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On The Record: The Podcast of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court
Conversation about the Court and how it operates.
Dec 28, 2021
Judge Dick Ambrose
After 17 years on the Bench, Judge Dick Ambrose is retiring. He talks with Darren Toms about his time with the Court, playing for the Cleveland Browns, and what led him to a career in law after the NFL.
Feb 12, 2021
Judge Patricia Blackmon
Former Eighth District Court of Appeals Judge Patricia A. Blackmon was the first African American woman elected to that Bench. Judge Blackmon was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1976. She helped organize the first law firm in the state comprised of African American women – Johnson, Keenan, and Blackmon. She also served as the chief prosecutor for the city of Cleveland. On her last day in office, February 10, 2021, Judge Blackmon participated in a Zoom conversation arranged by the Cuyahoga County Court on Common Pleas as part of the Court's Black History Month celebration. She was introduced by Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart. We hope you enjoy the conversation!
Jan 28, 2020
Judge Brendan J. Sheehan
Judge Brendan Sheehan began a two-year term as the Court's Administrative Judge in January 2020. Judge Sheehan talks with host Darren Toms about his career, his thoughts on the Court, and what the future could hold.
Dec 20, 2019
Judge John J. Russo Ends Term As Administrative Judge
Judge John J. Russo looks back on his six years as Administrative and Presiding Judge of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. He served as AJ/PJ from January 2014 to December 2019.
Nov 1, 2019
Domestic Violence Docket
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court is developing a pilot Domestic Violence Docket designed to help both the victim and defendant avoid potential future incidents. Judge Sherrie Miday and host Darren Toms discuss the docket, how the funding was obtained, and what the Judge hopes will be a model for other courts.
Jul 5, 2019
The Pro Bono Project
The Pro Bono Project provides legal advice on civil matters to people who are also dealing with criminal cases. In many instances, a person with a criminal case faces issues such as eviction, child custody, and even driving privileges. Judge Joan Synenberg, who presides over our Recovery Court, was instrumental in getting the Pro Bono Project started when she noticed some of the civil issues her defendants were facing.
Mar 29, 2019
Judge Joan Synenberg talks with host Darren Toms about Recovery Court, a specialty docket that treats people with a dual diagnosis of addiction and related trauma.
Feb 1, 2019
Probation and Evidence-Based Practices
Cuyahoga County Adult Probation Training Specialist Brad Schleter looks at how the probation department has changed over the years. What was once a program designed to punish people, probation has evolved into a method of helping people overcome their mistakes and become productive members of society. Community Control Sanctions, as probation is now known, uses evidence-based practices to find the best ways to help the clients.
Dec 1, 2018
Judge Michael Jackson
Judge Michael E. Jackson retired in early January, 2019, after six years on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Bench. He spoke with host Darren Toms about his education, military and law careers and time on the bench. Judge Jackson also talks about Veterans Treatment Court, the docket he helped create and was appointed to preside over.
Nov 1, 2018
Judge Stuart Friedman
Judge Stuart Friedman retired in early January, 2019, after three decades on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Bench. He spoke with host Darren Toms about his education, law career and time on the bench. Judge Friedman also discussed the two things he's most proud of during his time as a Judge.
Oct 1, 2018
Judge Carolyn Friedland
Judge Carolyn Friedland retired in January of 2019, and looked back on what she calls "a great job." Judge Friedland spent 30 years on the Bench, and she speaks with host Darren Toms about her education, career, and why she became a Judge.
Sep 1, 2018
Judge Janet R. Burnside
After nearly three decades on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court bench, Judge Janet Burnside retired at the end of 2018. Judge Burnside discusses her career, the justice system, and what advice she has for young attorneys.
Aug 1, 2018
Court Community Service
CCS Executive Director Paul Klodor discusses how the non-profit organization helps clients perform their court-ordered community service.
Jul 1, 2018
Veterans Treatment Court
Judge Michael E. Jackson talks with host Darren Toms about the Veterans Treatment Court, which strives to successfully rehabilitate veterans by diverting them from the traditional criminal justice system and providing them with the unique tools they need to lead a more productive and law-abiding life.
Jun 1, 2018
It's the jobs of our dedicated staff of court reporters to maintain an accurate record of every hearing that takes place. Head Court Reporter Bruce Bishilany talks with host Darren Toms about the role of the court reporters, the training they need, and why their job is so important.
May 1, 2018
Judge Nancy Margaret Russo talks about Re-Entry Court and how it helps inmates who are ready to transition back into society.
Apr 1, 2018
The Jury Room
How are people chosen for jury duty? What happens when they arrive? And what are some the best excuses people have used to try and avoid service? On The Record host Darren Toms talks with co-directors Pat Bittner and Veronica Adams about their jobs in the jury assembly room.
Mar 1, 2018
Cuyahoga County Law Library
Kathy Dugan, director of the Cuyahoga County Law Library, sits down with host Darren Toms to discuss the library's history and its role in the modern, electronic legal system.
Feb 1, 2018
CMBA Mock Trials
The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court hosts a number of mock trials during the year, the biggest being the Ohio Mock Trial District Competition, which is organized by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. Jessica Paine, the CMBA's Director of Community Programs, talks with "On The Record" host Darren Toms about the competition and why the partnership with the Court is so important for the students.
Jan 9, 2018
A conversation with Court’s TASC (Treatment Alternatives to Street Crime) Administrator Ronda Blaney. Community Outreach Coordinator Darren Toms and Ronda discuss the role of TASC and the emotional highs and lows of being case managers!
Dec 1, 2017
Former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Psychiatric Clinic Interim Director Dr. Julian Dooley talks with Darren Toms about the clinic's role in the Court when it comes to assessing a defendant's potential mental health issues.
Nov 1, 2017
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court has it's own drug lab and runs hundreds of thousands of tests every year. Administrator Shannon Gray talks with Darren Toms about the lab and its dedicated workers.
Oct 1, 2017
Matthew Mennes of the Court’s Dispute Resolution (formerly Alternative Dispute Resolution) department, discusses how the program works and why it's a good option for a number of civil disputes.
Sep 1, 2017
Cuyahoga County Chief Magistrate Stephen Bucha III talks about the department with Community Outreach Coordinator Darren Toms.
Aug 1, 2017
Drug Court Judge David T. Matia discusses the specialized docket with Legal Support Coordinator Laura Creed. Judge Matia also talks about the opioid epidemic, how it is affecting his docket, and what he feels is needed to combat the crisis.
Jul 1, 2017
Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Docket
MHDD Chair Judge Hollie Gallagher discusses the five-judge docket, how it operates, and why it's so important.
May 26, 2017
About The Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court
The Hon. Judge John J. Russo on the Court, his role as Administrative and Presiding Judge, and what the future holds for the Court.