As a federal prosecutor, Russ tried 28 cases to verdict. Since then, he has tried many more, including some of the largest and most complex trials in the civil and criminal context. Russ represents clients in a broad range of complex litigation matters, and leads Womble’s Business Litigation Practice Group for the Charlotte office. For example, Russ represented a manufacturer in a federal lawsuit against a Group Purchasing Organization. Russ was retained to defend the manufacturer, who was sued. But Russ turned the tables, countersuing the Group Purchasing Organization and winning a judgment at trial for his client that was almost ten times higher than that sought by the original lawsuit against his client. When the other side appealed, Russ turned the tables again. He cross-appealed, arguing to the federal appellate court that he should have won even more. The other side’s appeal was denied and Russ tripled his client’s original winnings.

In the criminal context, Russ recently represented a client in the conservation easement industry in the first criminal prosecution of its kind. The jury trial lasted eleven weeks, a rare lengthy trial in federal court.

Russ brings that courtroom experience to all stages of litigation for his clients in federal and state litigation, including on appeal.

Russ has experience in a broad array of industries, including entertainment, food and beverage, real estate, Constitutional cases, retail, manufacturing, and financial services. His cases regularly involve merger disputes, federal investigations, asset forfeiture matters, fraud claims, breach of contract allegations, government enforcement actions, class actions, and antitrust lawsuits. Russ further serves clients in FINRA matters and is a FINRA arbitrator. 

Russ also practices in international arbitration, representing clients around the world in arbitration before a number of arbitral bodies, including the World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). Most recently, Russ participated in a SIAC arbitration that resulted in a favorable final award after a merits hearing in Paris.

Representative Experience

Any result the lawyer or law firm may have achieved on behalf of clients in other matters does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients.

  • Represented an automobile manufacturer in defense of a class action in federal court.
  • Represented a hospital system in defending a class action in the North Carolina Business Court and a related federal enforcement action in federal court.
  • Represented the seller of a food distributorship in a post-merger dispute arbitration.
  • Represented a food manufacturer in a dispute with a group purchasing organization in federal court.
  • Represented an Asian country in an international arbitration.

Professional & Civic Engagement

  • Federal Magistrate Judge Selection Committee, 2019, 2022
  • Law Alumni Board, Georgetown University Law Center, 2018 – Present
  • Board of Directors, Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, 2020 – 2022
    • International Advisory Committee, 2018 – 2022
  • Member, Executive Committee, Mecklenburg County Bar, 2017 – 2018
  • Member, Board of Directors, Mecklenburg County Bar, 2015 – 2019
  • Member, Audit Committee, Mecklenburg County Bar, 2015 – 2019
    • Chair, 2018 – 2019
    • Vice Chair, 2017 – 2018
  • Member, Ayscue Professionalism Award Committee, 2020 – 2022
    • Chair, 2021 – 2022
  • Member, Finance Committee, Mecklenburg County Bar, 2012 – 2015
  • Member, Strategic Planning and Emerging Trends Committee, North Carolina Bar Association, 2011 – 2017
  • Member, Technology Committee, North Carolina Bar Association, 2014 – 2016
  • Member, Membership Committee, North Carolina Bar Association, 2012
  • Appointed by the Charlotte City Council as a member of Keep Charlotte Beautiful, 2012 – 2019
  • Member, Board of Directors, Loaves & Fishes / Friendship Trays, 2016 – Present
    • Executive Committee, 2020 – Present
    • Chair, Development Committee, 2020 – Present
  • Member, Supervisory (Audit) Committee, United States Senate Federal Credit Union, 2011 – 2014
  • Member, Board of Directors, North Carolina Governor’s School Alumni Association, 2007 – 2008

Thought Leadership

  • Moderator, "Meet the Enforcers," American Bar Association’s Fourth Global White Collar Crime Institute, March 30, 2023
  • Working with Group Purchasing Organizations, Industry Today, November 7, 2022
  • CLE, Charlotte International Arbitration Society, 2021
  • Ethics CLE, North Carolina Bar Association Annual Meeting, 2015
  • Professionalism CLE for Newly-Admitted Attorneys, 2017
  • Federal Horse Play in North Carolina, Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2015
  • Speaker, Federal Bar Association CLE, “eDiscovery in the Western District of North Carolina,” May 2012
  • "A Facebook Marriage," American Spectator, May 22, 2012
  • "No Room for Waste, Fraud in Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts," Washington Examiner, September 15, 2011
  • "Blagojevich and Scalia," American Spectator, August 18, 2010
  • "Sweet Carolina," American Spectator, May 6, 2008
  • "Pew 54, Where are you?” American Spectator, January 23, 2008

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (BL Rankings), Commercial Litigation, 2018 – Present
  • Recognized in North Carolina Super Lawyers – Rising Stars (Thompson Reuters), 2015 – Present
  • Recognized in Business North Carolina magazine's Legal Elite, 2016
  • 40 Under 40, Charlotte Business Journal, 2017
  • Outstanding Individual Attorney, Mecklenburg County Bar Pro Bono Award, 2014
  • Bar Leadership Institute, Mecklenburg County Bar, 2014