Ray Headen

Office: For Judge of the Eighth District Court of Appeals
Unexpired Term Ending 1/1/2023

Age: 60

Residence: Richmond Heights



Social Media: 

Occupation: 8th District Court of Appeals Judge 1/3/2018 to present

Education: University School (1978), Williams College. BA (1982), University of Pennsylvania Law School J.D. (1987)

Work Experience: 33 years of work experience – 8th District Court of Appeals Judge 1/3/2018 to present; Government, Business and Finance Attorney 1987-2018; Bond Counsel to City of Warrensville Heights, Ohio; General Counsel to Ohio Treasurer of State; General Counsel to Lake County Port Authority; Bond Counsel Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum; Bond Counsel Quicken Loans Arena

Family: Married to Miesha Headen, two sons Raymond Carl Headen, Jr. (16) and Thomas Joel Headen (13)

: University School Board of Directors, Chair Community & Equity (Diversity) Committee
Professional: Thought Leadership Comm. Cleve. Bar; U. Penn Law School Alumni Advisory Board and Future of Legal Profession Advisory Board
Religious: Deacon, Imani Church UCC, Euclid, Ohio

Endorsements: Cleveland Plain Dealer;; Black Women’s Political Action Committee; and C.A.M.E.O (Cleveland American Middle East Organization)

Bar Association Ratings: Bar Association Rating = Good;

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I have been Judge of the 8th District Court of Appeals since 1/3/2020. Since becoming an appeals court judge, I have an excellent 100% decision record. I have participated in over 220 judicial decisions with none overturned by the Ohio Supreme Court on appeal.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I have been a practicing lawyer for over 32 years. I believe my diversity of experience in very sophisticated finance and community development projects for cities and counties as bond counsel which has helped cities and counties to pay bills, provide community services to residents and create jobs has already enabled me to add very tangible value as judge on the 8th District Court of Appeals bench.

Go to my webpage for the very important work that I am doing as a judge on fair sentencing and equal justice. This is something Ohio judges have worked on to enact for over 25 years. As a result of my efforts which have been recognized by bar associations throughout Ohio and by associate justices and the Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, Ohio judges are now on the verge of finally being able to join the 21st century in the use of data to ensure fair sentencing and equal justice in our courts.

My experience as a business, finance and community development lawyer rather than being a trial lawyer has enabled me to be a judge who brings a different perspective to the complexities of our justice system. These perspectives are unique to me and different from any judge currently sitting as well as any candidate for any judicial bench in Cuyahoga County.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
Quite simply, I want to finish doing the job I started. By measure of none of my opinions being reversed as being incorrect by the Ohio Supreme Court, I am doing excellent work as a judge. Indeed, I could not have a more perfect record as a judge with respect to rendering judicial opinions which is the job of an appeals court judge. My opponent does not have judicial experience and does not possess this track record.

But having a perfect judicial opinion record as a judge is not enough in my opinion. Judges need to do more to build confidence and trust in our judicial system. With my work on the establishment of a statewide criminal sentencing database, I have already started a movement that has brought communities together over the common sense need to give judges and the public information (data) that everyone thinks that we as judges were already collecting – but are not!!!

In addition to a perfect opinion record as a judge, it is these common sense ideas and approaches to justice that I want to leave as my legacy as a judge. I recognize that I sit on the shoulders of many who came before me. I have been blessed to be a judge. I want to continue to add value to Ohioans, to our justice system and to my colleagues on the bench. For example, during my next term I also want to look into appellate standards of review for child custody appeals and plea bargains. My job is simply not finished.