Roger L. RutherfordPartner
Areas of Practice
Roger L. Rutherford has practiced law for more than 40 years serving individuals, small businesses and local governmental entities. Rutherford enjoys helping clients whenever they need to solve problems or achieve goals. Whether drafting a difficult will for blended families or negotiating a loan for a small municipality, he takes pride in interacting with clients and recommending effective solutions.
Rutherford concentrates in estate and business planning, probate, business organization and local government law. Before joining FeldmanWasser, he spent his entire career in private practice representing families, small businesses and boards of directors in all types of settings. He has broad experience in all facets of business law and served as a business law instructor at Lincoln Land Community College.
He is a strong advocate of complete estate planning that includes a living will, power of attorney for health care, durable or financial power of attorney, and either a traditional will or a pour-over will with a companion revocable living trust. He firmly believes in the maxim that the average person will spend 85,000 hours working hard during a lifetime and building an estate but less than 10 hours doing any estate and financial planning to preserve and enhance their wealth and to provide for the distribution of their estate to their spouse, children, charities of their choice and other intended beneficiaries. With proper planning, he has helped many families feel secure about their future.
Trusts are an integral part of estate planning, and Rutherford believes properly drafted trusts are an important tool when providing for a disabled child, an elderly parent, a favorite charity or a financially challenged child or grandchild.
Rutherford has been active in the Illinois State Bar Association, having served as past statewide chair of the ISBA Law Office Economics Section Council and as past chair of the ISBA Committee on Legal Technology.
- Illinois, 1975
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois, 1975
- 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 1988
- Valparaiso University, J.D. 1974
- University of Illinois, B.S., 1970
Cases and Results
- Represented and testified at an elder abuse trial on behalf of a 93-year-old retired female physician who was a victim of elder abuse. The perpetrator was convicted of significant elder abuse, establishing and confirming the standard of care in Illinois that a non-relative paid employee caregiver must give to a physically and mentally frail and vulnerable subject. Rutherford also worked with the Illinois State Police Task Force of Crimes Against Seniors and the Elder Abuse Hotline to secure the conviction.
- Represented hundreds of Central Illinois families in their estate and financial planning.
- Assisted in negotiating and drafting several multimillion dollar farm real estate transactions in various Central Illinois counties.
- Prepared IRC Section 1031 Tax-Free Exchange Real Estate transactions.
- Represented clients in numerous Central Illinois residential, commercial and farm real estate transactions.
- He has extensive experience in the formation of Minor Subdivisions in Central Illinois.
- Served as a hearing officer for the City of Springfield and represented 20 Central Illinois municipalities and quasi-municipalities such as water commissions, sanitary districts and fire protection districts. Served as general municipal counsel, attended meetings, drafted ordinances, advised on all matters from prevailing wages to roles as special counsel and bond counsel in public financings. Guided clients through the building of firehouses, village halls, water plants and water distribution systems.
- Litigated several cases involving trust construction and the corporate trustee’s duty to the income beneficiary versus its duty to the remaindermen or future interest-holders. One involved filing a trust construction action and seeking an accounting. The goal was to remove a large bank trustee that the income beneficiary alleged favored the remaindermen over the income beneficiary in its unfettered discretion to determine when and if trust income should be distributed, as well as how much income should be distributed to the lifetime beneficiary as opposed to retaining the income for future distribution to the minor remaindermen. Prompted by the lawsuit’s filing, the parties reached an out of court division of the various income interests.
- American Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Sangamon County Bar Association
- Macoupin County Bar Association
- Lincoln Land Community College, board of trustees
- Salvation Army Citizens, advisory board
- Sojourn Shelter & Services, Inc., board
- Ansar Shrine
- Lincoln Land DARE, board
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Illinois Chapter
- Abraham Lincoln Council, Boy Scouts of America Venturing/Exploring, advisor
- Greater Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Government Affairs Committee