Valdosta Daily Times


April 25, 2014

Ryan & Golden

VALDOSTA — Ellen Golden and Rob Ryan have worked together for years at local law firms, but this year, they decided strike out on their own, opening the firm, Ryan & Golden.

“We just wanted to do something a little different,” said Ryan. “Have a smaller firm where we could do more things, represent different types of people, be more involved in the community.”

Both Ryan and Golden were born and raised in Lowndes County, with Golden going to Valdosta High and Ryan going to Lowndes.

They never knew each other then, but they both wanted to be lawyers as far back as they can remember.

“I just always knew I wanted to be a lawyer,” said Golden. “I grew up reading Nancy Drew and was drawn to that. I think I was just the argumentative one. I had two other sisters and a brother and I always had to have the last word.”

“I enjoyed reading and writing, and those are the skills you need as a lawyer,” said Ryan.

Both were assistant district attorneys early in their careers; Ryan in north Georgia and Golden with the Alapaha Circuit.

Both decided to leave their ADA positions to go into a law firm.

“I loved my job as a prosecutor, (but) I got married, and we started thinking about a family,” said Ryan. “We loved it up there but my family and my wife’s family were back down here.”

Family was also a big reason for Golden to go into the private sector. A firm position offered her flexibility with her schedule, allowing her to be more available for her son.

Last year, Golden and Ryan started talking about opening a firm. The more they discussed it, the more the talk turned serious, leading them, along with legal assistant Lisa Davies, to open Ryan and Golden on Feb. 19.

Their firm focuses on three areas of law: workers’ compensation, mediation and civil practice.

Golden and Ryan split it roughly in half, with Golden handling mediations, Ryan focusing on liability and personal injury claims, and both of them handling workers’ compensation cases.

For workers’ compensation, Golden and Ryan handle cases as simple as getting prescriptions authorized or establishing workers with different doctors and as complicated as workers whose injuries are so severe they cannot return to work.

“Some injured workers are able to go back to work, which is your goal,” said Ryan. “To get them the medical attention they need, income benefits to help get them through and then to get them back to work.”

With mediation cases, Golden works with employers, injured workers and their respective attorneys to settle the case, to bring everybody together and get them to a common ground to where they can settle.

The civil cases they handle range from personal injury and automobile accidents to contract dispute and liability, though they don’t go into criminal defense or family law.

And while some small businesses open to uncertainty and weeks or months before business picks up, Ryan and Golden hit the ground running and have only become busier.

“We should have done it sooner,” said Golden.

“You can do things the way that you think they ought to be done instead of how somebody else is telling you they should be done,” said Ryan. “We work harder. We’re working for ourselves and that’s rewarding.”

Ryan & Golden is located at 2236-A Bemiss Road and can be reached at (229) 232-4310, or visit

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