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Michael J. Ryan


Michael J. Ryan was born on July 30, 1964, in Queens, New York. He was raised in upstate New York before moving to South Florida in 1977. He attended George Washington University, earning a Board of Trustees scholarship. Mike majored in finance and received a degree in Business Administration in 1986. Following graduation, he became a federal bank examiner working throughout New England and Florida.

Desiring to become a trial lawyer, Mike applied to Case Western Reserve University School of Law and was awarded a full tuition scholarship. While in law school, he received several awards as a member of the National Trial Team. He graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1992. At graduation, Mike received numerous awards including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, the Student of the Year, the National Outstanding Law Student of the Year from Who’s Who of American Law Students, and the Law Student Activist Award. Michael received national attention for his work with immigrants seeking political asylum.

After law school, Mike was honored to receive an appointment as a law clerk for the United States District Court in the Southern District of Florida. Following his federal clerkship, he worked for three years as a trial attorney with the State Public Defender’s Office before joining the Federal Public Defender’s Office as a trial attorney.

In 1997, Mike joined a South Florida law firm representing injured families and individuals. During just his first two years with that firm, he assisted in obtaining over $25 million in trial verdicts. Since then, Mike has been the trial lawyer on teams obtaining some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the County and State. Mike has also lectured around the country to lawyers and judges, and written a number of articles, on the topic of electronic discovery.  In addition to his local trial practice, Mike has distinguished himself in national litigation involving medical devices, products liability, and pharmaceutical products.

He is actively involved as a member of the American Association for Justice, Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, The Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and the Broward County Trial Lawyers’ Association.

In addition to his legal practice, and consistent with our commitment to public service, Mike has also been very active in his community. Mike served as a PTA President for two years and as an Executive Board Officer for an additional two years with the Sawgrass Elementary PTA; a volunteer coach over many years for youth soccer, baseball and flag football; volunteer coach for high school varsity girls soccer team; Board Member, Broward Behavioral Health Coalition; and two terms as Chair of the Education Advisory Board for the City of Sunrise.

In 2010, Mike was elected the Mayor of the City of Sunrise, Florida. Mike was elected without opposition to new terms in 2012, 2016 and 2020. Mike has received awards for his work in the community, and is a frequent author regarding matters of public importance. His work promoting scholastic and community based chess initiatives has been the subject of local, national and international news coverage. Mike’s efforts, along with that of the City Commission and City staff, led to the City of Sunrise earning the national title of “Chess City 2015” by the United States Chess Federation.

In addition, Mike Ryan is an appointed member of the Broward County Regional Planning Council; served as chair (and prior vice-chair) of the Broward County Consolidated Communications Committee (regional emergency 911 communications); served as co-chair of the Communications Working Group for Strengthening Police-Community Relations; served past chair and past vice-chair of the Public Safety Committee for the Broward League of Cities; past co-chair of the Broward County League of Cities’ Joint School Resource Officers Task Force; and a current member of the Broward County Chiefs of Police Association Committee on Domestic Violence Injunction Process. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Women in Distress and the Florida League of Mayors as well as a member of the Florida League of Cities’ Transportation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee. In 2019, Mike was awarded the prestigious Broward County Bar Association’s “Walter G. “Skip” Campbell, Jr. Lawyer-Public Servant Award.”

Mike’s charitable works include running marathons for charity, helping gather goods and supplies to assist Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake, traveling to Haiti to volunteer after the earthquake, traveling overseas to volunteer at a U.S.O. Wounded Warrior Center, and a 900-mile bike ride to benefit, among others, wounded soldiers and their families. Mike is also an Advocate Level member of the League of American Bicyclists.

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