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Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP

To Consult With An Experienced Attorney

Deb L. Kinney
John S. Rueppel
  • Partner

Contact Me:

Practice Areas:

  • Trust and Estates Litigation 80%
  • Trust and Probate Administration 20%


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • JD - 2009
  • University of San Francisco School of Law, San Francisco, California
    • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
      • B.A., Bachelor of Arts - 1993

    Certified Legal Specialties

    • Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, CA State Bar, 2018


    John Rueppel is a Partner at Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP. John has extensive experience with trust and estate litigation in all Bay Area jurisdictions and throughout California. John has represented trustees and trust beneficiaries in contested matters including in trust contests, removal petitions, contested accountings, and other trust matters. He has also represented executors and administrations and estate beneficiaries in will contests, accountings, and Probate Code 850 claims and represented individual parties in cases involving financial elder abuse, fraud, and undue influence.

    Before joining Johnston, Kinney & Zulaica LLP, John was a founding partner at O'Neil & Rueppel, LLP, a trust and estates boutique located in San Francisco.

    John is a member of the State Bar of California and the Bar Association of San Francisco, and is a member of the Litigation and Trusts & Estates Sections of both organizations. He has been recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star from 2015 to 2019. He earned his B.A. from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and his J.D. magna cum laude from University of California Hastings College of the Law. John is a certified specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law.

    John has contributed to the community through his pro-bono work for Bay Area organizations such as the Aids Legal Referral Panel, and the California Lawyers for the Arts. He is also on the Diversity Committee of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, and is "President Elect" of the Lawyers Club of San Francisco Inn of Court.

    John lives in San Francisco with his wife and two sons. In his spare time, John meditates, runs, and pulls weeds in his garden.

    Professional Associations

    • San Francisco Bar Association, Member, 2010 to Present
    • Lawyer's Club San Francisco Inn of Court, Vice President, 2014 to Present
    • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Diversity Committee, 2018 to Present
    • California Lawyer for the Arts, Member, 2010 to Present
    • American Bar Association, Member, 2006 to Present

    Classes & Seminars

    • CLE's On Numerous Topics, SF Lawyers Club Inn of Court, 2014 to Present

    Bar Admissions

    • California, 2009

    Pro-Bono Activities

    • Aids Legal Referral Panel, 2010 to 2020
    • California Lawyers for the Arts, 2010 to 2018


    • James M. O'Neil, Esq.
    • Hon. James Lambden (Ret.)
    • Yulissa Zulaica, Esq.
    • Hon. Charlotte Woolard (Ret.)

    Past Positions

    • O'Neil & Rueppel, LLP, Founding Partner, 2009 to 2020
    • San Francisco Superior Court, Legal Research Attorney
    • California Attorney General's Office, Legal Intern
    • California Courts of Appeal with Justice James Lambden, Judicial Extern, 2008
    • Sierra Club Legal Program, Legal Intern, 2008
    • California Court of Appeal, Judicial Extern, 2007