Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Skype Connects Judges in Cleveland and Ukraine

Image of four men dressed in suits sitting in a conference room facing a large monitor

Judge Ronald Adrine, Judge Solomon Oliver Jr., Judge John J. Russo, and Alek El-Kamhawy talk to judges in Ukraine on a video conference.

Image of four men dressed in suits sitting in a conference room facing a large monitor

Judge Ronald Adrine, Judge Solomon Oliver Jr., Judge John J. Russo, and Alek El-Kamhawy talk to judges in Ukraine on a video conference.

In two offices half a world apart, judges in Cuyahoga County and Kyiv, Ukraine, met on Feb. 17 to discuss how their courts operate.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo was joined in his chambers by U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio Chief Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. and Cleveland Municipal Court Administrative Judge Ronald Adrine to take part in the Skype meeting with judges in Ukraine.

The meeting was facilitated by the American Common Law Center (ACLC), a division of the law faculty of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. The ACLC was co-founded by Cleveland-area attorney Alek El-Kamhawy, who organized the conversation.

“The meeting was quite positive in terms of establishing a question and answer process. Both sides are open to continuing to exchange ideas,” El-Kamhawy said.

Among the topics discussed in the one-hour meeting: length of judicial terms, how American judges are elected/appointed, caseloads, and the basic legal process in the United States.

“I thought it was a pretty interesting way to get together,” Judge Russo said. “For us it was a morning meeting and for our Ukrainian counterparts it was the end of the work day. Using the [video conferencing system] almost made it feel like we were in the same room.”

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