Richard A. Gutstadt

Firm Overview

Richard Gutstadt has represented thousands of Social Security and SSI applicants over his 30+ years of law practice. Notwithstanding the increased complexity of physical and mental impairments, Richard has maintained his commitment that every client should be given his or her best chance of winning their claim in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Mr. Gutstadt is eager to share his experience and passion for winning cases with his new associate, Eric Patrick.

Example cases

It is difficult to summarize any one specific case. Suffice it to say, Mr. Gutstadt has represented clients with all types of orthopedic and internal medicine problems, not to mention accompanying mental health issues. It is critical to make sure that all available medical evidence is presented, and that treating physicians are able to provide their support to help establish disability.

Main Office
614 Grand Avenue
Suite 320
Oakland  CA  94610
  • (510) 451-8370
  • (510) 451-7408


Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
Richard Gutstadt and Eric Patrick represent individuals only on a contingency basis, charging no more than 25% of past due benefits, not to exceed $6,000, in winning a client's case. This contractual agreement is consistent with the Federal Social Security statute regulating attorney fees. Initial consultations are part of the contingency nature of the contract.

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken

Is your firm willing to help a client with one discrete part of a case, without taking on the whole case?


What are your policies about dividing work within the firm to make the process most cost-effective for the client?

The work is divided equally among the associate attorneys, with the goal to presenting the case in a timely manner which maximizes our clients' chance of success.

How frequently does your firm use mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law to resolve cases?


Does your firm provide pro bono legal services or otherwise participate in your community?


What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Richard Gutstadt and Eric Patrick attempt to maintain personal and individual attention/priority to each one of their cases. While a certain volume of cases is necessary to sustain the "bottom line" of the law firm, the volume of cases cannot become so great as to dilute the quality of representation, or limit accessibility to an attorney.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

It is extremely important that clients understand what it takes to successfully win a Social Security disability case. While knowing the law is very important, it is also extremely important that medical facts and conclusions be presented in a proactive, consistent fashion. It is also very important that the attorney knows the tendencies and philosophy of the individual Administrative Law Judge who will be hearing the client's case. What will it take for the judge to pay the case? How will the judge treat any medical or vocational experts who will testify at the hearing?

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?


Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?


Richard Gutstadt

Richard Gutstadt has been focusing primarily on Social Security disability issues since beginning his solo practice in 1977.

The work is divided equally among the associate attorneys, with the goal to presenting the case in a timely manner which maximizes our clients' chance of success.

  • Bar Number: 64159
    California , 1995

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