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External Policies 

The following policies and procedures for the use of the OADA Legal Defense Fund detail the manner in which applications to the Fund are handled.

  1. The purpose of the OADA Legal Defense Fund is to provide legal and/or financial assistance to dealers, dealer groups or to OADA directly when they are involved in proceedings or adjudications before either administrative agencies or any judicial body at the state or federal level when the outcome of the proceedings or adjudication might have a significant impact on the dealer body or a broad cross section of all OADA members.

  2. The OADA Legal Defense Fund is completely financed by voluntary contributions from OADA members.

  3. Ultimate authority in deciding the distribution of Legal Defense Funds is vested in the Board of Trustees of OADA.

  4. The Board of Trustees of OADA has delegated the authority to review and decide requests for assistance to the Legal Defense Fund Action Committee composed of the members of the OADA Executive Committee (OADA President, other officers of the Association), the immediate Past President of the Association and two members of the Association, one of whom is also the member of the Board of Directors of the National Automobile Dealers Association from Ohio.

  5. The Legal Action Committee shall meet from time to time and decide the course of action to be taken on requests for assistance which have been filed and completed according to these policies and procedures and which have been reviewed by the Legal Defense Fund Legal Counsel.

  6. The decision of the Legal Action Committee on requests for assistance shall be final except that the applicant may appeal the decision to the Board of Trustees of OADA. However, any request by an active OADA Trustee for such assistance in any proceeding involving his dealership or where he had any interest other than as a general member of OADA must be approved by both the Legal Action Committee and the Board of Trustees before assistance is provided.

  7. The following are among the major criteria used by the Legal Action Committee in determining whether or not to provide assistance to an applicant, but the committee is free to determine additional criteria for approval of requests. 

  • The importance of the issue to a broad section of OADA members;

  • The case of proceeding should have substantial state, regional or national significance;

  • The existence of factual circumstances best designed to support or defend the dealer position;

  • Reasonable expectation of success based on the facts and the law; and

  • The most effective allocation and use of available Legal Defense Fund reserves.

  1. Application for assistance shall be made on a form provided by the Legal Defense Fund Legal Action committee

  2. Whenever OADA, its Officers, Trustees or staff are apprised of a request for assistance, the applicant will be asked to complete an application for assistance and will be provided with an explanation of the Legal Defense Fund. Copies of the external policies and procedures are available to further explain the program to applicants.

  3. In order to adequately determine the merits of an application, the Legal Action Committee may ask the applicant to provide additional information. The application shall not be considered complete until all information has been received and the applicant is so notified.

  4. Once the application is complete, the Legal Action Committee shall act on the application within forty-five (45) days.

  5. If the forty-five (45) day period would work a hardship on the applicant, the Legal Action Committee will endeavor to render a decision as soon as is practicable.

  6. If the nature of the proceedings dictate, or if the progress of the proceedings indicate that suspension is necessary, the Legal Action Committee may suspend the application pending the happening of an act or event necessary to make an ultimate decision. In the event of such suspension, the Legal Action Committee shall immediately notify the applicant of its action. In such an instance, it shall be the duty of the applicant to keep OADA informed as to the progress of the cases or proceeding.

  7. If the Legal Action Committee does not act within the forty-five (45) day period, the application may make a direct appeal to the OADA Board to Trustees within thirty (30) days following the expiration of the forty-five (45) day period for action.

  8. No OADA Officer, Trustee or member of the staff of OADA shall have the authority to commit the assistance of the OADA Legal Defense Fund.

  9. It shall by the general policy of the Legal Defense Fund not to supply one hundred percent (100%) of the financial assistance in a particular action or proceeding involving a dealer except in exceptional circumstances or there it would be unreasonable for any one dealer to bear the expense. If OADA on behalf on the entire membership's good, is a party to the proceedings, OADA may receive monies from the Legal Defense Fund.

For more information concerning the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association Legal Defense Fund, contact Sara Bruce at (614) 923-2243 or sbruce@oada.com.