Chris E Ryman




Houston, Texas

Phone: 713.653.7345

Fax: 713.890.3960

Practice Areas:

Construction/Surety Law


Real Estate Law


Commercial Litigation

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Chris E Ryman

Chris has been a Director with Coats Rose since 1990, and over thirty years of experience to bear for the Firm’s clients. He handles general civil litigation, mediation and arbitration matters, with a specialty in construction, real estate, commercial and business litigation.

After receiving his degree from the University of Houston Law Center, Chris spent three years as an Associate at Leonard, Koehn, Rose & Hurt. In 1982, he co-founded the Firm of Rose & Ryman as a Partner, and in 1990 his Firm was merged with Coats Rose.

Chris has received Advanced Mediator Training at the Attorney-Mediators Institute, and Commercial and Construction Arbitration Training at the American Arbitration Association.

Chris has arbitrated/mediated all types and sizes of commercial and residential construction claims.  He was also Board Certified in 1987 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Civil Trial Law. Chris has been recognized as a Texas Best Lawyer and Texas Super Lawyer (2009-2012).  Chris was a participant in legislation relating to the Texas Residential Construction Liability Act.

He is father to Audrey, Rachel and Katherine Ryman.

Practice Emphasis

Chris has represented owners, homebuilders, architects, engineers, design professionals, general contractors and subcontractors involved in commercial and residential construction disputes; represented individuals, equipment lessors and financial institutions in collection, foreclosure and lender liability disputes; and defended individuals and companies in tort claims and construction accidents. His construction law practice includes all types of commercial and residential claims, litigation and arbitration. Chris’s tort litigation experience includes construction accidents, premises and product liability claims. He has also handled commercial litigation, business litigation, real estate litigation and frequently serves as an arbitrator and mediator in all types of disputes.


Panel arbitrator in a dispute between a franchisor and franchisee involving the franchise agreement; in a dispute between insured and insurer involving an insurance policy; in a real estate contract dispute; and in a complex commercial case involving fiduciary duties and dissolution of a law firm.

Arbitrator in many disputes between homeowners and homebuilders; in several disputes between lenders and borrowers; in several crop insurance disputes; in several commercial construction disputes; in fee dispute between attorney and client, and in a distributor agreement dispute.

Arbitrator in a partnership dispute involving a chemical refinery; member of a three panel arbitration in a dispute between an engineer and architect involving a commercial project; in a payment dispute between a general contractor and subcontractor; and build out-payment dispute between an office owner and general subcontractor.

Member of three panel arbitration in a dispute between mall owner and subcontractors. Member of three panel arbitration in a dispute between contractor and subcontractor regarding a high rise condominium project.

Arbitrator in a homebuilder/homeowner dispute involving non-payment of debts for construction of a home. Member of a three member panel arbitration in a dispute between a general contractor and subcontractor involving damage to property and delay in construction of a multi-story condominium.

Arbitrator on a landlord/tenant dispute over a security deposit. Arbitrator in general contractor and subcontractor dispute regarding completion of work. Arbitrator in an owner and general contractor dispute regarding payment for construction of medical facility.

Arbitrator in a property manager/owner dispute regarding rental of duplexes.


  • Southwestern University (B.A., cum laude, 1975)
  • University of Houston (J.D., 1979)


  • 1979, Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas


  • State Bar of Texas (Executive Council, Construction Law Section, Construction Law Council)
  • Past Member, State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee
  • Past Chairman, State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee, District 04A3
  • Texas Bar Foundation – Fellow
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Houston Bar Association – Life Fellow
  • Texas Association of Builders (Member, Attorney’s Council)
  • National Association of Home Builders
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Past Co-Vice Chair, DRI Construction Law
  • Past Publications Chair, DRI Construction Law
  • American Arbitration Association – Construction and Commercial Panel Member
  • International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution
  • National Arbitration Forum
  • Greater Houston Builders Association
  • HomeAid Houston (Member, Advisory Board)
  • Past Industry Member, Texas Residential Construction Commission Warranty and Performance Standards Advisory Committee
  • Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Houston – Basic Construction Law (Spring, 2011)
  • Real Estate Salesperson License, Texas Real Estate Commission

Publications and Presentations

  • “To Lease or Not to Lease, The Texas Dilemma,” EQUIPMENT LEASING TODAY, May, 1992.
  • “Residential Construction Liability Act,” presented to the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, February 19-20, 1998.
  • “Other People’s Money: A Practical Guide to Managing Construction Defect Claims,” presented to the National Association of Home Builders, 2000 International Builder’s Show, Dallas, Texas.
  • “The Insurance Crisis for Contractors,” presented to the Custom Builders’ Council of the Greater Houston Builders’ Association, September 11, 2002.
  • “Adjusting & Investigating Construction Defect Claims,” presented to the Mid-Continent Group, November 21, 2002.
  • “Texas Residential Construction Liability Act – Is it a Sword or a Shield,” presented to the 2003 University of Texas Residential Construction Law Seminar, September 4-5, 2003, Dallas, Texas. Also presented to the Houston Bar Association, March 10, 2004.
  • “Arbitration Advocacy,” presented to British Petroleum on behalf of the American Arbitration Association, October 14, 2003.
  • “Settlement Strategies: How and When to Settle to Save the Most Money for Your Client,” presented to the DRI Construction Law Seminar, September 9-10, 2004, Scottsdale, Arizona.
  • “Texas Residential Construction Commission Act (TRCCA),” presented to the 2004 University of Texas School of Law Construction Law Conference, October 21-22, 2004, Houston, Texas.
  • “Confusion & Ambiguity: Contortions of Contracts,” presented to the Houston Bar Association, December 9, 2004.
  • “Construction Warranties,” presented to the Construction Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, March 3-4, 2005.
  • “Effective and Efficient Partnering with Experts,” presented to the DRI Construction Law Seminar, September 8-9, 2005, Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • “Construction Warranties – What You Should Know,” presented to the Great Houston Builders Association Legal Update Seminar, September 13, 2005, Houston, Texas.
  • “Texas Residential Construction Commission Act (TRCCA),” presented to the 2005 University of Texas School of Law Construction Law Conference, October 12-13, 2005, Grapevine, Texas.
  • “Construction Disputes,” Houston Business Journal, Week of October 28-November 3, 2005.
  • “Legal Challenges in Representing Homebuilders,” presented to the 2006 DRI Construction Law Seminar, September 7-8, 2006, San Francisco, California
  • “Settlement Strategies: How and When to Settle to Save the Most Money for Your Client,” presented to the Third Annual Judicial Symposium on Critical Issues in Construction Defects Litigation, sponsored by AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, Judicial Education Program, Washington, D.C., March 7-9, 2007, Orange, California
  • “Construction Warranties,” Greater Houston Builders Association Legislative Update and Legal Seminar, August 15, 2007
  • “Residential Construction Liability Act”, Author and Editor, a Chapter in Basic Construction Law, published by the Construction Law Section of the Texas Bar Association.


Published Appellate Cases:

  • Transamerica Ins. Co. v. Avenell, 66 F.3d 715 (5th Cir. 1995).


  • Reading & Bates Const. Co. v. Baker EnergyResources Corp., 976 S.W.2d 702 (Tex. App.— Houston [1st District] 1998).
  • Bruce v. Jim Walters Homes, Inc., 943 S.W.2d 121 (Tex. App. —San Antonio 1997) (amicus curiae).
  • Ecotech Intern., Inc. v. Griggs & Harrison, 928 S.W.2d 644 (Tex. App. —San Antonio 1996).
  • Ryland Group, Inc. v. Hood, 924 S.W.2d 120 (Tex. 1996).
  • Emerald Texas, Inc. v. Peel, 920 S.W.2d 398 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st District] 1996).
  • Campbell v. Doherty, 899 S.W.2d 395 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th District] 1995).
  • Koch Oil Co. v. Wilber, 895 S.W.2d 854 (Tex. App.—Beaumont 1995).
  • Clark v. First Nat. Bank of Highlands, 794 S.W.2d 953 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st District] 1990).
  • Clear Lake City Water Authority v. Winograd, 678 S .W.2d 740 (Tex. App .—Houston [14th District] 1984).
  • Winograd v. Clear Lake City Water Authority, 654 S.W.2d 862 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th District] 1983).


I have known Chris for over 10 years and I am proud to call him my lawyer. He represented my company and recovered $20,075,000.00 in a complex multi-party construction dispute against a Fortune 500 company. He has honesty and integrity in all situations and is masterful with his jury arguments. I am confident he would be an asset to any organization that needs a skilled advocate. Thank you.
Timothy Alcott – Director of Legal Services for the San Antonio Housing