Skip to Content

Joe Rice

Motley Rice

Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice is recognized as a skillful and innovative negotiator of complex litigation settlements, having served as the lead negotiator in some of the largest civil actions our courts have seen in the last 20 years.

Since beginning to practice law in 1979, Joe has continued to reinforce his reputation as a skillful negotiator, including through his involvement structuring some of the most significant resolutions of asbestos liabilities on behalf of those injured by asbestos‐related products. He negotiates for the firm’s clients at all levels, including securities and consumer fraud, anti-terrorism, human rights, environmental, medical drugs and devices, as well as catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases.

Notable Cases

  • Joe is co-lead counsel in the National Prescription Opiate MDL aimed at combatting the alleged over-distribution and deceptive marketing of prescription opioids. Joe, as Chair of the opioid Negotiating Committee, worked with the committee and the Attorney General Committee to reach over $50 billion in settlements for communities nationwide with defendants in the opioid supply chain. Motley Rice continues to represent dozens of governmental entities, including the first jurisdictions to file cases in the current wave of litigation
  • Joe served as one of the lead negotiators in the $15 billion Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Fraud class action settlement for 2.0-liter vehicles, the largest auto-related consumer class action settlement in U.S. history, as well as the 3.0-liter settlement. Under his leadership, Motley Rice also helped negotiate a pair of Takata bankruptcy resolutions that secured funds for victims who were harmed by the company’s deadly, explosive airbags. Joe also serves as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee for In re General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, and was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee for In re Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep Ecodiesel Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation.
  • Joe served as a co-lead negotiator for the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in reaching the two settlements with BP, one of which is the largest civil class action settlement in U.S. history. The Economic and Property Damages Rule 23 Class Action Settlement is estimated to make payments totaling between $7.8 billion and $18 billion to class members. Joe was also one of the lead negotiators of the $1.028 billion settlement reached between the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee and Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., for Halliburton’s role in the disaster.



  • D., University of South Carolina School of Law, 1979
  • S., University of South Carolina, 1976