Recent Verdicts and Settlements

My goal is your goal — to get you the best deal possible, whether that means a plea bargain, reduced sentence, "not guilty" verdict, settlement offer or financial award. Recent verdicts and settlements include:

  • False arrest and excessive force: $220,000 post-trial settlement
  • Keith Rutman was co-counsel with Al Arena on behalf of Juan Francisco Estrada-Gonzalez, a high profile death penalty case involving multiple kidnappings, torture and 6 murders. Spanning almost 14 months from start to finish, the case (People v. Estrada, SCD 208824) was the longest criminal, not to mention death penalty, trial in San Diego. The case, which the District Attorney's Office referred to as "Los Palillos" received extensive local, national and international coverage. Preparation for the trial involved organizing and reviewing over 20,000 pages of reports, audio and video, hundreds of trial exhibits, and multiple instances of prior testimony. Dozens of witnesses testified and were subjected to cross-examination. With the assistance of paralegal Edilma Chan, trial consultant Toni Blake and other members of the defense team, Mr. Rutman and Mr. Arena achieved a hung jury at the penalty phase. This District Attorney announced their intention to retry the penalty phase, but subsequently agreed to 6 consecutive Life without Parole sentences in lieu of a retrial to try to obtain a death sentence. Mr. Estrada was already serving a Life without Parole sentence at the time the trial started. See"
  • Assault by police officer: $235,000 pretrial settlement
  • Arrest of domestic violence victim: $25,000 pretrial settlement.
  • Invasion of privacy: $25,000 settlement
  • Criminal threat: Dismissed by court mid-trial
  • Kidnapping for robbery: Not Guilty Verdict
  • Five (5) counts of assault with a deadly weapon in a gang related stabbing case: Not Guilty Verdict
  • Gang affiliation: Not true finding
  • Breach of contract: $50,000 Settlement
  • Breach of contract: $250,000 Verdict


  • "Keith Rutman isn't just a great lawyer—he is figuratively and literally a life saver, having saved my life twice. First in a figurative way. I was facing serous charges and was fearing the worst – a lengthy prison sentence. He applied his expert legal knowledge to secure a positive solution to my problem. It far exceeded my expectations and I received probation. He offered me essential advice on both legal and strategic matters. Mr. Rutman was always immediately available to assist me. I would expect this kind of outstanding service from any lawyer who stands at the top of his profession." Learn More...
  • "Dear Mr. Rutman, I can't begin to thank you for all you have done for Jarrett and Jordan - specifically Jordan; you have gone over and above what most attorneys would do, and treated Jordan so well accepting his "I don't know what your talking about mentality". Jordan is greatly relieved it is over but I don't think he understands fully what is expected of him for the next 12 months." - Judy, Jarrett and Jordan Learn More...
  • "Mr. Rutman did a great job in my dispute over the accuracy of my criminal record against the State of California, and he got the Court to order it changed in my favor. I would highly recommend Mr. Rutman, he is diligent and prompt and very knowledgeable. He would be my first choice if I ever need an attorney again, and he should be yours." - Jerry S Learn More...
  • "Keith and I have handled very complicated trials together including multiple bank robberies and murder cases. I highly endorse Keith. He is always a well prepared, caring, and aggressive criminal defense attorney." Learn More...
  • "I opposed Keith in a federal civil rights claim brought in federal court. Keith was creative and determined to advocate his clients interests and was a pleasure to work with. A true professional in every regard. Enthusiastically recommended and endorsed!" Learn More...
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