Hon. John J. Russo
Chair, Board of Directors
August 2019 – Present
…is the immediate Past Administrative and Presiding Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Ohio in Cuyahoga County (Greater Cleveland). Unanimously elected by his colleagues to lead the Court from 2014-2019, he was responsible for coordinating the development of Court policies and overseeing the administration of the General Division, the highest-level trial court in the state.
Currently, Judge Russo manages his own criminal and civil dockets as a trial judge. And since 2018, he has overseen Cuyahoga County’s Veteran Treatment Court/Specialty Docket. In addition, he has chaired or participated in numerous justice system boards and committees since beginning his judicial career in 2005 on the Common Pleas Court. Some include: 1st Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of the Court Administration Committee of the Ohio Judicial Conference; Vice President of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association; Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association where in 2018 he was inducted into the CM/Law Hall of Fame and in 2019 was CMLAA Alumni of the year; Member of the Judiciary’s Public Health, Death Penalty and Bail / Bond Reform Task Forces (all appointed by the Ohio Chief Justice); Past President and Man of The Year recipient of the Legal Eagles St. Edward High School.
He served as president of the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (NAPCO), a national organization of court chief judges and court executives, from 2015-2016. In 2019, he was elected to, and currently serves as, NAPCO’s Chair of the Board of Directors. In addition, he has taught at numerous court conclaves, judges’ conferences, community programs, and bar association CLE programs.
Judge Russo is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Bar Association, Westshore Bar Association, and Cleveland Marshall Law Alumni Association. Prior to the bench, Judge Russo was a civil and criminal litigator in private practice. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, he received his Juris Doctor degree at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, where he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor.
Trial Judge, and Former Administrative / Presiding Judge
Court of Common Pleas of Ohio, Cuyahoga County
Cuyahoga County Courthouse, Courtroom 16D
1200 Ontario Street
Cleveland, OH 44113-1678
Hon. Jeffrey K. Locke
August 2022 – Present
… is Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Trial Court. He was appointed to this position by the Supreme Judicial Court effective January 19, 2022, after serving as a judge on the Superior Court since 2001.
Chief Justice Locke has served as chair of the Massachusetts Sentencing Commission since 2018. He was the regional administrative justice for criminal cases in Suffolk County from 2012 to 2015, and for all cases in Plymouth County from 2007 to 2011. He has served on several court committees, including the SJC Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure; the Superior Court Committee on Sentencing Best Practices; and the Trial Court Fiscal Task Force.
Prior to Chief Justice Locke’s appointment to the bench, he served as Commissioner of the Department of Social Services from April 1999 to October 2001, initially in an interim capacity. He was District Attorney in Norfolk County from 1997 to 1999, following eight years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, where he was the Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force from 1994 to 1997. Prior to that he worked in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, including three years as chief of the Public Protection Bureau.
Chief Justice Locke has taught Trial Practice at Boston College Law School since 2018, and previously taught at Northeastern School of Law. He received his law degree from Boston University and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
Chief Justice, Massachusetts Trial Court
Executive Office of the Trial Court
One Pemberton Square, John Adams Courthouse
Boston, MA 02108
Mr. John A. Bello
August 2022 – Present
… is the Court Administrator of the Massachusetts Trial Court having been appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court in March 2021. The Court Administrator partners with the Chief Justice of the Trial Court in working to oversee 6,300 court staff, 97 courthouses, and a $750-million-dollar budget supporting seven trial court departments and the Massachusetts Probation Service.
Mr. Bello is responsible for the administrative functions that support the Trial Court mission: Justice with Dignity and Speed. These include budget preparation and oversight, labor relations and human resources, information technology, facilities management, capital projects, and security. John also serves as co-chair of the court’s Trauma Task Force.
In 2017, Mr. Bello was named Associate Court Administrator and guided the efforts of the department heads within the Office of Court Management and coordinated their support of the court departments. He also handled the development and implementation of the Trial Court’s Strategic Plan 3.0, introduced enterprise project management, and led major operational initiatives in collaboration with leaders across all court departments.
John joined the Trial Court in 2013 as the Director of Facilities Management & Capital Planning overseeing maintenance and capital improvements for 60 state-owned facilities and working with county and private landlords to manage another 40 court buildings. He oversaw the development of a 20-year Court Master Capital Plan in concert with the State’s Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance.
From 2001 to 2013 John served in management roles of increasing responsibility at the Massachusetts Port Authority, Massport, which oversees the state’s three airports and the port terminals in Boston. He received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Daniel Webster College.
Mr. Bello has the unique distinction of serving two terms as NAPCO’s Vice President, once in 2021 when our Association had to abruptly alter its presentation format from an in-person Annual Leadership Academy and Conference to a virtual one due to an upsurge in COVID infections in Boston and nationwide. Subsequently, NAPCO leaders were able to re-negotiate the reserved and confirmed lodging, education and event venues to calendar year 2023. NAPCO’s Seventh Annual Leadership Academy and Conference will occur August 20 – 23, 2023. We are indebted to Mr. Bello for this willingness to serve a second term as NAPCO Vice President and host our 2023 annual gathering in Boston.
Court Administrator, Massachusetts Trial Court
Executive Office of the Trial Court
One Pemberton Square, Suite 1M
Boston, MA 02108
Hon. Erick L. Larsh
August 2021 – 2022
… is the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of California in Orange County, the State’s third-most populous county with more than 3 million residents. As a unified, single-tiered trial court, its 140 judicial officers and 1500+ staff handle over 500K case filings annually, including civil, criminal, traffic, family, juvenile and probate matters throughout five justice centers. Judge Larsh was elected by his colleagues as the court’s top administrative judge in January 2021 and began serving a 2-year term in that position. Previously, he served as the Assistant Presiding Judge.
Judge Larsh began his judicial career in Orange County as a Superior Court Commissioner in 1997 after serving as a Deputy City Attorney in Anaheim from 1987 to 1989, and a private practitioner in criminal and civil litigation from 1989 to 1997. He was appointed as a superior court judge by Governor Schwarzenegger in July 2005. His judicial assignments over his 16-year career as a judge have included criminal felonies and misdemeanors, drug court, domestic relation cases (family court), and limited jurisdiction matters. He has served a number of times as a supervising judge overseeing various court departments at many locations within the County.
His local and statewide committee assignments encompass the Orange County Superior Court Executive Committee, Family Violence Coordination Committee (Chair), Finance Committee (Chair), Collaborative Courts Committee (Chair), Center for Judicial Education and Research Committee (Chair), and the Waymakers/Community Service Project Program (Chair). Likewise, Judge Larsh’s teaching and speaking experience is widespread, including service as an Adjunct Professor, Biola University (1990 – 2006), Adjunct Professor in Criminal Procedure, California State University, Instructor for Proposition 36 and Drug Courts at B.E. Wilkin Junior College, Instructor in Marital Settlement Agreements and Judgements 2016 and Custody Litigation – Move Away Cases, ACFLS Spring Conference (2016 – 2018), Instructor in Restraining Orders 2018 for California’s Judicial Education and Research group, and an Instructor in Substance Abuse, Last Dash MCLE Seminar for the Orange County Bar Association (2004 – 2007).
Judge Larsh has been the recipient of various awards and honors during his tenure as a judge, including the 2016 American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Southern California Section Judge of the Year Award; the 2017 Orange County Bar Association, Family Law Section, J.E.T. Rutter Award for the Outstanding Judicial Contribution to Family Law, and the 2018 Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, Orange County Chapter, Judicial Officer of the Year.
Superior Court of California in Orange County
Criminal Justice Center, Department C1
700 Civic Center Drive, West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Gordon M. Griller
Executive Director | Secretary | Chief Financial Officer
2007 – Present
…is the Executive Director, Secretary and Chief Financial Officer for the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers (NAPCO). He also works part-time with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) Court Consulting Services group, having retired in January 2020 as a Principal Court Management Consultant after 14 years with the NCSC. Prior to his work with the Center, Mr. Griller held numerous private and public positions dedicated to trial court improvement and reform, including Vice President of Justice Practices for the State and Local Solutions Group at Affiliated Computer Systems (ACS), a division of the Xerox Corporation; the first Administrator of Trial Courts for the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County (Greater Phoenix); Court Administrator for the Superior Court in Maricopa County; the first Judicial District Administrator of the Second Judicial District of Minnesota in Ramsey County (Greater St. Paul); and Court Administrator of the Municipal Court of Hennepin County, Minnesota (Greater Minneapolis) prior to the unification of Minnesota’s state and local trial courts.
Additionally, Mr. Griller has served as President of the National Association of Trial Court Administrators where he co-chaired the Special Commission that created the National Association for Court Management (NACM), the largest professional association in the world dedicated to the improvement of trial court administration. He has consulted, taught and written for numerous audiences on caseflow management (trial court delay), leadership, self-represented litigants, jury reform, visioning, strategic planning, budgeting, court space planning, and systems and procedures.
He is a recipient of the National Center’s Warren E. Burger Award for outstanding contributions to court administration, the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts’ Tom C. Clark Award, NACM’s Award of Merit, the Institute for Court Management’s Star Award, and the Justice System Management Institute’s Ernest C. Friesen Award of Excellence for vision, leadership and sustained commitment to the achievement of excellence in the administration of justice.
Griller has a BA in Political Science and MA in Public Administration from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He is a Graduate Fellow of the Institute for Court Management, a founding member of the Urban Court Managers’ Network, a previous Chair of the Scottsdale AZ Judicial Appointments Advisory Board, the former Vice Chair of the Bloomington MN Public School Board, and has served on the governing Boards of the National Center for State Courts, the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts, the American Judicature Society, and the National Association for Presiding Judges and Court Executive Officers.