DALLAS - Russell W. Budd, shareholder and managing director of law firm Baron & Budd P.C., was awarded the prestigious Harry M. Philo Award Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the American Association for Justice (AAJ). The award was presented in recognition of his leadership in protecting the rights of individuals through the civil-justice system during a legal career that spans three decades. Budd received the award on July 13, 2010, at the organization's annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
He is a major force in the asbestos litigation that helped build Baron & Budd into one of the largest plaintiff firms in the country. As chair and member of several asbestos creditors' bankruptcy committees, Budd has successfully resolved more than 100,000 victims' claims with some of Wall Street's biggest companies. Budd was the chief negotiator of a $4 billion national settlement with Halliburton that established a trust fund to protect present and future asbestos victims throughout the United States - the largest asbestos trust fund of its kind anywhere in the world.
While the cornerstone of the firm is toxic tort litigation, Budd urges the 250-plus staff at Baron & Budd to continuously explore new areas and has steered the firm into wider practices as diverse as water contamination, the Gulf oil spill, qui tam and securities fraud.
In 2007, he earned the prestigious Wiedemann Wysocki National Finance Council Award from the AAJ and was among only 14 attorneys nationwide to receive the award, which honors attorneys for their commitment to the legal profession and their efforts to improve the civil justice system.
Budd serves on the Board of Governors of the AAJ and previously served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association.
With his wife, he is very involved in the community and one of the causes closest to his heart is Habitat for Humanity, which gives hardworking Dallas families a chance at first-time home ownership. He has personally contributed generously to the "Building on Faith" project, a collaborative initiative between the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition the City of Dallas and Habitat for Humanity to build 100 affordable single-family homes in West Dallas.
Under his direction, Baron & Budd has pledged $3 million over five years to the International Pleural Mesothelioma Program at Brigham Women's Hospital to research curative therapy for mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The firm has also given generously to the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization, Lung Cancer Alliance and to other asbestos awareness advocacy organizations.
Dallas-based Baron & Budd, P.C., with offices in Baton Rouge, La., Austin, Texas and Beverly Hills, Calif., is a nationally recognized law firm with more than three decades of experience representing people and communities harmed by corporate negligence. With over 60 attorneys and 200 staff, Baron & Budd's cornerstone of the firm is toxic tort litigation, representing individuals, municipalities and water providers seeking redress from manufacturers of hazardous products and corporate polluters.