Ryan Thompson

Ryan Thompson

Senior Counsel

(646) 813-2969

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Practice Areas
  • Title IX
  • Education Law
  • Employment Law
  • Sexual Misconduct
Practice Locations
  • Manhattan, NY
  • Buffalo, NY

While based in New York City and Buffalo, Ryan will be serving clients and schools throughout the United States.

To contact Ryan directly, email him at ryan@tullylegal.com.

In addition to providing legal advice and counsel on any and all matters related to Higher Education and K-12 student conduct, Title IX, discrimination/harassment law and sexual misconduct, including for private employers, Ryan’s customized legal services include:

COMPLIANCE:

  • Title IX (Higher Education & K-12) Compliance
  • Title IX/Sexual Misconduct/Discrimination/Harassment Policy Drafting, Revision and Editing
  • Clery Act/VAWA Federal Law Compliance
  • NYS Article 129-B “Enough Is Enough” Compliance
  • NYS 2018 Sexual Harassment Law Compliance (also applicable to private employers)
  • NCAA and School Athletics Title IX (Higher Education & K-12) Compliance
  • OCR Investigation Counsel
  • Title IX 106.30 Definition Determinations

INVESTIGATIONS:

Ryan is one of the select investigators pre-approved by United Educators insurance for sexual misconduct cases, which allows UE-insured institutions to have the first $10,000 of each qualified investigation credited. 

  • Sexual Misconduct Investigations (Title IX 2020 Regulation-compliant)
  • Sexual Misconduct Investigations (non-Title IX jurisdiction format)
  • Title VII, Civil Rights, Harassment & Discrimination Investigations (also applicable to private employers)
  • Whistleblower Investigations (also applicable to private employers)
  • Law Enforcement Liaison

HEARINGS & INFORMAL PROCESS:

  • Student Conduct Hearing Consultation & Pre-Hearing Prep
  • Hearing Evidence Synthesis & Investigative Report Review
  • Hearing Panel Decision-Maker, Chair or Neutral Adjudicator
  • Informal Resolutions (Pre- and Post-Investigation) and Conduct Conferences
  • Review/Revision of Documents, including Notices of Investigation (NOI) and Notices of Outcome (NOO)
  • Appellate Panel Participation, Consultation or Document Review

TRAINING:

  • Title IX Team Training for Higher Education & K-12 (mandatory for investigators, decision-makers and appellate officers)
  • Hearing Panel Chair Training on Relevancy and Rape Shield Doctrines
  • Party Advisor Training
  • Employee Sexual Harassment & Reporting Obligation Training (also applicable to private employers)
  • Student Training & Presentations on Sexual Misconduct and/or School Process
  • “Title IX, Sexual Misconduct & the College Process” Classroom Course Lecture for Students

After an extensive and diverse career as an attorney, journalist and higher education professional, Ryan Thompson came to Tully Rinckey PLLC in the spring of 2020 to lead the firm’s Title IX/Sexual Misconduct practice group.

Ryan brings a unique and specialized skillset to the Tully Rinckey team, having established himself as one of the top legal practitioners and scholars in this concentration. As the Title IX Coordinator and Civil Rights Officer of Niagara University, Ryan has handled hundreds of cases, investigating or supervising dozens of sexual assault, misconduct and discrimination/harassment investigations into student and employee allegations. He has overseen investigations at the highest level, working with investigators and attorneys from firms across the United States.

As Title IX Coordinator and Civil Rights Officer, Ryan personally conducted the intake of all reports, using objective trauma-informed best practices, and successfully administered and monitored informal resolutions involving students, faculty and staff. Ryan worked directly with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR), constantly ensuring that the school’s Title IX matters were handled in compliance with one of the federal government’s strictest regulators.

Ryan has spent substantial time speaking and conducting trainings of the University’s student body and employees, emphasizing a culture that encouraged reporting and providing resources and accommodations to the community.

Prior to becoming the University’s first full-time Title IX Coordinator and building the school’s civil rights office, Ryan worked as the Assistant General Counsel, Niagara Law Center Co-Chair and Writing Professor at the university, while teaching law at several other area colleges.

24/7 EMERGENCY LEGAL SERVICES:

Perhaps more than anyone, Ryan knows that many Title IX and sexual misconduct situations occur outside of normal business hours. Ryan makes himself available to his clients 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so that when emergencies arise, Ryan’s ability to consult and handle the case will always be immediately available. 

SERVING CLIENTS THROUGHOUT U.S.:

Ryan will be serving clients throughout the United States, and is available to travel on relatively short notice.

Ryan’s career path and extensive experience in conducting fact-finding investigations into crimes and misconduct allegations has conditioned Ryan to constantly remain a neutral evaluator and objective fact-gatherer in these types of cases. Ryan spent much of his career as an investigative journalist, crime reporter and newspaper editor, publishing stories designed to uncover the truth, irrespective and without consideration of which party was to benefit.

In law school, Ryan worked as a student prosecutor for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, being the only intern to first-chair a criminal trial and win a conviction. In that same year, however, Ryan worked for Brooklyn Law School’s innocence project, examining homicide, rape and robbery cases for prosecutorial error and claims of actual innocence. He spent nearly a year investigating an infamous Long Island teen’s rape and murder that many believe remains unsolved.

“Regardless of whether you are drafting policy, investigating allegations, consulting on a case, or advising an institution on best practices and next steps, you need to remove all emotional barriers and self-interest considerations in this type of work,” Ryan explains. “You need to design a fair and equitable system to eliminate bias, treat all parties with compassion and respect, and ultimately elicit the truth. We all win when the truth is achieved.”

Ryan believes that to truly combat sexual assault, harassment, discrimination and interpersonal violence in our schools and in our society, we must strive for a system that best seeks the truth, regardless of whether it is the complainant or the respondent who receives a more favorable outcome on any particular case.

To some degree, Ryan has spent his entire adult life investigating crimes and allegations of misconduct. As a college student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Ryan worked with the U.S. Marshals Service, assisting the warrant squad in tracking and apprehending federal fugitives. Graduating in 1999 with a degree in journalism, with a minor in biology, Ryan launched his career in investigative journalism with a controversial article about a violent Salt Lake City subculture entitled “Tattoos, Vegans and Firebombs.” Stolen by one of the internet’s first newswires, the article was reprinted across the country, leading to successful copyright infringement litigation.

Ryan’s career in conducting objective and fact-gathering investigations continued on the East Coast. During the final days of street journalism, Ryan became the crime reporter for the Cambridge Chronicle and affiliated newspapers outside of Boston, MA. He won several awards for his writing and reporting, including one from the New England Press Association for coverage of racial and ethnic issues. It was here that Ryan became immersed in investigating the pedophile organization of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) after a local boy’s abduction and murder. But perhaps most notably – in a story that Ryan has lectured on continuously throughout his career, to middle schools, college honors programs, and even federal law enforcement – Ryan spent several days searching for a missing decapitated head, following a map that was provided to him after interviewing the killer in prison.

Ryan has spent countless hours conducting interviews of criminal defendants, respondents, complainants, plaintiffs and witnesses. He thrives in the interview room as well as in the courtroom, where his diverse professional experience has allowed him to successfully solicit the truth and assess credibility of parties and witnesses.

Even after working as a civil litigator for a Fifth Avenue law firm in Manhattan, Ryan returned to journalism to oversee the legal section of the historic Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper. As legal editor for nearly five years, Ryan helped expand the newspaper, which was widely considered the Brooklyn courts’ paper of record, to covering hard news, including in-depth coverage of murder, mafia and terrorism trials.

While leaving the newspaper industry to move back to his hometown Buffalo, Ryan remained a professional author, analyzing the U.S. courts’ handling of expert witness evidence and Daubert proceedings. His articles covered topics that ranged from poker skills to cryptocurrency to complex patent litigation, and were published by the National Law Review (https://www.natlawreview.com/author/ryan-thompson-esq) and by IMS ExpertServices (https://www.ims-expertservices.com/insights/what-the-is-bitcoin/)

While Ryan will be based in New York City and Buffalo, he is readily available to travel and intends to provide legal services to institutions, clients and colleges across the United States.

In addition to the many trainings he has administered himself over the years, Ryan has spent hundreds of hours undergoing training from a variety of professional organizations and institutions, including law enforcement, the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), and the State University of New York Student Conduct Institute (SUNY SCI). Ryan remains actively involved with the ATIXA community and membership, and leads an ATIXA task force that is working with Congress to propose legislation that would prevent sex discrimination in student loan administration. Ryan’s training materials will be available to clients and institutions, in accordance with the publication requirements of the 2020 Title IX Regulations.

Education:

JD: Brooklyn Law School (2004)

BS: University of Colorado at Boulder (1999)

Studies Abroad: Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland (1997)

High School: Nichols School, Buffalo NY (1995)

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