Ryan P. Schelwat

Associate Buffalo
Ryan Schelwat

A skilled commercial litigator, Ryan focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, mass tort and class action defense, and internal investigations.

Ryan represents both upstate local businesses and market leaders across many of the nation’s most innovative industries: telecommunications, commercial banking, and transportation and logistics. Ryan works hands-on with clients to acquire a thorough understanding of their business, and uses that knowledge to outflank the opposition both in and out of court. Because he has experience working with businesses of every size and stripe, Ryan provides his clients with a flexible skill set, tailors his litigation strategy to incorporate their unique histories and needs, and obtains results that mirror their goals and expectations.

Ryan’s experience runs the gamut from litigating breach of contract claims, product liability suits, lender liability matters and suits against the federal government under the Tucker Act. Ryan also has substantial experience in alternative dispute resolution, and regularly represents clients in negotiated settlement proceedings.

Ryan brings to the table unparalleled appellate experience, having worked for some of the nation’s most preeminent jurists in both state and federal court settings.

Ryan was involved in Cornell Law School’s securities clinical program, where he represented clients in Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) proceedings and participated in community-education outreach. While earning his law degree, Ryan served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Kenneth K. Lee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Honorable William W. Hood III of the Colorado Supreme Court. Ryan also worked in private practice on plaintiffs’-side litigation matters.


Education & Admissions

  • Cornell Law School, J.D., 2022
  • Hofstra University, B.A., cum laude, 2018
Admitted to Practice
  • New York
  • Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • Idaho (Admission Pending)
Judicial Clerkships
  • Honorable William W. Hood III, Colorado Supreme Court, Extern, 2020 – 2021
  • Honorable Kenneth K. Lee, U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Intern, 2020 – 2021


Representative Matters
  • Represented a Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) lender in obtaining and enforcing a judgment against a large creditor.
  • Advised a leading logistics and supply chain corporation on enforcing a high-priority lien.
  • Conducted internal investigations of employee misconduct for a Fortune 500 company. 
  • Represented commercial clients in disputes with governmental entities regarding breach of contract and fraud.
  • Negotiated a settlement on behalf of a large telecom reseller.
  • Represented plaintiffs in a trailblazing Fifth Amendment takings case.
  • Obtained injunctive relief for clients in cases involving civil rights claims.

Activities & Professional Associations

Present Activities

  • Federalist Society, Member
  • Erie County Bar Association, Member

Past Activities

  • Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, Articles Editor, 2020–2022
  • Supreme Court Bulletin, Managing Editor, 2019-2022
  • Vice President, Federalist Society Cornell Chapter
  • Cornell Law School Moot Court and Mock Trial teams

Professional Associations

  • Bar Association of Erie County
    • Commercial Litigation and Bankruptcy Law Committee
    • Federal Practice Committee

Articles & Publications


  • Co-Author, “The Future of Restrictions on Competition – Fair and/or Unfair,” Buffalo Business First, May 2023