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James G. Ryan is the Head of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation Department and is a member of the Firm's Higher Education Practice Group. As Head of the Commercial Litigation department, Jim has extensive experience representing clients in financial services, corporate, energy, and higher education-related matters in federal and state court, before administrative agencies, and in various forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).

Jim's commercial litigation practice focuses on energy-related matters, multi-party class action matters, which include a broad range of disputes in state and federal courts arising out of the transportation, distribution, and sale of natural gas. He also represents financial institutions in matters involving the defense of "lender liability" claims or other allegations of lender misconduct, check warranty claims, actions to recover unpaid obligations from principals and guarantors, and commercial foreclosure actions.

As chair of the Firm's Employment Litigation practice, Jim also regularly represents the Firm’s clients in cases involving discrimination claims, post-employment covenants (including covenants not to compete), breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, trade secret misappropriation, whistleblower allegations, theft of proprietary information, unfair business practices, hiring, promotion, termination, discipline, reductions in force, and sexual harassment. His caseload also includes matters involving the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII, Title IX, HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, ERISA, the New York State Human Rights Law, and the New York State Labor Law. Jim also offers advice and training, including seminars and bulletins, on current employment and education law issues.

As to his representation of colleges and universities, Jim handles the full array of legal issues that confront institutions, including policy creation and enforcement, labor and employment claims, shared governance, intellectual property rights, internal investigations, student life, athletics, and fundraising. Over the years, he has addressed labor contracts, managed faculty work stoppages, negotiated real estate transactions, and developed policies and procedures for several higher education institutions. Jim has also represented colleges and universities in state and federal court and before state and federal agencies. As a result of this experience, he has been asked to lecture before the members of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) on topics such as Title IX, New York’s “Enough is Enough” law which is codified in Article 129-B of the New York State Education Law, and the proper techniques for conducting internal workplace investigations, among many others.

In 2008, Jim founded the Firm’s e-discovery practice group. This practice group provides cost-effective, expeditious, and practical solutions to even the most-challenging issues involving electronically-stored information so that clients can remain focused on their day-to-day business and operations. The eDiscovery practice group also develops or reviews document retention policies to ensure compliance with the litigation hold process, electronic discovery obligations, and statutory and regulatory requirements. As a result of his lectures on electronic discovery, in 2010 Jim was appointed to the New York State Unified Court System E-Discovery Working Group and to its education subcommittee to develop educational materials, including CLE courses and a bench book, on electronic discovery for the New York State judiciary and judicial staff.

Practice Areas



  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York


  • J.D., Fordham University School of Law
  • B.S., Fordham University, College of Business Administration

Professional and Community Activities

  • Adjunct Professor, Molloy College
  • Appointed Member, Judiciary Screening Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association
  • Appointed Member, New York State Unified Court System’s E-Discovery Working Group
  • Mediator, Mediation Panel of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • Member, National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • Member, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, Nassau County Bar Association, Judiciary Committee
  • Member, Federal Bar Council

Speaking Engagements

  • Class Action Lawsuits (May 15, 2020, Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey)
  • Final Title IX Regulations and the Impact on Higher Education Institutions (May 14, 2020)
  • Rightsizing Your Business in These Uncertain Times (May 5, 2020)
  • Navigating COVID-19’s Impact on the Workplace: What Every Institution Must Know (April 2, 2020, Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Mediation Advocacy (November 13, 2019, Nassau County Bar Association)
  • EDNY Mediation Advocacy Training Program (September 19, 2019, EDNY Central Islip Courthouse)
  • New York’s New Sexual Harassment Laws (September 17, 2018, CICU Seminar, Albany)
  • Social Media in the Workplace (May 4, 2017, 26th Annual Law in the Workplace Conference, Suffolk County Academy of Law)
  • Invited Panelist, EDNY Mediation Advocacy Training Program (March 16, 2017, EDNY Central Islip Courthouse)
  • Conducting Internal Investigations (December 1, 2016, CICU Seminar, PACE University)
  • Are You Prepared for Employee Misconduct? (April 19, 2016, Capital Region Chamber of Commerce)
  • Social Media in the Workplace and Courtroom (September 25, 2015, NYS Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section)
  • Ethics of Social Media in the Workplace (September 18, 2015, Suffolk County Bar Association)
  • Implementing New York State Campus Sexual Assault Law: Article 129-B (September 11, 2015, CICU Seminar)
  • How to Conduct A Proper Internal Investigation (September 8, 2015, Nassau County Bar Association)
  • How Employers Should Conduct an Internal Investigation (May 11, 2015, Suffolk County Bar Association)
  • E-Discovery and the FRCP: Changes Afoot for Data Governance and Management (March 25, 2015, The Knowledge Group Webcast)
  • Challenges of Conducting A Proper Internal Investigation (March 4, 2015, Federal Bar Association)
  • Effectively Addressing Sexual Misconduct on Campus: Title IX and Clery Act Compliance (February 23, 2015, CICU Seminar)
  • E-Discovery and The Municipal Attorney: Compliance and Cost Control Issues (October 17-18, 2014, NYS Bar Association, Municipal Law Section)
  • Wage/Hour Issues and Self-Directed Services (June 11, 2014, Third Annual Conference of the Interagency Council)
  • Wage and Hour Issues: Fair Labor Standards Act and New York State Law (February 21, 2014, NYSARC Chapter Executive Meeting)
  • Invited Speaker, Thirty-Fifth Annual American Gas Association Legal Forum (July 15-17 2012, San-Diego, California)
  • E-Discovery in Federal Litigation (June 20, 2012, Suffolk County Bar Association)
  • Federal Discovery (May 30, 2012, Nassau County Academy of Law)
  • Hiring and Firing: Background Checks, Social Media, and Other Arresting Developments(October 25, 2011- Ali Aba Webcast)
  • Electronic Discovery Update: New York State Case Law and Developments(June 14, 2011- Ali Aba Webcast)
  • Electronic Discovery (May 2, 2011, Appellate Division, First Department)
  • E-discovery: What the Litigator Needs to Know to Avoid Professional Liability (June 7, 2010)
  • Electronic Discovery – Avoiding Disaster (September 9, 2009)

Honors and Awards

  • Rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Super Lawyers, 2012–2019


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