Jeffrey H. Rutherford, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), is recognized as one of the region’s top criminal and civil defense attorneys. His practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, complex civil litigation, and civil and criminal trial work.

Mr. Rutherford has represented individuals and entities in high-profile, high-stakes political corruption/public integrity, criminal antitrust, health care fraud, money laundering/Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), and civil and criminal False Claims Act/qui tam matters.

He also has represented individuals and entities in a wide array of other complex civil and white collar criminal litigation matters, including tax, securities, procurement fraud, entertainment, theft of trade secrets, campaign finance, off-label marketing, cybercrimes, and environmental crimes. In addition, he has tackled matters involving conflicts of interest (Cal. Gov’t Code § 1090), the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations, and International Extradition and Financial Institutions Reform, and Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) proceedings.

Mr. Rutherford ranks among the region’s top attorneys in white collar defense and government investigations in the prestigious Chambers & Partners attorney rankings. Clients praised his trial skills, with one telling Chambers that Mr. Rutherford is “able to distill a complex case and make it understandable for the jury. He communicates effortlessly with jurors and establishes an excellent rapport. He zealously prepares for trials and knows more about the case than anyone in the courtroom.”


University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 1995

  • Graduated with honors
  • Articles Editor, Minnesota Law Review

University of Michigan, B.A., 1989


U.S. District Court, Central District of California, 1996–1997

  • Hon. Consuelo B. Marshall
  • Defended an international seafood company executive against criminal charges of importing and distributing mislabeled seafood products.
  • Represented the regulatory affairs director of a medical device company in connection with an off-label marketing investigation.
  • Represented various municipalities in connection with criminal and civil conflict of interest investigations.
  • Represented a U.S. citizen in extradition proceedings involving allegations of attempted murder and assault charges in the Netherlands.
  • Defended an international aerospace corporation in connection with a federal qui tam action. Obtained a complete defense verdict against the plaintiff’s claim for damages in excess of $1 billion for the client’s alleged fraudulent billing and retaliatory discharge.
  • Defended the founder and executive director of a high-performing charter school in a trial concerning charges of misappropriation of public funds, embezzlement, tax fraud, and conflict of interest.
  • Represented a bank director in connection with a civil Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) investigation of alleged Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and money laundering violations.
  • Defended of a bank manager against allegations of money laundering and bank fraud.
  • Represented a former KPMG partner in connection with civil litigation regarding tax shelters.
  • Defended multiple other individuals against allegations of bank fraud, wire fraud, and narcotics distribution, along with passing counterfeit instruments and money laundering.
  • Represented individuals and other entities in connection with investigations involving money laundering and violations of the BSA.
  • Defended a tax preparer in a trial concerning charges of aiding and abetting tax fraud.
  • Represented the executive of an investment firm in connection with an investigation into the alleged of theft of trade secrets.
  • Represented an attorney in connection with an embezzlement and obstruction of justice investigation.
  • Represented a movie producer in connection with the prosecution of an investment fraud scheme.
  • Defended a high-profile public official and health care executive in litigation that was alleging charges of bribery, embezzlement, tax fraud, and conflict of interest.
  • Represented an executive in connection with a Department of Justice (DOJ) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation of a medical device company for its alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations.
  • Represented the vice president of an investment advisory firm who was facing allegations of antitrust bid-rigging and fraud in connection with their bond investment work.
  • Represented multiple individuals in connection with a criminal antitrust investigation of price-fixing in the airline industry.
  • Represented a recycling company in connection with a dispute regarding a criminal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prosecution of a workplace fatality.
  • Represented a production manager in connection with a criminal OSHA prosecution of a workplace fatality.
  • Represented a senior executive in a global criminal investigation regarding alleged collusion among Japanese auto parts manufacturers.
  • Represented a Mexican federal law enforcement officer in connection with a money laundering prosecution.
  • Represented a government contractor in a False Claims Act lawsuit pertaining to a Veterans Affairs (VA) contract.
  • Represented multiple physicians in connection with DOJ investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud and violations of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute.
  • Represented a physician in a prosecution that alleged the client had illegally prescribed medications.
  • Represented a health care executive in connection with litigation regarding allegations of federal health care fraud and public corruption investigations.
  • Represented an oil company and oil company executives in connection with a matter concerning allegations of environmental crimes.
  • American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), Fellow
  • Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer in California Litigation: White Collar Crime & Government Investigations
  • The Best Lawyers in America, White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Southern California Super Lawyer, 2007–2018
  • Daily Journal, Top 20 Under 40, 2007
  • Southern California Superlawyer: Rising Star, 2006
  • Pro Bono Advocacy Award, ACLU Foundation of Southern California, 1999
  • The President’s Pro Bono Service Award, State Bar of California, 1999
  • Cutthroat Lawyers Bar Association, President
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • Board of Directors and Past President, Federal Bar Association, Los Angeles, currently Executive Committee member
  • Board of Directors, American Bar Association (ABA) White Collar Crime Committee, West Coast Regional Subcommittee
  • Crowell & Moring, LLP, 2008–2018
  • Lightfoot Vandevelde Sadowsky Crouchley Rutherford & Levine, LLP, 2004–2008
  • Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California, 1999–2004
    Deputy Federal Public Defender, 1999–2004
  • Kaye Scholer, LLP, 1997–1999
    Litigation Associate
  • California, 1996
  • U.S. District Courts
    Central, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Districts of California
    Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court