J. Russell Jackson
Mass Torts and Insurance Litigation
J. Russell Jackson defends companies’ products and advertising in state and federal trial and appellate courts. He has argued from Anchorage, Alaska, to Beaumont, Texas, representing clients in a variety of industries, including the beverage, biotech, pharmaceutical, medical device, household appliance, computer, consumer product, life insurance and publishing industries. Mr. Jackson represents a brewer in a public nuisance action brought by an Indian tribe, and he is defending a law school in a putative consumer fraud class action brought by some alumni. He also represents an appliance manufacturer in putative consumer fraud class actions.
In 2010 and 2011, his personal law blog — www.consumerclassactionsmasstorts.com — was an ABA Journal “Blawg 100” honoree. And he participated in online symposia on class actions for SCOTUSblog.com and PointofLaw.com. He lectures frequently, at law schools like NYU and at conferences sponsored by groups such as the ABA, ALI, DRI and the American Conference Institute.
Mr. Jackson’s practice covers class actions, products liability, mass torts, warranties, consumer fraud statutes, RICO, public nuisance, unjust enrichment, the Alien Tort Claims Act and copyright infringement. He also has handled state attorney general investigations. He often helps clients craft communication plans to explain legal developments to their stakeholders, and he counsels clients about legislation and rulemaking. Additionally, he helps them implement effective self-regulation of advertising, defending their ads before independent review boards.
Mr. Jackson won dismissal of three copyright infringement cases in district courts that held, on an issue of first impression, that a stock photo supplier’s group copyright registration failed to register the constituent individual works where it did not identify the individual photos’ authors and titles. See, e.g., Muench v. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Corp., 712 F. Supp. 2d 84 (S.D.N.Y. 2010), reh’g denied, 2010 WL 3958841 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 27, 2010). The Copyright Office had filed amicus briefs opposing his position.
Mr. Jackson also has won countless class actions, achieving dismissal on the merits or defeating class certification:
- He wrote the brief in United Food & Commercial Workers Central Pennsylvania Regional Health & Welfare Fund v. Amgen, Inc., 2010 WL 4128490 (9th Cir. Oct. 21, 2010), which affirmed dismissal of a third-party payor’s claim based on the defendant’s alleged off-label promotion of a medicine. The court held that the plaintiff failed to plead a cognizable RICO claim or proximate cause, and failed to allege its Unfair Competition Law claim with particularity.
- Working for brewers and distillers, he won dismissals in Alston v. Advanced Brands & Importing Co., 2006 WL 1374514 (E.D. Mich. May 19, 2006) and Eisenberg v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 2006 WL 290308 (N.D. Ohio Feb. 2, 2006). These cases sought to make alcohol advertisers pay billions of dollars in compensation for underage drinking. The Sixth Circuit held that attractive advertising does not interfere with parents’ rights and that the underage drinkers’ criminal acts — not advertising — were the legal cause of any injury. See Alston v. Advanced Brands & Importing Co., 2007 WL 2032776 (6th Cir. July 17, 2007).
- In Alleman v. State Farm Life Insurance Co., 2007 WL 2681797 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 10, 2007), he won summary judgment and defeated certification of a nationwide class that sought to use the “reasonable expectations doctrine” to obtain a “non-smoker’s discount” on juvenile life insurance policies. He also won the appeal. 2009 WL 1833604 (3rd Cir. June 26, 2009).
- He successfully briefed Compaq Computer Corporation v. LaPray, 135 S.W.3d 657 (Tex. 2004), which established a “cohesiveness” requirement for equitable relief classes and refused to apply the express warranty law of the defendant’s residence to a nationwide class.
- And, in Compaq Computer Corp. v. Albanese, 153 S.W.3d 254 (Tex. App. – Beaumont 2004), he won decertification of a nationwide class action seeking a declaration that the defendant’s warranty violated the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.
J.D., College of William & Mary, 1990 (Order of the Coif; Co-Editor, ABA Administrative Law Review; Staff, William and Mary Law Review, "Nondelegation after Mistretta: Phoenix or Phaethon?," 31 Wm. & Mary L. Rev.1047 (1990))
B.A., Southwest Baptist University, 1987 (Valedictorian; second place Pentathlon Award at the 1987 National Individual Events Association Speech Tournament)
Adjunct Professor (Products Liability Course), Brooklyn Law School (2006 to present)
Adjunct Lecturer (Contractual Drafting Seminar), Columbia University School of Law (1999)
Adjunct Professor (Products Liability Course), Fordham University (1996)
Elected Member, American Law Institute
Chair, Products Liability Committee, New York City Bar Association (2008-2010)
2010 Editorial Advisory Board, Product Liability Law360
Member, Federal Bar Council
Member, American Bar Association Section of Litigation
Member, Defense Research Institute
Columnist, The National Law Journal