John R. Rydell II

[email protected]

John grew up in Santa Barbara and attended the local public schools. He returned to Santa Barbara after college, the Navy, and law school and joined Griffith & Thornburgh in 1974. He was elected to two terms on the Hope School Board, and has served in leadership positions for several local non-profit organizations. As an avid golfer, he served as the President of the Southern California Golf Association and has enjoyed traveling to the magnificent courses of England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and Australia. John and his wife Helen have been blessed with three wonderful children, nine remarkable grandchildren, and one precious great-granddaughter.


  • Partner, Griffith & Thornburgh, LLP: 1974 – Present
  • Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell for more than 30 years

Practice Areas

  • Extensive Trial and Litigation Practice
    • Professional Liability – Successful defense of claims against attorneys and accountants.
    • Trust Litigation – All aspects of trust litigation, including asserting the rights of beneficiaries and defending the actions of trustees.
    • Employment Law – Successful defense of employers.
    • Real Estate – Successful resolution of sales, easements and boundary line disputes
  • Family Law – Representing both men and women in all aspects of family law including pre-marital agreements, dissolutions, and custody matters.
  • Estate Planning.
  • Advising businesses on employment and general business matters.


  • California State Bar Association, admitted 1974 (former State Bar Court referee)
  • Santa Barbara County Bar Association (former member of Board of Directors)
  • Admitted to practice before all California state and federal trial and appellate courts.


  • Yale University, B.A. (History) 1967
  • University of Virginia, J.D. 1974
    • Member, Virginia Law Review 1972 – 1974 (Notes Editor)
    • Order of the Coif


  • United States Navy 1967 – 1971
  • Supply Corps Officer
  • USS Gurke (DD-783)

Community Activities

  • Hope School Board of Trustees (1978 – 1987) (President for two terms)
  • Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (Chairman of the Board 1996 to 2002)
  • La Cumbre Country Club (Past President)
  • Valley Club of Montecito (Past Vice-President/Secretary)
  • Southern California Golf Association (SCGA) (Member of Board of Directors 1997 to 2011; President 2010)
  • General Legal Counsel for the Southern California Golf Association (2009 to present)
  • California Golf Association (Member of Board of Directors 2007 to 2011; Vice President 2011)
  • American Heart Association – Santa Barbara Chapter (Former Board Member)
  • Santa Barbara Junior Golf Association (Past President)