Michael L. Rice's Profile Image

Michael L. Rice

Direct: (312) 638-8781 (Chicago)
Phone 2: (214) 463-7430 (Dallas)
Fax: (312) 638-8793

Mike Rice provides clients with substantial experience in complex civil litigation in state and federal courts throughout the nation, including class actions and multidistrict litigation. Based on over 27 years of practice at Jones Day on cases both big and small, Mike understands the importance of focusing on the client’s business objectives and has proven adept at formulating strategies to reach those objectives in a cost-effective manner.

As a result, Mike was a key member of the defense team that turned back some of the first efforts in the country to impose liability on utilities, oil and gas producers, and coal and chemical companies for the alleged effects of global climate change, including a purported class action in Mississippi for property damage from Hurricane Katrina. Mike also led the efforts in Indiana federal court to defeat class certification sought by thousands of farm workers from Liberia who alleged abusive work conditions, and based on extensive factual development on the ground in Africa, worked with the team in subsequently obtaining summary judgment on the Alien Tort Statute claims for child labor. And, when virtually the entire firearms industry was under attack by cities and others across the country for the criminal misuse of their legally sold products, Mike led the trial briefing team in obtaining a complete defense win from a hostile federal court in Brooklyn, New York. He subsequently led the joint defense efforts in briefing and arguing at the trial court and on appeal to obtain dismissal of cases brought against firearm manufacturers by New York City and the District of Columbia.

Mike’s practice focuses on claims involving product liability, personal injury, toxic torts, contracts, business torts such as tortious interference and fraud, environmental disputes, and public and private nuisance. He also has briefed and argued state and federal appeals in Texas and across the country. Mike’s clients have included energy companies, utilities, medical service providers, and a vast array
 of manufacturers.

Some of Mike’s significant representations include:

  • Member of the national coordinating counsel team representing a national vehicle manufacturer in multi-district litigation involving over 200 cases; prepared and successfully argued Daubert motions and helped fashion and implement a strategy to close the MDL after only a few years.
  • Key member of the defense team that secured a successful settlement for a manufacturer in connection with a number of federal, state and foreign lawsuits and regulatory actions stemming from voluntary recalls of products containing contaminants in excess of regulatory standards.
  • Together with attorney Katie Colopy, guided the defense of a government contractor against claims of personal injury and wrongful death brought by former employees and family members related to services performed in support of the U.S. military in Iraq.
  • Part of the team that successfully defended a major international company in multiple cross-border mass tort cases alleging adverse health effects among agricultural workers from pesticide exposure.
  • Working with others, won an appellate ruling reversing the trial court and reinstating claims related to $1 billion in bond financing issued in connection with the construction and development of professional sports stadiums.
  • Lead counsel in action brought and successfully settled for breach of contract against seven defendants in Texas state court related to environmental contamination at a Texas manufacturing facility.
  • Part of the trial team that obtained summary judgment for a cyclone manufacturer, successfully resolving claims brought by a major oil refiner for alleged refinery damage.
  • Part of joint defense briefing group that won the dismissal of federal common law public nuisance claims alleging corporate responsibility for the alleged effects of global warming brought against several utility, oil and gas, coal and chemical companies.
  • Led efforts to defeat class certification in a closely watched Alien Tort Statute case alleging child labor against an international manufacturer and, together with the defense team, subsequently secured a favorable summary judgment, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • One of two partners leading a team that successfully defended a major firearms manufacturer in defense of public nuisance claims and product liability litigation brought primarily by municipalities in multiple state and appellate courts across the nation.
  • Successfully tried a multi-day class certification hearing and later obtained summary judgment on behalf of a major technology company against claims for on-call pay by volunteer members of company’s HAZMAT team.