Russ maintains both an active energy transactional practice and a general civil litigation practice with an emphasis on disputes related to the oil and gas industry. His clients primarily include exploration and production (E&P) companies, midstream companies, marketing companies and downstream transportation companies. He also offers substantial experience representing lenders, commercial real estate developers and landlords in general civil litigation.
Russ has represented energy clients in class action royalty litigation, tort claims asserting subsurface trespass and damage to aquifers and hydrocarbon reservoirs, title disputes, joint interest audits and contractual disputes arising under mineral leases, surface use agreements, gathering and processing agreements, transportation and exchange agreements, joint operating agreements, farm-in/farm-out agreements, geoscientific data licenses, onshore and offshore drilling contracts, vessel charters, EPC agreements, service agreements, marketing agreements, commodity purchase and sale agreements and various types of merger and acquisition transactions. He applies his breadth of litigation experience in the oil and gas industry to (i) counsel clients on internal investigations and regulatory compliance issues; (ii) help them identify and anticipate potential legal and commercial risks in proposed operations and transactions; and (iii) mitigate those risks by negotiating and drafting contracts that address them plainly and directly.
In addition to his deep energy litigation experience, Russ also is accomplished in litigation involving real estate development, landlord-tenant disputes, debtor-creditor issues, conflicts between equity owners or investors in business organizations and commercial fraud claims.
Russ collaborates with his clients to provide a level of service that is appropriate for the matter at hand, from the smallest and most simple matters to the largest and most complex. He understands that sometimes it is worth the cost and effort to turn over every stone, rock, pebble or sand grain by engaging in exhaustive pre-trial discovery and motions practice or by aggressively negotiating every term in a customized contract that addresses every conceivable risk or scenario – but sometimes it isn’t. That is why – whether litigating a dispute, negotiating a deal or drafting a contract – Russ approaches each matter by first listening carefully to his clients’ practical business concerns and priorities. He then evaluates and explains the risks, allows his clients to decide which are acceptable and which are not and tailors his approach to best achieve his clients’ objectives as effectively and efficiently as possible, within their tolerance for risk and their budgetary constraints.
Most recently, Russ served as the owner of a practice, Miller Legal Offices, representing privately held and publicly traded companies participating in all segments of the oil and gas industry. Prior to that, his legal career led him to serve as a Partner in the Houston office of a major national law firm; as In-House Counsel with both The Coastal Corporation and Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, and as Of Counsel with a regional Denver-based law firm that specializes in serving the energy industry.
Bachelor of Science from The University of Texas at Austin
Juris Doctor from The University of Texas School of Law
Student Bar Association (President)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Southern, Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas