Gina Russo

Office: For Judge of the Franklin County Municipal Court
Full Term Beginning 01/03/2022

Age: 43

Residence: Columbus

Email: judgeginarusso@gmail.com

Website: http://www.judgeginarusso.com

Social Media: http://www.facebook.com/ginarussoforjudge/; http://www.instagram.com/grrusso2021

Occupation: Judge, Franklin County Municipal Court

Education: J.D., Wake Forest University School of Law

Work Experience: March 2021-Present: Judge, Franklin County Municipal Court; March 2019-Dec. 2020: Judge, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas; Oct. 2012-March 2019: Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor; Sept. 2002-Oct. 2012: Civil Litigator, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, LLP

Family: Daughter, sister, aunt and dog mom

Affiliations: Ohio Judicial Conference, Columbus Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, Ohio Women’s Bar Association, Women Lawyers of Franklin County, Ohio Women in Government, Inns of Court, Athletic Club of Columbus

Endorsements: Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Teamsters 284, Plumbers and Pipefitters, Local 189, FOP, Capital City Lodge #9

Bar Association Ratings:  5-Star Rating by the Columbus Bar Association, Judicial Screening Committee (2021)

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
March 2021-Present: Judge Franklin County Municipal Court. I currently preside of a combined docket of approximately 500-600 criminal misdemeanor, traffic and civil cases. March 2019-December 2020: Judge, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas: Presided over a combined docket of approximately 600 felony criminal and civil cases.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I have significant and extensive experience as a lawyer in both criminal and civil law, which is exceedingly rare among judges. From 2012-2019, I worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Franklin County. I quickly advanced from a juvenile prosecutor, to the grand jury unit, and ultimately to the adult-felony trial team, where I tried numerous murder cases and other important, high-level felony cases. In that role, I worked extensively with law enforcement to investigate crimes and became proficient in presenting large, complex cases to Franklin County juries. I strived each and every day to protect the citizens of Franklin County, to keep our community safe and to obtain justice for victims of crime. I understood the large responsibility of my role and worked hard to ensure fair, reasonable results were obtained. From 2002-2012, I worked as a civil litigator for the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seyour and Pease, LLP. There, I handled a large variety of complex civil matters. I argued many cases before several trial and appellate courts throughout the State of Ohio. In fact, over the course of five years, I participated on a team of litigators, and ultimately presented a case involving important constitutional rights to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. It was then that I found my passion for public service. My diverse background in both civil and criminal prosecution makes me well-equipped and best-suited to preside over a combined docket of civil and criminal cases.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am extremely passionate about the law and truly believe that it requires, as well as this great community deserves, equal access to justice for all. As your judge, I understand my great responsibilities and take them very seriously. I know that I make many important decisions that greatly impact people’s lives. Sometimes, my decisions are life-altering. In order to make these very important decisions, I must know my community, its members, and the problems, challenges and hardships it faces. When I first became a judge, I scheduled meetings with various religious, educational, charitable and civic leaders in order to introduce myself, ask questions, bridge gaps and be of service. I realize that I cannot make these very important decisions in a vacuum and there are certain things you cannot learn from a textbook or on the news. In order to truly know your community, you must be visible, accessible and approachable. You must have meaningful engagement and interaction. Only then, can you understand the difficulties and challenges people face, and the ways to overcome them. Through this positive and proactive community engagement, I am able to approach each case with the necessary level of empathy and compassion and find real-life solutions to help people improve their lives and overall situation. As your judge, I make best efforts to positively impact the individuals who appear before me, while providing equal access to a fair and impartial court, and will continue to do so for Franklin County.