Ryan McManus concentrates his practice in the areas of fiduciary and business litigation. He represents clients in state and federal courts, and in alternative dispute resolution.
Ryan regularly litigates disputes between trustees and beneficiaries, will contests, and other contested estate matters. He has considerable experience navigating disputes over mental capacity and allegations of undue influence.
On the business side, Ryan maintains a robust commercial litigation practice, advising business and nonprofit clients on governance disputes, contract actions, business torts, employment matters, real estate issues, and contested tax issues.
Ryan also has substantial appellate experience representing clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and the appellate courts of numerous states.
Following law school, Ryan served as a judicial clerk to the Hon. Nathaniel M. Gorton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the Hon. José A. Cabranes of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
- Co-counsel to plaintiff-trustees in Dauman v. Redstone litigation regarding control of the Sumner M. Redstone National Amusements Trust.
- Successfully defended $44 million judgment for breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in Robert & Ardis James Foundation v. Meyers, 474 Mass. 181 (2016).
- Represented religious organization in successful challenge to city’s attempt to tax real estate used for religious purposes, providing definitive guidance on the scope of the tax exemption for “houses of religious worship,” in Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette v. Bd. of Assessors of Attleboro, 476 Mass. 690 (2017).
- Successfully challenged constitutionality of Cleveland’s method of taxing professional athletes before the Ohio Supreme Court in Hillenmeyer v. Cleveland Bd. of Rev., 41 N.E.3d 1164 (Ohio 2015), and Saturday v. Cleveland Bd. of Rev., 33 N.E.3d 46 (Ohio 2015).
- Obtained favorable judgment from the Supreme Judicial Court granting a college permission to sell land conveyed in trust under the doctrines of reasonable deviation and cy pres.
- Successfully defended nursing home redevelopment from zoning challenge in Welch-Philippino v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of Newburyport, 86 Mass. App. Ct. 258 (2014).
- Represented the petitioner at the certiorari stage and merits stage before the U.S. Supreme Court in Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison, 134 S.Ct. 2165 (2014).
Named to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars List, 2015-2018
Selected Activities and Publications:
- Member of Complex Commercial Litigation Section Council, Massachusetts Bar Association
- Former Co-chair, Fiduciary Litigation Committee of the Trusts & Estates Section, Boston Bar Association
- “SJC Decides Scope of Religious Exemption for Property Tax,” New England Real Estate Journal (June 9, 2017)
- “Trust Decanting Post-‘Kraft’: the SJC Speaks Again,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (May 8, 2017)
- “No-Fault Removal of Trustees under the MUTC,” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (August 8, 2016)
- “Sitting in Congress and Standing in Court: How Presidential Signing Statements Open the Door to Legislator Lawsuits,” 48 Boston College Law Review 739 (May 2007)
- Guest lecturer, Boston College Law School Federal Appeals Clinic.
Ryan’s Comment on the Role of Litigation
“I view litigation as an opportunity for our clients to define and preserve their legal rights, and as a process that can help advance rather than impede their objectives. Every successful case involves listening to our clients, understanding their priorities, and weighing the opportunities and benefits of each development throughout the case. Helping a client achieve his or her goals is really how we define a litigation victory.”