Ryan_McHugh, Attorney at Law

Ryan McHugh
Attorney at Law


A Natural Lawyer

Some people take their time deciding what career to pursue. Others, like Summit Defense attorney Ryan McHugh were lucky to know exactly what they wanted to do from a young age. Ryan was one of those guys who was born to be a lawyer.

Ryan is a local - he grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where he watched his father, also an attorney, run a successful law practice. He is and was the kind of guy who would challenge people to debates and then win every time. It was a foregone conclusion that Ryan would be a lawyer also. 

Excelled in Law School

Ryan excelled throughout his studies and became fluent in Spanish. He received his undergraduate degree in International Economics at the Georgetown University in Washington DC which is considered to be one of the nation's most respected schools. Next, Ryan returned to his roots in the Bay Area to earn his law degree at the University of San Francisco.

At USF, Ryan excelled at Criminal Law and Procedure classes and developed a passionate interest in criminal justice. After law school, Ryan joined the Alameda County DA's office where he was also a standout. In a very short time, he worked his way up from handling misdemeanors such as petty theft and drunk driving cases to being entrusted with serious felonies such as domestic violence, grand theft, embezzlement and violent crimes.

Advantage of Being a Former Prosecutor

As all defense attorneys know, some overly aggressive prosecutors are more concerned with getting a conviction than with achieving a fair and just outcome. Ryan's reputation in the DA's office was one of extreme competence, but also of fairness. His goal as a prosecutor was always to be the most prepared attorney in the courtroom...and his preparation showed in his results.




As a former prosecutor, I know that it's easy to jump to conclusions. That's why it's extremely important to have a proactive defense team.  We make sure that the police and the district attorney know that they don't have the full picture. They need to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt and often they cannot.

- Attorney Ryan McHugh on Domestic Violence Defense

After four years as a prosecutor, Ryan realized that he was better suited to be a criminal defense attorney, where he could give people a second chance and help them get back on their feet. When Ryan McHugh left the DA's office, he took with him valuable and unusual expertise - having an attorney that knows how the other side works is a huge advantage for criminal defense clients.

Success as a Criminal Defense Attorney

Today, Summit Defense clients benefit greatly from Ryan's deep understanding of how prosecutors work. While inexperienced defense attorneys never know how much they can push, Ryan knows exactly what to do to achieve the best possible outcome for his clients. Whether through negotiation or trial, Ryan's goal is dismissal of all charges. He know how prosecutors evaluate cases and even knows the politics in the district attorney's office. Well known among judges and prosecutors, he holds a reputation for passionately and aggressively fighting for every client, and he strives to meet those expectations with every case he takes.

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