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Robert Colombo

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Robert Colombo
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Court Information:
3rd Circuit Court, Michigan
Title:   Chief Judge
Active:   1983-2019
Chief:   2014-Present
Past position:   Attorney, Riley & Roumell
Past term:   1977-1983
Personal History
Undergraduate:   University of Miami, 1972
Law School:   Detroit College of Law, 1975
Candidate 2012:
Candidate for:  3rd Circuit Court
State:  Michigan
Election information 2012:
Incumbent:  Yes
Election date:  11/6/2012
Election vote:  5.15%ApprovedA

Robert J. Colombo, Jr. is the chief judge of the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, Michigan. He was elected to the bench in 1982 and took office the following January, replacing Virgil Smith as the chief judge in 2014.[1][2] His current term expires on January 1, 2019.[3]

He is described by some as being "blunt, but fair."[4]


Colombo received his B.A. degree in accounting from the University of Miami (1972) and earned his Juris Doctor from the Detroit College of Law (1975).[2][4]


Following his graduation from law school in 1975, Colombo began his career as a law clerk for Judge George Bashara, Jr. of the Michigan Court of Appeals. He then joined the law firm of Riley & Roumell in 1977, practicing civil, criminal and domestic relations trial and appellate law there until he was elected to the circuit court 1982.[2][4]

2012 election

Colombo was one of 17 candidates competing for 16 seats on the 3rd Circuit Court. Only one candidate was a non-incumbent. Colombo was re-elected with 5.15% of the vote.[5][6]

See also: Michigan judicial elections, 2012

Bar association ratings

The Detroit Metropolitan Bar Association rated candidates running for judicial office in 2012. Candidates were given one of five ratings: Outstanding, Well Qualified, Qualified, Not Qualified or No Rating.

Colombo was rated as Outstanding.[7]

Notable cases

On February 5, 2008, Judge Colombo ruled that text messages that Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick exchanged with his chief of staff were subject to Michigan's Freedom of Information Act.[8]

In June of 2008, Judge Colombo refused Kilpatrick's request to delay the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against him, saying he would allow Kilpatrick "to intervene to protect his rights but not to postpone proceedings."[9]

Judge Colombo later blocked further efforts from Kilpatrick's legal team to discover who leaked the scandalous text messages by ruling that the source of the leak was "not relevant to this case."[10]

See also

External links