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Lecturers in Law

Robin Russell

Robin Russell

Lecturer in Law

Last Updated: Friday, May 19, 2017

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Robin Russell received her JD from the UC Hastings College of Law, in 1978, where she graduated with honors. She received her BA in Economics (with Honors) from the University of California, Berkeley. 
After completing her education, Russell was an associate at one of the top Los Angeles law firms, specializing in complex business litigation with a focus on Federal civil defense litigation. She went on to become an associate at Gang, Tyre, Ramer and Brown, a firm whose practice was focused on entertainment law. It is there that Russell developed her passion for entertainment. In 1984 she was personally recruited by Michael Eisner to join his team as a Senior Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs for Walt Disney Pictures.  
While at Disney, Russell worked closely with senior leaders and served as an advisor to the corporate business development group responsible for the restructuring of the Consumer Products and Disney Parks segments. Her responsibilities also included oversight of the legal and business affairs departments and all aspects of the business for the production of an annual slate of theatrical motion pictures released under the “Disney” and “Touchstone” brands.
Russell, following her entrepreneurial spirit, then took on the role of chief financial officer, business affairs and administration for InterTalent, a small, high-end, talent agency which was started by six senior agents from ICM and CAA. The company became Endeavor, which was then merged with The William Morris Agency to become WME2, the largest talent agency in Hollywood. 
It was at this point in her career that Russell was asked by Peter Gruber, then CEO of Sony Pictures, to join Sony Pictures Entertainment. Over her 19 year career at Sony, Russell’s span of control and responsibilities continued to grow, spending three years as Executive Vice President Business Affairs for Columbia Pictures, overseeing negotiation of development and production agreements for the Studio, contract oversight and administration and supervision of all facets of Columbia’s business relationships with its creative family. Starting in 1997, Russell served for 10 years as Senior Executive Vice President and General Manager for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, where her main focus was the development of the DVD format and transition from a home rental to sell-through market and expansion of the distribution outlets, including Amazon and Netflix. Russell’s career culminated as Senior Executive Vice President of Worldwide Operations Marketing and Distribution. In this role, she was responsible for development of the business models for digital delivery in exhibition as well as media spend optimization and transition to online advertising.
Included as one of the “Women in Entertainment Power 100” for 5 years (2000-2005), Russell has been considered one of the most influential women in the Home Entertainment Industry. She has been a lecturer at the UCLA Extension “Entertainment Law Program” (2003-2005) and an adjunct professor for USC Gould School of Law School in the Entertainment Law curriculum (2006 & 2015). Russell recently concluded 18 months as a Fellow in the Harvard University Advanced Leadership Initiative Program. She has an active consulting practice focused on Litigation Strategy, Expert Witness services, Media Optimization and Content Distribution. 


June 14, 2017
Re: Daria Roithmayr

Daria Roithmayr was interviewed about the possible legal implications if President Donald Trump obstructed justice. “The probe has widened from Russian interference with US elections to possible obstruction of justice by President Trump,” Roithmayr explained. “The FBI frequently widens its investigation when it uncovers potential evidence of additional wrongdoing. That’s what has happened here. Mueller’s investigators are interviewing witnesses inside and outside the government in connection with Trump’s actions with regard to Comey and others in connection with the Russian inquiry. Mueller will make a set of findings about whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice.”


Emily Ryo
April, 2017

“The Promise of a Subject-Centered Approach to Understanding Immigration Noncompliance.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 5 (2017): 285.

Abby K. Wood
April, 2017

“Measuring the Information Benefit of Campaign Finance Disclosure,” Southern California Law and Social Science (SoCLASS) Forum, Claremont-McKenna College, Claremont, CA.

Emily Ryo
April, 2017

2017 recipient of the Andrew Carnegie fellowship, Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program.