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


During his tenure as an Administrative Judge, Judge Ryan presided over hundreds of trials, most of which were resolved by his written decision. Since joining JAMS in 1992, Judge Ryan has maintained an active arbitration practice in which he has been called upon to resolve hundreds of construction, personal injury/tort, employment, and business/commercial disputes. 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 arbitration practice and has served as an instructor in numerous seminars on arbitration practice and procedure, case management, and ethics.

Representative Arbitrations

  • Business/Commercial
    • Chairperson of arbitration panel in dispute involving the termination of a motor vehicle franchise by an automobile manufacturer
    • Sole arbitrator in an insurance coverage dispute between multiple insurers involved in underwriting a major public construction project
    • Arbitrator in a dispute involving claims of defective workmanship, and counterclaims for nonpayment and breach of a materials supply contract
    • Sole arbitrator appointed to resolve disputes arising in the dissolution of a closely held family business
  • Construction
    • Sole arbitrator in dispute between general contractor and subcontractor involving claims of breach of contract, illegal termination, abandonment, unfair trade practices, and default under a payment bond
    • Special Master appointed to hear evidence and report findings of fact in dispute between owner, general contractor, and subcontractor regarding the sufficiency of a computerized climate control system installed during building renovations
    • Sole arbitrator in dispute between owner and general contractor concerning claims of poor workmanship and breach of warranty, and counterclaims of defective specifications and extra work beyond the scope of the contract
    • Sole arbitrator in dispute between general contractor and subcontractors involving their respective liability for change orders, poor workmanship, and delay damages
  • Employment
    • Sole arbitrator in dispute involving claims of violation of state and federal anti-discrimination statutes, breach of contract, nonpayment of wages, and violation of the covenants of good faith and fair dealing arising out of the demotion and subsequent termination of a managerial employee
    • Arbitrator in numerous cases involving claimed ERISA violations arising out of an employer’s denial of various employees’ requests to participate in an early retirement program
    • Arbitrator in dispute involving claims of gender discrimination, breach of contract, and tortuous conduct arising out of the termination of a long-term employee
    • Sole arbitrator in dispute involving termination of a highly compensated executive pursuant to his employment contract
  • Personal Injury/Torts
    • Chairperson of three-arbitrator panel in dispute involving traumatic brain injury and unfair settlement practice claims
    • Sole arbitrator in multiple medical malpractice disputes involving various claims including failure to diagnose, failure to provide timely and proper treatment, wrongful death, improper prescription of medications, and failure to obtain informed consent
    • Party-appointed arbitrator in three-arbitrator panel in dispute involving claims of chronic pain syndrome and addiction to narcotic medication
    • Arbitrator in numerous cases with responsibility for determining the allocation of settlement funds among multiple plaintiffs involved in group settlements
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

Available nationwide


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