James W. Ryan

Contact Information






Biography/Practice Areas

James W. Ryan is a Partner with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC and a member of the firm’s Criminal Defense, Health Care and Litigation Teams. Mr. Ryan is a highly successful trial lawyer representing clients at the state and federal level. He has significant experience in defending white-collar crime and fraud issues, complex commercial and banking litigation, regulatory and corporate compliance matters and governmental investigations. Attorney Ryan is a prominent member of the legal community, and was honored by his peers and judges with the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell which is the highest rating based on both legal ability and ethics. He has also been recognized as a White Collar Crime Super Lawyer®. Mr. Ryan also has substantial experience in representing students in school disciplinary proceedings and property taxpayers at municipal tax valuation hearings.


In 1987, Mr. Ryan was appointed Chief of the Criminal Division for the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General. For more than nine years, Attorney Ryan successfully lead the prosecution of all felony cases, including fraudulent transactions involving misuse of government funds and corrupt practices. Mr. Ryan personally prosecuted the bank officials and others responsible for the collapse of the Jefferson Loan & Investment Bank.

Earlier in his career, Attorney Ryan worked in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney where he was appointed Senior Trial Counsel and Bureau Chief in the Trial Division by District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau. Prior to his practice with PLDO, Mr. Ryan was a litigation partner with one of largest law firms in Southeastern New England.

Mr. Ryan has held several high profile community and volunteer positions in Rhode Island including serving as a member of the Governor’s Economic Crime Commission, the Teitz Commission on the Future of the Courts and as a board member for the Cornerstone Adult Services, Inc. and Bike Newport.

Attorney Ryan earned his J.D. from Fordham University of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross. He is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court in MA, RI, SDNY, EDNY; U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit and 2nd Circuit.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defense
  • Cyber Law
  • Health Care
  • Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court District of Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell which is the highest rating
  • White Collar Crime Super Lawyer®

Education/Professional Associations


  • Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York
    • J.D.
  • College of the Holy Cross
    • B.A.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
  • International Association of Private Sector Inspectors General (IPSIG)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Pro Bono Activities

  • Member, Governor’s Economic Crime Commission
  • Board Member, Cornerstone Adult Services, Inc.
  • Bike Newport

Representative Matters

  • Defended a health care professional accused of filing False Claims and Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses in connection with Medicaid reimbursements. All charges were dismissed on the eve of trial.
  • Defended a Rhode Island contractor investigated for submitting fraudulent claims in connection with the construction of a health care facility funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, through grants provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.
  • Defended a Rhode Island company accused of violations of the Clean Air Act having to do with failure to develop and implement a Risk Management Plan to minimize the chance of accidental release of ethyl ether from its warehouse in Rhode Island.
  • Defended a Rhode Island company under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor for violations of and misappropriation of federal funds having to do with the federally-funded Work Share Program administered by the Rhode Island Division of Labor & Training. The case resulted in a Non Prosecution Agreement and restitution of funds.
  • Defended a California company under investigation for the sale of Potion 9, a chemically structural analog of the date rape drug GHB in violation of Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act prohibition against the sale of misbranded drugs. The case resulted in a Deferred Prosecution Agreement and the forfeiture of proceeds derived from the sale of Potion 9.
  • Defended a Rhode Island insurance company specializing in Worker’s Compensation insurance from regulatory claims brought by the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation.
  • Defended a publicly traded company in a business dispute concerning the transport of petroleum products and was granted Judgment as a Matter of Law on a Rule 50 motion thereby removing that client from the case. The judgment was affirmed at Getty Petroleum Marketing & Getty Properties Corp. v. Capital Terminal Company, 391 F.3d 312 (1st Cir. 2004).