Russell Rogers, Thompson Hine, Atlanta (Courtesy photo) Russell Rogers, Thompson Hine, Atlanta (Courtesy photo)

Russ Rogers, who headed the Atlanta office of Thompson Hine for six years, died Tuesday after a meeting with a client, the firm announced.

The announcement said Rogers, 53, died of natural causes.

“We have lost a part of what makes Thompson Hine a special firm,” said Deborah Read, the firm’s overall managing partner. “Russ contributed mightily to the firm’s camaraderie, positive culture and excellence in service. As its leader for six years, he played a significant role in helping us grow the Atlanta office to the force that it is today.”

Rogers joined Thompson Hine in 2007 from McKenna Long & Aldridge, litigating complex commercial disputes. The firm said a recent matter litigated in both Lebanon and federal court in New York was representative of the kinds of cases he handled.

“While he relished any opportunity in court, what he really enjoyed was using his litigation experience to counsel clients on new and best practices that paralleled their business plans and kept them out of disputes in the first place,” the announcement said. “Providing such training to the employees of one of his longtime clients was in fact what he was doing on his last day.”

Tim McDonald, the partner in charge of the 32-attorney Atlanta office, was quoted in the announcement with this anecdote: “This past Sunday, Russ came into the office and took three hours of work off of my plate so I could go to a soccer game with my daughter and go for a run with one of my sons. I did not ask him to do that. He just did it and then told me not to come back to the office. That is who Russ was. His dedication to his clients, colleagues and family was inspiring, and he is already greatly missed.”

Rogers was survived by his wife, Paula, and stepson, Thayer. The firm said memorial arrangements had not yet been made, and the family asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to Camp Sunshine or Habitat for Humanity.