Colleen Ann Reali

Office: For Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division
Term Beginning 1/8/2021

Age: 47

Residence: Westlake



Social Media: Colleen Ann Reali for Judge on Facebook

Occupation: Magistrate

Education: J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, Queens, NY

Work Experience: Magistrate, Domestic Relations Court-5 years, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney-14 years

Family: Married with 1 child.

Affiliations: Supreme Court Appointed Bar Exam Grader. Committee or Board Member: Father Welsh Academy, Mayo Society of Greater Cleveland Board, Cleveland Irish American Archives Board, Cleveland Irish American Lawyers, United Irish Societies, St. Bernadette PTU; Past Member: YMCA Board, Tremont West Development Corp. Bd., William K. Thomas Inns of Court.

Endorsements: Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur; Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich; GPAC; FIINPAC; Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council, G-PAC, Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, Shaker Heights Democratic Club, Cleveland Clergy Coalition, Rated Excellent by the NAACP, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, City of Parma City Leaders and Elected Officials, Teamsters Local 436, Bedford Walton Hills Democratic Party, Cleveland Firefighters, IAFF Local 93

Bar Association Ratings: Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association: Rated Excellent; Ohio Women’s Bar Association: Rated Excellent; Cuyahoga County Criminal Defense Lawyers Bar Association:Rated Excellent; Asian American Bar Association: Excellent; Norman S. Minor Bar Association: Excellent.

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
Magistrate, Domestic Relations Court, Cuyahoga County, December 2014-present. Adjudicate complex interpersonal matters; Mediate high conflict disputes; Oversee all stages of the litigation process from the filing of the complaint through the discovery process and the issuance of the decision after trial; Write magistrate decisions applying complex statutory frameworks; Trained Family Law Mediator; Trained in Judicial Case Management.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I was an assistant prosecuting attorney for 14 years before I was appointed to serve as a Magistrate in the Court where I seek office. I litigated over 70 felony trials, including but not limited to cases involving felony sexual assault, murder, death penalty litigation, domestic violence and economic crime. I supervised the litigation and trial preparation for junior prosecutors. I frequently argued before the Court of Appeals on a wide variety of Appellate issues.

Prior to my appointment as a Magistrate in Domestic Relations Court, I had a very strong litigation background which is essential for judicial officers, who regularly preside over trials. I practiced in both the Common Pleas Court appearing in front of 34 different Judges with unique styles as well as the Court of Appeals. I wrote all of my own appellate briefs and argued in the Court of Appeals frequently, which is an excellent way for practicing attorneys to hone their research and writing skills. These skills are vital for judicial officers.
Finally, for the past 20 years I have been invited to lecture at Continuing Legal Education Trainings where I have had the opportunity to train other attorneys on a variety of topics including Domestic Violence Criminal Protection Orders, Marriage Equality and Judicial Case Management.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I currently serve as a Magistrate in the court where I seek office. I love the work that I do. I am highly qualified, experienced and fair and have unmatched judicial experience in this race. Every single day I work to positively impact the children and families who come to my court in crisis. I understand what we do well as a court and the ways that we can improve our court so that all of the families in our vast and diverse community have access to justice and are treated with dignity and respect. I believe I have a good judicial temperament which I work on daily. I know the law and I strive to enforce it evenly and in a thoughtful manner. I work on various committees within the Domestic Relations Court in order to improve processes and to ensure that our families and children leave our court with a plan to succeed in their often challenging new life.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my own family and volunteering on various charitable interests. I care deeply about my community and the families that come to me for solutions. Most importantly, I do my job with compassion and heart which are qualities that we should expect from all public servants.