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83 Park Street, Suite 5

Providence, RI 02903 USA
tel: 401/861-4445
401/490-6735 (f)


Mailing Address:

PO Box 162

Newport, RI 02840 USA

Street Address:

36 Rhode Island Avenue,

Newport, RI 02840 USA



RIIFF Photography

Courtesy of Mike Braca


Video Promotions by

Eric Latek, George T. Marshall, Shawn Quirk, Timothy Haggerty & Duncan Putney






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RIIFF 2015 Team

Michael F. Drywa, Jr., Esq

MFDMichael F. Drywa, Jr., RIIFF Advisory Board President, is a highly accomplished attorney with extensive experience in all phases of civil litigation and corporate law supplemented by a successful ten year career in corporate management and strategic business planning. He has been licensed to practice in Rhode Island since 1998 and Massachusetts since 1999. He is also licensed in the United States District Courts for Rhode Island and Massachusetts.


He is currently a Senior Attorney at SIMS & SIMS LLP, where he is responsible for all aspects of complex and standard civil litigation with a concentration in commercial disputes and employment/labor law for corporations and individuals. His work includes drafting and negotiating a variety of employment documents, including non-compete agreements, employment contracts, severance agreements, and employee handbooks. He prepares commercial asset purchase and sale agreements, commercial leases, real estate purchase and sale agreements, contractor and subcontractor agreements, and general business/commercial transactional documentation. He provides general advice and counsel to corporate officers and individual clients in connection with strategic business planning of businesses varying in size from 500+ employees to sole proprietorships.

Michael has a reputation for providing high quality legal representation with a solid understanding of complicated and novel legal theories. In addition to handling cases involving traditional legal claims, have litigated cases involving malicious prosecution, tortuous interference with contractual relations, state and federal whistleblower protection actions, defamation, trespass/nuisance, and trademark protection.


He has served as the RIIFF Advisory Board President since 2002 and provides general legal counsel to the non-profit arts organization specializing in the development of independent filmmakers and screenwriters, including areas of intellectual property, copyright, non-disclosure, non-compete, general liability, contract issues, leases, sponsorships, advertising, and e-commerce. He also participates and assists in the annual festival organization, acting as master of ceremonies.

Michael's position with RIIFF requires the ability to communicate legal decisions which guide the executive staff’s strategic business decisions thus minimizing legal exposure while allowing the organization to thrive.


Michael received his Juris Doctor from the Roger Williams University School of Law where he was the Senior Staff Member/Notes Editor for the Roger Williams University Law Review.


Outside of his legal experience, he was acknowledged in 1982 as the top foreign language student in New England by the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages for excellence in German language study, and elected as top German language student in New England by the Goethe Institute, Boston.


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