Russell Jackson defends companies’ products and advertising in trial and appellate courts. He earned his stripes in New York and has argued from NYC to Los Angeles, and Anchorage to Beaumont representing clients in the beverage, consumer product, insurance, computer, household appliance, pharmaceutical, medical device, and publishing industries. He handles class actions, mass torts, MDLs, product liability cases, and complex commercial litigation. He has often worked in multi-firm teams representing clients facing nationwide state and federal claims.
Russell often helps clients craft communication plans to explain legal developments to their stakeholders, and he counsels C-suite executives about legislation, rulemaking, and corporate social responsibility programs. Additionally, he helps clients implement effective self-regulation of advertising and defends their ads before independent review boards.
Russell was a products liability columnist for the National Law Journal for nearly two decades. Since 2014, he has taught aggregate litigation as an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law here in St. Louis. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Russell practiced at Skadden, Arps in New York for more than 20 years and was a partner in that firm’s mass torts group. He taught products liability as an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law and Brooklyn Law School. Russell also has lectured at Columbia and NYU law schools; at conferences sponsored by the American Bar Association, the American Law Institute, the Defense Research Institute, and the American Conference Institute; and participated in online symposia for SCOTUSblog.com.
Russell recently won dismissal of a class action challenging the labeling of “non-alcoholic” malt beverages. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California held that federal approval of the label triggered the “safe harbor doctrine,” requiring dismissal of the UCL, CLRA, and FAL causes of action. And it held that the negligence, implied warranty, and intentional and negligent misrepresentation claims failed as a matter of law.
Russell recently defended a federal class action challenging property insurers’ right to privately negotiate with each other outside of the judicial system to address payments they have made for which they ultimately would have equitable subrogation rights. After the motion to dismiss was fully briefed, Plaintiffs dropped the suit.
Russell recently represented on a pro bono basis a former trustee of a religiously-affiliated university to oppose its attempt to cede control of its assets to the state denominational association. After successfully intervening in the school’s pro forma state court proceeding, Russell argued the governing documents the school asked the court to approve imperiled the university’s academic accreditation by compromising trustee independence and professors’ academic freedom. The university dropped its bid for court approval of the new governing documents just as the court was to decide what discovery would be allowed. The university subsequently was placed on probation by its accrediting authority.
Russell advised a consumer product manufacturer on establishing a non-profit foundation to assist independent scientific researchers in measuring the impact of industry corporate social responsibility programs.
Russell successfully defended Brooklyn Law School in a state court class action for tuition refunds, which alleged alumni were defrauded into attending law school by the school’s published placement statistics.
Russell also successfully defended an alcohol beverage company in a series of nine class actions that sought billions of dollars from the industry at large, claiming that attractive advertising caused illegal underage drinking. These cases were dismissed on the pleadings without discovery, and those victories were upheld on appeal.
Russell also won dismissal of a public nuisance action filed against an alcohol beverage company by an Indian nation alleging that product sales by retailers off the reservation caused various injuries on the reservation.
Russell won summary judgment and denial of class certification in a federal case alleging that the “reasonable expectations doctrine” entitled juveniles to “non-smoker discounts” on life insurance policies.
Russell persuaded the Texas Supreme Court to reverse certification of a nationwide class action against a computer manufacturer, holding that express warranty law varies meaningfully among the states and that the purchasers lacked sufficient class cohesion to form an equitable relief class.
J.D., Order of the Coif, College of William & Mary
B.A., summa cum laude, Southwest Baptist University
Elected Member, American Law Institute
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
2010, 2011 ABA Journal “Blawg 100” Honoree
Chair, Product Liability Committee, New York City Bar Association (2008-2010)
Dowd Bennett is a litigation firm with extensive courtroom experience. Led by trial-seasoned lawyers, including former federal prosecutors and judicial law clerks, our team shares tenacity, a passion for seeing cases through trial and a complete commitment to client service.