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Hugh M. Russ III


Hugh resolves business disputes. As a trial lawyer, Hugh has argued more than 100 cases before juries in the last 35 years, and he has represented individuals and businesses in virtually all areas of civil litigation throughout New York and the Northeast. Hugh was appointed by the U.S. District Court to be plaintiffs' liaison counsel in the Continental Flight 3407 multi-district litigation. In addition to serving as lead counsel for all 50 plaintiffs, he also represented seven families of victims killed in the crash.

Hugh has represented industries in environmental class action lawsuits. He has represented a major insurer in one of the largest environmental insurance coverage litigations in the nation, and he has represented numerous international businesses in product liability cases. Hugh has tried catastrophic personal injury cases, including those involving claimed medical malpractice. Hugh also has substantial trial experience on insurance cases involving arson and fraud, on personal injury cases, in employment litigation, in environmental litigation, and in shareholder and business disputes. Additionally, he has extensive experience in pro bono and civil rights work.

Now, Hugh devotes much of his time to alternative dispute resolution, especially mediation and arbitration. He is frequently selected by other lawyers to serve as a moderator or an arbitrator.

Hugh is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, which is comprised of the preeminent members of the trial bar in the United States and Canada. Membership is limited to less than 1% of the total lawyer population.

Hugh is currently the president of the Bar Association of Erie County.


Harvard University, A.B., cum laude

University at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude


  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court


  • 2024 Judge Hugh B. Scott Lifetime Achievement Award, Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • 2023 Pro Bono Honor Roll, U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • Bar Association of Erie County, Award of Merit 2022
  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Commercial Litigation; Product Liability Litigation - Defendants) 2011 - 2024
  • Listed, Upstate New York Super Lawyers, (Civil Litigation: Defense) 2007 - 2023
  • Listed, Top 50 Upstate New York Super Lawyers, (Civil Litigation: Defense) 2010 - 2023
  • Buffalo Business First/Buffalo Law Journal's Legal Elite of Western New York, 2008 - 2020
  • Listed, Top 10 Upstate New York Super Lawyers, (Civil Litigation: Defense) 2013, 2014, 2023
  • America’s Top 100 Attorneys® Lifetime Achievement Member
  • Listed, New York Area's Top Lawyers
  • Buffalo Business First's Who's Who in Law
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York Pro Bono Award
  • National Conference for Community and Justice Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award
  • Former articles editor, Buffalo Law Review

News & Insights


  • Director, Executive Committee member, and Chair of the Audit and Corporate Compliance Committees, Roswell Park Alliance
  • Nichols School board of trustees
  • Director and former president, Buffalo Renaissance Foundation
  • Director, Say Yes Buffalo
  • Director, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County
  • Director, Forest Lawn Cemetery


  • President, Bar Association of Erie County (BAEC) Board of Directors
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Co-chair, New York Eighth Judicial District Pro Bono Committee
  • Bar Association of Erie County Professional Ethics, Judiciary, and Pro Bono Endowment Fund Committees
  • Board member and former president, Harvard Club of Western New York
  • Former regional director, Harvard Alumni Association
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Hugh M. Russ III / News & Insights