Los Angeles, CA, January 11, 2021 –(PR.com)– Legendary lawyer Russ Brown, known for his ferocious advocacy on behalf of injured motorcyclists, died in his Los Angeles home with his wife, Hana and his daughter Lauren by his side on January 10, 2021. He was 86.
Russ Brown, a celebrated personality in the motorcycle community all across the US, was a fierce advocate for riders for more than 40 years. To everyone in the industry, he was known as a motorcyclist first and an attorney second. His care for motorcycle riders was so ingrained in his life that he spent most Sundays at the famed Rock Store, a restaurant popular with motorcyclists and celebrities in the Santa Monica Mountains, giving out free legal advice.
Born July 22, 1934, in San Jose, California, Russ became a passionate rider when he got his first bike at 16. He immediately took to racing motorcycles on a quarter-mile dirt track behind a friend’s farm in Santa Maria, Calif. In the mid-’50s, he joined a motorcycle club called the Santa Maria Owls. Russ went on to graduate from UCLA with a BA in Marketing, and after working his way up in “Corporate America,” Russ decided he wanted to do something more fulfilling, so he went back to school and got his law degree.
When he began practicing law, he noticed a disturbing trend: insurance companies were taking advantage of injured motorcyclists. This angered Russ to the point where he decided protecting fellow motorcyclists would be his life’s mission, and he became one of the first “motorcycle attorneys” in the country. Russ was also one of the founding members of ABATE of California and served on the board of directors, provided legal counsel for the Southern California Motorcycle Association and was a major financial contributor to the Motorcycle Rights Foundation, and was there at its inception.
Very few individuals have fought harder throughout the years for motorcyclists and their freedoms than Russ Brown. When mandatory helmet laws were being implemented across the country, Russ Brown stood up for bikers and their right to ride free. He immediately started a campaign to promote the cause, developed a pocket guide designed to help all bikers understand their rights, and even made an appearance on the Today Show to debate California Assemblyman Richard Floyd on the subject.
Russ experienced a break down in the early ’80s while on a motorcycle ride 100 miles away from home. Stranded and alone in an isolated area, Russ came up with the idea of BAM, which at the time of its founding was known as Bikers Against Manslaughter, a nationwide volunteer program of riders helping riders when they experience a breakdown.
Russ Brown’s unequivocal advocacy for motorcyclists led to the honor of being inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame in 2013 and having a street named after him at the Legendary Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota. Russ Brown Drive takes motorcyclists from the CrossRoads and Sturgis Rider Café® into the Legendary Sturgis Buffalo Chip, where some of the music industry’s biggest acts perform at the largest music festival in motorcycling.
“Russ Brown, with whom I had the honor of being associated for 15 years when I was practicing law, was one of the most decent, caring and honorable people I have ever known. Russ was a lawyer’s lawyer, and an innovator in the field of motorcycle law, whose care and concern for his clients and fellow bikers was evident in all that he did. Russ’s creation and development of BAM – Breakdown Assistance for Motorcyclists – is a testament to his devotion to the well-being of motorcyclists. I can state, without reservation, that Russ was totally dedicated to his clients, whom he treated with the highest level of concern and integrity. He always put the best interests of his clients ahead of anything else, and it showed in the outstanding results achieved by Russ and his handpicked network of attorneys, of which I had the privilege of being one. Russ was well-aware of the obstacles often faced by injured motorcyclists in personal injury cases, but he was undaunted in his efforts to see that justice was done and would never shy away from going the distance on behalf of his clients and their families. Russ was truly one of a kind, and he will be deeply missed by me and the members of the motorcycling community to whom he gave so much. May his memory be a blessing.” – David F. Everett, retired attorney, currently serving as a New York State Supreme Court Justice.
“Russ Brown was an exceptional human being who cared deeply for his family, staff, and the motorcycle community. Russ put his passion and care for motorcycle riders ahead of profit, which is not a claim many others can make. He was the original ‘motorcycle lawyer,’ and no one can replace him. He had a monumental impact on my life and I am forever grateful that he took me under his wing as my mentor, father figure, and dear friend.” – Audrey Nesbitt, SpinSpirational Marketing & PR.
A Celebration of Life event for Russ Brown will be scheduled by the Brown family at a later date.
Russ is survived by his wife Hana, his three children, Aaron, Lauren, and Allison, his grandchildren Sevaun, Devyn, Weston, and Sawyer, his sister Carol and several nieces and a nephew.