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Ryan Harrison James

Criminal defense Attorney at Mckeesport, PA

5.0   50 reviews

also known as Ryan H. James

  • State Years
    Michigan - MI 7 years
    Pennsylvania - PA 12 years
  • Licensed for 7 years
    State MI
    Acquired 2017
    Status
    Active in Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 12 years
    State PA
    Acquired 2012
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Ryan

Learn Ryan’s areas of practice.

5
Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    25%
    Handle criminal litigation throughout the Commonwealth, but primarily in Western Pennsylvania, from preliminary hearing through trial.

    12 years

  2. Appeals
    20%
    Summary Appeals, Direct Appeals, Allocatur Petitions, and Post-Conviction Appeals (PCRAs). Have handled approximately 75 PCRAs and briefed approximately 20 cases in the Superior Court.

    12 years

  3. Violent crime
    15%
    Homicide, Manslaughter, Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Robbery, Violations of the Uniform Firearms Act. Tried two first-degree murder cases to verdict, one resulting in a full-out acquittal.

  4. Ethics and professional responsibility
    10%

  5. Sex crime
    10%
    Rape, Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse, Sexual Assault, Statutory Sexual Assault, Agg. Indecent Assault, Indecent Assault, SORNA Failure to Register.

    12 years

  6. White collar crime
    10%
    Theft, Embezzlement, Misapplication of Entrusted Funds

  7. DUI and DWI
    5%
    First-time DUI (ARD), second or subsequent DUI offenses, DUI Court, Driving Under DUI-Suspended License, 1543(b)

  8. Litigation
    5%
    Prosecute and defend against civil actions involving real-estate, contract, consumer-protection, and other similar actions, both in state and federal court.

    12 years, 25 cases

Since 2012, Ryan James has owned and operated James Law, LLC, a trial and appellate law firm, focused on criminal-defense matters, located in White Oak, Pennsylvania.

Ryan is a respected trial and appellate practitioner. His trial work has involved trying cases in both federal and state courts to judges and juries. He’s successfully defended everything from DUI, first-degree murder, and serious sex-assault cases in 18 different counties throughout Pennsylvania.

In his appellate practice, Ryan has briefed and argued approximately 40 cases in the Superior Court, Commonwealth Court, and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Some of his cases have set precedent in the areas of sentencing, post-conviction litigation, SORNA registration, and juvenile-dependency proceedings. Ryan has also served as PCRA counsel in nearly 100 post-conviction proceedings.

In the area of criminal defense, Ryan has consistently been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers’ Rising Star since 2018. In 2019, he sought a seat on the Superior Court of Pennsylvania and was “Recommended” by the Allegheny County Bar Association as having “the legal ability, experience and temperament to excel as a judge” of that court.

Ryan is a member of the selective Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and he’s a member of the Allegheny County and Westmoreland County bar associations. Ryan is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, Michigan, the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, the Western District of Pennsylvania, and the Eastern District of Michigan.

Ryan is a magna cum laude graduate of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he was a Managing Editor of the Law Review, and a cum laude graduate of Allegheny College.

Photos and videos

Location

James Law, LLC
1200 Lincoln Way
Mckeesport, PA, 15131

Criminal Defense lawyers nearby

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  50 customer reviews
5 Star
 
98%
4 Star
 
2%
3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
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1 Star
 
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Posted by Bob | March 10, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I needed legal representation .
When I needed an attorney, Ryan H. James came "highly recommended". I contacted Ryan and he set up a preliminary meeting to discuss my issues. Having him undertake my case instantly became a blessing. He was compassionate, thorough, easy to talk to, but yet maintained the highest level of professionalism.
Posted by Nicholas | February 9, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommended
Ryan made the process of preparing for and showing up for my court date simple and easy. He guided me through the whole process and was able to advise on what would be expected from me. I was able to rely on him to speak on my behalf and being able to trust him made a stressful situation in my life a little less stressful.
Posted by Kim | February 3, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Champion Representation
Ryan is an A grade attorney who is not only a champion to have in your corner in a legal matter, but is also a fantastic listener, educator, and communicator. Ryan has a thorough understanding of the legal landscape in many domains and can speak to it in a way that makes sense to the lay person. His demeanor is always kind and respectful, even while passionately defending a case. I will recommend him time and time again- an ace!
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Posted by Kenneth | January 11, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding performance
I was referred to Mr. James by a friend about 8 years ago and he’s been with me ever since! Mr. James has always had my best interest and success with my cases in the past. He is very understanding, intelligent, compassionate, while simultaneously displaying professionalism & fidelity. Mr. James is always there to answer questions and goes above and beyond to help in any way possible. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for Mr. James, i appreciate everything he has done and would highly recommend him to anyone in need of an attorney!
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Posted by Andrew | August 30, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Juvenile Case
My wife and I hired Mr. James to represent our juvenile son in a very serious case. Mr. James returned our initial call within a few hours and set up a consultation for that same week. He was completely honest about what the potential outcomes could be and really helped to alleviate some of our worries by taking the time to thoroughly answer all of our questions. My son has ADHD, anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder and Mr. James was very understanding and supportive of him throughout the entire process. Mr. James took the time to explain each part of the process as we were going through it and fielded each of our questions with grace and understanding. Mr. James communicated with us regularly and responded quickly to all of our phone calls and emails. At the various hearings, Mr. James was always on time, always prepared, and very professional. Our final outcome was exactly what we hoped for. I can assure you that if you hire Mr. James you will not be disappointed. Mr. James, thank you for helping our family through a very challenging situation.
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Posted by Judy | March 1, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knowledge and determined
We hired Ryan James to handle three criminal cases and he was always there to guide us and to explain the possible scenarios. He guide us through court cases trials and hearings with the knowledge and determination to always have our best interest at heart. If I would ever need an attorney again I would hire Ryan James again. He was very compassionate and understanding and everything that was going on with the cases and was always available either by phone or text. He was Amazing.
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Posted by Patricia | October 23, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Charges and dismissal
I was extremely fortunate to have a family member recommend Mr.James for a case with another family member. He handled all the plea,sentencing, probation hearing and all the instances that come with unfamiliar things to me.I am extremely grateful for his professional handling of his case.
Posted by Felicia | April 6, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Gratitude
If I could give Ryan infinity stars, I would. Ryan approached my brother’s case with sincere care, focus, incomparable professionalism, and skill. He was generous with his time and truly walked my family through the unthinkable. The circumstances were very much uncharted territory for my family and he made sure to listen carefully to each one of my family members (all nine of us)! If you are reading this review , review no further, hire Ryan without delay.
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Posted by Nathan | April 6, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
REMARKABLE
Attorney James demonstrated a work ethic in service that was second to none. His communication style was exceptional. He was very honest, transparent, responsive and reassuring. He was always prepared, organized, and his deliveries were always on time. Attorney James went well beyond the call of duty to become familiar with DA office in the arresting county. He set and managed expectations very well. He was relentless and thorough on getting himself acclimated to the needs of our case. I would strongly recommend Attorney James to anyone in need of his service. I would use him again without a second guess.
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Posted by Nicole | July 25, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Ryan James Exceeded My Expectations!
I was given a Public Defender for a very important case I was pursuing. I had a feeling that she was extremely busy and did not have enough time to properly peruse my case. So, I looked up, Attorney Ryan James in hopes he could help me like he had done one other time. I am so thankful that I did, because it ended up being challenging and time consuming! Ryan James, not only got me the win but treated me with the utmost respect throughout the entire process! Highly recommend
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Posted by jorden | April 27, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A great lawyer
Ryan James is not only a good lawyer, but a great person all together. I went to him at just 18 years old and the first thing I asked him for was honest guidance. He is very formal and understanding. He fought my case and got me through. I will recommend him to ANYBODY.
Posted by anonymous | April 27, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney
I could not be happier with my choice for an attorney. The attention to detail and professionalism he conveyed gave me peace of mind. I was also very pleased with how quickly he got the job done. I would reccomend him to anyone.
Posted by Richard | February 13, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fantastic Attorney
I came to Ryan for help with a legal matter and he was very knowledgeable, calming, and reassuring. He helped me get through a tough situation and was understanding, helpful, and hands-on the whole way through. I could not recommend him more.
Posted by anonymous | August 18, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knowledgable, Responsive, Honest
When we contacted Mr. James, he got back to us immediately. Within two days he arranged a consultation and provided advice to us on how to proceed. Throughout the course of the case he was available and quick to respond to any questions we had. He went above and beyond in the course of attaining a favorable resolution, even when unforeseeable circumstances made for considerable additional work for him. Highly recommend!
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Posted by John | June 10, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Beyond impressed
Ryan James is a phenomenal attorney. Though impressed with him for multiple reasons, the most impressive attribute was his passion for my case and his caring nature for myself and my family.
Posted by Nikki | March 31, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Nikki McDonnell
Mr. James is an exceptional lawyer. He was very understanding and supportive of our families situation. He was willing to talk with us at anytime. He always asked me what was on my mind so that could help him see outside of his box. He was professional at all times and very confident. I believe in Mr. James like he believed in my brother when no one else did.
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Posted by Becky | March 31, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
OUTSTANDING ATTORNEY
I am very well please with Ryan James! He was my sons attorney. As I stood behind my son in this night mare. He was there for my son and me every step of the way. He answered our questions and held nothing back. We knew what was going on every step of the way. I would recommend him to anyone who is searching for a criminal attorney!
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Posted by Jerry | March 28, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney!!!
Mr. James was great. I was in jail for my entire case. So If I called and left a message with in hours he got back to one of my family members. Also we where a hour and a half apart. He still management to make it down to me check on me. And 3 weeks before the case he stopped down at least once a week. To going over the cast to see if he or I have missed anything. Then when we got in court he was great to the point and never hesitated to defend me. I feel he went beyond get this case one. And I very much appreciate it and thank him for that. I have no doubt he will get the job done for you.
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Posted by Jill | February 15, 2019
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
JIll
Left a phone message for Attorney James. My call was returned the same day by Attorney James himself. He was very tentative and understanding while providing excellent advance.
Posted by John | August 8, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Expert Guidance Through Difficult Times
We found ourselves needing a defense attorney and retained the services of Ryan James. He thoroughly explained and prepared us for every step of the process, and saw our family through a difficult period of time. He definitely exceeded all of our expectations.
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Cost

Rates
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Solicitor
  • East McKeesport Zoning Hearing Board
  • 2018 - Present
  • Solicitor
  • Borough of White Oak
  • 2014 - 2014
  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Patricia L. McGrail, LLC
  • 2011 - 2012
  • Intern to Justice Diane M. Hathaway
  • Michigan Supreme Court
  • 2011 - 2011
  • Law Clerk
  • Ryan, Podein & Postema, PC
  • 2010 - 2010
  • Student Attorney
  • The Washtenaw County Public Defender's Office
  • 2010 - 2010
  • Intern to Michael Hausfeld
  • Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC
  • 2005 - 2005
View all work experience

Education

  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • N/A
  • Allegheny College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • N/A

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Commw v. Thompson
  • Vacated and Remanded
  • Commw. v. C.F.
  • Not Guilty: First-Degree Murder and Attempted Murder; Guilty of Third-Degree Murder
  • Commw. v. S.H.
  • Reversed and remanded
View all legal cases

Associations

  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Judiciary Commit
  • Member
  • 2023 - Present
  • Local Rules Advisory Committee (PAWD)
  • Member
  • 2022 - Present
  • Allegheny Lawyers Initiative for Justice
  • Board Member
  • 2021 - Present
  • Westmoreland County Bar Association
  • Associate Member
  • 2020 - Present
  • State Bar of Michigan
  • 2017 - Present
  • Allegheny County Bar Association
  • 2012 - Present
  • Center for Plain Language
  • Board Member
  • 2018 - 2019
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Sole and Small Firm Practitioners Section
  • Vice Chair
  • 2016 - 2017
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Sole and Small Firm Practitioners Section
  • Secretary/Treasurer
  • 2015 - 2016
  • ACBA: Planning Ahead Committee
  • Member
  • 2014 - 2016
  • ACBA: Membership Committee
  • Member
  • 2014 - 2015
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Sole and Small Firm Practitioners Section
  • 3-Year Council
  • 2013 - 2015
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • 2012 - 2013
  • Pittsburgh Young Professionals
  • Past Board Member
  • 2012 - 2013
  • White Oak Business and Professional Association
  • Programming Committee, Chairman
  • 2012 - 2012
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Rising Star
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2024
  • Rising Star
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
  • 2023
  • Rising Star
  • Pennsylvania Super Lawyers
  • 2022
  • Pennsylvania Rising Stars list
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2021
  • Pennsylvania Rising Stars list
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2020
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2019
  • Pennsylvania Rising Stars list
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2019
  • Pennsylvania Rising Stars list
  • Super Lawyers
  • 2018
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • 2018
  • Readers' Choice: Best Attorney-Silver Award Recipient
  • Trib Total Media
  • 2015
  • Readers' Choice: Best Attorney-Gold Award Recipient
  • The Daily News
  • 2014
  • Pittsburgh's 50 Finest
  • Whirl Magazine/CFF (Western Pa)
  • 2013
  • President's Achievement Award
  • Thomas M. Cooley Law School
  • 2011
  • Earl Dayton Award
  • Cooley Grade Appeals Board
  • 2011
  • Fitzgerald Award
  • Cooley Student Bar Association
  • 2011
  • John D. Voelker Award
  • Thomas M. Cooley Law Review
  • 2011
  • Distinguished Student Award
  • Cooley Alumni Association
  • 2011
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Retirement Planning for Attorneys
  • Winding Down Your Solo Practice
  • 2016
  • Young Adults and the Law
  • The legal implications of turning 18 in Pennsylvania
  • 2014

Attorney endorsements

Received (21)
Given (30)
Endorse Ryan
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ryan really cares about his clients and goes to great lengths to make sure their rights are observed. I know Ryan to carefully analyze every aspect of a case and to research and craft sometimes novel legal arguments to ensure that his clients achieve successful outcomes."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Ryan, he is an excellent attorney and advocate."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 18
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse Attorney Ryan James. He is prepared, intelligent and well spoken. I recommend him for all types of criminal defense cases."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ryan is a terrific attorney with a stellar reputation in Allegheny County. A rising star in the Pittsburgh legal community."
Appeals Attorney | Aug 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Ryan James quickly has become one of the best young lawyers in Pittsburgh in criminal appellate work."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have been fortunate to watch Attorney James in action, before the judges of Allegheny County. Each time, he has been prepared and persuasive in representing his clients' interests. When my clients call me about a criminal matter, I feel confident in connecting them with Attorney James."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 14
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"Attorney Ryan James is a dedicated criminal defense lawyer who fights hard to obtain justice for his clients. Having seen him in action in both Magisterial District Courts and the Court of Common Pleas, Ryan is both articulate and well-prepared. Having handled cases against him as a former prosecutor, he does not take the easy way out, as he thoroughly examines the Commonwealth's evidence to prepare the best possible defense for his clients. I would not hesitate to recommend his services to others."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Honest and Hard working. I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney James is hard working, professional, and effective"
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ryan is an excellent criminal defense lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 18
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"He is a strong advocate for his client. He is very prepared, professional, and knowledgeable."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly endorse Attorney Ryan James without any reservations and would recommend him to anyone looking for an attorney. He cares for his clients and is able to produce results. He has a great work ethic and knowledge of the law. He understands the client's needs and exceeds their expectations. I strongly recommend him."
Unknown Attorney | May 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 06
Relationship: Other
"Ryan is my go-to attorney in Pennsylvania. I always refer potential clients to him because I know that he will listen to that potential client's needs and do anything and everything he can to help. Ryan is compassionate, intelligent, and thorough."
Unknown Attorney | Dec 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Feb 22
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. James is a very passionate attorney and always puts his client's needs first."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney James is a passionate and caring attorney who will fight for his client's rights."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have read many of Ryan's answers here at Avvo and have worked with him on client matters. He is very careful in his analysis, making sure he understands the facts and his opinions are well considered. These are the characteristics of a fine lawyer. I strongly endorse this lawyer and would not hesitate to refer legal matters to him in his area of expertise."
View more endorsements
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Litigation
Litigation
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Ethics and professional responsibility
Ethics and professional responsibility