1050 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-5306 USA
Russell Balikian is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He practices in the firm’s Appellate & Constitutional Law group and Administrative Law & Regulatory group. Russell has significant experience litigating high-stakes appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court, D.C. Circuit, and other courts across the country. His practice focuses on appellate and constitutional litigation, with an emphasis on administrative law, telecommunications, and class-action defense.
Russell has been involved in some of the most important appellate and administrative-law cases in recent years. Representative matters include litigation over the FCC’s net-neutrality orders, the scope of immunity under Section 230 of the Communications Act, the deployment of 5G wireless networks, the T-Mobile–Sprint merger, the Dakota Access pipeline, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s debt-restructuring efforts, and the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. He has a depth of experience challenging regulations and orders issued by administrative agencies, including the FCC, the FTC, and the CFPB.
Russell also litigates cases under the First Amendment and has successfully represented authors seeking to publish important works free from prior restraints. He has broad experience at every level of the federal judiciary, from pleadings and critical motions in the district courts to merits briefing and emergency applications in the Supreme Court and other courts of appeals. He was named by Best Lawyers as a 2023 “One to Watch” in Appellate Practice.
Russell has particular expertise in the telecom and tech industries. His areas of specialty include net neutrality regulations and issues surrounding 5G deployment, liability for web-based platforms, mobile-device competition, and satellite-based broadband service. He is known for his ability to translate intricate technical points into clear, powerful arguments well-suited for presentation to courts and agencies alike.
Russell also has a proven record of success defending companies against high-profile class actions. He has repeatedly secured complete dismissal and favorable rulings in cases involving major technology and financial companies—and defended those decisions on appeal.
Russell clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court of the United States, Judge Gregory G. Katsas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and Judge Diane S. Sykes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He received his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law & Policy Review. He graduated summa cum laude from Taylor University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Political Science and Biblical Literature.
Russell is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia.
Yale University - 2012 Juris Doctor
Taylor University - 2009 Bachelor of Arts
District of Columbia Bar