Richard A. Bell

Office: For Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, General Division

Unexpired Term Ending 1/2/2023

Age: 56

Residence: Solon



Social Media: 

Occupation: Attorney

Education: J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Work Experience: Current–Assistant Prosecuting Attorney. Former– Solon City Councilman, Judicial Staff Attorney, Law Clerk for Federal Public Defender’s Office, law clerk for Robert Dixon.

Family: Married for 29 years with 4 children

Affiliations: Member St. Rita Church

Endorsements: Endorsed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Also endorsed by: G-Pac, Greater Cleveland Congregation, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, State Representative Phil Robinson, State Representative, Juanita Brent, State Representative Kent Smith, Solon Mayor Edward Kraus, Parma Mayor Timothy DeGeeter, Parma Law Director Timothy Dobeck, Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer, Garfield Heights Mayor Vic Collova, Maple Heights Mayor Annette Blackwell, Warrensville Heights Mayor Brad Sellers, Highland Hills Mayor Michael Booker, Bedford Mayor Stanley Koci, Glenwillow Mayor Mark Cegelka, Former Sheriff Frank Bova, Parma Heights Mayor Mike Byrne, Community Advocate Dr. Yvonne Pointer, Cleveland Heights Councilman Mike Ungar, North Royalton Council President Paul Marnichek, Shaker Hts. resident Peter Lawson Jones

Bar Association Ratings: Highest ratings in my Race–4 Excellents and 1 Good.

(1) List your judicial experience (courts and years)
I have not run for Judge before but I am a trial lawyer with many years of litigation experience in the Common Pleas Court.

(2) What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I have tried over 100 trials in my career mostly in the Common Pleas Court and I have written over 20 appeals. I have twice appeared before the Ohio Supreme Court. The following experiences have broadened my perspective and prepared me to be a Judge: 1. Former Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary of Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Associations Government Attorney’s Section 2. City of Solon Councilman, 2010-2015. Chair of Public Works Committee, Member Safety Committee, and Representative of the Solon Senior Center. 3. Volunteer for CMBA 3 R’s Program at the Ginn Academy. 4. Founder of “The Summit of Cities” national conferences which meets annually to set Nationwide Best Practices for testing, investigating and prosecuting Sexual Assault Kit cases 2013 – present 5. Working Group Member for 3 current Department of Justice Grants for the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Kit Task Force. 6. National Speaker (Washington D.C., Arlington, U.S. Congress committee, Memphis, Detroit, Cleveland, State of Washington, Duluth) advocating for DNA testing all kits which also serves to investigate innocence. 7. Member of State of Ohio Attorney General Advisory Board to approve and build an evidence kit tracking system. (2019 to present) 8. Member of U.S. Attorney STANCE and V-GRIP Committees. 2008-2012* Monthly meetings between law Enforcement and Community Groups such as the Peace Makers Alliance concerning reducing criminal gang activity and the Violence Gun Reduction program. 9. Cuyahoga County Forensic Crime Laboratory Advisory Board 2008-2012. 10. Member Federal Joint Terrorism Task Force and Anti-Terrorism Task Force. 2002 through 2005* 11. Founding member of the Sexual Assault Response Team 2001. I trained SANE nurses and lectured area high school students and College Athletic programs. Received Recognition from Cleveland Rape Crisis in 2007. 12. Original member of the Child fatality Review Committee 1992 -1995 which reviewed the deaths of babies and children with the Medical Examiner, police, Children Services, hospitals and rape crisis. 13. Original partner in the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program which helps people with outstanding arrest warrants safely turn themselves in through their pastors to a church where we can lift their arrest warrant and offer them a significant reduction to their case. 14. Supervisor over Internet Crimes Against Children and Human Trafficking Units and supporting public awareness initiatives. 15. Appointed by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor to the Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of the Death Penalty.

(3) Why are you running for this particular court seat?
I believe the position should be reserved for people that have practiced in the courtroom for several years. I have tried and litigated hundreds of cases and managed hundreds of lawyers. I understand the law and procedures of the courtroom and can help lawyer’s resolve conflicts and ensure defendants’ rights are protected. Secondly, I believe that the decision should not be taken lightly and that it should be a vocation. I do believe that I can help parties resolve conflicts, and that my knowledge of the docket, courtroom procedures and decisions will be helpful to all lawyers and parties that have to come before a court of law. It is because I believe I can serve that I wish to become a Judge of the Common Pleas Court. The court should address the bond disparity (referred to as Bail Reform), the Justice Center building plans, and Centralized booking with Drug treatment and mental health centers to triage people. I have provided my input to the Administrative Judge and have specific suggestions on how this can be accomplished. I am also very interested in the recent Sentencing Commission call for a Sentencing database. I believe transparency is important and will promote the statutory obligations of the court that sentences should be structured to rehabilitate the offender, protect the safety of the community and do so with the least expense of resources. The statute also says sentences should be consistent with each other. Sentences should be proportional and consistent. I believe a sentencing database will have an impact on the levels of incarcerated defendants by limiting sentences that are disproportionate. I will keep a transparent record of my sentencings and encourage the practice. I believe that a research partner should be utilized to assist with the development of a data system that has the scope to track sentences by charge, victim and defendant information and fact patterns.