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Judge Michael J. Russo

Judge Michael J. Russo


It is with a heavy heart that the Court announces the passing of Judge Michael J. Russo.  Judge Russo passed away Monday evening, October 9, surrounded by his family, after a long and courageous health battle.


“Over the past year, Judge Russo displayed amazing strength while fighting his illness,” says Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan J. Sheehan. “Judge Michael Russo was tenacious in his efforts to overcome his medical challenges and return to the courtroom. He felt it was an honor to do the work of the community that we are proud to serve each day.


For 20 years, Judge Russo has been a member of the Common Pleas Court Bench.  Prior to his election in 2002, he worked in private practice at the law firm of Ulmer & Berne, LLP.  He began his legal career working in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.  Judge Russo attended the University of Dallas, where he received his undergraduate degree, and then went on to Old Dominion University for his master’s degree.  He was a proud graduate of the Cleveland State University College of Law. 


During his time on the Common Pleas Court Bench, Judge Russo served on the Commercial Docket and presided over many notable cases, including the case against Ariel Castro.  He was 68-years-old.


“I ask that you send your thoughts and prayers to Judge Michael Russo’s family during this time,” added Judge Sheehan.