Monthly Feature: Get to Know... Ryan P. Keleher
May 1, 2019
By: Ryan P. Keleher
From the time he joined the mock trial team at Siena College; civil trial attorney was the only career that Ryan Keleher could envision. “High pressure, thinking on my feet, high stakes, public speaking. Judges, adversaries, having it all on the line; this is what draws me to the job. I love the challenges. It’s in my blood.”
Ryan, who in January 2019 was named a Member at Bond, concentrates his practice in commercial litigation and torts litigation. Ryan has represented clients in state and federal courts, tried jury and non-jury trials, argued at the appellate level and represented clients during hearings, mediations and arbitration proceedings. Ryan represents individuals, corporations, insurance companies, third-party administrators, public entities and school districts.
The Syracuse native earned a marketing and management degree at Siena College and then spent a year selling cars and substitute teaching before enrolling at Albany Law. “All my extra-curricular experiences have built up my ability to negotiate, think on my feet, and connect with people.”
One of his biggest challenges was to fill the shoes of his father, a prominent litigator in Onondaga County. “From childhood, I was surrounded by and intrigued by the law, but Dad let me come to the profession on my own. It’s “sink or swim” to him—right into the pool.”
Ryan first worked as a litigator at a law firm in Syracuse. Driven to perform at his best to live up to the expectations of his heritage, Ryan finds that “the challenge drove me harder and harder, both for my clients and coworkers’ sake and to make my Dad proud.”
Ryan’s toolbox includes a listening ear, enthusiasm, and a caring, calming way to dispense advice, whether it’s what the client wants to hear or not.
Gifted with high energy and bright ideas, Ryan was eager to join a larger law firm after gaining additional knowledge and litigation experience. Ryan next set his sights eastward to Albany, a city he had grown to love during his educational days. After a few years working for a competitor, Ryan secured an associate position at Bond. At that point, he turned some of his attention toward building a strong network to support his career growth. On not finding exactly what he was envisioning, he founded a networking group, Capital Region Connections. While it’s not a legal entity, over three years the organization has grown in popularity with a core group of 30-50 entrepreneurs, professionals, business owners, and not for profit administrators attending four to six meetings a year. A board of directors runs the networking events, secures sponsors and speakers, and identifies not-for-profit organizations to benefit from the charity element of each event.
“The organization has attracted people with a wide range of different professions. Many of us are looking more for connections than overtly for business. We want to meet our neighbors.”
Ryan is an active supporter of charity events throughout the Albany area, donating money through ticket and raffle purchases. He attests to his attendance at 35 galas and golf outings in 2018 alone. Through Bond, Ryan has led the firm’s Tour de Cure team for the Capital Region event, from building the team to spearheading its fundraising efforts. Ryan also donates his time as President of his homeowners association.
A die-hard sports fan (Syracuse University teams in particular) and competitive athlete, Ryan acknowledges, “I’ve never met an outdoor activity that I didn’t like.” On winter weekends Ryan seeks the ski slopes – he was a professional ski instructor in high school. In the warmer months he favors cycling, mountain biking, hiking and team sports such as Ultimate Frisbee and basketball. He exercises at the gym daily. “I get an endorphin rush from working out and athletics. Growing up in Syracuse—whatever the temperature, if there’s sun, I’m outside.”
In addition to enjoying the upstate weather, Ryan finds that the Capital Region is also a great place to litigate. “I’m pretty confident that my adversaries would say I’m always professional, easy to work with and accessible. Our interactions are almost always cordial, calm and respectful. We are working together for the better good.”