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Dan Russell has extensive experience representing government contractors in complex, high-stakes litigation. He has litigated numerous “contractor on the battlefield” tort suits arising out of wartime incidents, as well as other tort and contract suits that implicate significant national defense interests. Mr. Russell is frequently called upon by clients to develop and assert an array of federal-law-based defenses, including the political question doctrine, federal preemption, the government contractor defense, and derivative sovereign immunity.

  • Co-lead counsel in successful defense of the largest U.S. military services contractor in complex multidistrict tort litigation. After 800+ plaintiffs filed suit in 42 states alleging injuries from exposure to burn pit emissions during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, obtained complete dismissal of all claims, which was affirmed on appeal. See In re KBR, Inc., Burn Pit Litigation, 893 F.3d 241 (4th Cir. 2018).
  • Lead counsel for major defense contractor in $20-plus million CDA claim against the government. Litigated matter before Court of Federal Claims and settled the case at more than 99 percent of value after extensive negotiations with the Department of Justice.
  • Represented defense contractor in $50-plus million claim against the government. Member of trial team for 5-week bench trial before Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals, which resulted in complete victory for contractor.
  • Counsel for major defense contractor in complex, high-stakes environmental insurance coverage litigation.
  • Successfully defended defense contractor in several design-defect tort suits arising out of alleged radiation exposure resulting from federal government’s use of gamma radiation and x-ray scanning equipment at border patrol checkpoints. See Martinez v. Science Applications International Corp., 2015 WL 11109381, Case No. B-10-207 (S.D. Tex. Apr. 1, 2015).
  • Represented Fortune 100 contractor in wrongful death suit arising out of military fighter jet crash during training operation.
  • Defended the largest U.S. military services contractor in a multimillion dollar personal injury suit arising out of the performance of maintenance services at Camp Fallujah during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following limited discovery, the district court granted a pre-answer motion to dismiss and dismissed all claims based on both the political question doctrine and federal preemption, which was affirmed on appeal. See Taylor v. Kellogg Brown & Root Servs., Inc., 658 F.3d 402 (4th Cir. 2011).
  • Defended a medical device manufacturer in an enforcement action brought by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under the agency’s Quality System Regulation. Following 14 months of litigation and a bench trial in federal district court, the court dismissed all claims asserted by the agency, resulting in a complete victory for the manufacturer. See United States v. Utah Medical Prods., Inc., 404 F. Supp. 2d 1315 (D. Utah 2005).
  • On behalf of a Fortune 500 company, established jurisdiction in the United States over a foreign entity in an international arbitration award enforcement action under the New York Convention. The case involved an arbitration award valued at well over $100 million. See Telcordia Tech, Inc. v. Telkom SA Ltd, 458 F.3d 172 (3d Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1206, No. 06-663, 2007 WL 506053 (U.S. Feb. 20, 2007).

Pro Bono

  • Represented tenants’ association in landlord-tenant dispute involving hardship petition and negotiated favorable settlement.
  • Argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in appeal of removal order in asylum matter.
  • Obtained social security income benefits for individual claimant, including a retroactive award of benefits dating back more than a decade. This action included two appeals of adverse agency decisions to federal district court, both of which successfully resulted in reversal and remand to the agency and ultimately a favorable decision.
  • Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll (2011, 2014)
  • Klepper Prize for Volunteer Excellence, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia (2015)