Rheba Rutkowski



  • Northeastern University School of Law, J.D.
  • Wellesley College, A.B.


  • New Mexico
  • Massachusetts
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the First, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits
  • United States District Court, Districts of New Mexico and Massachusetts



Law clerk to the Honorable Harris L Hartz, United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, and the Honorable Hugh H. Bownes, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Substantial experience in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels in a wide range of litigation matters, including commercial, civil rights, employment, bankruptcy, and personal injury cases, many of which involved complex questions of constitutional law, statutory construction, and jurisdiction.

Appellate experience in federal criminal matters as an Appellate Assistant Federal Public Defender (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire). Work in the federal courts includes successful petitions for certiorari, successful briefs in opposition to certiorari, merits briefs, and amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court.

Significant matters include obtaining a new trial in United States v. Sasso, 695 F.3d 25 (1st Cir. 2012); successful representation of a law-firm defendant in Gray v. Evercore Restructuring L.L.C., 544 F.3d 320 (1st Cir. 2008), and In re High Voltage Engineering Corp., 544 F.3d 315 (1st Cir. 2008); and successful representation of an insurance-company defendant in River East L.L.C. v. The Variable Annuity Life Insurance Co., 498 F.3d 718 (7th Cir. 2007), a closely watched case concerning voluntary prepayment clauses. Represented many clients on a pro bono basis in proceedings before state and federal trial and appellate courts and the United States Supreme Court, including Uighurs imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.