bailey







2016 Winner
Jefferson Liston


pictured with OACDL President Jon Saia

2016 Lawyer of the Year Jefferson Liston


2015 Winner
Herman Carson, Esq.


Herman Carson LOTY








2014 Winner
Tim Young, Esq.

LOTY Tim Young


Timothy Young is the Director of the Office of the Ohio Public Defender, which is overseen by the nine-member Ohio Public Defender Commission.

2013 Winner
Rick Ketcham, Esq.

Rick Ketcham stood out because he is the gentleman who has taught all of us how to practice law.  He is the guy we should all try to be like.  He is a founding member of this association.  He has taught us, in recent months, how to practice life.  Unfortunately, he has come down with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, within the last six (6) months.  he could have simply said "That's it."  But he kept on practicing law.  He successfully represented someone in a drug case.   He successfully represented someone in a murder case.  He still kept on living up to the highest ideals of our profession -- continuing to be what all of us should be -- a criminal law advocate.  He has been involved with Meals on Wheels, and he was recently engaged to a really wonderful person, Rebecca.

Rick is a second-generation attorney with more than forty (40) years of practice and more than forty (40) death penalty cases under his belt.  Rick graduated from Capital University School of Law and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1974 after earning his Bachelor of Science from Bowling Green State University.

2012 Winner
Barry W. Wilford, Esq.

Barry Wilford graduated from the Capital University School of Law and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1977. He served as Law Clerk for the Hon. Earl E. Stephenson of the Fourth Appellate District of the Ohio Court of Appeals until February, 1979, when he accepted a position on the Franklin County Public Defender's trial staff. In 1982 he moved to the felony trial unit, where he remained until September 1987.

Upon leaving the Franklin County Public Defender's office, Mr. Wilford associated with luminary criminal defense specialists Gary Schweickart, Esq., Gerald G. Simmons, Esq., and Lewis E. Williams, Esq., entering private practice. In November 1996, he partnered with James P. Kura, Esq. to establish Kura & Wilford Co., L.P.A. (now Kura, Wilford & Schregardus Co., L.P.A.), and has since maintained this private law practice, devoted exclusively to defense of criminal cases in trials and appeals in all Ohio and federal courts. Mr. Wilford has successfully defended criminal cases in more than one hundred jury trials, many of which were death penalty trials.

Mr. Wilford is a member of the Bar of the State of Ohio, the Bar of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, the Bar of the Sixth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, and the Bar of the United States United Supreme Court. He is also a member of the Columbus Bar Association, the Ohio Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Ohio Corrections Association, and is a director of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as its registered lobbyist. He served as the association's president in 2006 and, for the 12th year, as its Public Policy Director, providing representation at the statehouse on pending criminal justice legislation. In 2012 Mr. Wilford was awarded the association's designation as "Defense Lawyer of the Year."

2011 Winner
Ian Friedman, Esq.

Ian Friedman tried more than Two-Hundred Fifty (250) cases to verdict in municipal, state, and federal courts.  He is an adjunct Professor of Law at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law teaching Computers and Criminal Law.

He is a past-president of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and he is the first recipient of the organization's Lawyer of the Year award.  In 2010, he earned the William K. Thomas Professionalism Award from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association for his ethical contributions and professional conduct. 

He is known among his colleagues as "the man to see" for computer crimes.  He is known among his clients as the "best lawyer in Cleveland" and "worth every penny".  He is ranked by AVVO as a Ten (10.0) out of Ten (10.0), their highest recognition. 

He graduated Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1997.  In 2011, he was admitted to the North Carolina Bar.  He is also admitted to the Northern and Southern District of Ohio.  He is admitted to practice in the Sixth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.