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Donald T. Ridley


When the foundation is solid, so is the case.

When the chips are down and the wolves are closing in, there’s no one better to have in your corner than Donald T. Ridley. A brilliant strategist and celebrated appellate lawyer, Donald T. Ridley has had extensive experience in successfully arguing many intricate cases at both the state and federal levels.

Donald T. Ridley - Appellate Lawyer NY

At The Mandel Firm, thorough preparation fuels every case initiative. Methodical and meticulous, Donald T. Ridley is the master of the mountain when it comes to building the foundation of each triumphant plan-of-action.

He helps develop the potent arguments, integrated with carefully researched legal precedent, that create a fortress of protection around every client. Donald T. Ridley case-winning foresight has shined the light of success on many challenging court battles the firm’s attorneys have fought.

Here’s a good example. As child custody lawyer in an unusual case, Donald T. Ridley won sole custody for a father of his young daughter. The client’s estranged wife was a police officer. Upon learning that the father was involved in a new relationship, the wife went to his apartment and threatened him with her service revolver.

A fight ensued with the wife in which he wrestled the weapon away from her, yet when the police arrived, they were reluctant to incriminate a colleague.

Even in confronting the “blue line” of silence, and although in most cases in New York, child custody is awarded to mothers,Donald T. Ridley’s careful presentation succeeded in convincing the court that the father was the more appropriate custodial parent. In addition, he also attained an award of child support from the wife.

You’ve got to be closely attuned to the needs of the client and the children in matters involving child custody. Attorneys have to be more thorough in these cases than almost any other area of the law, because the well-being of a child is at stake,” he says.

Donald T. Ridley is deeply devoted to helping all his clients, taking a personal interest in each case. “People in serious legal trouble need the assistance of an attorney who cares about what happens to them,” he says. “I like to see clients move past their difficulties, and get on with their lives. It makes me feel good when I can lift the burden off their shoulders.” And he does.

Where did Donald T. Ridley acquire his skills? In addition to graduating law school with honors, Donald T. Ridley was chosen for a prestigious two-year law clerkship with the famous federal trial judge and legal author, the Honorable Judge Edward J. Devitt. Only the top law school graduates are selected for these positions in the Federal Court system. It was in this capacity that he honed the exceptional research and writing skills that empower his clients today.

Donald T. Ridley has been a leading advocate in cases involving patient’s rights, having successfully argued at the state appellate level many times. He has won decisions that have significantly advanced protection of the right to refuse unwanted medical treatment.

Graduating from the University of Minnesota, Donald T. Ridley worked his way through law school. He obtained his law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, alma mater of former United States Chief Justice Warren Burger.

Donald T. Ridley and his wife give graciously of themselves for charitable causes in their community. All those Donald T. Ridley has helped are deeply grateful for his support. In guiding them through the most overwhelming times of their lives, he has given them a basis for hope.

Bar Admissions


New York, 1985


Minnesota, 1982


U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York


U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York


U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit


U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit


U.S. Supreme Court



William Mitchell College of Law, St Paul, Minnesota
J.D. – 1982
Honors: With Honors
Honors: With Distinction
Law Review: William Mitchell College Law Review, Editor-in-Chief


University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Bachelor of Arts
Major: Mathematics

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