Hon. Russell Lloyd (Ret.) recently joined JAMS after serving on the Texas First Court of Appeals. Judge Lloyd brings to JAMS more than 40 years of legal experience, including 16 years on the bench in both trial and appellate courts. He has served as a prosecutor, civil defense lawyer, plaintiff’s attorney, civil district judge, appellate justice and certified mediator. The breadth of his career provides him with a unique perspective and the ability to understand both sides of any dispute, a valuable trait in a neutral.
Judge Lloyd’s service on the First Court of Appeals was preceded by 10 years as judge of the 334th District Court in Harris County, where he presided over more than 300 jury trials. He received national recognition for his work as chief judge for some of the country’s largest mass action dockets. He has adjudicated thousands of cases and authored more than 600 opinions.
Judge Lloyd has decades of civil trial and appellate experience with prestigious Houston law firms and has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, concentrating on admiralty, class actions, employment, products liability, personal injury, medical malpractice and commercial and contract disputes in state and federal courts across the United States.
Judge Lloyd’s 20-year military career makes him no stranger to making decisions under pressure. He is a former paratrooper, Vietnam veteran, JAG officer, and military judge. He also served as a prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, where he tried more than 200 jury trials.
Judge Lloyd attended The University of Texas School of Law and served as a briefing attorney at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. He received a B.A. in history from the University of Houston.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
Judge Lloyd is a certified mediator, having sat as a neutral on cases involving eminent domain, commercial disputes, contracts and personal injury. He has extensive experience in the resolution of complex commercial and contractual disputes across various practices and industries, including the following:
- Business and Commercial
- Class Action and Mass Torts
- Employment Law
- Energy and Utilities
- Financial Markets
- Insurance Coverage
- Intellectual Property
- Maritime and Admiralty Law
- Personal Injury/Torts
Business & Commercial
- As a district judge and appellate justice sitting in the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the nation, Judge Lloyd presided over and written judicial opinions in thousands of commercial and contract disputes.
- As a defense attorney, Judge Lloyd wrote hundreds of coverage opinions evaluating insurance coverage disputes in the United States, offshore and in foreign countries.
- As a business litigator, Judge Lloyd represented companies in multi-million-dollar disputes including litigation on behalf of oil exploration companies against Japanese shipyards for claims of faulty construction and delivery of an offshore oil platform built in Japan and towed to Singapore.
- Judge Lloyd has tried and mediated a variety of complex business cases and numerous property disputes, including those involving eminent domain and trespass to try title.
Class Action & Mass Tort
- Presiding Judge, Harris County Polybutylene Pipe Docket: This was a nationwide grouping of cases involving claims of damage by use of polybutylene pipe in new home construction. After Judge Lloyd presided over trial of the first case involving 1,500 plaintiffs and eight defendants spread over three states, the docket settled. His administration of the nationwide settlement of over 69,000 individual cases received national recognition.
- Presiding Judge, Harris County Breast Implant Docket: Judge Lloyd supervised the largest docket of its kind in the nation, consisting of thousands of women claiming injury from silicone breast implants. He also presided over trials drawn from the docket.
- As an attorney, Judge Lloyd represented the hourly workers of the nation’s largest retail store in nationwide litigation alleging wage and hour abuses. He represented roughly 350,000 people in statewide class actions brought in states across the South from Texas to Florida. During eight years of litigation, Judge Lloyd successfully prosecuted these cases in state and federal courts, whereupon a nationwide settlement was reached.
- Represented 250,000 business customers of Texas’ largest phone network in a statewide class action alleging overcharges in violation of state and federal tariffs and regulations
- Handled class action on behalf of stock investors against major brokerage houses for alleged manipulation of stock market prices
Energy & Utilities
- Defended oil field equipment manufacturers from claims of defective design of oil field equipment causing loss of production
- Represented excess carriers in numerous insurance claims resulting from accidents in North Sea oil fields for damage and wrongful death caused by defective equipment or helicopter/crew boat accidents
- Presided over trial of claims brought by gas well owners that gas pipeline/refiner failed to take or pay for gas in amounts or at prices set by contract and regulations of the Texas Railroad Commission
- Presided over and resolved by court order a dispute between major oil company and refinery over contract interpretation setting price of oil moved through pipeline from oil field in North Texas to refinery on Gulf Coast
- Authored opinion in Hlavinka v. HSC Pipeline applying reasonable probability test for common carrier status to all pipelines in Texas seeking to use eminent domain to obtain pipeline right of way
- Authored opinion holding that change in market conditions resulting in inability to obtain financing did not constitute force majeure in gas purchase agreement
- As a mediator, resolved numerous disputes between property owners and government entities over value of land taken by eminent domain
- As an appellate justice, authored opinions on the issue of trade secrets under state law
- As a district judge, presided over intellectual property cases, including motion practice and a jury trial exploring the intersection of trade secrets and patent law in a case involving new technology for coating tubular goods for use in challenging environments
- Represented a copyright owner in federal court at trial and appellate levels for alleged infringement of computer program copyright
- Represented environmental cleanup company for alleged theft of trade secrets involving new technology for remediation of contaminated soil
Maritime & Admiralty Law
- As defense attorney, handled numerous cases involving Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, Jones Act, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and damage to vessels
- Presided over admiralty cases as a district judge; his written opinion in Ingram Barge Co. v. Trifinery, Inc. holding that state law does not apply to negotiations for a maritime charter party agreement was selected for publication in the American Maritime Cases reporter
- Authored opinion in Partin v. Superior Energy Services, resolving dispute over when a ship being modified and undergoing sea trials becomes a “vessel” for Jones Act purposes
- As an appellate justice, wrote dozens of opinions on medical malpractice disputes, evaluating all issues that arise in this complex area of litigation
- As a trial judge, presided over numerous medical malpractice cases in both jury trials and motion practice involving a range of malpractice claims, from misdiagnosis of medical conditions to surgical errors
- As an attorney, filed and handled to settlement or jury verdict numerous medical malpractice cases, including misdiagnosis resulting in death, injury caused by surgical error, injury as result of foreign object left in body after surgery and loss of vision caused by misdiagnosis and negligent change in eye drop formulation, among others
- Represented clients in claims of wrongful death or serious bodily injury related to truck and automobile accidents, refinery explosions and chemical exposure, among other claims.
- Defended apartment owners from claims of injury caused by criminal acts resulting from inadequate security
- Organized and supervised trial teams in mass action pharmaceutical litigation; served as lead trial attorney
- Defended welding rod manufacturers against claims of injury caused by asbestos in welding rod coating
- Represented tractor manufacturer against claims of personal injury caused by defective design
- Defended mobile oil rig manufacturer from claims of negligent design in wrongful death cases caused by collapse or overturn of mobile drilling rigs
- Represented client in case involving claims of wrongful death from airplane crash against aircraft design company
- Represented client in case involving claims of wrongful death from defective air bag design against car manufacturer
- Represented client in wrongful death caused by alleged defective car seat, resulting in multi-million-dollar settlement after working through two separate bankruptcies by car seat manufacturers
- Served as counsel on a serious environmental contamination case in state and federal courts alleging both fraud under state law and violation of federal environmental law
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
- Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation Judicial Liaison Committee, Texas State Bar
- Chairman, Mass Tort Committee, Harris County Judiciary
- Member, Mass Tort Committee, National Association of State Courts
- Board of Directors, Houston Trial Lawyers Association
- Board of Directors, Houston Humane Society
- Nominated to be United States District Judge by President George H. W. Bush
- Member and Contributing Author, Texas Supreme Court Historical Society
- Mediator, Attorney-Mediators Institute, 1997
- Speaker on Anti-SLAPP Litigation, 2020 Houston Bar Association Bench Bar Conference
Background and Education
- Justice, First Court of Appeals, Houston, 2015–2021
- Trial Lawyer; O’Quinn, Laminack & Pirtle; 1998–2014
- District Judge, 334th Texas Civil District Court, 1988–1998
- Litigation Attorney; Brown, Sims, Wise & White; 1984–1988
- Assistant District Attorney, Harris County District Attorney’s Office, 1980–1984
- Briefing Attorney, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, 1978–1979
- Officer, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Texas Army National Guard, 1982–1998
- Staff Member; Public Citizen Litigation Group; Washington, D.C.; 1974
- United States Air Force, 1969–1973
- J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 1978
- Executive Editor, American Journal of Criminal Law
- B.A., University of Houston, 1969