Learn more about Motley Rice

Motley Rice LLC, One of the Nation's Largest Plaintiffs' Litigation Firms

We are proud to be a firm that offers a breadth and depth of complex litigation, trial and resolution involvement and experience in multiple litigation areas.

Motley Rice has played significant leadership roles in large and impactful settlements, decisions and cases, including negotiating the BP Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages and Medical Benefits Settlements; representing plaintiffs in litigation against Arab Bank for alleged terrorism funding; achieving the $500 million decision for asbestos victims and their families against Travelers Insurance Company; recovering nearly $15 billion for owners and lessees of 2.0-liter TDI vehicles impacted by the Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” emissions scandal, in addition to the 3.0-liter settlement; and taking on 9/11 litigation on behalf of more than 6,600 family members and survivors, among other notable litigation.*

*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome

The firm’s attorneys have also been at the forefront of an effort to mitigate the impact of the opioid crisis and save lives by shining a light on the alleged deceptive marketing and fraudulent distribution of highly addictive prescription opioids. Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice serves as co-lead counsel in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation coordinated in the Northern District of Ohio. In addition to his leadership, the firm represents and has worked closely beside multiple states, cities, and counties in a growing number of cases and investigations into the crisis. The firm’s representation includes the City of Chicago and Santa Clara County, both of which were the first jurisdictions to file complaints against opioid companies in the current wave of litigation.

Our firm is built upon advocating for the rights of workers, consumers, families and investors and aggressively seeking justice and accountability for people and institutions harmed by wrongdoing and negligence. Motley Rice is committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for clients, investing considerable resources into our clients’ cases.  

Using the fundamentals of the U.S. civil justice system, we champion fights that some consider long shots. Motley Rice takes on cases that others may not be able or may choose not to fight. The civil justice system is designed to compensate people who are injured or wronged, address corporate behavior and cause change to help prevent more people from being hurt. By continuing to take cutting-edge and challenging cases, by giving back to our profession and our communities, and by believing that just one person can bring about change, we are litigating today for a better tomorrow.

Attorneys at Motley Rice have handled a variety of individual, consolidated, mass torts and class action cases in state and federal courts across the country. Our practice is diverse, and we are open to reviewing new types of cases. We also have established valuable co-counsel relationships throughout the country and internationally, and are always considering new firms to collaborate with and to apply our firm’s experience and resources to help others together.

Over the years, Motley Rice has expanded our civil litigation focus to encompass the following areas:

A History of Civil Litigation – Decades in the Making

Motley Rice's founding members Ron Motley (1944–2013) and Joe Rice began working together in the 1970s to use the civil justice system as both a consumer and business ethics watchdog. For nearly 30 years, they combined their strong skills and invested long, hard hours in the construction and operation of a national law practice. In 2003, Ron and Joe formed Motley Rice LLC and continued the legacy of taking on historic and precedent setting cases including:

Asbestos Litigation

Ron began representing workers injured by the asbestos industry in the 1970s and acquired the infamous Sumner Simpson papers, internal asbestos company documents dating back to the late 1920s that demonstrated manufacturer knowledge of the hazards of asbestos. Undaunted by the power and strength of corporate opposition, Ron led a strong team of associates in a tenacious discovery effort against asbestos defendants, garnering widespread national recognition.

Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement

Their experience fighting the asbestos industry allowed them to litigate against the tobacco industry in the 1990s. Ron and other Motley Rice attorneys soon began researching and comparing the medical effects of asbestos exposure and tobacco. Armed with incriminating evidence and an inventive approach, Ron led litigation efforts against the tobacco industry, serving as lead counsel in representing more than two dozen State Attorneys General and several municipalities in court, while Joe was well-positioned to lead negotiations.

The resulting Master Settlement Agreement, a $246 billion accord with the four largest United States tobacco producers, provided reimbursement to the states for publicly funded health care costs and imposed advertising and sponsorship restrictions on the tobacco companies. Today, the agreement continues to be the largest financial resolution of civil litigation in the United States and is viewed as one of the greatest accomplishments in public health in the 20th century. In early 2015, Motley Rice led the negotiation of another historic tobacco settlement with Lorillard Tobacco Company, Philip Morris USA, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the first time the three companies had participated in a settlement related to the hundreds of individual smokers that are part of the Engle-progeny tobacco cases pending in the Florida federal district court.

*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 

Pioneering Litigation – Anti-Terrorism and Human Rights

Using the experiences of and foundation laid by the tobacco and asbestos litigation, Motley Rice attorneys have taken on diverse cases and causes—small and large. We had the honor of representing numerous 9/11 families in the Victims Compensation Fund claims process, which led to our representing 56 families that opted out of the Fund. We stood by those families for nearly a decade, resolving the final lawsuit in September 2011.

This litigation was a massive investigation into the alleged airline and aviation security failures of 9/11 that provided answers for the families. It also helped provide public access to evidence gathered in the litigation that will be included in the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and led us to take on 9/11 terrorist funding litigation and numerous other anti-terrorism cases.

Since then, our Anti-Terrorism litigation has taken on even more challenges that no one thought was possible. Motley Rice persevered through various legal challenges to be able to take Arab Bank to trial in the fall of 2014 for allegations that it violated the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and aided and abetted genocide and crimes against humanity. The litigation, Linde v. Arab Bank, marked the first time in U.S. history that a financial institution was brought to trial under the ATA.

*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 

What to Expect From Motley Rice

We approach each case with care and compassion because we understand that litigation is often connected to emotional situations. Our clients are brave and determined in fighting with us to achieve justice. And our attorneys and staff are here to guide clients through the process and ease their burdens.

Our passion for protecting people’s health, safety and rights has moved us to help clients from all over the country and many parts of the world. We represent people in different professions and from all walks of life, as well as businesses, governments, unions and nonprofits. We know that bad things can happen at any time, and we are here to fight for justice and provide our services to those who need us.

Our Reach

With more than 90 attorneys and hundreds of support personnel, clients and affiliated law firms rely on Motley Rice as a resource. Through our national and international network of co-counsel, Motley Rice represents clients throughout the United States, including clients from multiple countries around the world.

Headquartered in Mount Pleasant, near Charleston, SC, the firm also has offices in:

Our Attorneys are not licensed to practice law in Canada.