Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Port of San Diego Steals LA Port Attorney

After a nationwide search, the Port of San Diego has hired away Port of Los Angeles general counsel Thomas A. Russell to be its chief attorney, replacing the retired Duane Bennett.

Russell currently heads the Harbor Division of the Los Angeles Office of the City Attorney, where he oversees all litigation involving the Port of L.A. He’s been with the office since November 2002, when he was appointed by then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.

He said he hadn’t planned on changing jobs, but was recruited for the position during the port’s national search.

Russell’s a member of the American Association of Port Authorities Law Review Committee and chaired the American Bar Association’s Subcommittee on Maritime Financing from 1994-2002. A California native, he is a graduate of University of Southern California’s Law School and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Board of Port Commissioners Chair said Lou Smith said the port was “delighted to welcome an attorney of Tom’s caliber and breadth of relevant experience to the Port of San Diego.”
He starts his new job in San Diego in early December.

Bennett, the man Russell replaces, retired in November 2011 after eight and a half years on the job. Another port attorney, Celia Brewer, has been serving as interim general counsel.