House of Russell

Thomas-Russell-2021-302

Thomas D. Russell is an attorney, law professor, and historian. He teaches TortsContracts, Remedies, American Legal History, and a seminar about litigation. For several years, he taught a seminar that was part clinic, part externship, part incubator in which he litigated cases with students with an aim toward equipping them to open their own practices. 

Professor Russell has taught at three of the top 25 law schools in the United States: Berkeley Law, The University of Texas at Austin, and, in spring 2022, the University of Florida Levin College of Law

He holds a permanent appointment as Professor in the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver in the state of Colorado in the United States. He was previously Professor of Law and History at The University of Texas at Austin and has also been a visiting professor at the University of California [Hastings] College of Law. 

Professor Russell has taught outside the United States. Ireland was Prof. Russell's home for the 2012-13 academic year when he was a visiting professor in the Department of Law at the National University of Ireland, MaynoothHe served as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Trinidad & Tobago, where he taught Restorative Justice at the University of the West Indies—St. Augustine.

Prof. Russell holds a Ph.D. in History and a law degree from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. 

Prof. Russell is a lawyer licensed to practice law in Colorado and California. In one way or another, most of his practice involves transportation.  Attorney Russell seeks justice for people injured in truck and car crashes as well as other motor vehicle accidents. Before 2013, he also represented startup taxi companies before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. 

Prof. Russell was also co-counsel on Colorado's first marriage equality lawsuit, which overturned statutory and constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.

In January 2018, he performed the role of Plaintiff’s Counsel in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury as part of the Sturm Theatre’s inaugural production.

Prof. Russell’s current scholarly project, Frivolous Defenses, criticizes the way that insurance defense counsel answer personal injury complaints. As a legal historian, he has focused on race and law in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly slavery and the desegregation and integration of American universities. (The Sweatt v. Painter Archive is included in this web site.) The legal history of torts and personal injury is also a specialty.  He is an archive rat and empirical legal scholar.  

The House of Russell includes all of Russell’s classes, his public talks, and his current and former students around the globe.

Russell is a frequent media commenter regarding legal issues. CNN.com identified him as one of the most intriguing people for July 16, 2010. Russell once was a candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives and has been active in health-care reform. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Russell splits time betwteen Denver, Colorado and Oakland, California.

© Thomas D. Russell 2020