Martin hires anti-rail group’s attorney to fight AAF

Stephen M. Ryan is head of the Government Strategies Practice Group in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Washington, D.C., office. (Source: McDermott Will & Emery LLP)

From The Palm Beach Post: Martin County commissioners intensified their fight against All Aboard Florida today, voting 4-1 to hire the same law firm that represents a local anti-rail group, Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida, in their fight against the private rail company’s express passenger trains.

The commission agreed to pay attorney Stephen Ryan and his Washington, D.C.-based firm, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, as much as $80,000 to help the county in its battle against the rail project.

For the complete Palm Beach Post entry:

From the website of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, information on Stephen Ryan:

Stephen M. Ryan is head of the Government Strategies Practice Group in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Washington, D.C., office.  He provides lobbying, litigation and counseling services, often for the high-technology community, and companies in highly regulated industries.  He has broad experience in addressing the combined legal, political and press related challenges stemming from congressional oversight and investigation.  Steve has been recognized by Washington D.C. Super Lawyers as being among the top five percent in political law as well as by the Best Lawyers in America as being among the top government relations lawyers.

Steve has experience in all branches of the U.S. government.  He served as General Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs (GAC), chaired by the Honorable John Glenn, and participated in all aspects of the Committee’s legislative and oversight activities, such as government procurement investigations, government audit activities, ethics legislation and oversight of inspectors general.  Steve served as Deputy Counsel of the President’s Commission on Organized Crime, directing investigations against La Cosa Nostra and other criminals during the Reagan Administration.  He also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C., prosecuting criminal cases.  He received a special commendation from the Attorney General and other Justice Department awards.

Steve is perhaps unique among registered lobbyists, since he tries cases for his lobbying clients.  For example, while registered to lobby for an electric utility, Steve successfully argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against Enron.  He has won cases regarding preemption of state law in Connecticut and New Jersey for a California bank that is a key lobbying client, and an antitrust case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California for a key Internet utility. 

Steve is a leader on internet governance issues and often attends international forums addressing such issues.  Steve has experience representing companies and their individual officers in their interactions with a range of law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, agency Inspectors General and State Attorneys General.  He is often called upon to help conduct internal investigations to assist management and corporate boards in addressing issues of importance.

For almost a decade Steve co-taught “Legislative Investigations” as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law with Professor Sam Dash.  He is co-author of a book on procurement ethics and has published numerous professional articles on congressional policy-making and on the interface of criminal and government procurement law.  He is frequently quoted in leading newspapers and appears on television.

Steve has a deep commitment to pro bono activity.  For example, for the past decade he has represented Operation HOPE, a financial literacy group, and was the founding Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Board, where he remains a Board member.  Steve has served as the President of the Gonzaga College High School Fathers’ Club.  Steve is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Shakespeare Theatre Company and chaired both the 2011 and 2012 ‘Will on the Hill’ fundraiser.

Steve earned his J.D. from the Notre Dame Law School, and his B.S. from Cornell University.  He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.  He served as the law clerk for the Honorable Robert A. Grant, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Indiana.


  • University of Notre Dame Law School, J.D., 1980
  • Cornell University, B.S., 1977

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