FAMILY LAW PRACTICE
I have been practicing law in Los Angeles County for five decades and still love serving my clients to resolve their personal problems or crises. I started practicing at O’Melveny & Myers, a very large and excellent firm, where I learned the importance of constant study, thorough preparation, hard work and total dedication to one’s clients’ needs. Initially I practiced in the field of business litigation, but I have gradually evolved into a family lawyer working for the best interests of individual clients who are going through turbulent times in their lives. I believe my caring and compassionate nature suits this sort of practice very well.
About 37 years ago, a friend and I formed the firm formerly known as Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff Incorporated. It grew into a firm of more than 30 business lawyers, where I was the only lawyer practicing family law. Very recently, I decided that my practice could be best performed in a smaller setting, so I opened my current office, Law Office of Marshall A. Rutter, A Professional Corporation. Although my office is in Pasadena, I serve clients all over Southern California.
My philosophy in practicing what is frequently characterized as a high conflict area of law is to attempt, through firmness and calm demeanor, to reduce the conflict and tension among attorneys and parties. I seek opportunities to find common ground and early resolution of cases through private settlement efforts or through experienced mediators. This saves money and time, not to mention emotional conflict. When these efforts do not work, I will fight with the best of them to protect my clients’ interests. I do not shy away from conflict, but I try to avoid it for my clients’ sake. Conflict enriches family lawyers, but costs their clients valuable resources which must be cared for in divorce cases.
I settle most cases, and I am happy to try those that cannot be settled. I usually handle high asset cases, but do not turn away those involving fewer assets. I handle all aspects of family law matters, including dissolution, legal separation, paternity, custody, visitation, spousal support (alimony), child support, attorneys fees, division of community assets and confirmation of separate property. I have worked on a large number of cases where there is a privately held company or professional practice to value. In those cases, I work with very high quality forensic accountants to get the very most favorable valuation. When child custody is in dispute, I work with child custody evaluators to achieve favorable and appropriate custody and visitation plans. I have also worked successfully on a number of “move away” cases where one parent wants to relocate to another part of the country or world.
A sign of my success is that many of my new clients come to me as a result of referrals from past clients, which is a gratifying expression of trust and satisfaction. I also receive many referrals from fellow attorneys and accountants. I have been selected by my colleagues as a Super Lawyer in the field of family law for every year since 2005. I was selected from 2011-2017 as a Top Lawyer by Pasadena Magazine and from 2012-2017 as a Top Lawyer of Southern California. I have been listed in Who’s Who in America for many years. I am rated Av, the highest rating, by Martindale-Hubbell, legal publishers and lawyer rating service.
When meeting with prospective clients for the first time, I offer a short consultation without charge. At that consultation, the client and I become acquainted and decide if we would like to work together. It is essential, in obtaining good results in such a difficult situation as a divorce, for the attorney and client to have a high degree of trust and empathy. I promise to my clients in writing to be honest and candid with them. I expect the same from them. Together, we can bring a satisfactory result out of the chaos that sometimes characterizes divorces. I invite you to call to set an appointment if you are seeking a highly competent and ethical advocate for you in a difficult time in your life.