Downtown Memphis
One Commerce Square
40 S. Main Street, Suite 2210
Memphis, TN 38103

  • Bio
  • Education
  • Admissions
  • Accolades

John Ryder’s practice is split between two divergent areas of law: commercial litigation and election law. He has significant experience representing secured lenders, unsecured creditors’ committees, trustees, and debtors in the bankruptcy process. He has participated in a number of major bankruptcies including The Julien Companies (the largest bankruptcy ever filed in the Western District of Tennessee), Microwave Products, Wexner & Jacobson, Wang’s, XpertTune, and Braniff, to name a few. Mr. Ryder has also served as Receiver for Beale Street Historic District, Avery Outdoors, Inc., and First American Monetary Consultants.

In addition, Mr. Ryder is knowledgeable in the area of election law, having represented clients in numerous cases involving redistricting matters and election contests, as well as defending clients before the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance. Currently, he is litigation counsel for the Shelby County Election Commission. He currently teaches Election Law as an Adjunct Professor at Belmont University College of Law.

At Harris Shelton since 2000, Mr. Ryder was previously delinquent tax attorney for Shelby County and an assistant county attorney, as well as a member of the Shelby County Home Rule Charter Commission.

He served as General Counsel to the Republican National Committee from 2013-2017 and as Chairman of the Republican National Lawyers Association from 2017-2018. In 2016, he was selected as the RNLA Lawyer of the Year.

He has been listed in Best Lawyers since 1987. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Memphis Business Journal and is listed in their Power 100 listing. In 2019, he received the Peck Medal for service in the law from Wabash College.

In. 2018, Mr. Ryder was nominated by President Trump to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Valley Authority. He was confirmed unanimously by the U.S.Senate. Presently, he is Chairman of the Board.

Along with his involvement in professional organizations, he has maintained involvement in the Community as chairman of the board of trustees of Opera Memphis and as secretary of Memphis Rotary. He has previously served on the boards of the YMCA of Greater Memphis and Bridges, and he currently serves on the Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

  • Vanderbilt University, J.D., 1974
  • Wabash College, A.B., 1971

Admitted to Practice

  • Tennessee, 1974
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1979

Bar Admissions

  • Tennessee, 1974

Awards and Recognition

  • Wabash College – Peck Medal for Distinguished Service in the Law
  • Memphis Business Journal – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Best Lawyers in America since 1987, being named Litigation and Bankruptcy “Lawyer of the Year” in the Memphis area in 2012.
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers
  • Sam A. Memorial Award from the Memphis Bar Association

Professional Organizations and Awards

  • American Bankruptcy Institute
  • Commercial Law League of America
  • Tennessee Bar Association
  • Memphis Bar Association
  • Republican National Lawyers Association
  • Federalist Society
  • Turnaround Management Association
  • Best Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers

Civic and Community Involvement

  • Opera Memphis – Chairman of the board of trustees
  • Memphis Rotary ­– Secretary
  • YMCA of Greater Memphis – Former board member
  • Bridges – Former board member
  • Serves on Vestry of St. John’s Episcopal Church

Reported cases in election law:

  • White v Crowell, 434 F. Supp. 1119 (W. D. Tn. 1977)
  • Sullivan v Crowell, 444 F. Supp 606 ( W. D. Tn. 1978)
  • Mader v Crowell, 498, F. Supp. 226 (M.D. Tn. 1980); 506 F. Supp 484 (M.D. Tn. 1981)
  • Langsdson v Millsaps, 9 F. Supp 2d 880 (W. D. Tn. 1998), aff’d 510 U.S. 1160 (1994)
  • Rural West Tennessee African-American Affairs Council v. Sundquist, 209 F.3d 835, 2000 Fed.App. 0134P (6th Cir. 2000) rehearing and suggestion for rehearing en banc denied (May 16, 2000); cert. den. 531 U.S. 944, 121 S.Ct. 340, 148 L.Ed.2d 273, 69 USLW 3156, 69 USLW 3266, 69 USLW 3268 (2000)
  • Crone v Darnell, 176 F. Supp 2d 814 ( W. D. Tn. 2001)
  • Moore v. State, 436 S.W.3d 775 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2014)
  • Johnson v. Bredesen, 624 F.3d 742 (6th Cir. 2010)
  • Hooker v. FEC, 92 F. Supp. 2d 740 (M.D. Tenn. 2000)
  • Board of County Comm’rs v. Burson, 121 F.3d 244 (6th Cir. 1997)
  • Doulin v. White, 549 F. Supp. 152 (E.D. Ark. 1982)
  • Doulin v. White, 535 F. Supp. 450 (E.D. Ark. 1982)
  • Doulin v. White, 528 F. Supp. 1323 (E.D. Ark. 1982)
  • Mader v. Crowell, 506 F. Supp. 484 (M.D. 1981)
  • Ford v. Beavers, No. 06-02031, W.,D. Tenn, aff’d, Ford v Wilder, 469 F.3d 500 (6th 2006)
  • Mader v. Crowell, 498 F. Supp. 226, (M.D. 1980)
  • White v. Crowell, 434 F. Supp. 1119 (W.D. Tenn. 1977)

Significant commercial law cases:

  • Green I, GP v. Fannie Mae (In re Vill. Green I, GP), 811 F.3d 816 (6th Cir. 2016)
  • Ralph v. Scruggs Farm Supply LLC, 470 S.W.3d 48 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2014)
  • Green I, GP v. Fannie Mae, 523 B.R. 581 (W.D. Tenn. 2014)
  • In re Vill. Green I, GP, 435 B.R. 525 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 2010)
  • Beard v. Worldwide Mortg. Corp., 354 F. Supp. 2d 789 (W.D. Tenn. 2005)
  • In re Jordan, 313 B.R. 242 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 2004)
  • In re Ross, 312 B.R. 879, (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 2004)
  • Nat’l Mortg. Co. v. Brengettcy, 223 B.R. 684 (W.D. Tenn. 1998)
  • Syncor Int’l Corp. v. Newbaker, 12 F. Supp. 2d 781 (W.D. Tenn. 1998)
  • Silverstein v. Glazer (In re Silverstein), 186 B.R. 85 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 1995)
  • In re Creekside Landing, Ltd., 140 B.R. 713 (Bankr. M.D. Tenn. 1992)
  • Plains Cotton Coop. v. Julien Co., 141 B.R. 359 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 1992)
  • Sunflower Compress v. Julien Co., 136 B.R. 784 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 1992)
  • Bluebonnet Warehouse Co. v. Julien Co., 136 B.R. 765 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 1992)
  • Marlow v. Universal Warehouse Co., 136 B.R. 755 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn.1991)
  • In re Rachels Indus., Inc., 109 B.R. 797 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 1990)
  • In re Microwave Products of America, Inc., 102 B.R. 661 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 1989)
  • In re Microwave Prods. of Am., Inc., 102 B.R. 659 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 1989)
  • In re Alltech Plastics, Inc., 71 B.R. 686 (Bankr. W.D. Tenn. 1986)
  • Memphis-Shelby Cty. Airport Auth. v. Braniff Airways, Inc. (In re Braniff Airways, Inc.), 783 F.2d 1283 (5th Cir. 1986)