Co-Founder Joe Rice Named a 2015 Law360 “Product Liability MVP”

Legal news source Law360 selected Motley Rice co-founding member Joe Rice as a 2015 “Product Liability MVP” for his leading role in product liability settlements for 2015. Rice was one of 10 lawyers nationwide selected as a “Product Liability MVP.”

“Joseph Rice’s long reputation for creative approaches to complex settlements at the negotiating table, including his roles in reaching historic settlements with BP over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, landed him a spot on Law360’s list of Product Liability MVPs for 2015,” said Law360 reporter Emily Field in the feature Law360 published about Joe on Nov. 25, 2015.

The feature also discusses Joe’s role as the chief settlement negotiator in the $100 million aggregate settlement, the first of its kind, reached earlier this year with Lorillard Tobacco Co., Philip Morris International Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., for approximately 400 pending federal Engle progeny cases. Joe was also negotiating counsel in the asbestos litigation with Travelers Indemnity Co., which ended in January with the Second Circuit confirming that Travelers pay $570 million to asbestos victims.

Joe told Law360, “One of the keys to success at the negotiating table is choosing cases with an eye towards going to trial … we go into litigation with the idea we’re going to try this case and then if a resolution happens, it happens.”

The profile describes how Joe met fellow Motley Rice LLC co-founder Ron Motley (1944-2013) when studying for the bar exam. Joe said, “In the early days, he and I just hit it off and working with him let me use my creative approach to resolution and his creative approach to litigation.” He continued, “The firm has shown that we can make a difference in how people are treated and how companies act by using the civil justice system.”

When asked about advice he would give to a young attorney, Joe said, “be proud of what [you] do and make sure [you] do work that others can be proud of.”

Award Methodology: According to Law360, the 2015 class of MVPs included 189 attorneys from a record 86 firms, spanning 31 practice areas. Law360 editors reviewed more than 850 submissions, including self-nominations, to arrive at the winners, who they call, “attorneys whose successes in high-stakes litigation, record-breaking deals and complex global matters earned them a spot on this year’s list.”