Judge John J. Russo

Candidate for Judge, General Division Common Pleas Court, Cuyahoga County


Judge John J. Russo is an experienced jurist that the citizens of Cuyahoga County know and trust.

THE HONORABLE JOHN J. RUSSO has been on the Bench since 2005. He is the immediate Past Administrative and Presiding Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Ohio in Cuyahoga County, unanimously elected by his colleagues to lead the Court from 2014-2019.  He was responsible for appointing committees, coordinating the development of Court policies, and overseeing the administration and dockets of the General Division, the highest-level trial court in the state.

In addition to his current docket, Judge Russo has overseen the Veterans Treatment Court in Cuyahoga County since 2019. He has chaired or participated in numerous justice system boards and committees since beginning his judicial career. These include 1st Vice-Chair of the Ohio Judicial Conference; Co-Chair of the Ohio Judicial Conference Court Administration Committee and Past-Chair of the Judicial Education Committee for the Ohio Judicial Conference; Vice President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; Review Board and Committee Person for the Trends in State Court Publication (appointed by the National Center for State Courts); Member of the Public Health, Death Penalty and Bail Bond Reform Task Force (all appointed by the Ohio Chief Justice); and Past Chair, Lawyers Fund for Client Protection (appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court); Past President, Legal Eagles St. Edward High School Community. Judge Russo also served as president of the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (NAPCO), a national organization of court chief judges and court executives.  He was elected in 2019 to serve as NAPCO’s Chair of the Board of Directors. Judge Russo is a Trustee of the Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association wherein 2018 was inducted into CM/Law Hall of Fame and in 2019 was CMLAA Alumni of the Year.

Judge Russo is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Bar Association, Westshore Bar Association, and Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association. 

Prior to the bench, Judge Russo was a civil and criminal litigator for 12 years in his private practice.  After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from John Carroll University, he received his Juris Doctor degree at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor. He has been married to his wife, Karen, for more than 30 years and they have three children JJ, Jacob, and Abigail.