Thomas D. Russell, MA, JD, PhD
(Full Professor)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

School of Law

confederate monuments, standardized testing, admissions, systemic racism, institutional racism, statues, slavery, segregation, civil procedure, blm, history, empirical legal studies, monuments, insurance, litigation, torts

About Me

I am an attorney, law professor, and historian. Presently, I am a Professor at Denver Law. I was  previously Professor of Law and History at The University of Texas at Austin and have been a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley and Hastings College of Law. 

I hold a Ph.D. in History and a law degree from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree from Northwestern University.

Ireland was my home for the 2012-13 academic year when I was a visiting professor in the Department of Law at what is now called Maynooth University. 

I'm an empirical legal scholar, whether doing history or work on current legal issues. I have just completed an article titled "Frivolous Defenses," which analyzes 355 answers by insurance defense mill attorneys to 298 complaints in car crash cases. I catalogue departures from the Rules of Civil Procedure and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. I plan several related pieces. 

I have also written about the history of tort litigation and have a piece titled "Blood on the Tracks," which is a marvelous piece about streetcar accidents, claims, and litigation. Though the article has been has been cited in a number of places including the HLR and A History of American Law, I have still have not published! Time to get on it!

Other of my scholarly work has focused on race and law in the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly slavery and the desegregation and integration of American universities.  

I teach Torts at Denver Law and in the Zoom School of Law. I also teach American Legal History, Contracts, and a seminar about litigation. 

I am a lawyer licensed to practice law in Colorado and California. In one way or another, most of my practice involves transportation.  Before 2013, I represented startup taxi companies before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. I was also co-counsel on Colorado's first marriage equality lawsuit, which overturned statutory and constitutional bans on same-sex marriage.

The House of Russell includes all of my classes, public talks, and current and former students. 

In January 2018, I performed the role of Plaintiff’s Counsel in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury as part of the Sturm Theatre’s inaugural production. identified me as one of the most intriguing people for July 16, 2010 after I wrote a piece that was a catalyst in the renaming of a dormitory at The University of Texas. I once was a candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives and have been active in health-care reform. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I now live in Denver, Colorado.  

See my work on SSRN.



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