James W. Ryan

James W. Ryan

Johnston, Rhode Island
866-353-3310 (Toll Free)

James W. Ryan is a Partner with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O'Gara LLC and a member of the firm's Criminal Defense, Health Care and Litigation Teams. Mr. Ryan is a highly successful trial lawyer representing clients at the state and federal level. He has significant experience in defending white-collar crime and fraud issues, complex commercial litigation, corporate compliance and governmental investigations. Attorney Ryan is a prominent member of the legal community, and was honored by his peers and judges with the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell which is the highest rating based on both legal ability and ethics. He has also been recognized as a White Collar Crime Super Lawyer®. Mr. Ryan also has substantial experience in representing students in school disciplinary proceedings.

In 1987, Mr. Ryan was appointed Chief of the Criminal Division for the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General. For more than nine years, Attorney Ryan successfully lead the prosecution of all felony cases, including fraudulent transactions involving misuse of government funds and corrupt practices including the collapse of the Jefferson Loan and Investment Bank. Earlier in his career, Attorney Ryan worked in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office as an Assistant District Attorney where he was appointed Senior Trial Counsel and Bureau Chief in the Trial Division by District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau. Prior to his practice with PLDO, Mr. Ryan was a litigation partner with one of largest law firms in Southeastern New England.

Mr. Ryan has held several high profile community and volunteer positions in Rhode Island including serving as a member of the Governor's Economic Crime Commission, the Teitz Commission on the Future of the Courts and as a board member for the Cornerstone Adult Services, Inc. and Bike Newport.

Attorney Ryan earned his J.D. from Fordham University of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of the Holy Cross. He is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court in MA, RI, SDNY, EDNY; U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit and 2nd Circuit.

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defense
  • Health Care
  • Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Rhode Island
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court District of Rhode Island
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit


  • Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York
    • J.D.
  • College of the Holy Cross
    • B.A.

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell which is the highest rating
  • White Collar Crime Super Lawyer®

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
  • International Association of Private Sector Inspectors General (IPSIG)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Past Employment Positions

  • Criminal Division for the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General, Chief
  • Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Assistant District Attorney

Pro Bono Activities

  • Member, Governor’s Economic Crime Commission
  • Board Member, Cornerstone Adult Services, Inc.
  • Bike Newport