Our History



Our History

Serving cooperatives since 1911, bringing cooperative legal practice into the 21st Century.

In 1911, Thérèse Tuttle’s great-grandfather, Edward W. Tuttle, formed a Los Angeles law partnership with Job Harriman and J. H. Ryckman, under the name Harriman, Ryckman and Tuttle.  Tuttle and Harriman ran on the Socialist platform for the positions of Los Angeles City Auditor and Mayor, respectively.  A scholar interested in social reform, Tuttle joined the faculty of USC School of Law, where he wrote numerous articles and a major expansion of the 1893 treatise Freeman on Judgments

In 1941, he formed the law firm Tuttle & Tuttle with his son, Edward E. Tuttle.  The firm represented agricultural cooperatives, organizing and supporting citrus, grape and nut growers in Southern California and in the San Joaquin Valley.  In 1951, they hired Robert Taylor and became Tuttle & Taylor

Both father and son believed that the cooperative form of business enterprise was the cornerstone of a well-functioning economic democracy. Tuttle Law Group continues this tradition in the 21st Century, organizing and supporting a broad range of cooperative structures across various sectors of the economy.



Our Staff


Our Staff



Therese Tuttle represents California consumer cooperatives, agricultural cooperatives and worker cooperatives. She also advises clients on business formation and estate planning matters.   

In 2000, she founded Tuttle & Van Knonynenburg, LLP, a firm focused on cooperative and agricultural law, with her law partner Frank Van Konynenburg; in 2001 the firm successfully defended the 400 members of Tri Valley Growers, a processing cooperative, from claims of creditors in the cooperative’s bankruptcy. Prior to founding the firm, she worked for California Farmers Union and served as Director of Cooperative and Economic Development for National Farmer’s Union, managing cooperative project requests from 23 state-based member organizations. In 2013, she drafted amendments to California’s cooperative law that enabled preferred-share financing and capitalization of cooperatives.  She has spoken on this topic at annual meetings of the California Center for Cooperative Development and has been awarded USDA’s “Great Cooperator” Award. She serves on the non-profits committee of the California State Bar Association.


Sushil represents employee-owned and worker cooperatives, employee-benefit trusts, platform cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, and purchasing cooperatives. His practice includes the conversion of traditional business forms to cooperative ownership.  He was a principal drafter and counsel to the coalition that passed the California Worker Cooperative Act (AB 816), which went into effect on January 1, 2016.

Prior to joining the Tuttle Law Group, Sushil worked with the East Bay Community Law Center, where he founded the Green-Collar Communities Clinic, a community economic development practice that assists clients who seek to create green, worker-owned businesses as a community empowerment strategy. Sushil received his J.D. in 2011 from Berkeley Law. Prior to attending law school, Sushil worked in India for two years on community economic development projects, including Just Change, a cooperative of small farmers and indigenous peoples groups in South India. 

Sushil serves on the boards of the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union in Berkeley and the Sustainable Economies Law Center.



Partner Reno Fernandez lived and served in the leadership of the University Students Cooperative Association (now the Berkeley Student Cooperative) throughout his undergraduate education at the University of California at Berkeley and during law school at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, California. The student
co-op has approximately 2,000 residents at 20 locations, and the co-op owns and manages approximately $100 million in assets. Mr. Fernandez’s experience living and working in two of the co-op’s housing units, fulfilling administrative and officer roles as well as serving as the member advocate for rent and conduct disputes was formative. 
Now, Mr. Fernandez is honored to help worker, consumer and producer co-ops in formation, governance and fundraising.


Iain A. Macdonald is a partner with Macdonald Fernandez LLP, a firm practicing bankruptcy, insolvency and turnaround litigation. The firm has offices in San Francisco and Modesto, California, and practices throughout California and nationally.

He is a past chair of the Commercial Law and Bankruptcy Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, as well as a former board member of the Bar Association’s board of directors.  He had also served as a mediator on the Bankruptcy Dispute Resolution Panel of the Northern District of California Bankruptcy Court as well as the Stanislaus County Superior Court Mediation Panel.

Most recently, he was a speaker at the 2011 and 2010 annual meetings of both the State Bar of California and the California Bankruptcy Forum, and the author of Confirming the Plan in the Individual Chapter 11 Case Vol. 30 Cal. Bankr. J. No. 2 (2009).


University of California, Davis / B.S. 1961
Agricultural Production (Viticulture, Pomology, Plant Sciences) Agricultural Economics

University of California, Berkeley / J.D. 1964

Professional Experience
Since 1965, Frank has worked as an attorney and farmer in Modesto, Dixon and Calistoga. Not only has he worked in a general private practice, but in 1967 and 1968 he served as the Assistant City Attorney of Modesto. Frank’s private practice has focused on agricultural law, bankruptcy litigation, producer lien rights, real property law, including mechanics and materialmen’s liens and estate planning. In addition to his work as a farmer and an attorney, he has served on the boards of several agricultural cooperatives and cooperative associations.

▪    1970-1978   Board Member, Allied Grape Growers
▪    1972-1988   Board Member, California Canning Peach Assn.
▪    1974-1982   Vice-chairman, California Canning Peach Assn.
▪    1974-1978   Board Member, California Freestone Peach Assn.
▪    1974-1992   Board Member, Cling Peach Advisory Board   
▪    1975-1978   Board Member, United Vintners
▪    1976-1978   Chairman, California Freestone Peach Assn.
▪    1978-1980   Board Alternate, Diamond Walnut Growers, Assn.
▪    1982-1988   Chairman, California Canning Peach Assn. 

Special Interests/Hobbies
Viticultural cultivar development and research.

Author: A Home & A Price: 75 Years of History with the California Canning Peach Association.

Government relations and testimony on issues of concern to California agriculture with particular emphasis on challenges of trade under the W.T.O.



Community Partners


Community Partners