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Ryan Botkin is a trial advocate and counselor for businesses and individuals. As a litigator, Ryan’s practice focuses on complex business disputes within a broad assortment of subjects: technology and IP licensing, corporate governance, e-commerce, financial services, software development, oil & gas, health care, private equity, construction, commercial contracts, business torts, campaign finance, and more.
As a counselor, Ryan advises large and small businesses, non-profits and individuals about litigation risk, compliance and management issues, media relations, legislative and campaign issues, and strategic planning.
In addition, Ryan often leverages his deep relationships in the Austin legal community to assist out-of-town firms as local counsel. Ryan has been retained by major firms in New York, Washington DC, Boston and elsewhere to advise clients in high-stakes Austin-based litigation.
From 2001 to 2016, Ryan practiced alongside famed Austin trial lawyer Shannon Ratliff and was a founding member of the Ratliff Law Firm in 2003 after starting his career at Bracewell & Patterson and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. He joined Wittliff Cutter Austin in November 2016.
- Represented an Austin e-commerce company in litigation arising out of a major private equity investment, and subsequently served as outside general counsel on compliance and intellectual property matters.
- Defended a Fortune 50 technology company in a major federal lawsuit involving allegations of business interference, violations of software copyrights, and global antitrust violations.
- Represented the independent alumni association of a Big 12 school in bet-the-entity intellectual property litigation against its parent university.
- Represented an Austin software company against its European corporate client in a dispute over a major software development project.
- Represented a Nobel Prize-winning scientist in a highly-publicized dispute involving a state-funded research entity. The engagement included advising the client in parallel legislative, civil, and criminal investigations and media strategy.
- Represented a New York private equity firm in shareholder litigation involving a medical technology portfolio company.
- Formed and advised a high-profile advocacy group to promote higher education governance reform at Baylor University.
- Defended a major investment advisory firm against a nine-figure claim of fraud by the Texas state retirement system.
- Defended a major corporation against allegations of Texas campaign finance violations.
Ryan regularly represents disadvantaged clients on a pro bono basis through Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas. In 2014, VLS recognized Ryan with a service award for his work with one of these clients, a disabled veteran evicted from Section 8 housing. Ryan is also a regular advisor at the VLS Legal Services Clinic.
Admissions and Professional Qualifications
- Texas, 1995
- Oklahoma, 2005 (presently inactive)
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas
- Admissions Committee, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (2005-present)
Affiliations and Honors
- State Bar of Texas (Member, Litigation Section)
- Austin Bar Association (Co-Chair, Courthouse Subcommittee, Member Litigation Section)
- Federal Bar Association (Austin Chapter President 2003-2004, Director 2000-2005)
- Texas Bar Foundation (Life Fellow; Nominating Committee District 9, 2009-present)
- Austin Bar Foundation (Founding Life Fellow)
- Vice Chair, State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, District 9 (Term 2014-17)
- Founding Member and Master, American Inns of Court, Lloyd Lochridge Inn, 2009-present
- Executive Committee, University of Texas Law Alumni Association (2016-present); Class of 1995 Standing Committee Co-Chair
- Texas Monthly Super Lawyers, Rising Star 2004, 2005, 2009
- University of Texas School of Law (JD 1995)
- Stanford University (BA 1991)
- Founder and Secretary, Community for Civil and Family Courthouse PAC (advocating in favor of bond issue to fund a new Travis County courthouse complex)
- Stanford/Austin (Alumni Club – President 2000-03, Board of Directors 2003-present)
- Stanford University Admissions Office, OVAL Committee (Chair, Austin/San Antonio Region, 2013-present)
- Stanford Associates (Alumni honorary organization; elected 2012)
- Town & Gown Club, 2006-present
- Finance Co-Chair, Brewster McCracken for Austin City Council 2002, 2003; McCracken for Mayor 2009
- Parent Volunteer, St. Andrews Episcopal School