John P. Ryan
Senior Partner

Office: 617-523-6010
Direct: 857-321-7013
Fax: 617-227-0927
Email: jryan@sloanewalsh.com

To schedule a mediation or arbitration use the link below to be directed to the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals where Attorney Ryan’s calendar is posted or contact his assistant Donna Snover at dsnover@sloanewalsh.com

Mr. Ryan is a senior partner at Sloane and Walsh where he has concentrated his practice in the trial and appeal of civil cases since joining the firm in 1980. He is an honors graduate of Boston College and a graduate of Suffolk University Law School where he was the recipient of the Frederick McDermott Memorial Scholarship. Mr. Ryan has tried numerous high exposure jury trials in both state and federal court. His trials have encompassed a wide spectrum of civil disputes including medical malpractice, product liability, general liability, wrongful death, employment discrimination, workplace harassment, legal malpractice, defamation, declaratory judgment, insurance fraud, and bad faith insurance claims practices including alleged violations of G.L. c. 93A and G.L. c. 176D. He has argued appellate cases in the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals. A number of Mr. Ryan’s appellate cases have involved questions of first impression in Massachusetts.

In addition to his trial and appellate practice, Mr. Ryan is frequently asked to serve as a mediator or arbitrator in civil disputes, and he has served as such in approximately 1000 cases including such diverse areas as medical malpractice, nursing home liability, product liability, construction accidents, commercial disputes, legal malpractice, property damage claims, construction defect, environmental claims, contribution and indemnification claims, errors and omissions claims, and insurance coverage disputes including claims of bad faith and violations of G.L. c. 93A and G.L. c. 176D. Mr. Ryan is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and the American College of Civil Trial Mediators.

Representative mediations have included a $55M legal malpractice claim involving an international marketing agreement for consumer products in South America; a multi-party damage claim arising out of a chemical facility explosion which destroyed a residential neighborhood resulting in approximately $25M in claims; a multi-party, multi-million dollar mediation involving a gasoline truck turnover with a resultant explosion and fire causing severe personal injuries and property damage giving rise to approximately fifty individual claims and lawsuits; environmental liability mediation involving the allocation of responsibilities among parties to a complex environmental remediation agreement which had been entered into by private parties and environmental government agencies; and a multi-million dollar mediation involving the destruction of an historical Boston church. Mr. Ryan’s mediations have included cases in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Representative arbitrations have included automobile UM claims, automobile liability claims, general liability, wrongful death, insurance coverage disputes, property damage disputes, an errors and omission claim for a negligently designed retirement/investment program, and an errors and omission claim for an alleged failure to secure coverage for an insured.

Mr. Ryan is a frequent lecturer for continuing legal education programs concerning civil trial practice and he has been a faculty member for Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association, and the Suffolk University Law School Advanced Legal Studies program. He is also frequently asked to present at legal seminars for clients and their insurer representatives. Mr. Ryan is an elected Member of the Board of Trustees for the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., the leading provider of continuing legal education for attorneys in Massachusetts. Mr. Ryan also serves as a member of MCLE’s Curriculum, Content Delivery and Operations Committee.

Mr. Ryan has served as a member of the Town of Needham Finance Committee from 1995 – 1998, and he served as its Chairman from 1997-1998. From 1999-2001 Mr. Ryan served as Vice-Chairman of the Needham Government Review Study Committee.

Mr. Ryan was elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1992, and he has been listed in the Best Lawyers in America for more than ten years. In addition, Mr. Ryan has been designated a Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in America in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Mr. Ryan holds an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. In recent surveys conducted by Boston Magazine, Mr. Ryan has been voted by his peers among the 100 best lawyers in New England and Massachusetts on multiple occasions. In 2005, Mr. Ryan was honored by the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association which selected him for the Defense Lawyer of the Year award. In 2013, Mr. Ryan was awarded the American Board of Trial Advocacy (ABOTA) James N. Esdaile Memorial Award for Civility in the Practice of Litigation, ABOTA’s Massachusetts Chapter’s highest award.

  • Insurance Dispute Law, Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith
  • Professional Liability Defense
  • Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Product Liability Defense
  • Construction Defect Law & Construction Law
  • Environmental Law & Toxic Tort Law
  • Employment Law Defense
  • General Liability Litigation
  • Class Action Defense
  • Institutional & Corporate Counseling
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Appellate Practice
  • Complex Civil & Business Litigation
  • Nursing Home Defense
1974: Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1975: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
1985: United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
2010: State of Rhode Island
2010: United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island
2013: State of New Hampshire
2013: United States District Court for the District of New Hampshire

Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts
J.D. – 1974
Honors: Recipient, Frederick McDermott Memorial Scholarship

Boston College
A.B. (Magna Cum Laude) – 1971

AWARDS & HONORS

  • 2023 Boston Top Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent Rating Martindale-Hubbell for 35 years
  • 1992 elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • 2005 awarded Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association Defense Lawyer of the Year Award
  • 2013 awarded the American Board of Trial Advocacy (ABOTA) James N. Esdaile Memorial
  • Award for Civility in the Practice of Litigation
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for more than 25 years
  • 2011, 2013, 2014, selected as a Lawyer of the Year, Massachusetts, by Best Lawyers in America

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

  • American Bar Association
  • Life Fellow, American Bar Association Foundation
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Louis D. Brandeis Fellow, Massachusetts Bar Foundation
  • Norfolk County Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (former Member Board of Directors, former Treasurer)
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (2013-2019)

Participant in continuing legal education courses offered by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MCLE), the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association, the Social Law Library and the Suffolk University Law School Advanced Legal Studies program, including subjects of civil litigation practice, Superior Court practice, evidence, alternative dispute resolution, jury voir dire, bad faith claims, claims pursuant to Chapter 93A/176D and valuation of disputed civil claims.

Trial instructor and mentor at Harvard Law School Winter Trial Advocacy Workshop 2002 ­2004.

Co-Author with William J. Dailey, Jr., Esquire and Harry A. Pierce, Esquire, “Closing Argument-Defendant’s Perspective,” in Massachusetts Courtroom Advocacy, (MCLE, 2005).

Author, 1992, 1993, “Civil Practice and Evidence,” in Recent Developments in Personal Injury Law, (MCLE nos. 92-17.13, 93-17.21).

Co-Author with Myles W. McDonough, Esquire, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, “Civil Practice and Evidence,” in Recent Developments in Personal Injury Law, (MCLE nos. 94­17.14, 95-17.15, 96-17.13, 97-17.14, 98-17.14)

Author, 1991, “Observations on the Use of Demonstrative Evidence,” Premises Liability, (MCLE no. 91-17.06)

  • Frequent participant in continuing legal education courses offered by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc. (MCLE), including subjects of civil litigation practice, Superior Court practice, evidence, and valuation of disputed civil claims.
  • Trial instructor and mentor at Harvard Law School Winter Trial Advocacy Workshop 2002 2004.
  • Co-Author with William J. Dailey, Jr., Esquire and Harry A. Pierce, Esquire, “Closing Argument-Defendant’s Perspective”, Massachusetts Courtroom Advocacy, MCLE, 2005
  • Author, “Civil Practice and Evidence,” in Recent Developments in Personal Injury Law, MCLE, Nos. 92-17.13, 93-17.21, 1992, 1993
  • Co-Author with Myles W. McDonough, Esquire, “Civil Practice and Evidence,” in Recent Developments in Personal Injury Law, MCLE, Nos. 94-17.14, 95-17.15, 96-17.13, 97-17.14, 98-17.14, 1998
  • Author, “Observations on the Use of Demonstrative Evidence,” Premises Liability, MCLE, No. 91-17.06, 1991

Prosecuted appeals in the Appellate Division of the Massachusetts District Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Representative appeals include:

Agis v. Howard Johnson, 371 Mass. 140 (1976) (case of first impression in Massachusetts establishing the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress.)

Monadnock Display Fireworks, Inc. v. Andover, 388 Mass. 153 (1983) (case of first impression in Massachusetts imposing the doctrine of implied contractual indemnity upon a town in the setting of a municipal contract where the town had failed to provide adequate police and fire support for a holiday fireworks display ultimately resulting in a young child picking up an undetonated incendiary device which subsequently exploded and traumatically amputated the child’s hand.)

Chas. T. Main, Inc. v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, 406 Mass. 862 (1990) (case of first impression in Massachusetts interpreting the concept of “claims made” coverage in the setting of professional liability insurance coverage and holding that a failure to timely report a claim within the designated time period of a claims made policy was a condition precedent to coverage and voided coverage for the insured, even in the absence of prejudice.)

New England Tea & Coffee v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, 54 Mass. App. Ct. 903 (2002) (successfully obtained affirmance of trial court’s allowance of summary judgment determining that insurer had no duty to either defend or indemnify claim of defamation.)

Doe No. 4 v. Levine, 77 Mass. App. Ct. 117 (2010) (case of first impression in Massachusetts interpreting the definition of when a cause of action “arises” for purposes of asserting the historical defense of absolute charitable immunity despite the fact that the cause of action “accrued” after the abolition of the absolute defense.)

Rhodes v. AIG Domestic Claims, Inc., 461 Mass. 486 (2012) (Retained to argue on behalf of the defendant before the Supreme Judicial Court with regard to the proper measure of punitive damages in the setting of a trial court ruling that the defendant had violated Chapter 93A and 176D.)

Roe No. 1 v. Children’s Hospital Medical Center, 469 Mass. 710 (2014) (Co-counsel with Gail M. Ryan in successful appeal affirming a trial court order dismissing a claim against the defendant for allegedly failing to protect out of state pediatric patients from the alleged abuse by a pediatrician formerly employed by the defendant.)

Needham Finance Committee, 1995-1998
(Chairman, 1997-1998)

Needham Government Review Study Committee, 1999-2001
(Vice-Chairman 1999-2001)

Needham Cable Television, 2004, 2005
Moderator: “Getting to Know Your Finance Committee” (two part local cable television educational program with panel discussion on governmental function of town Finance Committee)

Board of Directors, St. Joseph Parish School Fund, Inc., 2012 to Present
Member

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