Overview

Russ is the former partner-in-charge for the Atlanta office and is a vice chair of our Business Litigation practice group. Russ is also a member of the Product Liability Litigation practice group. He focuses his practice on commercial litigation and product liability defense.

In the commercial litigation realm, Russ has extensive experience litigating complex contract disputes in a wide variety of contexts, most commonly in the secured lending and insurance coverage areas. His product liability experience is broad, but his practice has been focused on pharmaceutical products and claims against energy companies, especially claims relating to fuel gases. Russ also has considerable experience with environmental litigation, and substantial experience with all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration.

Experience
  • KeyBank National Association v. George D. Overend, et al., No. 1:12-CV-2473-CAP (November 23, 2015).  Conducted two trials, a bench trial and a jury trial, seeking to enforce a guaranty and to unwind  a fraudulent conveyance.  Client prevailed in both trials, including a finding of actual fraud by the jury.  The judgment had a value in excess of $7 million to the client.
  • Kareem Shahmed Garvin v. Atlanta Gas Light Company, 343 Ga. App. 450 (2015).  Secured summary judgment for the client in a case with substantial exposure, and the summary judgment order was affirmed by the Georgia Court of Appeals.   The suit arose from a July 31, 2011 fire in Savannah, GA in which one person was killed and a second was severely burned.
  • KeyBank National Association v. Curtis and Tereasa Hamrick, No. 12-15498 (11th Cir. August 8, 2014).  Represented secured creditor in a case that involved novel choice of law issues and conflicting U.C.C. provisions.  The trial court entered summary judgment in KeyBank’s favor and awarded the full deficiency and attorneys’ fees.  The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed.
  • Anderson v. Atlanta Gas Light Company, 324 Ga. App. 801, 751 S.E.2d 589 (2013).  Represented Atlanta Gas Light Company in three related cases arising from a September 30, 2003 explosion and fire.  On February 6, 2011, the trial court granted Atlanta Gas Light Company’s Daubert motion and entered summary judgment in Atlanta Gas Light Company’s favor in each of the three cases.  The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed.
  • Arthur Jones v. Option One Mortgage Corporation, et al., No. 10-4352 (6th Cir. February 29, 2012). Secured summary judgment in clients' favor on a series of contract and statutory claims. Order was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
  • Zurab Lezhava v. Wilmington Trust Co., et al., No. 11-10113 (11th Cir. February 10, 2012). Secured summary judgment in client's favor on multimillion-dollar breach of contract claims. Order was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on appeal.
  • CDC Corporation v. CDC Software Corporation, et al., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Case No. 12-05032-pwb. Represented sub-subsidiary corporation and other respondents in a multi-day evidentiary hearing on parent corporation's motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent sub-subsidiary corporation from exploring a proposed transaction. On February 7, 2011, the court granted the motion in part and denied the motion in part, but, critically, allowed the sub-subsidiary to continue to explore the proposed transaction.
  • Glandon Capital Group, LLC v. AMRO, LLC, et al., JAMS Ref. No. 1440002986 (May 16, 2011). Represented the lender in this arbitration seeking to recover on guarantees. At the conclusion of an arbitration that consumed a mere four months, the arbitrator, former Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court Norman S. Fletcher, entered an award in favor of our client in an amount exceeding $9 million.
  • Atreus Communities of America, LLC, et al. v. KeyBank National Association, 307 Ga. App. 716, 706 S.E.2d 107 (2011). Represented the client in a two-day evidentiary hearing in this complex confirmation proceeding relating to a subdivision. The trial court entered an order in favor of our client. The Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's favorable order in this published decision.
  • KeyBank National Association v. Fairpoint, LLC, 2008 WL 4613648 (N.D.Ga. October 14, 2008). Represented our client in this inter-creditor dispute. In three and one-half months, our litigators were able to get summary judgment on our client's claims for breach of certain subordination agreements. Final judgment in our client's favor was entered in a mere seven months.
  • Underwriters Insurance Co. v. Atlanta Gas Light Company, Case No. 1:03-cv-0121 (N.D. Ga. March 28, 2005). Represented client in declaratory judgment action filed by its insurer. Client was additional insured under policy. The court entered summary judgment in the client's favor on the coverage issues.
Publications

Most recent publications include:

  • Georgia Supreme Court Rules on Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects – Insurance Coverage Update · Thompson Hine Business Litigation, July 22, 2013
  • New ATM Regulations Create Potential Landmine for Banks · Thompson Hine Business Litigation, March 28, 2013
Presentations
  • “Taking and Defending Depositions,” Lorman Education Series. January 29, 2015
  • "Georgia's Evolving Impact Rule," Recent Developments in Toxic Tort Law, State Bar of Georgia CLE, 2004
Distinctions
  • AV® Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • BTI Client Service All-Star, 2015
  • Recognized for excellence in Commercial Litigation by The Best Lawyers in America, 2015, 2017 and 2018
  • Listed as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, 2012-2017
  • Georgia Super Lawyers, 2010 to 2017 and included in Georgia Super Lawyers Top 100 in 2015 and 2016
  • Order of the Coif
Professional and Civic

Professional Associations

  • Lamar Inn of Court, Master
  • Bleckley Inn of Court
  • Atlanta Bar Association

Community Activities

  • Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels
News