John P. Ryan

John P. Ryan


John P. Ryan

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.

Mr. Ryan is a member of the American Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, Rhode Island Bar Association, New Hampshire Bar Association, Norfolk County Bar Association, Defense Research Institute, and the Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association where he has served as a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer.

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.

Practice Areas

  • Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Product Liability Defense
  • Construction Defect Law & Construction Law
  • Commercial Disputes
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Property Insurance Law
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (Mediation and Arbitration)
  • Insurance Practice, Coverage & Bad Faith

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court District of Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court District of New Hampshire
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit


  • 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

  • Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent™
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • American College of Civil Trial Mediators
  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association - Defense Lawyer of the Year, 2005
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • Best Lawyers in America, Lawyer of the Year, Massachusetts - 2011, 2013, 2014
  • New England Super Lawyer, Recognized in 100 Best Lawyers in New England
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyer, Recognized in 100 Best Lawyers in Massachusetts
  • American Board of Trial Advocacy (ABOTA) James N. Esdaile Memorial Award for Civility in the Practice of Litigation, 2013

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Fellow
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Fellow, Massachusetts Bar Foundation
  • Norfolk County Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (former Member Board of Directors and Treasurer)
  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.
  • Member, Town of Needham Finance Committee, 1995-1998 (Chairman, 1997-1998)
  • Town of Needham Government Review Study Committee, 1999-2001 (Vice-Chairman)
  • Moderator, Needham Cable Television, “Getting to Know Your Finance Committee” (two part local cable television educational program with panel discussion on governmental function of town Finance Committee), 2004, 2005
  • Member, Board of Directors, St. Joseph’s Parish School Fund, Inc., 2012 to present

Lectures and Publications

  • 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

Representative Cases

  • Agis v. Howard Johnson, 371 Mass. 140 (1976)
  • Monadnock Display Fireworks, Inc. v. Andover, 388 Mass. 153 (1983)
  • Chas. T. Main, Inc. v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, 406 Mass. 862 (1990)
  • New England Tea & Coffee v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, 54 Mass. App. Ct. 901 (2002)
  • Doe No. 4 v. Levine, 77 Mass. App. Ct. 117 (2010)
  • Rhodes v AIG Domestic Claims, Inc., 461 Mass. 486 (2012)