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
  • 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 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”