Janice M. Ryan

Partner
Ryan Janice

Janice Ryan is an experienced general counsel to tax-exempt organizations, specializing in lobbying and political activities compliance. Janice counsels advocacy groups, charities, associations, political organizations, and businesses on the full spectrum of legal issues related to their efforts to influence public policy and elections. She is adept at delivering creative solutions to complex problems and providing pragmatic day-to-day general counseling tailored to her clients’ specific needs and goals. Janice’s clients appreciate her accessibility and responsiveness, and her ability to bring together and manage the right team of attorneys within the firm to solve the problem at hand, providing her clients with seamless, full-service legal support.

Janice serves as outside general counsel and political counsel to several prominent 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations engaged in high-profile nationwide issue advocacy campaigns and efforts to influence elections. She also advises federal and state super PACs, candidates, and corporate and association PACs. Janice’s specific areas of experience include:

  • Tax-exempt Organizations
    • Formation and ongoing representation of 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), and 527 organizations
    • Corporate governance
    • Conflicts of interest
    • IRS restrictions on lobbying and political activities
    • IRS audits and tax controversy
    • Unrelated business income tax (UBIT)
    • Form 990 reporting
    • Private benefit and private inurement
    • Executive compensation
    • Charitable deductions
    • State and local tax-exemption and reporting
    • Affiliate and subsidiary relationships
      • Related 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations
      • For-profit and not-for-profit subsidiaries
      • National and state/local chapters
    • Mergers and acquisitions, asset transfers, dissolutions
    • Fundraising regulation
    • Volunteers
  • Political Law
    • Lobbying disclosure (federal, state, local)
      • Registration and reporting
      • Audits and enforcement
      • Compliance systems
    • Campaign finance (federal, state, local)
      • PACs and super PACs
      • Candidates and campaigns
      • Ballot committees
      • Political contributions
      • Audits and enforcement
    • Political advertising
    • Government ethics and gift rules (federal, state, local)
    • Pay-to-play regulation
    • State voter file and voter registration regulations
    • Internal compliance systems and training
  • General Counseling
    • Start-up counseling
    • Contract drafting and negotiation
    • Intellectual property (trademark and copyright)
    • Insurance coverage
    • Employee/independent contractor classification
    • Privacy and data security counseling

 

Experience

Government Experience

  • Legislative Aide, United States Senate, Office of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

Representative Matters

  • Represents major gun safety advocacy organization, providing ongoing general counseling, including advising on lobbying and political activities compliance, tax-exempt status matters, contracts, branding, fundraising, governance, and volunteer and affiliate relationships
  • Represents fiscal sponsor of innovative nonprofit advocacy projects engaged in fast-paced, high-profile grassroots campaigns to influence public policy and elections ($30+ million in 2017-2018)
  • Formed and advised super PACs that collectively spent over $50 million in 2018 U.S. House races
  • Advises one of nation’s 50 largest law firms on partnership contributions and lobbying disclosure, and successfully represented another top-50 law firm in FEC investigation involving allegations of illegal, in-kind contributions
  • Serves as general counsel to candidates for U.S. Congress and potential presidential candidates, advising on the FEC’s “testing-the-waters” regulations, personal financial disclosure statements, coordination with outside parties, and other complex rules
  • Counseled social welfare organization operating ballot committees in multiple states with committee formation, reporting, advertising review, and ongoing state campaign finance compliance
  • Assisted a nonprofit social welfare organization with mission-related investments, managing legal team to form for-profit subsidiary entities and acquire for-profit companies

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. summa cum laude Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law 2008
    • Associate Editor, The Catholic University Law Review
    • Recipient, The John L. Garvey Faculty Award
  • A.B. Dartmouth College 2000

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Tax Court

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Maryland State Bar Association