David E. Russo


David E. Russo is a partner in the San Francisco office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Complex Business & Commercial Litigation, Marine & Energy, and National Trial Practices. Mr. Russo's practice focuses on civil litigation and appellate practice in the areas of Admiralty, Cargo Claims, Product Liability, maritime personal injury defense, and contracts and commercial law. His practice also includes defense of general liability cases involving death and catastrophic injuries.

Legal Experience

Mr. Russo has practiced law in San Francisco for four decades. He has tried dozens of cases, many to verdict. These have included the defense of multi-million dollar cases and have involved cases in the state and federal courts throughout California. He has also tried numerous other disputes in bench trials and arbitrations.

Published Opinions

  • Spooner v. 4 Oracle Team USA (ND Cal. March 2015) 2015 AMC 1253 (vacating vessel arrest)
  • Spooner v. 4 Oracle Team USA (ND Cal. August 2015) 2015 AMC 2091 (dismissing plaintiff’s claims)
  • Wheaton v. Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District (9th Cir. 2009) 559 F.3d 979
  • Hitachi Data Systems v. UPS, Inc.; Columbia Shipping, Inc., et al. (9th Cir. 1996) 76 F.3d 276 [Docket No. 94-15292]

Professional Presentations

  • David Russo made a presentation at the BiLog seminar in La Spezia, Italy on October 16 addressing smart ships and autonomous ships and the effects of such technology on traditional notions of vessel owner responsibilities and liabilities and seaworthiness of vessels. 
  • David Russo moderated a panel presentation on October 11 at the Pacific Admiralty Seminar in San Francisco discussing advances in marine technologies and their impact on maritime liabilities and investigations. 
  • Mr. Russo is a regular speaker at meetings of the Passenger Vessel Association, and at other maritime industry gatherings.


  • State Bar Admissions
    • California
  • United States District Courts
    • United States District Court for the Central District of California
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States Courts of Appeals
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court



U.S. District Courts for Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California

Ninth Circuit U.S. Courts of Appeals

U.S. Supreme Court


  • Member, San Francisco Marine Claims Agents Association
  • Member, Transportation Lawyers Association
  • Member, Association of Marine Underwriters, San Francisco
  • Proctor Member, Maritime Law Association of the United States


Graduate of Hastings College of Law, University of California

Juris Doctor, 1983

Queens College, City University of New York

Bachelor of Arts, Economics, 1980 

  • Phi Beta Kappa

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