About the Attorneys

Michelle Rutherford

Ph: 323-641-0784
Fax: 504-407-2131


Rutherford is a nationally-recognized civil rights lawyer with trial experience in both criminal and civil matters. Rutherford’s practice focuses on complex cases poised to effect change for groups and individuals that have suffered from systemic bias, racism, discrimination, homophobia, sexism, injustice, and inequality. In each case, Rutherford’s client-driven approach focuses on creative and thoughtful solutions to traditional and entrenched problems. Prior to law school, Rutherford worked in public health, directing an HIV prevention and testing program for a large non-profit in Texas for six years.


  • Filed the first lawsuits against Gilead Sciences, Inc. to allege that patients suffered bone and kidney damage as a result of ingesting Gilead’s TDF-containing medications, including Viread, Truvada, Atripla, and Complera.
  • Obtained release into the general population and a favorable settlement for an inmate housed in solitary confinement for over 28 years because of his political beliefs and members ship in the Black Panthers.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a Rastafarian inmate discriminated against and beaten by correctional officers for his religious-based refusal to cut his hair.
  • Obtained resentencing and release from prison for three inmates serving life without parole sentences for all non-violent, low level drug possession crimes.
  • Obtained a favorable pre-litigation settlement in a sexual harassment mediation.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement and return to full employment for two clients wrongfully terminated from their city health department jobs after they reported grant discrepancies.
  • Filed the first lawsuit against a District Attorney and Sheriff for repeated pattern of failure to investigate sexual assault and rape allegations by female victims.
  • Represent protestors wrongfully detained and arrested during lawful demonstrations against excessive use of force by law enforcement in the aftermath of Alton Sterling’s death at the hands of local law enforcement.


  • California
  • Louisiana
  • California State Courts California United States District Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Louisiana State Courts
  • Louisiana United States District Courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit


  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D. 2008
  • University of Denver, B.A. with honors, 1999


  • Spanish
I’ve taken a Gilead HIV drug and I’m interested in the lawsuit.

Please describe your side effects – specifically kidney and bone density issues – in as much detail as possible:

We’re Putting Patients First, Over Profit

There is substantial evidence that Gilead withheld Genvoya (TAF), a safer alternative version of tenofovir drugs used to treat HIV infection, for over a decade. 

Are you taking an HIV drug manufactured by Gilead and interested in this litigation?