Ryan is a partner in the firm's Texas office. Acting as General Counsel for a national surety, he understands the ins and outs of surety and construction law and that the definition of a victory is unique to each new matter.
Since joining the firm in 2015, his involvement in the early stages of the bonding process—from negotiating bond forms with obligees to drafting indemnity agreements—provides Ryan with the opportunity to counsel his clients throughout the life cycle of a dispute. Doing so pays dividends for his clients as these complex disputes often require collaborative, creative solutions.
His practice focuses on the resolution of these complex construction claims with an emphasis on both creativity and efficiency. Over the years, he has successfully obtained over $22 million in collateral orders through injunctions filed all over the South, including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia.
When not practicing law, Ryan enjoys fishing with his three children, and drinking wine on the dock with his wife when the fish are not biting.
Pearl 1 Services, LLC, v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 2021 WL 9749325 (N.D. Tex. 2021). Obtained dismissal of claim for attorneys’ fees against a surety when the Court ruled that the claimant was not entitled to such fees under the Miller Act.
McKinstry Essention, LLC v. Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co., 2021 WL 3914251 (S.D. Tex. 2021), report and recommendation adopted, 2021 WL 3913578 (S.D. Tex. 2021). Obtained dismissal of a performance bond claim against the surety by summary judgment. The court agreed with the surety that the obligee failed to provide the surety reasonable notice and an opportunity to mitigate when it self-performed the completion of the project after the principal’s alleged default. Additionally, the court dismissed the obligee’s claim for declaratory relief related to payment bond claims involving subcontractors that were not parties to the lawsuit, pointing out that no conflict existed between the obligee and the surety regarding the payment bond.
Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am. v. Padron, 2019 WL 1602018 (W.D. Tex. 2019). The firm filed summary judgment seeking nearly $15 million in losses from over twenty indemnitors. The Court ruled in favor of the surety, holding that in order to overcome the prima facie evidence, the indemnitors must show that the surety’s settlement and payment of claims involved fraud.
Merch. Bonding Co. (Mut.) v. Ark. Constr. Sols., LLC, 2019 WL 452767 (W.D. Ark. 2019). The firm filed a motion for injunctive relief seeking collateral given the surety’s current and anticipated losses. The Court awarded the surety the entirety of its penal sum as collateral, finding that the “entire purpose” of the indemnity agreement was to provide security to a surety.
Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am. v. Harlingen Consol. Indep. Sch. Dist., 2018 WL 7204025 (S.D. Tex. 2018). After the Court discharged the surety’s performance bond obligations, the firm filed a follow-up motion for summary judgment seeking discharge of its payment bond obligations. In vacating his prior ruling, the Court found that the obligee breached its bonded contract obligations by releasing retainage without the surety’s consent and held the obligee liable for any payment bond losses incurred by the surety.
Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am. v. Harlingen Consol. Indep. Sch. Dist., 2017 WL 7052232 (S.D. Tex. 2017). The surety sought a discharge of its performance bond obligations given the obligee’s failure to file within the applicable statute of limitations. The Court found that the obligee failed to file within one year of the project’s substantial completion, overruling the obligee’s argument that the limitations period had not yet expired since the project was not yet fully complete.
Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am. v. Padron, 2017 WL 9360906 (W.D. Tex. 2017). The firm filed a motion for injunctive relief for over $18 million. The firm was retained after the Court denied two previous motions for collateral. The Court granted the third motion, finding that collateral was necessary to protect the “three interests of the surety: the bargained-for benefit of collateral security, avoidance of present exposure to liability during pending litigation against indemnitors, and avoidance of risk that, should Indemnitors become insolvent, the surety will be left as a general unsecured creditor, frustrating the purpose of the indemnity agreement.”
Int’l Fid. Ins. Co. v. Talbot Constr., Inc., 2016 WL 8814367 (N.D. Ga. 2016). The Court granted the surety’s application for injunctive relief in full. The Court awarded collateral for both anticipated and incurred losses, finding that the “Indemnitors should not be rewarded for their apparent breach of contract by avoiding the contribution of collateral for costs they have thus far evaded.”
Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am. v. Samson Inv. Co., 2013 WL 12109099 (N.D. Okla. 2013). The Court granted the surety’s motion for injunctive relief, ordering the indemnitors to post an irrevocable letter of credit in the full amount of $1,930,828. In a later opinion, the Court further awarded the surety the entirety of its attorneys’ fees, holding that the fees fell under the purview of the indemnity agreement’s prima facie evidence clause.
Good from Afar, But Far from Good, Court’s Pleading Requirements Call for Specificity, Not Mere Conclusions, TEXAS LITIGATION LAW (March 2012)
It Takes Two to Tango: With Texas E -Discovery, the Request is as Important as the Response, TEXAS LITIGATION LAW (July 2011)
Assisted in preparation of The Liability of the Performance Bond Surety for Damages (Under Contract of Suretyship), in THE LAW OF PERFORMANCE BONDS 431 (Lawrence R. Moelmann et al. eds., 2d ed., Am. Bar. Ass’n 2009)
EVENTS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Presenter, Throwing the First Punch: The Surety’s Use of Default Judgments in Performance Bond Claims, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2021)
Presenter, Injunctive Relief Available to the Surety, National Bond Claims Association (2018)
Presenter, Injunctive Relief Available to the Surety How to Maximize Recovery and Minimize Loss, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2018)
Presenter, Tools Available Under the GIA, Philadelphia Insurance Company Claims Meeting (2018)
Presenter, The Power of the Collateral Deposit and Prima Facie Evidence Clauses, Merchants Bonding Company Claims Meeting (2016)
Presenter, Remedies Available to Sureties, Liberty Mutual Claims Meeting (2016)
Presenter, Spanning the Country to Bring You the Constant Variety of Suretyship, National Bond Claims Association (2014)
Presenter, E-Discovery: The Pitfalls and Best Practices, Annual Wills and Probate Institute (2012)
Presenter, Case Law Update, National Bond Claims Association (2011)
PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES
Curt B. Henderson Inn of Court, Barrister Level & Founding Member (2011 – Present)
Leadership Plano Executive Board (2010 – 2014)
Collin County Parks Foundation Advisory Board (Governmental Appointment), Board Chair (2006 – 2013)
Rotary International, Youth Leadership Awards Program, Community Liaison (1995 – 2008)
Complex Commercial Litigation
Readers’ Choice Award, “Top 3 Attorneys in Plano,” Plano Star Courier
Recipient of D Magazine’s “Top Lawyers Under 40” Award
John Marshall Law School Moot Court Competition in Information Technology and Privacy Law - Top Team and Best Brief
South Texas College of Law Dean's Honor List
J.D., South Texas College of Law (2005); South Texas Law Review
B.A., Texas Christian University (2000)
BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas