Education & Training

Hon. Robert T. Russell, Jr.

Judge Robert Russell was first elected in 1991 as Associate Judge for Buffalo City Court and since 2002, serves by appointment, as an Acting Erie County Court Judge. In January of 2008, he created and began presiding over the Buffalo’s Veterans’ Treatment Court, in collaboration with the Western New York Health Care Network, Western New York Veterans Project, and with a host of volunteer veterans that serves as Mentors.

Prior to his service as a Treatment Court Judge for Veterans, in December 1995, He began Buffalo’s Drug Treatment Court and continues to serve as its Presiding Judge. In addition to his drug court responsibilities, In December 2002, he established and began serving over Buffalo’s Mental Health Treatment Court. This was the first such Court of this kind in the Eight Judicial District that oversees treatment cases involving individuals diagnosed as severely and persistently mentally ill. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), an advocacy organization for the mentally ill, has awarded Judge Russell the “Nancy D. Smith Memoriam Award,” and similarly, the Mental Health Association of Erie County has bestowed Judge Russell with the “Professional Service Award”.

Judge Russell is the Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, Inc., located in Alexandria, Virginia and the Past President of the New York State Association of Drug Treatment Court Professionals, Inc. He is the recipient of the Erie County Bar Association’s, “Award of Merit,” and the New York State Bar Association, “Award for Outstanding Judicial Contribution”.