For nearly two decades, Ryan Hudson has litigated with or against many of the nation’s top litigation law firms in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the United States. As counsel in a variety of class actions and individual lawsuits asserting novel claims for relief against major corporations, he has recovered and collected several hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of clients nationwide. He has argued before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals twice and briefed several cases before state and federal appeals courts across the United States. He has first-chair federal jury trial and appellate experience, and he focuses on class actions and complex litigation involving:
- Business and commercial disputes;
- Consumer protection;
- Copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets;
- Oil & gas, natural resources, and energy;
- Racketeering under the RICO Act;
- the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and related claims; and
- Federal criminal defense and appeals.
At Sharp Law, Ryan has taken a primary role in several class actions focusing on claims for violations of antitrust, consumer protection, civil RICO, forced labor and services, and the intentional underpayment of monies owed under leases or contracts (in industries ranging from natural gas to laundry vending machines to credit card processing).
Consumer Protection & Antitrust
- In the MDL involving the sales and marketing of the EpiPen, Ryan was appointed to the Executive Committee in the original D. Kansas case and then was appointed Liaison Counsel for the Plaintiffs in the MDL proceeding. Ryan has led the strategy and briefing on the RICO claim, which proceeded past both motions to dismiss and was certified as a nationwide class action against both Mylan and Pfizer.
- Ryan was the lead lawyer pursuing claims arising out of a “fake sale” national campaign of a major retailer. Ryan defeated the motion to dismiss and the motion to compel arbitration (including a successful interlocutory appeal before the 10th Circuit, which affirmed the denial of a motion to compel arbitration). Afterwards, the case quickly settled.
- Ryan led the pursuit of a class action to protect veterans across the United States whose cars were unlawfully repossessed by a major national bank. Following extensive discovery and the filing of a motion for class certification, the bank agreed to a significant class settlement for veterans nationwide under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).
Forced Labor and Services
- Ryan also has taken a lead role in drafting and pursuing a wave of cases against the U.S. Olympic Committee and its National Governing Bodies (including USA Taekwondo and USA Diving) involving federal claims under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and negligence-based state law claims. These lawsuits have been repeatedly profiled in the New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, and several other national media publications. In their case against USA Taekwondo in federal court in Colorado, Ryan and his team have made new law on the statute of limitations and the enterprise theory of liability against institutional defendants who benefit from forced labor and services.
- Based on novel legal theories Ryan and his team devised and pursued, they recovered $6 million against USA Taekwondo and several insurance companies after defeating the motion to dismiss and motion for summary judgment.
- As part of their efforts to help improve the law and protect victims, Ryan and his co-counsel have worked with both sides of the U.S. Senate in Washington D.C. to help draft policy changes and consulted with federal prosecutors and law enforcement officials.
Underpayment of Natural Gas Royalties
- In dozens of cases throughout state and federal courts across the United States, Ryan and his co-counsel are pursuing class actions for the intentional underpayment of natural gas royalties by most of the largest energy companies in the United States and Europe.
- Their federal case against a major British natural gas producer, which settled following the addition of a RICO claim based on a long history of defrauding royalty owners, was ranked as the largest oil and gas royalty class settlement in the history of Oklahoma.
- In another federal case in Oklahoma, Ryan and his colleagues pursued and settled a RICO claim for the intentional underpayment of royalties and recovered a seven-figure class settlement for the defrauded royalty owners.
Following law school, Ryan served as a federal law clerk in Kansas City for then-Chief Judge John W. Lungstrum of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. For several years he then worked in Dallas at two of the top international law firms in Texas. He started at the largest law firm in Dallas, where he defended and pursued business litigation and patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secrets cases. He then joined an international patent litigation firm in Dallas, where he litigated a variety of patent cases involving the electrical, mechanical, and pharmaceutical industries, as well as generic drugs launched under the Hatch-Waxman Act. He also represented several plaintiffs in intellectual property cases in federal courts in Texas, California, and Florida and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
After moving back to Kansas City, Ryan was an associate and then a partner at a Kansas City litigation boutique law firm. While there, he pursued and defended a national docket of complex litigation matters throughout the United States. Among several class actions he litigated, Ryan was defense counsel in a multi-billion dollar federal multi-district litigation (MDL) proceeding in the District of Kansas (In re Syngenta AG MIR 162 Corn Litigation) that involved dozens of class actions and thousands of individual lawsuits filed across the country. He also defended numerous matters brought by the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission (including a 10-figure matter, in which the United States Supreme Court later ruled 9-0 in favor of the defense theory that damages were not allowed), FINRA, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Ryan was lead counsel in a variety of criminal defense cases and argued before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and sought review by the United States Supreme Court.
Ryan is active in Kansas courts, especially in the District of Kansas, and has worked to help improve the training & education and structure of both civil and criminal litigation. He was appointed to serve a three-year term on the Bench Bar Committee for the District of Kansas (2016-19). At the University of Kansas School of Law, Ryan has served as an advisor to the moot court team and as a repeated lecturer on class actions and multi-district litigation (MDLs), as well as claims for breach of warranty, consumer protection, and racketeering under the RICO Act. Ryan has also lectured repeatedly to the Second Chair Program (a program launched by the Federal Public Defender for the District of Kansas) and helped shape the training program for new federal criminal defense lawyers in Kansas. In 2020, Ryan worked with the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) Law School moot court team as an advisor regarding RICO strategy. He also worked with professors and law students at UMKC Law School to use design thinking and graphics to help make the procedural maze of federal criminal procedure more understandable and transparent. This project developed into the “Map of the Federal Criminal Process.”
Select Recent Cases
- Frank v. Crawley Petroleum, Inc., 992 F.3d 987 (10th Cir. 2021) (successful reversal of an order setting conditions and limiting unnamed, future plaintiffs from filing lawsuits).
- Blasi v. Bruin E&P Partners, LLC, 959 N.W.2d 872 (N.D. 2021) (certified question before North Dakota Supreme Court re: valuation point for oil in pipelines).
- Cooper Clark Foundation v. Oxy USA Inc., — P.3d —, 2020 WL 3481429 (Kan. App. June 26, 2020) (affirming class certification of royalty owner underpayment claims under Kansas law), petition denied, (Kan. Nov. 24, 2020).
- In re EpiPen Mktg., Sales Practices & Antitrust MDL, No. 17-MD-2785-DDC-TJJ, 2020 WL 1180550, at *1 (D. Kan. Mar. 10, 2020) (granting class certification of nationwide civil RICO and numerous state law antitrust claims), Rule 23(f) review denied, No. 20-603 (10th Cir. May 26, 2020).
- Gilbert, et al. v. United States Olympic Committee, et al., No. 18-cv-00981 (D. Colo. Sept. 27, 2019) (order granting in part and denying in part motion to dismiss; allowing to proceed the numerous TVPRA claims against USA Taekwondo on behalf of five former USA Taekwondo athletes).
- Nakamura v. Wells Fargo Bank, No. 17-cv-4029-DDC-GEB, 2019 WL 2193785 (D. Kan. May 21, 2019) (approval of seven figure class settlement of United States veterans against Wells Fargo for unlawful repossession of vehicles under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act).
- Stevens, et al. v. USA Diving, No. 18-cv-3015, 2019 WL 2210808 (S.D. Ind. May 21, 2019) (denial of motion to dismiss negligence-based claims against USA Diving and related entities on behalf of diving athletes).
- Cecil v. BP America Production Co., No. 16-CV-00410-KEW, 2018 WL 8367958 (E.D. Okla. Nov. 19, 2018) (approval of class settlement of Oklahoma royalty owners against BP for nine figure RICO claim for intentional underpayment of natural gas royalties).
- In re EpiPen Mktg., Sales Practices & Antitrust MDL, No. 17-MD-2785-DDC-TJJ, 2018 WL 3973153 (D. Kan. Aug. 20, 2018) (denial of most of the arguments raised in the two motions to dismiss filed by Mylan and Pfizer against the RICO, antitrust, and consumer protection claims raised by the Consumer Class Plaintiffs).
- Cavlovic v. J.C. Penney Corp., Inc., No. 2:17-cv-2042-JAR-TJJ, 2018 WL 2926433 (D. Kan. June 7, 2018) (denial of motion to dismiss consumer protection claims).
- Cavlovic v. J.C. Penney Corp., 884 F.3d 1051, 2018 WL 1181237 (10th Cir. Mar. 8, 2018) (affirming the denial of a motion to compel arbitration against consumer protection claims).
- Bollenbach Enterprises v. Alta Mesa, No. 17-cv-134 (W.D. Okla. Mar. 12, 2018) (granting final approval of seven-figure RICO settlement class based on the intentional underpayment of royalties owed to natural gas royalty owners).
- Kunneman Properties LLC v. Marathon Oil Co., No. 17-cv-456-JED-FHM, 2018 WL 337752 (N.D. Okla. Jan. 9, 2018) (denial of motion to transfer venue in royalty owner class action).
- Rasnic v. FCA US LLC, No. 17-cv-2064-KHV, 2017 WL 6406880 (D. Kan. Dec. 15, 2017) (denial of motion to dismiss in automotive Infotainment defect case).
- Cavlovic v. J.C. Penney Corp., 275 F. Supp. 3d 1267 (D. Kan. 2017) (rejection of arbitration clause asserted by JC Penney in consumer protection class action involving “fake sales” campaign by JC Penney).
- Cecil v. BP America Production Company, No. 16-cv-410-RAW (E.D. Okla. Mar. 20, 2017) (royalty underpayment class action on behalf of Oklahoma royalty owners against BP).
- In re: Mylan EpiPen Auto-Injector Litigation, No. 2:16-cv-02711-JWL (D. Kan.) (nationwide class action against Mylan and Pfizer for violations of RICO, state consumer protection laws, and state antitrust laws).
- Whisenant v. Sheridan Production Co., No. 16-606 (10th Cir. Dec. 16, 2016) (appeal of denial of remand of oil and gas royalty underpayment CAFA class action).
- United States v. Webster, 809 F.3d 1158 (10th Cir. 2016), cert. denied, 136 S. Ct. 2420 (2016) (criminal appeal involving habeas and Fourth Amendment issues).
- Coleman v. Crawford, et al., 2:13-cv-04205-BCW (W.D. Mo. 2016) (first-chair trial counsel for plaintiff in three-day jury trial for Section 1983 claims).
- In re Syngenta AG MIR 162 Corn Litigation, 131 F. Supp. 3d 1177 (D. Kan. 2015) (nationwide MDL involving China’s rejection of U.S. corn and the collapse of the corn market).
- Hawkins v. Mercy Kansas Communities, No. 14-2405-EFM-KGG, 2015 WL 1978088 (D. Kan. May 1, 2015) (medical malpractice and EMTALA claims against doctors).
- McKellips v. Kumho Tire Co., 305 F.R.D. 655 (D. Kan. 2015) (products liability case involving tires).
- F.T.C. v. AMG Servs., Inc., 29 F. Supp. 3d 1338 (D. Nev. 2014), order clarified sub nom., No. 212CV00536GMNVCF, 2014 WL 12788195 (D. Nev. July 16, 2014), and aff’d sub nom., 910 F.3d 417 (9th Cir. 2018), rev’d and remanded, 141 S. Ct. 1341 (2021) (defense counsel at trial court on a Section 13 damages lawsuit brought by the FTC).
- Eaves v. Pirelli Tire, LLC, No. 13-1271-SAC, 2014 WL 1883791 (D. Kan. May 12, 2014) (products liability case involving tires).
- Hernandez v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., No. 12-1399-JWL, 2013 WL 141648 (D. Kan. Jan. 11, 2013) (products liability case involving tires).
- F.T.C. v. AMG Services, Inc., 291 F.R.D. 544 (D. Nev. 2013) (Section 5 FTC case alleging consumer deception).
- Lustgraaf v. Sunset Financial Services, Inc., No. 8:08CV335, 2012 WL 5996968 (D. Neb. Nov. 28, 2012) (federal securities fraud case).
- Robinson v. Tucker, No. 12-2200-JTM, 2012 WL 5499439 (D. Kan. Nov. 13, 2012) (civil RICO case).
- Green v. Sunset Financial Services, Inc., No. 8:09CV13, 2012 WL 931976 (D. Neb. Mar. 20, 2012) (federal securities fraud case with bankruptcy issues).
- West v. A & S Helicopters, 751 F. Supp. 2d 1104 (W.D. Mo. 2010) (helicopter accident case alleging product defect).
- Knights Armament Co. v. OSTI, Inc., 647 F. Supp. 2d 1321 (M.D. Fla. 2009), aff’d, 654 F.3d 1179 (11th Cir. 2011) (trademark trial and appeal involving sniper rifle scopes).
- Hicks v. Assistant Atty. Gen. of Colorado, No. 08-0362-CV-W-FJG, 2010 WL 5067611 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 6, 2010) (Section 1983 case against state official).
- Porter v. Valdez, 424 F. App’x 382 (5th Cir. 2011) (appeal of Section 1983 claims).
- Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Sols., Inc. v. Intersil Corp., No. 4:08-CV-451, 2009 WL 3157473 (E.D. Tex. Sept. 25, 2009) (patent and trade secrets case and jury trial resulting in $77 million judgment for maker of ambient light sensor used in the iPhone).
- AMS, Inc. v. Crane Co., 357 F. App’x 297 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (patent case and appeal involving vending machines).
- Galderma Labs., L.P. v. Actavis Mid-Atl., L.L.C., No. CIV.A.4:06CV471-Y, 2008 WL 3930027, at *1 (N.D. Tex. Aug. 27, 2008) (patent case involving generic drug launch).
- Minka Lighting, Inc. v. Reliance Lighting, Inc., et al., 5:05-cv-01015-FMC (C.D. Cal. April 23, 2008) (international trademark, copyright, and patent case involving ceiling fans).
Selected Recent Publications and Presentations
- Adjunct Professor, Civil RICO, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School (Summer 2022).
- Lecturer, Federal Multi-district Litigation, Mass Torts, and Class Actions, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, KC, Missouri (April 22, 2022).
- Co-Author, “Kansas,” The Law of Class Action: Fifty-State Survey 2021 (ABA Publishing).
- Lecturer, Civil RICO, University of Kansas Law School, Lawrence, KS (April 20, 2021).
- Lecturer, Federal Multi-district Litigation, Mass Torts, and Class Actions, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, KC, Missouri (March 17, 2021).
- Lecturer, Design Thinking and Mapping Federal Criminal Procedure, Law, Technology, and Public Policy, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, KC, Missouri (2020-21).
- MDL Cartography: Mapping the Five Stages of a Federal MDL, 89 UMKC Law Rev. 801 (2021).
- Co-Author, “Kansas,” The Law of Class Action: Fifty-State Survey 2020 (ABA Publishing).
- Lecturer, “Class Actions and Federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) Proceedings,” University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, KS (April 15, 2019).
- Lecturer, “Consumer Protection & RICO Claims,” University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, KS (March 18, 2019).
- Lecturer, “Intro to Kansas Federal Court Practice,” United States District Court for the District of Kansas, Second Chair Program, Kansas City, MO (January 11, 2019).
- Panelist, “A Conversation with the Local Rules Committees,” United States District Court for the District of Kansas, Kansas City, KS (November 14, 2018).
- Lecturer, “Class Actions,” University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, KS (April 9, 2018).
- Lecturer, “RICO & Consumer Protection Claims,” University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, KS (April 2, 2018).
- Lecturer, “Modern Federal Court Briefing & Argument,” United States District Court for the District of Kansas, Federal Public Defender Intern Seminar, Kansas City, KS (June 16, 2017).
- Lecturer, “Breach of Warranty & Consumer Protection Claims,” University of Kansas School of Law, Lawrence, KS (April 17, 2017).
- Panelist, “How to Keep Up with the Law,” Kansas Public Defender Criminal Defense CLE, Lawrence, KS (October 21, 2016).
- “Why FRE 407 Applies in Criminal Cases and Proceedings,” Co-author, Trial Evidence (American Bar Association Section of Litigation) (September 2014).
- “The Twombly Trilogy: Exploring the New ‘Plausibility’ Standard for Motions to Dismiss in Kansas Federal Courts,” Co-author, Kansas Bar Journal (May 2010).
- “Debating Third-Party Policy Deadlines: Why Texas Should Equitably Toll an Insured’s Claim for Breach of the Duty to Defend,” Co-author, 61 Baylor Law Review 610 (2009).
- “Employers Should Brace for New Workplace Rules,” Co-author, Dallas Business Journal, June 5, 2009.
- “The Problems With PAWA,” Co-author, Law360, May 27, 2009.
- “The Express Negligence Rule in Texas,” Co-author, 60 Baylor Law Review 942 (2008).
- “State Law IP Litigation Issues,” Co-author, The Advocate (Litigation Section Journal of the Texas Bar Association) (Winter 2008).
- “Everything You Need to Know Outside the Fifth Circuit,” Co-author, 17th Annual Advanced Employment Law Course, Texas Bar, 2008.
- “Uncertainty in the Federal Civil Pleading Requirement: Is ‘Plausibility’ the New Rule 12(b)(6) Standard?” DAYL Dicta (January 2008).
- Dallas Federal Bar Association Bulletin, Monthly Columnist, 2007-08.
- Encyclopedia of Privacy, Legal Contributor, 2007.
Admissions and Qualifications
- Missouri (inactive)
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
- U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas
- Kansas Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association
- Texas Bar Association
- Ross T. Roberts Inn of Court, Barrister
- Johnson County Bar Association
- Bench Bar Committee, U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
- Recognized as “Best of the Bar” by the Kansas City Business Journal
- Recognized as a Kansas & Missouri “Rising Star” in Business Litigation by Kansas City Magazine
- Recognized as a Texas “Rising Star” in Litigation by Texas Monthly
- Lecturer, University of Kansas School of Law
- Lecturer, Second Chair Program, Kansas Federal Public Defender’s Office
- Advisor, University of Kansas School of Law Moot Court
- University of Kansas Law School, Moot Court Alumni Council
- Criminal Justice Act Panel, United States District Court for the District of Kansas
The Honorable John W. Lungstrum, then-Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas