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Ryan Schiff is an experienced appellate, criminal, and civil litigator. He has briefed and argued a wide range of criminal and civil cases before the Massachusetts Appeals Court, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. His trial-court experience ranges from complex first-degree murder and federal racketeering cases to trespassing and drug-possession cases. He also has substantial experience representing clients before the Massachusetts Parole Board and the Sex Offender Registry Board and has successfully litigated civil actions seeking compensation for wrongful incarceration.

His successes have included victories in criminal and juvenile appeals, successful challenges to the legality of Massachusetts statutes and regulations, and not-guilty verdicts after trial. He has also won parole for clients serving life sentences and has persuaded the Sex Offender Registry Board to remove clients from the registry.

His significant wins before the Supreme Judicial Court have included:

  • Dinkins v. Massachusetts Parole Board, 486 Mass. 605 (2021) (holding that a thirty-year-old Parole Board regulation impinging the rights of dozens of people serving life sentences was “contrary to the plain terms of the statutory framework governing parole and thus [was] invalid”).
  • Moe v. Sex Offender Registry Bd., 467 Mass. 598 (2014) (holding that the retroactive application of amendments to sex offender registry law requiring that level-two sex offenders’ information be published on the internet would violate the Constitution, granting class-action relief, and saving approximately 6,000 people from internet dissemination).
  • Commonwealth v. Hanson H., 464 Mass. 807 (2013) (holding that mandatory GPS monitoring under G.L. c. 265, § 47, did not apply to juveniles sentenced probation for sex offenses).
  • Doe v. Police Comm’r of Boston, 460 Mass. 342 (2011) (holding that a statute making it a crime for level-three sex offenders to live in rest homes was unconstitutional).

Ryan is a frequent lecturer at legal seminars across Massachusetts and has been a faculty member for the National Legal Aid & Defender Association’s annual National Appellate Defender Training. In 2018, he received the Jay D. Blitzman Youth Advocacy Award in recognition of his dedication to juvenile rights.

Before entering private practice in 2018, Ryan was the Director of Juvenile Appeals at the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS), the statewide Massachusetts public defender agency. Prior to that, he was a staff attorney in CPCS’s Special Litigation Unit and an associate at a Boston law firm.


  • Massachusetts, 2003
  • U.S. District Court, D.Mass., 2004
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Cir., 2005


  • Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 2003
  • University of Massachusetts Boston, M.A., 2000
  • University of New Mexico, B.A., 1996
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