Ryan is an associate in Colantuono, Highsmith & Whatley’s municipal advisory practice group and resident in the Grass Valley office. Ryan’s practice includes advising clients on a range of municipal law issues, including the Public Records Act, labor and employment law, land use, CEQA, and public contracting requirements. He currently serves as Assistant City Attorney for the Cities of Auburn, Grass Valley and Chico, Planning Commission counsel for the City of Chico, Assistant Town Attorney for Yountville, and Assistant General Counsel for a number of the firm’s special district clients. Ryan sits on the Legislative Committee for the California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions (CALAFCo) and on the Executive Committee for the Nevada County Bar Association. Ryan was recognized in the 2021 listing of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for his work in Municipal Law.
Ryan’s current projects include guiding approval of a large mixed-use development; drafting new personnel policies for a fire district, and preparing several ordinances regulating cannabis businesses. Ryan has also prepared several LAFCO applications for reorganization. He has substantial experience drafting and reviewing contracts, focusing on Public Works, Police and Fire Departments.
Ryan graduated from Georgetown University Law Center cum laude, receiving the International Academy of Trial Lawyers award for his work in the Georgetown Public Policy Clinic. While in law school, Ryan worked for several federal agencies, including litigating government contract disputes for the U.S. Agency for International Development. In a clinical program, Ryan assisted the Cities of Virginia Beach and Baltimore with developing land use policies to address flood risks from sea level rise. He was on the staff of the Georgetown Environmental Law Review, where his student note, titled PACE-Ing Flood Resilience, was published. Ryan resides in Grass Valley with his wife Sarah and his dog Scout.