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


Judge Ryan has successfully mediated and arbitrated a wide variety of disputes including hundreds of employment disputes since stepping down from his position as an Administrative Judge in 1992. 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, arbitration, case management, and ethics.

Representative Mediations

  • Mediated settlement of claims by multiple claimants who alleged that the elimination of their positions in a reduction in force was motivated by discrimination based on their race and national origin
  • Mediated settlement of claims of wrongful denial of promotion and hostile work environment due to discrimination based on sexual orientation
  • Mediated settlement of wrongful termination, nonpayment of wages, and bad faith claims by a highly compensated executive terminated pursuant to an employment contract
  • Mediation of age discrimination claim by long-term employee who was demoted after negative job performance reviews; settlement involved voluntary retirement of claimant under a negotiated severance package
  • Mediation of civil rights claims brought by a public employee who was allegedly terminated from his position due to his political activities
  • Mediation of claimed violations of contractual non-competition and non-solicitation covenants and theft of trade secrets by a former employee who was hired by a major competitor
  • Mediation of claims of constructive discharge due to hostile work environment arising out of alleged incidents of sexual harassment by immediate supervisor and failure of the personnel department to take appropriate corrective action
  • Mediation of claims of disability discrimination and FMLA violations based on an employer's alleged failure to provide reasonable accommodations to an employee who returned to his former position after a work injury
  • Mediation of claims of sex discrimination by a woman who was denied a promotion to a position, which was awarded to minority candidate pursuant to the employer's affirmative action program
  • Mediation of claims that employer breached its duty of good faith when it terminated a salesperson and refused to pay accrued commissions

Representative Arbitrations

  • Arbitrator in dispute involving claims of gender discrimination, breach of contract, and tortuous conduct arising out of the termination of a long-term 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
  • Sole arbitrator in dispute involving claims of disability discrimination, breach of contract, nonpayment of wages, and violation of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing arising out of the demotion and subsequent termination of a managerial employee
  • Sole arbitrator in dispute involving termination of a highly compensated executive pursuant to his employment contract
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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