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Joel W. Rice

Partner, Chicago
t: 312.580.7810
f: 312.346.3179


Joel Rice is a partner in the Chicago office, with nearly 25 years of experience representing employers. Over the course of his career, Joel has handled the defense of hundreds of employment-related matters before federal/state courts and numerous agencies.

Joel has successfully argued multiple appeals in federal and state courts. He has extensive experience representing employers in complex litigation, including collective and class actions under federal and state wage and hour laws.

Joel has also obtained injunctive relief for employers enforcing restrictive covenant agreements in multiple jurisdictions. 

In addition, Joel counsels employers on all facets of employment law, including leave issues, harassment claims, and pay practices. Joel has assisted businesses in successfully navigating wage and hour investigations brought by federal and state Departments of Labor (DOL).

Joel was credited as an author on an E-Discovery Chapter in Workplace Data: Law and Litigation. The book provides an overview of legal issues associated with employment-related electronically stored information, focusing on discovery issues in particular.


Reported Cases

  • Vendetti v. Compass Environmental, 559 F.3d 731 (7th Cir. 2009)
  • Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. v. Ehlers, 394 Ill.App.3d 421, 915 N.E.2d 862 (4th Dist. 2009)
  • Blair v. Nevada Landing Partnership, 369 Ill.App.3d 318, 859 N.E.2d 1188 (2nd Dist. 2006)
  • Allen v. Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., 2006 WL 3513857 (N.D. Ind. 2006)
  • Fischer v. Cingular Wireless, LLC, 446 F.3d 663 (7th Cir. 2006)
  • Gieg v. DRR, Inc., 407 F.3d 1038 (9th Cir. 2005)
  • Aylward v. Hyatt Corp., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16218 (N.D. Ill. 2005)
  • Ellis v. Elgin Riverboat, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18971 (N.D. Ill. 2004)
  • Ellis v. Elgin Riverboat, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14714 (N.D. Ill. 2003)
  • LeBlanc v. Great American Insurance Co., 6 F.3d 836 (1st Cir. 1993)
  • Newton v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 14 F.3d 48 (3rd Cir. 1993)

Honors & Leadership

Honors & Awards

  • “AV” Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Award Methodology

Professional Activities

Joel is a member of the Chicago and American Bar Associations (ABA). Joel has authored numerous articles for the Defense Research Institute, ABA publications and for various print and electronic Human Resources publications.  He is a Chapter author for the Thomson-Reuters series “Inside the Minds: Strategies for Appellate Litigation.” Joel is active in the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and has given numerous presentations for the Chamber as well as other business groups on a wide range of employment-related issues.

Joel has also given interviews on a variety of employment-related issues for media outlets ranging from the National Law Journal, New York Times Online, Chicago Tribune, CNN Money,, Workforce Management, Employee Benefits News, Human Resources Executive, Inside Counsel, Human Resources Magazine, and SHRM Online.


Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Blog Posts


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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