Curriculum Vitae


Russo Mediation and Law
Mediation, Arbitration, Consultation

Mailing Address: 1185 Trestle Glen Rd.
Oakland, CA 94610
Office: (510) 452-5001
Cell: (510) 333-7118


University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall), School of Law, J.D., 1976.  Industrial Relations Law Journal, contributing member, 1975.

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, B.A., Political Science, cum laude, 1973; recipient of Fleet Foundation and Yale Scholarships.

Mediating the Litigated Case, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law, 2013.

Steven Rosenberg Comprehensive Mediation Training, 2008.


Mediator and Arbitrator, Russo Mediation and Law, resolving insurance, employment, third-party cases, civil, political, personal injury, and workers’ compensation matters. Listed at  and LinkedIn, 2008 to present.

Highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell: AV® Preeminent 5.0 out of 5

Of Counsel, Boxer & Gerson, LLP, 2011 to present.

Chief of Staff, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, Sacramento, California, 2008 to 2011. Hiring and setting up capitol and district offices, managing offices and committee staff; development and implementation of legislative strategy including complex negotiations on legislation and California State Budget; political advice and counsel on Budget Conference Committee and Rules Committee decisions; relations with other elected officials, and communications and media.

Publisher, California Progress Report, Prepared, edited, and/or published over 4,000 articles read by over 1.5 million visitors, 2006 to 2008.

Attorney in Law Practice for 34 Years

  • The Russo Law Firm, Founder/Owner, and manager, 1991 to 2006; “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Practice devoted primarily to Workers’ Compensation and related areas of civil litigation, employment, and discrimination law. Provided expert witness testimony and consultation and also mediated cases.
  • Smith, Wright & Peterson, Partner, 1989 to 1991. Practice primarily devoted to personal injury and Workers’ Compensation cases.
  • Jewel, Leary & Russo, Partner, 1982 to 1986; Associate, 1978 to 1982. Practice included civil and criminal jury trials,  personal injury, criminal defense, Social Security, wills and probate, general civil litigation, and workers’ compensation.

Legal Counsel to Speaker of the California Assembly, Willie Brown, Sacramento, California 1987 to 1988. Review of Assembly Judiciary and Public Safety Committees and other duties pertaining to Fair Political Practices Act, drafted legislation, and provided legal and political advice.

Administrative Assistant to Assemblyman Terry Goggin, Sacramento, California, 1976 to 1978. Responsible for drafting legislation, developing legislative strategies and negotiation, and speech writing.

Legal Assistant, International Commission of Jurists, Geneva, Switzerland, 1975.


Active Member, State Bar of California, Admitted to State and Federal Courts, 1976 to Present.

Appointed to Civil Court Mediation Panel by Superior Court of California, Alameda Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Administrative Committee, 2013 to present.

Lecturer, Alameda County Bar Association, Mediating and Settling Workers’ Compensation and Third Party Cases: Liens, Credits, and Different Interests, 2013.

Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation, California State Board of Specialization, State Bar of California, 1985 to present.

Mediator/Arbitrator, Basic Crafts Workers’ Compensation Program between Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, Northern California District Council of Laborers, Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3, Associated General Contractors of California, Engineering and Utility Contractors Association, Construction Employers Association, and Association of Engineering Construction Employers.

Mediator/Arbitrator, SEIU United Service Workers West/SEIU Local 87, and California Janitorial Contractors.

Mediating the Litigated Case, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law, 2013.

Steven Rosenberg Mediation Training, certificated 2008.

Member, Compensation Mediation and Arbitration Services, 2008.

Member, Alameda County Bar Association, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Committee, 2008,  Executive Board Member, 2013. Chair, 2014.

Member, The Mediation Society, 2013 to present.

Board Member, Neighborhood Law Corps Foundation, Oakland, California, 2005 to 2008.

Executive Committee Member, Alameda County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service, 1992 to 1996.

Board Member, Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association, 1991 to 1993.

California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, President, 1997 to 1998; Board of Governor’s Member and Legislation Committee, 1992 to 2006; Administrative Regulation Committee Chair, 1992 to 1995. Testified and lobbied on dozens of bills, proposed regulations, and gubernatorial appointments before the California Legislature and led 1000 attorney member association in strategic political and public policy decisions.

Oakland Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board Bench-Bar Committee, 2002 to 2005.

Best Lawyers in America,, 1999 to 2005.

Member, California Trial Lawyers Association, now Consumer Attorneys of California, 1986 to 1993.

Judge pro tem, Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, State of California, 1982 to 2014.

Northern California Super Lawyers, Law & Politics and San Francisco Magazine, 2004.

Member, Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation, Project Advisory Committee, on Return to Work in Sustained Employment, 2000.

Speaker, Summit on California Workers’ Compensation Permanent Disability, California Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation 1997.

Testimony and Written Presentation on Proposed Amendments to Schedule For Rating Permanent Disabilities, California Department of Industrial Relations, Hearing on Proposed Rulemaking, 1997.

Testimony and Written Presentation on Proposed Amendments to Audit Unit Regulations, California Department of Industrial Relations, Hearing on Proposed Rulemaking, 1997.

Project Participant, Navigating the Workers’ Compensation System, Labor and Occupational Health Program, U.C. Berkeley, 1996

Advisory Committee Member, California Health, Safety and Workers’ Compensation Commission, Project to Design and Test Educational Materials, 1996.

Representative to State Bar Conference of Delegates, Alameda County Bar Association 1986 – 1991.


Editor and author, California Medical Association On-Call Practice Guide chapters on Workers’ Compensation, including independent medical review, utilization review, independent bill review, Medical Provider Networks, and liens, 2013.

Speaker, Workers’ Compensation Carve-Out and Alternative Dispute Resolution Seminar for Labor and Management, Industrial Resolutions Coalition, 2012

Faculty Instructor, on alternative dispute resolution methods of resolving liens in WorkCompCentral Seminar “Liens – When to Hold ‘Em, Fold ‘Em and How to Settle,” Pasadena, 2012.

Faculty Instructor, WorkCompCentral Education Webinar, “Mediating Workers’ Comp Claims,Liens, and Other Disputes,” 2011.

Instructor, California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, Workers’ Compensation Law Course, “A Comprehensive Law School Level Class Covering All Issues Pertaining to Workers’ Compensation” at Boalt Hall, 2002, Santa Clara University School of Law, 2003, and Oakland, 2004 .

Lecturer, Seminar on Workers’ Compensation Reform, 2004.

Lecturer, California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Convention, Apportionment Under the New Law, 2004.

Faculty, Return-To-Work Issues Under California Disability Law: Workers’ Compensation and FEHA, Lorman Education Services, 2003.

Lecturer, California Applicants’ Attorneys Convention, Brain Injuries, 2003.

Trainer, Workers’ Compensation Navigators, UC Berkeley Labor and Occupational Health Program, at Alameda County Central Labor Council, 2003.

Lecturer, Disability Management Employer Coalition, Legislative Update, 2003.

Lecturer, California Applicants’ Attorneys Convention, Permanent and Stationary: How Is It Determined?, 2002.

Speaker, California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Convention, Burn Injuries, 2001.

Author, Chapter 10, “Representing Injured Workers,” California Workers’ Compensation Practice (Fourth Edition), Continuing Education of the Bar-California (2000).

Lecturer, Medical-Legal Reporting on Cumulative Trauma, Qualified Medical Evaluator Seminar, Industrial Claims Association 1999.

Lecturer, Psychiatric Claims: Investigation, Evaluation, and Proof, SEAK National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Seminar, 1998.

Lecturer, What An Injured Worker’s Attorney Wants in a Medical-Legal Evaluation in Workers’ Compensation, SEAK National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Seminar, 1998.

Lecturer, Contra Costa County AFL-CIO seminars on work injuries, 1985 to 1997.

Lecturer, National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Seminar, California Society of Industrial Medicine and Surgeons, 1996.

Lecturer, California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Convention, The Applicant’s Deposition, 1996.

Speaker, California Conference of Workers’ Compensation Judges, California State Bar Convention, 1993 and 1995.

Lecturer, California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, Paralegal/Secretarial Seminar, 1992, 1994 and 1995.

Lecturer, California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Rehabilitation Seminar, 1995.

Lecturer, American Academy of Disability Evaluation Physicians, 1995.

Presenter, Alameda County Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Course for the General Practitioner, 1994;

Speaker, Roles of Attorneys and Physicians in Workers’ Compensation Cases Including 1994 “Reforms, “1994.

Program Speaker, Council on Education in Management, Workers’ Compensation Update, 1993.

Lecturer, National Business Institute, Advanced Workers’ Compensation Seminar 1993.

An Applicant’s Attorney Speaks Out: How I Decide To Accept, Or Refuse, A Workers’ Compensation Case, Council on Education and Management (1993).

Speaker, California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Convention, Legislative Panel, 1988.

Press Credential: California State Legislature, 2006 to 2008.

Television: KPIX (CBS) Election Night Political Analyst for June Primary and November General Elections; McNeil-Lehrer News Hour; dozens of broadcast news and cable television appearances and host of public access programs, 2006 and 2008.

Radio: Frequent speaker on legal and public policy issues including weekly commentary on state politics and public policy on Sonoma County News Talk Radio KSRO; multiple appearances on KQED Forum with Michael Krasny; “Keane on the Law” KPIX Radio; KALW and KQKE, Media Roundtable, and Public Radio Programs throughout California.

Print: Op ed articles published in many newspapers and other publications, quoted frequently in the press, and daily writing, editing and publishing of the California Progress Report.

Speaker: Commonwealth Club “Post Election Analysis,” November 21, 2008.

Consumer Journalist Award, Consumer Federation of California, 2008.