A quick learner? That's an apt description of commercial litigation specialist Jordan Rice. Dedicated, relentless and skilled? Those are good descriptors, too.
For proof, consider the experience of Richard Sanders, assistant general counsel with pipeline and infrastructure company Kinder Morgan. About three years ago, he hired Rice's firm, MoloLamken, to represent Kinder Morgan in a series of disputes against several rail carriers. As Sanders says, this area of law involves a mixture of contractual and regulatory rights and obligations and is known as a complex and arcane niche.
Before his involvement in the case, Rice had no experience with such disputes. As it turns out, that didn't matter.
"I was very impressed and slightly jealous of Jordan's quick mastery of the subject matter," Sanders said. "I was initially concerned that we were going to be 'out gunned' by the regulatory specialist at the railroads. Instead, Jordan and his team decided on an aggressive litigation strategy that ultimately resulted in a very unexpected victory at the early stages on the case."
During the case, Rice drafted a motion to dismiss the railroad's pleadings, citing a combination of case law and surface transportation rules. This motion educated the judge about the flaws in the rail carrier's case. Once the motion to dismiss was granted, Kinder Morgan was able to negotiate a favorable settlement.
This type of success isn't unusual for Rice. At a young age, he's already built a reputation as one of the most reliable, and knowledgeable, commercial litigation specialists in the Chicago area.
Jacob Lesser, general counsel for the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, has also worked closely with Rice when the young attorney and his firm assisted the board with an issue involving complex legal research and analysis.
Lesser said that Rice quickly and elegantly resolved a series of legal questions that had previously consumed a significant amount of internal legal and executive resources at the board. In doing so, Rice drafted a memo that Lesser says remains as the definitive source of truth within the organization on a complicated legal issue.
"His ability to describe arcane nuances of the law in language that both lawyers and executives can easily understand is unsurpassed, in my experience, for lawyers at his experience level," Lesser said.
Rice played a key role, too, in a case in which the U.S. Supreme Court adopted the position of the Office of the Indiana Attorney General that the Patent Act's method for appointing administrative patent judges violated the U.S. Constitution's Appointments Clause.
James Barta, deputy solicitor general with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, said that Rice was instrumental in crafting several of the arguments that the court relied on when invalidating the statute.
Outside of handling commercial cases, Rice serves his community. He recently won a jury verdict in a federal trial on behalf of a pro bono client, and he played a key role in creating a partnership between his law firm and Genesys Works, an organization that offers career guidance for high school students in underserved communities.