Gina R. Russo

Office: For Judge of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, General Division
Unexpired Term Ending 1/5/2023

Age: 42

Residence: Columbus



Social Media:

Occupation: Judge, Franklin County Court of Common Pleas-General Division

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

Work Experience: 2012-2019 Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Franklin County, Ohio, 2002-2012 Civil Litigator, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, LLP

Family: Daughter, sister and aunt

Affiliations: Ohio Judicial Conference, Member, Columbus Bar Association, Member, Ohio State Bar Association, Member, Inns of Court, Member, Athletic Club of Columbus Community Crew Member

Endorsements: Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council; Teamsters Local Union 284; Teamsters Local Union 413; Columbus Firefighters Union Local #67, I.A.F.F.

Bar Association Ratings: 

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I am currently a Judge on the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas-General Division (March 2019 to present). I preside over a combined civil and criminal docket of approximately 600 cases.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
In addition to my current position as Judge, I have significant experience as a lawyer in both criminal and civil law, which is exceedingly rare among judges. From 2012 to 2019, I worked relentlessly to protect the citizens of Franklin County as an Assistant Prosecutor for Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien. 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.

I worked extensively with law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes and became proficient in analyzing crime scenes and conducting expert forensic examinations. In doing so, I became particularly skilled in trial work and sharpened my knowledge of the rules of evidence and other court rules. I worked tirelessly to prepare cases for trial and interacted with members of the community daily as victims, witnesses and potential jurors.

From 2002 to 2012, I worked as a civil litigator for the law office of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, LLP. There, I handled a large variety of complex civil matters involving contracts, torts, product liability, personal injury, workers’ compensation, employment, and construction litigation. I argued cases before many trial and appellate courts across the region, including the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

I am well-versed in the rules of civil procedure and I have conducted extensive pre-trial discovery, taken hundreds of depositions and drafted numerous motions in both state and federal courts. I understand the realities of navigating through tough situations, working with clients and being held accountable for resolving cases in an appropriate manner. As a former civil litigator, I appreciate the alternative methods of dispute resolution and encourage their use among clients and other litigants.

My diverse background in both civil law and criminal prosecution best positions me to take the bench as a judge who presides over a combined docket of both civil and criminal cases. During my seventeen years as a civil and criminal litigator, I have practiced in most areas of the law and have the prior “real-life” experience for which there is no substitute. My experience has been extensive and expansive and I have the background, education and experience to serve on the Franklin County bench.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am running to keep my seat on the court because I believe that there is no reason to wear a black robe other than to positively impact our community.

As your Judge, I am extremely passionate about the law and I believe that the law requires, and this great community deserves, equal access to a fair and impartial court. My passion for the law is evidenced by my extensive criminal law and civil law background. With my diverse background, I am acutely aware of the important role judges play in the legal system.

Since taking the bench, I have established quality court practices and procedures for the smooth administration of justice. I ensure that cases on my docket are addressed efficiently and that my decisions are issued timely. I approach each case with compassion and empathy. I give everyone in my courtroom an opportunity to be heard and I work with an open mind to treat everyone fairly and with respect. I appreciate that people present different viewpoints, beliefs and positions.

I understand my role as judge to acknowledge each side and preside with diplomacy. I listen to the facts and evidence presented and I apply the law fairly, consistently and evenly to all parties, no matter which side of the argument they present. I strive to reach the right result and ensure that justice is served. I can, and do, make the tough decisions that every judge must make and I am not persuaded by public opinion. I work thoughtfully and deliberately, always with the rule of law and the safety of the community at the forefront of my decisions. I preside over my cases with honesty, integrity and civility, and will continue to do so for the citizens of Franklin County because I believe this is what the community deserves.

As a judge, I understand that I am in a position to profoundly affect many peoples’ lives and I take this responsibility seriously. I make best efforts to positively impact the individuals who appear before me as well as the communities they belong to, while providing equal access to a fair and impartial court to all. Equal access to a fair and impartial court is the foundation of our legal system and it is the reason I am running to remain your Franklin County Judge.