Bryan Cave Combines with Berwin Leighton Paisner to Form Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP Learn More

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Jeffrey Russell concentrates his practice on the trial and litigation of complex class action and shareholder derivative cases. He has defended Fortune 500 clients in dozens of consumer fraud, ERISA, antitrust and securities class actions in federal and state courts in Missouri and throughout the United States and before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. He has also defended directors and officers in direct and derivative actions and investigations concerning mergers, acquisitions and other corporate decision-making as well as related insurance issues. Mr. Russell has written and spoken nationally on class action and employee benefits litigation.

In addition to complex commercial litigation, Mr. Russell has prosecuted and defended non-competition and trade secret cases and provided counseling and drafting in connection with the protection of confidential and proprietary information.

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Chambers USA, 2010
    • Law clerk for the Hon. John F. Nangle, Eastern District of Missouri (1985-87)
    • Combined Health Appeal of Greater St. Louis – Director and Secretary
    • United Way of Greater St. Louis – Director
    • Bonhomme Presbyterian Church – Elder
    • Combined Health Appeal of Greater St. Louis – Director and Secretary
    • United Way of Greater St. Louis – Director
    • Bonhomme Presbyterian Church – Elder
    • Bonhomme Presbyterian Church – Elder
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Representative Experience

Employee Benefits

  • Successfully represented aircraft manufacturer in ERISA class action regarding 401(k) plan fees, resulting in settlement at start of trial.
  • Appellate counsel for diversified manufacturer in ERISA class action regarding 401(k) plan fees; significant portion of judgment and attorney’s fees award reversed.
  • Counsel for public utility in ERISA class action regarding retiree health care benefits. Class certification defeated, summary judgment granted and affirmed by Seventh Circuit.
  • Appellate counsel for public utility in ERISA class action involving cash balance plan; significant portion of judgment reversed on appeal.
  • Counsel for agricultural products company in ERISA class actions regarding vesting of pension benefits. Class certification denied.  Individual judgment reversed on appeal to Eleventh Circuit.
  • Counsel for defense contractor in four ERISA class actions involving retiree health care benefits, resulting in settlement without payment by company after summary judgment.
  • Successfully represented steel manufacturer in ERISA class action regarding plant closing, resulting in summary judgment granted and affirmed on appeal.

Securities, Finance and Corporate Governance

  • Counsel for national bank in multi-district securities litigation involving nation’s largest bank merger.
  • Counsel for numerous public companies and their directors and officers in numerous shareholder class actions seeking to enjoin mergers.
  • Counsel for 16 Oklahoma savings and loan associations in multi-district litigation securities cases in Oklahoma, Missouri, California, North Dakota and Colorado.
  • Counsel for defense contractor in various shareholder derivative actions arising out of various government defense contracts; dismissed by plaintiffs.
  • Represented diversified consumer products company in claims against investment banker for professional malpractice in connection with advice provided during hostile tender offer and sale of major division; client received $18.5 million.
  • Counsel for national bank in numerous cases involving testamentary and non-testamentary trusts and claims involving breach of fiduciary duty.

Consumer Fraud

  • Successfully represented large portfolio debt collector in consumer fraud lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General, obtaining dismissal and affirmance of that dismissal on appeal.
  • Defending HVAC manufacturers in class action concerning UL-certification and safety devices
  • Served as counsel for automobile manufacturers in dozens of class actions involving consumer fraud claims and a wide variety of alleged product defects, including paint, four-wheel drive systems, transmissions, frames and engines.
  • Represented national banks and other lenders in various class actions involving mortgage servicing.
  • Successfully defended national bank in Ponzi scheme litigation, obtaining summary judgment on all claims.
  • Served as counsel for professional medical organization in more than 250 cases consolidated in federal multi-district litigation proceedings; motions to dismiss granted in all cases.

Antitrust

  • Defended animal nutrition manufacturer in defense of over 40 class actions and related foreign proceedings involving alleged international price-fixing cartel.

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • "Pleading, Defending and Settling Class Actions: Emerging Trends,” national teleconference presenter, May 13, 2008 and December 9, 2008
  • "Reducing Retiree Benefits," national teleconference presenter, September 12, 2006
  • "The Class Action Fairness Act: One Year Later, Promise Delivered or Worst Fears Realized?" national teleconference presenter, March 9, 2006
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Jeffrey Russell focuses his practice on complex litigation, with an emphasis on class action and shareholder derivative claims. He has handled numerous class actions in a variety of substantive areas of law, including employee benefits, securities, consumer fraud, antitrust and mortgage financing. Mr. Russell has appeared pro hac vice in federal and state courts throughout the United States. He joined the firm in 1987 after serving as law clerk to Chief Judge John F. Nangle, Eastern District of Missouri and former chairman of the Judicial Panel On Multidistrict Litigation.

Select Representations

  • defending a Fortune 500 company in multiple class actions involving the termination of company-funded retiree health care coverage, obtaining summary judgment for employer
  • defending a plan sponsor in a class action over the plan’s "top hat" status
  • defending an employer and trustee in a retiree class action challenging distribution of trust assets pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, obtaining summary judgment for clients
  • defending numerous plan sponsors and administrators in claims for denial of pension and welfare benefits

Bar and Court Admissions

Missouri, 1985

United States Supreme Court

United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits

United States District Courts for the Southern District of Illinois and Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri

Education

Harvard University, J.D., 1985

University of Missouri, B.A., with honors, 1982

Publications

  • Contributing Author, ABA Antitrust Section, Antitrust Class Actions Handbook
  • "Identifying the Proper Party Defendant in ERISA Benefits Claims: a Circuit Survey," Pension & Benefits Daily, June 14, 2010
  • "Class Definition Requirement Plays Critical Role In Missouri Supreme Court Decisions," BNA Class Action Litigation Report, December 12, 2008
  • "Supreme Court: You Can Sue Your Boss," Interview with Jeffrey S. Russell, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, May 2008; Washington Post, May 18, 2008
  • Missouri Corporation Law & Practice, Hansen & Lents, contributor to Chapter 5, "Suits Against Directors, Officer or Shareholders," 6th ed., 2007
  • "SLUSA Uniformity a Casualty of Kircher v. Putnam Funds Trust," Securities Regulation & Law Report August 21, 2006 Class Action Litigation Report, July 14, 2006

Speeches and Seminars

  • "Pleading, Defending and Settling Class Actions: Emerging Trends,” national teleconference presenter, May 13, 2008 and December 9, 2008
  • "Reducing Retiree Benefits," national teleconference presenter, September 12, 2006
  • "The Class Action Fairness Act: One Year Later, Promise Delivered or Worst Fears Realized?" national teleconference presenter, March 9, 2006

Civic Involvement and Honors

  • Combined Health Appeal of Greater St. Louis – Director and Secretary
  • United Way of Greater St. Louis – Director

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Chambers USA, 2010
    • Combined Health Appeal of Greater St. Louis – Director and Secretary
    • United Way of Greater St. Louis – Director
    • Bonhomme Presbyterian Church – Elder
    • United Way of Greater St. Louis – Director
    • Bonhomme Presbyterian Church – Elder
    • Bonhomme Presbyterian Church – Elder
Read More

Representative Experience

Consumer Fraud

  • Counsel for Portfolio Recovery Associates in consumer fraud lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General regarding debt collection practices; motion to dismiss granted.
  • Defending HVAC manufacturers in class action concerning UL-certification and safety devices
  • Counsel for DaimlerChrysler Corporation in numerous class actions involving consumer fraud claims and a wide variety of alleged product defects, including paint, four-wheel drive systems, transmissions, frames and engines.
  • Counsel for Bank of America in consumer class action regarding mortgage servicing; pending.
  • Counsel for RBC Bank in consumer class action alleging violation of Missouri Merchandizing Practice Act in mortgage financing; dismissed.
  • Counsel for Congress of Neurological Surgeons in more than 250 cases consolidated in federal multi-district litigation proceedings; motions to dismiss granted in all cases.

Employee Benefits

  • Counsel for Boeing Corporation in ERISA class action regarding 401(k) plan fees; class certification appeal pending before Seventh Circuit.
  • Counsel for Ameren Corporation, in ERISA class action regarding retiree health care benefits. Class certification defeated, summary judgment granted and affirmed by Seventh Circuit.
  • Counsel for Monsanto Company, in ERISA class actions regarding pension benefits. Class certification denied. Individual claims dismissed.
  • Counsel for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in 4 ERISA class actions involving more than 56,000 retirees; settlement without payment by company after summary judgment on behalf of McDonnell Douglas.
  • Counsel for WCI Steel, Inc., in ERISA class action regarding plant closing; summary judgment granted and affirmed on appeal.

Securities, Finance and Corporate Governance

  • Counsel for Bank of America, Inc., in shareholder class actions over NationsBank/BankAmerica merger.
  • Counsel for Ralston Purina, Inc., in shareholder action over merger with Nestle; dismissed by plaintiffs following motion to dismiss.
  • Counsel for NS Group, Inc. and its directors in shareholder class action involving sale of company; non-cash settlement achieved.
  • Counsel for TALX Corporation in shareholder class action involving merger; defeated plaintiffs motion to enjoin merger.
  • Counsel for directors of Thermadyne in shareholder class action involving merger; non-cash settlement.
  • Counsel for 16 Oklahoma savings and loan associations in multi-district litigation securities cases in Oklahoma, Missouri, California, North Dakota and Colorado.
  • Counsel for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in shareholder derivative action arising out of various government defense contracts; dismissed by plaintiffs.
  • Counsel for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in shareholder class action arising out of C-17 transport aircraft; dismissed by plaintiffs.
  • Counsel for Interco, Inc., against Wasserstein Perella & Co. for professional malpractice in connection with investment banking services in hostile tender offer and sale of major division; settled for $18.5 million.
  • Counsel for Interco, Inc., against Federal Insurance Co. for recovery on D&O insurance for settlement and defense cost in class actions; settled for $17.3 million one week before trial.
  • Counsel for Ralcorp in Delaware and Missouri shareholder class actions involving acquisition of America Italian Pasta Company; non-cash settlement of Delaware cases and dismissal of Missouri cases.

Antitrust

  • Counsel for Novus International Inc. in defense of over 40 class actions and related foreign proceedings involving alleged international price-fixing cartel.

Publications

  • Contributing Author, ABA Antitrust Section, Antitrust Class Actions Handbook
  • "Identifying the Proper Party Defendant in ERISA Benefits Claims: a Circuit Survey," Pension & Benefits Daily, June 14, 2010
  • "Class Definition Requirement Plays Critical Role In Missouri Supreme Court Decisions," BNA Class Action Litigation Report, December 12, 2008
  • "Supreme Court: You Can Sue Your Boss," Interview with Jeffrey S. Russell, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, May 2008; Washington Post, May 18, 2008
  • Missouri Corporation Law & Practice, Hansen & Lents, contributor to Chapter 5, "Suits Against Directors, Officer or Shareholders," 6th ed., 2007
  • "SLUSA Uniformity a Casualty of Kircher v. Putnam Funds Trust," Securities Regulation & Law Report August 21, 2006 Class Action Litigation Report, July 14, 2006

Speaking Engagements

  • "Pleading, Defending and Settling Class Actions: Emerging Trends,” national teleconference presenter, May 13, 2008 and December 9, 2008
  • "Reducing Retiree Benefits," national teleconference presenter, September 12, 2006
  • "The Class Action Fairness Act: One Year Later, Promise Delivered or Worst Fears Realized?" national teleconference presenter, March 9, 2006
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Jeffrey Russell’s practice focuses on trial and defense of commercial lawsuits, with an emphasis on consumer and employee class actions and corporate governance matters.

Select Representations

  • Counsel for DaimlerChrysler Corporation in numerous consumer class actions involving consumer fraud claims and a wide variety of alleged product defects, including paint, four-wheel drive systems, transmissions, frames and engines.
  • Counsel for Bank of America, Inc., in shareholder class actions over NationsBank/BankAmerica merger.
  • Counsel for Ralston Purina, Inc., in shareholder action over merger with Nestle; dismissed by plaintiffs following motion to dismiss.
  • Counsel for Ameren Corporation, in ERISA class action regarding retiree health care benefits. Class certification defeated, summary judgment granted and affirmed by Seventh Circuit.
  • Counsel for Monsanto Company, in ERISA class action regarding pension benefits. Class certification denied. Individual claim pending.
  • Counsel for NS Group, Inc. and its directors in shareholder class action involving sale of company; non-cash settlement achieved.
  • Counsel for TALX Corporation in shareholder class action involving merger; defeated plaintiffs motion to enjoin merger.
  • Counsel for 16 Oklahoma savings and loan associations in multi-district litigation securities cases in Oklahoma, Missouri, California, North Dakota and Colorado.
  • Counsel for Congress of Neurological Surgeons in more than 250 cases consolidated in federal multi-district litigation proceedings; motions to dismiss granted in all cases.
  • Counsel for Novus International Inc. in defense of over 40 class actions and related foreign proceedings involving alleged international cartel.
  • Counsel for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in shareholder derivative action arising out of various government defense contracts; dismissed by plaintiffs.
  • Counsel for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in shareholder class action arising out of C-17 transport aircraft; dismissed by plaintiffs.
  • Counsel for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in 4 ERISA class actions involving more than 56,000 retirees; settlement without payment by company after summary judgment on behalf of McDonnell Douglas.
  • Counsel for WCI Steel, Inc., in ERISA class action regarding plant closing; summary judgment granted and affirmed on appeal.
  • Counsel for Interco, Inc., against Wasserstein Perella & Co. for professional malpractice in connection with investment banking services in hostile tender offer and sale of major division; settled for $18.5 million.
  • Counsel for Interco, Inc., against Federal Insurance Co. for recovery on D&O insurance for settlement and defense cost in class actions; settled for $17.3 million one week before trial.

Bar and Court Admissions

Missouri, 1985

United States Supreme Court

United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits

United States District Courts for the Southern District of Illinois and Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri

Education

Harvard University, J.D., 1985

University of Missouri, B.A., with honors, 1982

Publications

  • "SLUSA Uniformity a Casualty of Kircher v. Putnam Funds Trust," Securities Regulation & Law Report Aug 21, 2006 Class Action Litigation Report, July 14, 2006
  • Missouri Corporation Law & Practice, Hansen & Lents, contributor to Chapter 5 "Suits Against Directors, Officer or Shareholders" 6th ed., 2007

Speeches and Seminars

  • "Supreme Court: You Can Sue Your Boss," Interview with Jeffrey S. Russell, Kiplinger's Personal Finance May 2008; Washington Post, May 18, 2008
  • "Pleading, Defending and Settling Class Actions: Emerging Trends," Strafford Publications seminar presenter, May 13, 2008

Civic Involvement and Honors

  • Combined Health Appeal of Greater St. Louis – Director and Secretary
  • United Way of Greater St. Louis – Director

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Chambers USA, 2010
    • Combined Health Appeal of Greater St. Louis – Director and Secretary
    • United Way of Greater St. Louis – Director
    • Bonhomme Presbyterian Church – Elder
    • United Way of Greater St. Louis – Director
    • Bonhomme Presbyterian Church – Elder
    • Bonhomme Presbyterian Church – Elder
Read More

Representative Experience

Consumer Fraud

  • Counsel for Portfolio Recovery Associates in consumer fraud lawsuit filed by Missouri Attorney General regarding debt collection practices; motion to dismiss granted.
  • Counsel for DaimlerChrysler Corporation in numerous class actions involving consumer fraud claims and a wide variety of alleged product defects, including paint, four-wheel drive systems, transmissions, frames and engines.
  • Counsel for Bank of America in consumer class action regarding mortgage servicing; pending.
  • Counsel for RBC Bank in consumer class action alleging violation of Missouri Merchandizing Practice Act in mortgage financing; dismissed.
  • Counsel for Congress of Neurological Surgeons in more than 250 cases consolidated in federal multi-district litigation proceedings; motions to dismiss granted in all cases.

Employee Benefits

  • Counsel for Boeing Corporation in ERISA class action regarding 401(k) plan fees; class certification appeal pending before Seventh Circuit.
  • Counsel for Ameren Corporation, in ERISA class action regarding retiree health care benefits. Class certification defeated, summary judgment granted and affirmed by Seventh Circuit.
  • Counsel for Monsanto Company, in ERISA class actions regarding pension benefits. Class certification denied. Individual claims dismissed.
  • Counsel for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in 4 ERISA class actions involving more than 56,000 retirees; settlement without payment by company after summary judgment on behalf of McDonnell Douglas.
  • Counsel for WCI Steel, Inc., in ERISA class action regarding plant closing; summary judgment granted and affirmed on appeal.

Securities, Finance and Corporate Governance

  • Counsel for Bank of America, Inc., in shareholder class actions over NationsBank/BankAmerica merger.
  • Counsel for Ralston Purina, Inc., in shareholder action over merger with Nestle; dismissed by plaintiffs following motion to dismiss.
  • Counsel for NS Group, Inc. and its directors in shareholder class action involving sale of company; non-cash settlement achieved.
  • Counsel for TALX Corporation in shareholder class action involving merger; defeated plaintiffs motion to enjoin merger.
  • Counsel for directors of Thermadyne in shareholder class action involving merger; non-cash settlement.
  • Counsel for 16 Oklahoma savings and loan associations in multi-district litigation securities cases in Oklahoma, Missouri, California, North Dakota and Colorado.
  • Counsel for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in shareholder derivative action arising out of various government defense contracts; dismissed by plaintiffs.
  • Counsel for McDonnell Douglas Corporation in shareholder class action arising out of C-17 transport aircraft; dismissed by plaintiffs.
  • Counsel for Interco, Inc., against Wasserstein Perella & Co. for professional malpractice in connection with investment banking services in hostile tender offer and sale of major division; settled for $18.5 million.
  • Counsel for Interco, Inc., against Federal Insurance Co. for recovery on D&O insurance for settlement and defense cost in class actions; settled for $17.3 million one week before trial.
  • Counsel for Ralcorp in Delaware and Missouri shareholder class actions involving acquisition of America Italian Pasta Company; non-cash settlement of Delaware cases and dismissal of Missouri cases.

Antitrust

  • Counsel for Novus International Inc. in defense of over 40 class actions and related foreign proceedings involving alleged international price-fixing cartel.

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • "Pleading, Defending and Settling Class Actions: Emerging Trends,” national teleconference presenter, May 13, 2008 and December 9, 2008
  • "Reducing Retiree Benefits," national teleconference presenter, September 12, 2006
  • "The Class Action Fairness Act: One Year Later, Promise Delivered or Worst Fears Realized?" national teleconference presenter, March 9, 2006