RUSSO, DON, 67, Miami Trial Lawyer Don Albert Russo, a Miami trial lawyer who successfully resolved hundreds of personal injury, wrongful death, and catastrophic toxic tort cases, passed away peacefully on March 16, 2014. His wife and daughter were by his side. Don was born in Salem, Virginia, in 1946 to the late Dorothy H. Russo (later Dorothy Wagner) and Dr. Albert John Russo. He was an All-State running back during his junior and senior years at Andrew Lewis High School in Salem. He came to the University of Miami on a football scholarship in 1964, and he never left Miami. After a brief stint as a free agent for the Miami Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers, Don turned his attention to his true calling, the practice of law. He plunged immediately into trial practice in 1974, after graduating from the University of Miami School of Law. At about the same time, he joined the Miami Rugby Club. He had many good times and made life-long friends while playing for that team. Don was a fierce competitor on and off the field. He was a relentless and resourceful litigator in the service of his clients, out-maneuvering large cadres of corporate attorneys. He was a happy warrior and a happy man. Don loved to laugh at himself and others. He could talk easily to anyone, and had a handshake, a smile, or a wave for everyone he saw throughout every day of his life. He was loved by all as the unique, valiant, shining life force that he was. Don is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Russo, the great love of his life; his much loved stepson Jim Clarke of New York, New York; his beloved daughter Christy Bay Russo, of Coral Gables, Florida; his brother Dan Russo of Roanoke, Virginia; his brother Dave Russo of Cary, North Carolina; his cousin Anne Elizabeth Blanks, of Woodbridge, Virginia; and his cousin Nancy Williams of Staunton, Virginia. A gathering to celebrate Don's life will take place on Friday March 21, 2014 at 3:00 p.m., at the Villa Woodbine on 2167 South Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove, Florida.
Published in Miami Herald on Mar. 19, 2014