Family, friends to bury Motley Rice co-founder

Family, friends to bury Motley Rice co-founder
Ron Motley (Source: Motley Rice LLC)
Ron Motley (Source: Motley Rice LLC)

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - Prominent Charleston lawyer and co-founder of Motley Rice LLC, Ronald Motley, will be laid to rest Tuesday.

Motley died last Thursday at age 68.  He will be buried at Holy Cross Cemetery immediately following an 11 a.m. service at St. Andrew's Church on Whilden Street.

Motley Rice is one of the country's largest plaintiffs' firms. Motley graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1971.

He served as lead counsel in lawsuits that ultimately yielded the largest civil settlement in U.S. history in which the tobacco industry agreed to reimburse states for smoking-related health care costs. He also sued on behalf of asbestos victims and the families of the Sept. 11 victims.

Motley received numerous accolades, including highest honors from the South Carolina Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice.

Motley Rice co-founder Joe Rice issued the following statement last week:

It is with the deepest sadness and most profound grief that I share with you that Motley Rice LLC co-founder Ronald L. Motley, 68, has passed away.

Ron was a true giant of the legal profession. A trail blazer and innovator. A charismatic master of the courtroom. A tenacious interrogator. The greatest trial lawyer ever. All marked by unmatched courage in going after any wrongdoer, no matter how big and powerful, and by his bottomless well of compassion for those who had been wronged.

Ron and I were partners and close friends for 35 years as we worked together to fight for our clients and their causes to build Motley Rice into what it is today. Not only is this a personal loss to me, Ron's family, my family and our firm but also for so many more for whom Ron also was a devoted friend, mentor, collaborator, legal adversary and fellow crusader for justice.

Ron's passing is an incalculable loss for all those he devoted his life's work to, whether it was people harmed from asbestos exposure, State Attorneys General taking on Big Tobacco, 9/11 family members seeking to bankrupt terrorism, or anyone else who wanted his or her day in court to redress injustice. Ron proudly lived life as a trial lawyer.

All of us at Motley Rice will continue to devote ourselves to carrying Ron's legacy forward and honoring his life and memory by redoubling our efforts to put the powerless on a level playing field with the powerful, to get them their day in court, and to win justice for all. As Ron would say, "We'll leave no stone unturned."

He will be greatly missed and forever remembered.  Arrangements will be shared as they are made.

Copyright 2013 WCSC.  All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.