J. Spencer Bryan

Mr. Bryan represents clients in Colorado and Oklahoma state and federal courts, at the Colorado and Oklahoma Supreme Courts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

Mr. Bryan is AV® Preeminent™ rated by Martindale-Hubble.  His arguments to the Oklahoma Supreme Court resulted in the historical decision in Bosh v. Cherokee County Governmental Building Authority, 305 P.3d 994 (Okla. 2013) which created civil rights for Oklahomans under the state constitution.

Mr. Bryan began practicing civil rights litigation after graduating from the University of Oklahoma.  Mr. Bryan has represented clients in a variety of cases involving state and federal constitutional rights, including police misconduct, excessive force, in-custody deaths, denial of adequate medical care, employment discrimination and freedom of speech and association.

Mr. Bryan also handles cases involving trucking litigation, nursing home claims, auto accidents, insurance bad faith, criminal law, wrongful death, traumatic brain injury, catastrophic injury, paralysis, HIV/AIDS discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the liability of privately operated jails and prisons.

In his spare time, Mr. Bryan enjoys running, cycling, and exploring Colorado and Oklahoma with his wife, son, dog, and their two cats.

Published Decisions:

Halley v. Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma State Dep’t of Human Servs., 176 F.Supp.3d 1268 (E.D. Okla. 2016): holding that police and DHS did not have reasonable suspicion to seize a minor child from his school and transport him away for interrogation;

Williams v. Akers, 837 F.3d 1075 (10th Cir. 2016): holding that defendants failed to designate a proper order to invoke appellate jurisdiction;

Bosh v. Cherokee Governmental Building Authority, 305 P.3d 994 (Okla. 2013): holding that citizens have civil rights directly under the state constitution where state tort law provides no remedy

Shero v. City of Grove, Okla., 510 F.3d 1196 (10th Cir. 2007): holding that a city attorney who files a declaratory action regarding an open records request did not retaliate under the First Amendment;

Torres v. Corrections, Corp. of America, 372 F.Supp.2d 1258 (N.D.Okla. 2005): holding that inmates must exhaust administrative grievance process at privately operated jail facility;

Brown v. Creek Co., 164 P.3d 1073 (Okla. 2007): holding that the claims presentation process of the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act applies to jail claims over the more general one year limitation period.

Other Reported Decisions:

Galbreath v. City of Oklahoma City, ___ Fed. Appx. ___ (10th Cir. 2014) (citation pending)

Dantrassy v. Van Hoesen, 398 Fed.Appx. 368 (10th Cir. 2010)

Smedley v. Corrections Corp. of America, 175 Fed. Appx. 943 (10th Cir. 2005)

Santana v. Chandler, 275 Fed.Appx. 797 (10th Cir. 2008),

Smith v. Rogers Co., 2005 WL 3298981 (N.D.Okla. 2005)

Green v. City of Claremore, 2007 WL 680791 (N.D.Okla. 2007)


Section 1983 Claims – Deliberate Indifference to Serious Medical Needs, Defense Research Institute (June 2007)

Other Media:

Sarah Stillman, “Get Out of Jail, Inc., Does the alternatives-to-incarceration industry profit from injustice?,” The New Yorker,  June 23,  2014