James Ryan

Hon. James V. Ryan (Ret.)

JAMS Mediator, Arbitrator and Referee/Special Master

Case Manager
Casey Fields
T: 1-617-228-9101
F: 617-228-0222
One Beacon Street, Suite 2210, Boston, MA 02108


Hon. James V. Ryan (Ret.) is a highly skilled mediator and arbitrator who has successfully resolved thousands of cases involving a broad variety of issues, including labor and employment, construction, personal injury, toxic tort, professional liability, products liability, workers’ compensation, commercial, franchise, insurance, real estate, landlord-tenant, and mediated discovery. Judge Ryan has been appointed to serve as a Master by both the federal and state court for purposes of fact-finding, discovery oversight, and settlement facilitation. He has authored a guide to mediation and arbitration practice and has served as an instructor in numerous seminars on mediation and arbitration, case management, and ethics.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Full-time mediator, arbitrator, and instructor in mediation, arbitration, and negotiation skills since 1992
  • Administrative Judge with the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents from 1986 to 1992
  • Served as Special Master for discovery and settlement of mass tort claims involving asbestos-related personal injury or property damage pending before the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Superior Court
  • Designated as Director of Professional Services with oversight responsibility for several national dispute resolution programs administered by JAMS
  • Available to resolve disputes remotely through a number of videoconferencing options

Representative Matters

  • Judge Ryan has successfully mediated and arbitrated hundreds of personal injury cases involving claims of products liability, medical malpractice, toxic torts, premises liability, wrongful death, workers' compensation, FELA, maritime, and motor vehicle torts
  • As a mediator and arbitrator, Judge Ryan has also resolved numerous other tort claims including legal malpractice, negligence by brokers and agents, professional errors and omissions, intentional and negligent misrepresentation, commercial torts, and unfair trade practices
  • Judge Ryan has extensive experience in the resolution of labor and employment disputes. He has mediated and arbitrated claims of wrongful termination, employment discrimination, sexual harassment, FMLA, civil rights violations, ERISA, breach of contract, covenants of non-competition and non-solicitation, theft of trade secrets, defamation, and wage and hour violations.
  • Judge Ryan has also served as a mediator or arbitrator in numerous construction disputes between owners, design professionals, general contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers and their insurers involving claims of deficient designs, specifications, shop drawings and submittals, poor workmanship, breach of warranty, wrongful termination, abandonment, acceleration and delay damages, scope of work, change orders and extras, undisclosed subsurface conditions, and defaults in payment and performance bonds
  • Judge Ryan has successfully resolved many commercial and business disputes. He has mediated and arbitrated numerous franchise disputes including cases involving terminations, challenges to add points and relocations, advertising and facilities disputes, and manufacturer charge-backs. He has mediated and arbitrated disputes arising out of the dissolution of closely held family businesses. He is highly experienced in resolving insurance subrogation and coverage, public accommodation, real estate, landlord and tenant, and other commercial disputes.
Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS. 

  • Recognized as a Best Lawyer, Alternative Dispute Resolution Category, Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2014
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2014
  • Senior Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS, 1992-present
  • Administrative Judge, Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, 1986-1992
  • General Counsel, Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means, 1981-1986
  • Foley, Hoag & Eliot, Boston, specializing in civil litigation, labor and employment 1979-1981
  • Deputy Counsel, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, 1978-1979
  • Law Clerk, Chief Judge Alan M. Hale, Massachusetts Appeals Court, 1977-1978
  • J.D., Northeastern University School of Law, 1977
  • B.A., cum laude, Boston College, 1972

Counsel Comments

    • “Judge Ryan was superb.”
    • “Judge Ryan helped bring about a fair settlement in a hotly contested case.”
    • “Judge Ryan was on top of this case from the beginning of the mediation process right to end. Fantastic job!”
    • “The Mediator Jim Ryan did an excellent job of getting the parties together.”
    • “Jim Ryan was masterful. Everything else worked very well, as expected.”
    • “Judge Ryan was excellent. He touched base before the date of the mediation which I have not had happen before.”
    • “As always, Judge Ryan was prepared and engaged for the entire process.”
    • “Judge Ryan was knowledgeable about subject matter, in order to assist confirming the law to my client, and negotiating to a reasonable number.”
    • “This matter had multiple parties and issues which made it difficult to navigate during discovery and depositions; however, Judge Ryan was able to keep everyone focused on moving the matter to an ultimate resolution satisfactory to all parties.”
    • “Jim Ryan is a terrific mediator - smart, personable, focused.”
    • “Judge Ryan was patient, persistent and corralled about 40 folks into a settlement. As always, he did this while being gentlemanly and gracious.”
    • “Judge Ryan was excellent as usual.”
    • “The neutral spoke with the parties before the hearing. This helped limit the issues.”
    • “Judge Ryan did a great job. He is an ultimate professional and a natural gentleman. His relational ability created a very easy climate for my antsy client to enter with safety.”



Practice Areas

  • Arbitration
  • Business/Commercial
  • Civil Rights
  • Construction Defect
  • Employment
  • Franchise
  • Governmental/Public Agency
  • Insurance
  • Maritime/Admiralty
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Professional Liability
Available nationwide


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