Ryan’s practice focuses on representing businesses and tribal governments in public affairs, gaming, taxation, and energy development. He is also devoted to defending individuals’ constitutional rights and handles civil rights and intentional tort cases on local and national levels.
A former U.S. District Court law clerk, Ryan has an eye towards the inner-workings of the federal courts, trial practice, and complex litigation. He writes prolifically about matters critical to Indian country and civil rights, and has published in numerous peer-reviewed journals and law reviews.
Ryan currently serves as the Tribal Court Litigation Chair of the American Bar Association’s Business & Corporate Litigation Committee; is a member of the WSBA’s Trial Advocacy Program Steering Committee; and is a Trustee on the WSBA’s Indian Law Section. He is also an Assistant Editor of the ABA’s Affiliate magazine and the National Lawyer’s Guild Law Review.
He has been named a “Rising Star” by the Super Lawyers rating service and Seattle Met Magazine from 2013 to 2017.
- Johnson v. Mason County (W.D. Wash. 2017) (represented the family of a mentally ill inmate who was allowed to successfully commit suicide; obtained over $1 million settlement (confidential)).
- Henderson v. Shea (King County Super. 2014) (represented an aggrieved plaintiff who sustained serious injury as the result of an intentional tort; obtained $1.1 million judgment).
- CTGW v. Thurston County Treasurer (Thurston Cty. Bd. of Equal. 2014) (prevailed against a county tax assessor who attempted to tax roughly $60 million on personal property owned by a joint venture between a tribal government and a publicly-traded company; company found 100% tax exempt).
- State of Washington v. Clark (Wash. 2013) (affirming requirement that state police follow codified tribal criminal procedures on reservation trust lands).
- Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation v. USDA (E.D. Wash. 2010) (enjoining the United States from permitting a private company's importation of municipal waste into Yakama Treaty territories).
Washington State Bar Association
- Indian Law Section, Trustee, 2014-Present
- Young Lawyer’s Division, Member, 2011-Present
- Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, Member, 2012-Present
- Trial Advocacy Program Steering Committee, Member, 2013-Present
American Bar Association
- Business & Corporate Litigation Committee, Tribal Court Litigation Chair, 2013-Present
- Annual Review of Developments in Corporate & Business Litigation, Editor-in-Chief, 2011-Present
- Young Lawyers Division, The Affiliate, Assistant Editor, 2015-Present
National Lawyer's Guild
- National Lawyer's Guild Review, Managing Editor, 2010-2013
- National Lawyer's Guild Review, Editorial Board, 2013-present
Washington State Association for Justice
- EAGLE Member
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court (Western Washington, Eastern Washington)
Suquamish Tribal Court
Nooksack Tribal Court
Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal Court
Tulalip Tribal Court
Chehalis Tribal Court
Puyallup Tribal Court
Chehalis Tribal Court
Winnebago Tribal Court
Tribal Court for the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians
Muckleshoot Tribal Court
Nisqually Tribal Court
University of Washington (LLM)
University of Arizona (JD)
University of Washington (BA)
Ethics in Tribal Business Transactions, Tribal Business Journal (Jan. 2016).
Doing Business in Indian Country: A Primer, Business Law Today (Jan. 2016).
Forfeiting Federalism: The Faustian Pact with Big Tobacco, 18 Rich. J.L. & Pub. Int. 291 (2015).
Curing the Tribal Disenrollment Epidemic: In Search of a Remedy, 57 Ariz. L. Rev. 383 (2015) (co-author with Gabriel S. Galanda)
Enfranchising Native Americans after Shelby County v. Holder: Congress's Duty to Act, 70 Nat'l L. Guild Rev. 193 (2013)
Congress’ Treatment of the Violence Against Women Act: Adding Insult to Native Women’s Injury, 3 University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review 1 (2013).
Alternative Energy in American Indian Country: Catering to Both Sides of the Coin, 33 Energy Law Journal 431 (2012).
Economic Development, Native Nations, and Solar Projects, 72 American Journal of Economics and Sociology 122 (2013).
In the Courts of Your Deadliest Enemy, 20 Indian Law Newsletter 4 (2012).
Keeping it Clean for the Future of Indian Gaming, 17 Gaming Law Review and Economics 348 (2012).
Tribal Court Litigation, Annual Review of Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation (2012).
Solar as an Economic Development Tool in American Indian Country, International Research Center for Energy and Economic Development Occasional Paper Series, Occasional Paper No. 45 (2011).
The Bay Mills Buck Stops With NIGC, Indian Country Today, Nov. 6, 2013 (coauthored with Gabe Galanda).
Why the Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl Ruling is so Troubling, Featured: The Transgender Law Center Blog, Sept. 5, 2013.
House Republicans Add Insult to Indian Injury, Indian Country Today, July 7, 2012.
Cigarette Tax: Not About Money? (Parts I-III), Native American Times, 2011.
Origins of Tribal Disenrollment, University of Washington School of Law Diversity Week, February 28, 2016.
Navigating the Federal Court System Like a Pro, WSAJ Getting Started in the Plaintiff Practice Series, November 10, 2015.
Finding a Cure for Tribal Disenrollment, 27th Annual WSBA Indian Law Seminar, June 11, 2015.
Banishment: Good Or Bad For Tribal Communities?, Native America Calling, May 5, 2015.
Voting Rights in Indian Country, Nisqually Speaker in the Library Series, November 5, 2013.
New Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Indian Provisions, 25th Annual WSBA Indian Law Seminar, May 23, 2013.
Contracting Opportunities in Indian Country, 19th Annual Washington Construction Law Conference, Seattle, WA, September 13, 2012.
Policing on Indian Reservations, University of Washington, December 6, 2011.
How to Approach Civil Rights in the 21st Century, George Romney Institute for Law and Public Policy Lecture Series, Adrian College, March 7, 2012.