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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

N. Michael Rucka: October 3, 1939 - July 28, 2014

N. Michael Rucka
The world has lost a brilliant leader, a devoted advocate, and a compassionate person, N. Michael Rucka.

Mike’s unswerving devotion and commitment throughout his entire lifetime advanced the cause of justice for injured workers and their families. His presence was that of a giant upon whose shoulders he lifted and inspired us to make the world a better place.

N. Michael Rucka, known nationally as a pioneer and expert in the field of workers' compensation and personal injury law, died on 28 July at his home in Salinas, California. He was 74 and had been battling cancer for two years.
The founding member of the Rucka, O'Boyle, Lombardo & McKenna law firm in Salinas, California, his contributions to the advocacy and representation of injured workers redefined the field and established him as one of its foremost and most sought-after experts. A former president of the California Applicants' Attorneys Association, he was a founding member of the Workers' Injury Law & Advocacy Group (WILG) and served as its Chair from 1996-2000. The recipient of numerous professional awards, he argued cases at the local, state, and Federal level.
Noted for his compassion and knowledge throughout the community of the Monterey Peninsula, Mr. Rucka was as zealous in pursuit of a full life as he was in pursuing justice for his many clients. A world-traveler who described himself as an eternal and eager student, he was an inspiring educator. His passion for fine wine led him to grow his own grapes and, with three of his dearest friends, turned him to wine-making as a hobby. He enjoyed nothing more than good company with whom to share the fruit of his labors. A voracious reader despite a lifelong struggle with dyslexia, he inspired a love of learning in all around him. A long-time member and past-president of Congregation Beth Israel in Carmel, he remained active in his congregation through his retirement. He loved art in all its myriad forms, but was especially fond of jazz, and attended the Monterey Bay Jazz Festival for many years in the company of his dearest friends.
Born 3 October, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, he moved to Los Angeles when young before his parents, Nettie and Arthur Rucka, finally settled in San Francisco, where Mr. Rucka graduated Lowell High School. He went on to graduate from the University of California at Berkeley, and then earned his law degree from the University of San Francisco. In 1972 he moved his family to Salinas, where he opened ROLM Law.
His commitment and compassion were as evident in his home as outside of it. He was devoted to his wife of 53 years, Corrina, and together they raised three children and opened their home to serve as AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service) host parents to another two, Nilson and Claudia.
Mr. Rucka is survived by his wife, Corrina; his sister, Joan; his children Brandy, Greg, and Nicholas; and his grandchildren Sashya, Dashiell, and Elliot.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at a future date.
Click here to view CAAA tribute page.