For the first 15 years of his practice, his principal focus was defense work. That focus then shifted to plaintiff work. However, Russell maintained a balanced perspective. He was Board Certified as a Civil Trial Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and later focused on complex trials and appellate cases. He also devoted much of his time to auto and other product liability cases.
He returned to Stevens Point to begin his practice at Anderson O’Brien, LLP in 1981. In 1986, Russell became a partner. Prior to his retirement in 2020, he practiced at the firm for over 30 years. With the push for alternative dispute resolution (ADR), he averaged 1-2 jury trials a year.
Russell is past President of the Wisconsin Association for Justice (WAJ), was a member of the Legislative Task Force Committee, Membership Service Committee, and was a member of the Board of Directors. WAJ is the largest voluntary bar association in Wisconsin and is dedicated to preserving the right to a jury trial and promoting a fair and equitable civil justice system. He was also a member of the AIEG (Attorneys Information Exchange Group).