Overview

Zachary D. Rutman is a tireless advocate for his clients, whether he's litigating for Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes personal injury cases or advising mom-and-pop businesses on compliance under California’s labor laws.

Leveraging his dogged research skills and persuasive writing, Zachary uses every means possible to advance his client’s interests. In all cases, he deploys a thorough, tactical and cost-effective approach to secure the best outcomes possible for the firm's clientele.

Zachary specializes in defending businesses and individuals in complex, personal injury cases nationwide. These high-exposure, wrongful death and negligence lawsuits concern accidents with company-owned motor vehicles, commercial trucks, construction sites and residential care facilities. Oftentimes, he steps in during the last, pivotal phases of multi-million dollar cases for excess insurers, readying these matters for trial.

Zachary also handles employment matters; they include disputes involving discrimination, harassment, and wage-and-hour claims in state and federal courts. To minimize litigation risk, he consults with business owners to scrutinize corporate policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

A lifelong Southern Californian, Zachary lives in San Diego with his wife, Lily, and their two rescue pugs, Devon and Olive. He enjoys surfing, supporting dog rescues, playing golf and traveling.

Experience

Negligence Litigation

  • Defended an assisted living facility for the elderly in a wrongful-death lawsuit after a resident eloped through a second-story window and died in the hospital days later. After a three-week trial, the jury awarded plaintiffs a small fraction of their request.
  • Recovered millions of dollars in subrogation actions for Fortune 500 insurers.
  • Defended a produce distribution company in a lawsuit following a death at its loading dock. Excess insurer paid nothing to resolve this claim.
  • Defended scrap metal company in wrongful-death action after one of its semi-tractor trailer driver was hit by a driver in front of the company’s Los Angeles loading facility. Company denied liability and excess insurer paid nothing to resolve claim.  
  • Represent international youth organizations and its directors in high-profile cases nationwide stemming from sexual assault and abuse allegations.

Insurance Subrogation Litigation

  • Represented Fortune 500 insurance company in $15 million subrogation action to enforce its insured’s express indemnity right.
  • Represented insurance company in subrogation action following massive fire that consumed several structures in Carson, California.

Premises Liability

  • Defended an electrical contractor that was sued after a pedestrian misstepped outside of its construction zone at a private university in Los Angeles. Zachary served as third chair in the ensuing trial in which the initial demand exceeded $30 million.  
  • Represented a national food chain after a patron allegedly suffered a traumatic brain injury slipping in the bathroom. Excess insurer paid nothing to settle this claim.
  • Defended the owner of a popular San Diego chain restaurant in premises-liability action after contractor fell from the second story and suffered a traumatic brain injury. Plaintiffs dismissed the restaurant-owner defendant immediately after our team filed a motion to dismiss the claim.

Business Litigation

  • Represented a wholesale medical distribution company in employment dispute and breach-of-contract action. Client recovered substantial damages from former employee and we successfully protected company trade secrets.
  • Represented investment company in action against seller of multi-million dollar strip mall for misrepresenting income in pre-purchase disclosures. The case resulted in a favorable settlement.

Professional Affiliations

  • San Diego Defense Lawyers Association

Community Involvement

  • USC Alumni Association
  • Syracuse University College of Law Alumni Association

Past Employment

  • Before joining Taylor | Anderson, Zachary was an attorney at Berger Kahn, where he handled insurance defense, medical malpractice and employment matters. He also worked at the Legal Aid Society of San Diego as a staff attorney.
Education
  • Syracuse University, College of Law, Syracuse, New York
    • J.D., cum laude - 2010
    • Honor: Dean’s List
    • Law Review: Senior Articles Editor, Law Journal
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
    • B.A. - 2006
Bar Admission
  • California
  • Texas
  • Washington
Court Admission
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California
Honors and Awards
  • Southern California Super Lawyer’s “Rising Star”, 2015
  • California State Bar’s Wiley W. Manuel Award, 2011
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