March 23, 2012
A Lowcountry Leader: Asbestos lawyer and Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice featured
In an article published by LowCountry Today, Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice was featured as a leader in the Lowcountry and called a "master litigator" who "has gained notoriety in his profession by taking on high profile cases." The news section highlights a wide array of people who have made significant business or philanthropic contributions in the Charleston area. Rice is joined on the list by country music star Darius Rucker, WCSC TV Anchor Debi Chard and former College of Charleston Men's Basketball Coach Bobby Cremins.
"Well traveled, well versed, and well suited for the courtroom, Rice is living the American dream. A dream he achieved through hard work and dedication to family, friends, and his desire to bring about justice for those he feels have been taken advantage of," wrote LowCountry Today reporter Jeff Walker. "Thank you Joe Rice for sticking to your guns and making a positive impact right here from the low country."
Rice first achieved national recognition for his work taking on the asbestos industry. He litigated one of the first mass personal injury class action cases to be tried and won by asbestos plaintiffs. He has since remained at the forefront of asbestos litigation. In the late 90's Rice served as the lead negotiator of the historic tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, which remains the largest civil settlement in U.S. history and is often referred to as one of the greatest accomplishments in public health in the 20th century. After the September 11, 2001, attacks Rice helped execute the strategic mediations and/or settlements of 9/11 victims' families who opted out of the federal Victim Compensation Fund, resolving the remaining case in 2011.
Most recently, he has been extensively involved in the BP oil spill settlement negotiations as a member of the BP MDL Plaintiffs' Steering Committee. He has advocated for workers' rights and victims of negligence and wrongdoing throughout his career. Ron Motley and several other low country natives founded Motley Rice LLC, which today is one the country's largest plaintiffs' litigation firm. The firm litigates complex civil cases in an effort to right wrongs through the U.S. civil justice system.
A South Carolina native and University of South Carolina School of Law graduate, Rice calls the Lowcountry home and has been honored with numerous awards for his involvement with local organizations that include MUSC Children's Hospital, the Dee Norton Lowcountry Children's Center, the Center for Birds of Prey, First Tee of Charleston and the College of Charleston.