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John S. Rueppel

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate & Trust Litigation Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP
101 Montgomery St, Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 415-527-0788
Fax: 415-693-0500
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2022
Selected to Rising Stars: 2015 - 2019
Licensed in California Since: 2009
Practice Areas: Estate & Trust Litigation, Estate Planning & Probate
  • Free Consultation
Attorney Profile

Attorney John S. Rueppel is a partner with Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP law firm in San Francisco, California. Certified as a specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law from The State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization, Mr. Rueppel has more than 11 years of total legal experience, and he provides invaluable counsel and support to clients throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area who have legal needs involving any of the following:

· Trust and estate litigation

· Trust administration

· Probate administration and litigation

Over the course of his legal career, Mr. Rueppel has represented trustees and trust beneficiaries in numerous contested trust and estate litigation across the state, and he has gained a reputation for his fierce advocacy for his clients and his aggressive approach to helping them achieve the favorable outcomes they expect and deserve as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

In addition, he has extensive experience representing executors and estate administrators in all areas of the estate administration process as well as during litigation involving contested wills and other estate planning documents. He has also handled many cases involving Probate Code 850 claims as well as cases involving undue influence, elder abuse and financial fraud.

Recognized for his outstanding professionalism and service, Mr. Rueppel has earned consistent top rankings and endorsements from his peers, and he has received designation as among the top 5% of lawyers in his region. He has also received numerous testimonials and referrals from his satisfied clients, and he finds great reward in being able to help so many in his community with their complex and pressing legal challenges.

A 1993 graduate of Cornell University, Mr. Rueppel received his Master of Education from Loyola College of Baltimore in 2000. He studied law for a year at the University of San Francisco School of Law before finishing his legal studies at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctor in 2009.

Mr. Rueppel is an active member of The Bar Association of San Francisco and the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association's Diversity and Membership Committees, and he is the president of The Lawyers' Club San Francisco Inn of Court. He is also a member of the California Lawyers for the Arts and the American Bar Association, and he has presented several continuing legal education seminars across his region on a variety of legal topics.

Practice Areas
  • 80%Estate & Trust Litigation
  • 20%Estate Planning & Probate
Focus Areas

Will Contests, Estate Planning, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Probate & Estate Administration, Trusts, Wills


3 Years Super Lawyers
5 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2022
  • Rising Stars: 2015 - 2019

Certificates and Credentials

About John S. Rueppel

First Admitted: 2009, California

Professional Webpage:

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Georgia O'Keefe Museum
  • ACLU 
  • Native American Arts Association
  • Member, Horizons Foundation Advisory Board

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Income, Gift and Estate Tax Considerations 
  • Reconciling Non Conventional Relationships and California Community Property Law, American Bar Association, 2008 
  • Evolving Issues in Planning, California State Bar, 2010
  • 2010 Income Splitting Decision, San Francisco Bar Association, 2011
  • Estate Plan Drafting, CEB, 2013
  • Estate Planning Post DOMA, Northern Trust, 2014
  • Tax Conundrums Post Oberfell, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2016

Bar/Professional Activity

  • State Bar of California, Taxation and Estate Planning Sections, Member 
  • American Bar Association, Member, Present
  • BALIF, Member, Present
  • San Francisco Bar Association, Member, Present, 2010
  • California, 1983 
  • Member of the Diversity Committee of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2018
  • Member of the Lawyer's Club San Francisco Inn of Court. I have served as diversity chair and president-elect, 2014

Educational Background

  • University of California at Irvine, B.A.
  • Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco, California, LL.M.


  • As a graduate in the top 10% of my graduating class, was awarded high honors. , magna cum laude, UC Hastings College of the Law, 2009

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law., 2019

Industry Groups

  • Legal
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Office Location for John S. Rueppel

101 Montgomery St
Suite 1600
San Francisco, CA 94104

Phone: 415-527-0788

Fax: 415-693-0500

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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