Mayer Partner Ryan Hand Shines in TIDA’s Member Spotlight

We are proud to showcase one of our accomplished transportation attorneys, Ryan Hand, who has been an esteemed member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA) for a decade. Recently, Ryan had the honor of being featured as TIDA's Member Spotlight for the month of October. The article offers insights into Ryan's perspectives on the trucking industry, a glimpse into his most memorable case, and invaluable career advice for young attorneys.

Read the exclusive interview originally published by TIDA below.

How long have you been a member of TIDA and why is it important to you to be a member?

I have been a TIDA member since 2013. Prior to that, for a number of years, I attended TIDA events as a guest of special clients. TIDA provides a phenomenal network of experienced and knowledgeable professionals across trucking, insurance, law, consulting, and expert groups.

Back when I was a young transportation attorney, had more hair and fewer wrinkles, TIDA helped me grow as a litigator in the defense of this vital industry. I attended skills courses, workshops, and the annual seminar. I have also served on various TIDA committees. Between these events, committees, and discussions with those in attendance, I learned a great deal about trucking litigation, the business of trucking and the hard-working people that represent and defend the backbone of our country and economy.  Now that I have been in trucking litigation for several years, TIDA helps keep me abreast of trends and developments in trucking litigation and, of course, in touch with friends, clients, colleagues, and vendors from the industry.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be? Why?

What a challenging question! There are so many with whom I would love to share a cup of coffee and collaborate. Without going into a rant, at the top of my mind currently are our state legislators.  I am growing more and more concerned about certain jury verdicts and judicial venues. Our legislators need to do more to prevent windfalls, unscrupulous arrangements between those that desire to bilk the trucking and insurance industries and prevent abuse of the “medical system” and litigation funding.  As a trucking defense attorney, it is all too often that I hear the stress and frustration from trucking companies that are dealing with the fallout of these problems. More must be done by our legislators to protect this critical industry.

To date, what has been the most memorable case you have been involved? Why?

A number of years ago, I defended a trucking company and its driver in a case where a teenage boy tragically lost his life. The accident happened at an unusual intersection where it was difficult to see oncoming traffic. As such, my truck driver, turning left with compromised sight distanced, was waved through the intersection by an off-duty police officer.  Unfortunately, the off-duty police officer was mistaken about the intersection being clear. The truck turned and the oncoming vehicle slammed into the side of the trailer. The truck driver was devastated by this truly tragic accident. Indeed, it was nothing more than a most unfortunate accident. To make matters worse, in addition to the civil lawsuit, my truck driver was charged with criminally negligent homicide. He lost his job, was arrested, and accused of causing the death of this boy. The truck driver was a newlywed with a newborn child.  He was lost, afraid, and hopeless. It was a bad venue and attorneys were coming at him from all directions.  It was all so unfair. The civil and criminal defense team worked hard to resolve these matters on the best terms possible. This driver and his wife were so grateful for the outcome. I continue to stay in touch with him and his wife. He went on to become a paramedic and his family is once again thriving.  He could not bring himself to drive an 18-wheeler again. It was an honor to represent this man and help him back on track.

What advice would give to your 25-year-old self?

Those that have dedicated their lives to trucking and the defense of this industry possess a wealth of wisdom. I always enjoy hearing their stories and receiving their sage advice. Looking back, I wish I would have slowed down and taken even more time with those that were willing and able to mentor and teach. The reports will get out, the motions will get filed, and the discovery will get done, but you only have a limited amount of time with these industry veterans. Soak it up while you can.

What is a fun fact that people probably don't know about you?

My family is my fun fact. I have the most amazing wife (23 years), daughter (age 17), and son (age 13).  They are my fun.  Whether I am at my son’s baseball game in 100-degree heat, my daughter’s band performance sitting on hard bench seats, or with my wife watching a cheesy “chick flick,” I am truly having the time of my life!