(916) 443-2051

Practice Areas:
Business Law
Civil Trial


Member Of:
Sacramento County Bar Association

State Bar of California

Sacramento Valley Bankruptcy Forum (past President)

Sacramento United Soccer Club (past President)

Sacramento Downtown Association (past President)

Sacramento Downtown District (past Director)

Sacramento Downtown Partnership (past Director)

Nevada City Broadcast Group (past Director)

May 4, 1961, Honolulu, Hawaii

J.D. (1987)
McGeorge School of Law

University of the Pacific

B.A. (1983)
UC, Berkeley

J. Russell Cunningham


Mr. Cunningham grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a member of the Punahou School class of 1979. His parents were journalists from the Pacific Northwest and Northern Nevada. Mr. Cunningham’s personal volunteer activities have included serving as a “big brother” to paroled minors, developing projects to stimulate downtown business, and reorganizing a competitive youth soccer club. He plays golf, follows his favorite professional sports teams, enjoys film and music, and likes fine home cooking.


Mr. Cunningham graduated from UC Berkeley in 1983, majoring in Philosophy, with concentration on language and mind.  He received a law degree from McGeorge School of Law in 1987.


Since 1988, Mr. Cunningham has been a member of Desmond, Nolan, Livaich & Cunningham, of which he is presently the managing partner and heads the commercial law and bankruptcy department. Most of Mr. Cunningham’s practice has been devoted to representing Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 trustees. Since 1989, he has been attorney of record for estate fiduciaries in over 1,000 Sacramento bankruptcy cases. The majority of Mr. Cunningham’s bankruptcy work has been litigation to recover avoidable transfers, complex asset sales, and objections to exemptions and discharge. His goal as trustee’s counsel is to protect the rights of the estate, while keeping an open mind to developing information, assisting the client in making cost-benefit decisions, and staying above the fray, particularly in situations where a difficult dispute has migrated to the bankruptcy court from another jurisdiction. The balance of Mr. Cunningham’s practice has consisted of civil litigation in other California state and federal courts, most of which has involved enforcing creditor rights.

Mr. Cunningham has served as a volunteer unpaid mediator for the Sacramento County Superior Court (Pre-Trial Settlement Conference Pro Tem), Sacramento Bankruptcy Court (BDRP Advocate), El Dorado County Superior Court (Early Settlement Conference Temporary Judge), and United States District Court (VDRP Neutral). He accepts private paid mediation assignments as time permits.