Attorney Charles V. Contrada has been practicing law since 1979. In that time, he has handled thousands of cases and has handled injury cases throughout his career, including personal injury, auto accident, defective product and mesothelioma cases. Over the years, Charlie has secured numerous multimillion-dollar settlements and verdicts for clients all across Northwest Ohio and parts of Michigan.
Read below to get to know Charlie and learn why he chose to practice law and devote his life to helping others.
What about practicing the law made you choose this profession?
Charlie: I didn't have any close friends or family members who were lawyers, but I knew lawyers helped people in their lives and work, and that's what I wanted to do. Being involved in law school classes and working as a clerk and bailiff in the courts led me to want to practice as a trial lawyer.
What made you go into personal injury?
Charlie: Like many people who go into the legal profession, I originally wanted to practice criminal law. I wanted to protect the innocent. However, while I was in law school, several job opportunities opened up. First, I was a clerk in the Domestic Relations Court while attending law school at night. Later, Judge Pietrykowski was looking for a Civil bailiff and I was hired to work in the General Division of the Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
Seeing the challenges families faced in Domestic Relations Court inspired me to make personal injury law my career watching great trial attorneys bring justice to people and families injured through no fault of their own.
Why did you decide to stay in Toledo vs. a bigger city?
Charlie: Carol and I are both from Toledo. We love Toledo and the people here. We were married while in law school at UT and our families are here. We have close ties to the community. Carol graduated college with honors and she was attending night law school while working as a tenured English teacher at Whitmer High School. She later got a job practicing law at a firm in downtown Toledo.
When you are young and trying to build a law practice, it is much easier to do so when you already have made connections in the legal community and have the support of close friends and family. I had come to know most of the civil lawyers in Lucas County while working as a clerk in the Domestic Court and as a bailiff in Common Pleas Court. The connections I made there have proved invaluable.
How have you been involved in your community outside of your work?
Charlie: Carol and I have always been involved in our communities and our children's schools. Carol has also been elected as a Sylvania Township Trustee and a Lucas County Commissioner and served on many other boards and committees. I've appeared on "Ask The Expert" for WTOL News 11, providing confidential e-mail responses to legal inquires about personal injury cases at no cost.
I have particularly enjoyed volunteering for community activities involving sports and recreation. I served on the Sylvania Area Recreation District for 12 years and was Chairman for five years. I feel like I'm carrying on a family tradition - my father, Vince Contrada, was the first Athletic Director at Rogers High School and was Head of Recreation for Adams Township before it became part of the City of Toledo.
During my tenure as Chairman of Sylvania Recreation, our Board purchased extensive property additions to Pacesetter Park, modernized the Memorial Park field and added parking. In addition, we began the revitalization of Centennial Terrace and built the Tam O'Shanter ice center's Field House addition.
Personal injury Car accidents Truck accidents Motorcycle accidents Mesothelioma
Ohio, 1979 Michigan, 1980 U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, 1979 U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, 1980
Civil Trial Advocacy Specialist, National Board of Trial Advocacy
AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell Listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers Listed among the top five percent of Ohio practicing attorneys in Ohio Super Lawyers Million Dollar Advocates Forum
J.D., University of Toledo College of Law, 1978 B.A., Kenyon College, 1973
Professional associations and memberships
Ohio Association for Justice (formerly Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers) American Association for Justice Toledo Bar Association Toledo Area Trial Lawyers Association, past president Ohio State Bar Association University of Toledo Law Alumni Association, past president, Board of Governors Toledo Law Association, Board of Trustees
WTOL-TV "Ask the Expert" program, providing confidential email responses to legal inquiries about personal injury cases at no cost Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District, past chairperson, five years; board member, 12 years Sylvania Community Services, past member, Board of Trustees Past guest host for BCSN-TV "Rant and Rage" program, providing weekly commentary on legal topics in sports