Office: Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court
Political Party Affiliation: Democrat
Residence: Broadview Heights, OH
Occupation: Magistrate, Cleveland Municipal Court
Education: J.D. from Cleveland Marshall College of Law
Work Experience: Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County: nearly 6 years/Cleveland Municipal Court Magistrate: 8 years, Criminal and Civil Law.
Family: Married with 3 beautiful Children
Affiliations: President of the Ohio Hispanic Bar Association; Board of Trustee: Cleveland Marshall College of Law Alumni Association; Chair: Advisory Committee, Spanish Bilingual Ballots, Board of Elections – Chair of the Community Outreach Committee; Chair and founder: of Spanish Advisory Board for Electorates; Board of Trustee: Alzheimer’s Association, Cleveland Area -Education and Outreach Committee/ Speaker’s Bureau; Board of Trustee: Hispanic UMADAOP, Urban Minority Alcoholism & Drug & Abuse Outreach Programs; The Advisory Board Committee: Hispanic Liaison: City of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson’s Office; Ohio Hispanic Bar Association/ Legal Aid expungement Program organizer
Endorsements: Cuyahoga County Democratic Party: http://www.cuydem.com/ ; Congresswoman Marcia Fudge; City of Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson; State Senator Sandra Williams; State Representative Nicholas J. Celebrezze; Cleveland Laborers International Local 310; North Shore AFL-CIO Federation of Laborers; Pipefitters Local Union No. 120; Cleveland Carpenters Union Local 435; Cleveland Carpenters Union Local 373; Cleveland City Council President Kevin J. Kelly, Cleveland City Council members: Terrell Pruitt, Ward 1; Zach Reed, Ward 2; Joe Cimperman, Ward 3; Ken Johnson, Ward 4; Phyllis Cleveland, Ward 5; Mamie Mitchell, Ward 6; T.J. Dow, Ward 7; Kevin Conwell, Ward 9; Jeff Johnson, Ward 10; Anthony Bracatelli, Ward 12; Matt Zone, Ward 15; Brian Kazy, Ward 16; Martin Keane, Ward 17; County Commissioner Dale Miller Honorable C. Ellen Connally; Parma City Treasurer Tom Mastroianni; Parma City Leader Mickey Vittardi; Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner, the Honorable Peter Lawson Jones; Westlake City Leader Vern Long; Westshore Democrat Leader Jeanne Long; Lakewood Democratic Club
Bar Association Ratings: http://www.judge4yourself.com/bios/pablo-catro.html
(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
City of Cleveland, Municipal Court Magistrates Department, Magistrate, Appointed December 2007- present • Preside over traffic, criminal and civil cases. Handle Judge’s personal dockets, trials, motions, small claims, bond forfeitures, default hearings, garnishment hearings, examination hearings, replevins, dormant judgments, driving privileges and suspension appeals, and a multitude of civil and criminal procedural and evidentiary issues. • Manage a high volume case load, including written and oral motions, pleadings, and hearings. • Write decisions, orders, instructions and recommendations. • Assisted in developing and implementing policy and rules within the department and court policy. • Legislative Review Committee: Review and inform the department with new, updated and/or changes in statutes and case law. Lakeland Community College/ Kirtland, OH, Adjunct Professor, January 2007-2010 • Teach Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation Management to ABA approved college classes. Develop lesson plans, lecture, and promote class discussions. Develop and grade in-class role playing exercises and examinations. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, August –December 2007 • Prosecute and maintain felony and misdemeanor criminal docket. • Try various felony cases, including Aggravated Murder, Aggravated Robbery, Felony Assault, and Aggravated Burglary. • Draft legal documents in preparation for trial. Conduct various pretrial hearings, motion and evidentiary hearings. City of Cleveland Law Department/ Prosecutor’s Office, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, August 2002-2007 • Prosecute and maintain a misdemeanor criminal docket. Draft legal documents including motions, pleadings, discovery in preparation for trial. Try various traffic and criminal cases, including OVI, Domestic Violence, Assault, Resisting Arrest, and Negligent Homicide. • Write and argue appeals in the 8th district court of appeals. • Review and charge felony and misdemeanor criminal complaints. Consult and advise members of the Cleveland Police Department and other Cleveland based police agencies regarding probable cause, arrests, charges, undercover/detail operations, and other legal concerns. Review intakes and complaints from citizens to determine whether criminal charges or alternative resolutions are appropriate • Train, mentor, and assist prosecutors with trials and maintaining criminal dockets. • Represent the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Administrative License Suspension appeals. Friedman, Domiano and Smith Co., LPA., Cleveland, Ohio, Law Clerk November 1999 – February 2002. • Perform legal research. Write legal documents including complaints, motions, discovery, and pleadings. File Motions and Pleadings. Assist with trials, arbitrations, and depositions. • Conduct initial interviews with potential clients. Sign up clients and explained fee agreements. Collect and update client’s medical records and bills. • Translate for Spanish speaking clients.
(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I have dedicated my legal career to public service for nearly fifteen years. As a licensed attorney, I began as a trial attorney and an assistant prosecutor for the City of Cleveland. I eventually progressed into the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office. I have tried hundreds of trials, both jury and bench. I have been involved in thousands of litigations from hearings, motions, and various proceedings. I have written and argued in the 8th district court of appeals. I eventually was honored by an appointment to the Cleveland Municipal Court as a Magistrate in 2007, where I have been presiding over civil and criminal cases for the past eight years. As a Magistrate I have presided over an uncountable amount of hearings and proceedings. Along with managing a high volume cases load, I have presided over numerous trials and hearings involving both criminal and civil rules of procedure and evidentiary rules. I have written many decisions and orders. I have also actively dedicated my life to community engagement and service. I have been active in many organizations in many capacities, as a board member or officer in most, and have taken a leadership role in many. I revitalized a dormant Ohio Hispanic Bar Association, (OHBA), where we have a very active organization. Through the OHBA I assisted in orchestrating an expungement clinic between the OHBA, Legal Aid, Public Defender’s Office, Cuyahoga County Department of Rehabilitation and Reentry, Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office and many volunteer local attorneys and various Cuyahoga County departments. Through the OHBA, I presented a 2013 \”Cultural Competency in the Legal Community,” Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, CLE 1.5 Hr. I chaired an advisory group to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections during a consent decree with the Department of Justice for issues with the Voters Rights of 1965. As the Chair of the Spanish Language Advisory Board and Spanish Advisory Board for Electorates, I was involved in many registration drives, and right to vote programs. After the consent decree expired, we were able to transition the advisory group to a partnership with the Board of Elections and the community in creating a new post decree organization, establishing goals of voter registration, education and participation. In order to effectively serve as a Judge, it is important to ensure that the Court understands and appreciates the community, culture, environment and each individual it will be serving.
(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I am running in a seat that is being vacated by my mentor, the Honorable Jose A. Villanueva. Although the legacy of Judge Villanueva can never be replaced, the first objective should be to maintain the experience and diversity within the court. I will bring that special element to the court. Although, our community’s safety is a serious consideration and concern for all, we should not bring any predispositions into our mindset when we enter the forum of a neutral unbiased Jurist. Experiences and the understandings of the diverse Cuyahoga County community is extremely important to prevent certain presumptions or prejudices to cloud one’s judgment on the bench. A Judge, who may be the finder of fact and decider of law, is in an extremely important position. The position is one which empowers someone with the ability to change many lives. I come from a very humble family background. However, we were very rich in culture, values, and work ethic. My grandparents were immigrants who came to the United States for the opportunities this great country provides us. My parents were migrant farm workers, who travelled state to state picking various produce just to provide for their family. My mother comes from a family of nineteen children, and my father comes from a family of twelve. Nothing came easy. We had to work twice as hard. We helped our community, not only as a duty, but as a way of survival. Those principles do not escape us, even after we improve our economic positions. I have maintained a reputation, on and off the bench, for helping others. This is the way I was raised and have continued to live my life. I have experienced and witnessed many injustices throughout my life. I have dedicated my life to try and improve the lives of others who are less fortunate, and do not have the same opportunities. I aspire to be a judge to provide the community with confidence in the judicial system. Especially when someone fortunately or unfortunately has to appear before the Cuyahoga Common Pleas bench. In that, I offer my legal experiences and life experiences to make the Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court a place where all people receive justice and maintain the confidence in the legal system. I am running for this particular seat for all people in Cuyahoga County, for my family and for my community.