MOUNT PLEASANT, SC – Joseph Rice, co-founder of the Motley-Rice law firm in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina is alleged to have take millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans while bringing in millions of dollars in settlements as a matter of normal business.
Democrat Joe Biden is reportedly considering the famous trial lawyer as a potential ambassador pick, yet this attorney raked in millions of dollars from the coronavirus relief bill passed earlier this year while at the same time securing hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements.
Rice’s name swirling in the rumor mill also raises eyebrows since Rice himself raised over $100,000 towards Joe Biden’s campaign – before being considered for an ambassadorship – a position with many perks, bonuses, and gifts – and business connections.
This surely raises the question of “pay for play” or quid pro quo. It is also reported that Rice and his law firm employees personally donated more than $50,000 to the Biden campaign.
The Free Beacon reported that Rice’s law firm received $7.03 million from the Paycheck Protection Program, the coronavirus relief program designed to help struggling small businesses when state government’s shut down their livelihoods as part of the pandemic.
In contrast to the law firm being a “struggling small business,” the Free Beacon also reported:
“Rice’s firm gained approval for the loans after stacking up massive legal wins.
“In October 2019, Motley Rice announced a $260 million settlement against opioid manufacturers Teva, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, and McKesson.
“In November 2020, it helped win a $26 billion (with a B) settlement from Johnson & Johnson and other pharmaceutical companies.
“Law firms often work on a contingency basis and receive portions of the settlements they reach.”
William Jacobson, a professor at Cornell Law School and creator of the Legal Insurrection website, told the Free Beacon that Motley Rice’s receiving of PPP loans raises serious questions:
“When a highly successful law firm receives millions of dollars in PPP money, it raises questions as to whether those funds actually went to preserve jobs, which is the purpose of the PPP program, or merely padded the shareholder attorneys’ profitability.
“This certainly raises serious questions that warrant investigation if a founding member of the law firm is nominated for an ambassadorship.”
In July, Reuters ran a report about several prominent law firms that were known for getting big settlements from major companies but applied for and received PPP loans:
“Two legal industry experts said that plaintiffs’ firms have a business model that should enable them to weather financial uncertainty and questioned whether they really needed government aid.
“Successful plaintiffs’ firms ‘almost certainly have resources to carry them over when waiting for big settlements,’ said Herbert Kritzer, a University of Minnesota Law School professor.
“Lieff Cabraser, which negotiated a nearly $15 billion settlement with Volkswagen over its diesel emissions scandal in 2016, in January was one of three firms approved to receive fees of up to $40 million for representing truck owners and lessees in litigation against Navistar International Corp, court records showed.”
Managing partner of Lieff Cabraser, Steven Fineman, told Reuters that the firm used the millions it received from the PPP to prevent layoffs and pay staff:
“We applied for a PPP loan at a time when our firm’s lawyers and staff were all required to work remotely… and we had no idea how the pandemic would impact our finances.”
Motley-Rice founder Joseph Rice was outlined in Corporate Legal Times as national defense counsel and legal scholars described Joe as one of the nation’s “five most feared and respected plaintiffs’ lawyers in corporate America.” As the article notes:
“For all his talents as a shrewd negotiator … Rice has earned most of his respect from playing fair and remaining humble.”
From his law firm profile:
“(Joe Rice) also served 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.”
Rice has also been involved and instrumental in client recoveries concerning September 11th actions, and class action suits against tobacco companies and asbestos defendants.
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Report: Biden’s cabinet picks want a steep soda tax and a $2 trillion carbon tax
December 4, 2020
The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
WASHINGTON, DC- Remember when Biden said that he “wouldn’t raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000 a year?” Did you believe him?
We didn’t, and now information is forthcoming that shows Biden is hardly for the “little people.” Heck, most of his support came from millionaires and billionaires, the very people who people like Bernie Sanders rail against.
Now it appears that at least to of his potential cabinet are supportive of tax increases which would adversely affect not the upper class, but lower- and middle-class Americans.
Neera Tanden, Biden’s controversial choice to head up the Office of Management and Budget has previously voiced support for a couple of different soda tax proposals which would adversely affect low-income Americans the most, according to Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in an analysis.
“If one of these sugary drink taxes were imposed, it could result in a 55 to 67 cent tax on a 2-liter bottle of Coca Cola. A single 2-liter bottle of Coca Cola costs anywhere from $1.25 to $1.70, so this tax could total 50 percent of the cost of the product. With the Tanden soda tax burden, the cost of a 12-pack of soda could increase by $1.11 to $1.44.
“A tax on sugary drinks would also be extremely regressive and disproportionately harm low-income Americans. In fact, according to a 2018 report from the Tax Foundation, 47 percent of the tax collections from a sugary drink excise tax would come from households with income under $50,000.”
Meanwhile, Biden’s pick as a potential Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen favors the imposition of a carbon tax, which would also disproportionately affect low to middle income Americans.
Yellen is a founding member of an organization called the Climate Leadership Council, a group lobbying Congress to pass a national carbon tax.
ATR reported that such a tax scheme would cost Americans more than $2 trillion over the next ten years, while causing American’s energy costs to skyrocket.
“According to an internal report conducted by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, a near-identical model of CLC’s carbon tax plan ‘would generate $219 billion a year, on average, between 2020 and 2030.’ The same internal report also concluded a $42/ton carbon tax ‘increases gasoline prices by roughly 40 cents per gallon.’ And found ‘average household energy costs would increase by roughly $480 per year.”
Sounds like a great deal. Then add eliminating fracking, banning coal production and the Green New Deal and we’ll be a banana republic in no time.
Of course, the idea of imposing a carbon tax is to try to get Americans to move away from fossil fuels as a source of transportation and heating homes. The thought is Americans will give up those evil fossil-fuel drinking cars and go to electric vehicles.
According to Climate Depot, a Canadian engineer had recently run numbers to determine how switching over to electric vehicles would work.
He concluded that in order to match 2,000 cars that a typical filling station is able to service in a 12-hour period, it would cost the equivalent of 600, 50-watt chargers at an estimated cost of $24 million.
In addition, that would require a supply of 30 megawatts of power from the electric grid, enough to power 20,000 homes.
Also, unlike home recharging stations, which usually operate at night, such run of the mill charging stations would be operating during peak hours, when electric rates are typically highest.
Then of course, where would the power come from? Dr. David Wojcik, director of the Climate Change Debate Education Project said:
“There is almost no excess generating, distribution or transmission capacity in the United States, or globally for that matter, so a lot of new, expensive power plants and power lines will be needed if EVs (electric vehicles) are ever to become popular. The EV grid simply does not exist.”
As many have warned, such a scheme as proposed by Biden would require the construction of enormous new multi-billion-dollar electric grids. Lacking that, there would be an onset of nationwide brownouts and blackouts.
The other issue is that battery performance deteriorates as it gets colder. So, states like Florida and California would likely have little problems with regard to battery performance, however cold weather states such as Michigan, Minnesota, the Dakotas and so on would run into major issues.
There is also the huge elephant in the room—China. Batteries for electric vehicles are lithium ion batteries. Who controls most of the lithium and cobalt used to produce the batteries? China, which uses child labor and near-slave labor in order to produce them, with no health, safety or environmental safeguards.
Plus who knows? Maybe the “big guy” has a financial interest in lithium ion batteries manufactured in China.
Yellen claims that she is counting on “the combination of social injustices exposed by the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests, and wildfires in California” to increase support for her climate tax plan, as reported last October by Reuters.
She also claims that tax would help “readjust” an American society “where capitalism is beginning to run amok,” she told Reuters.
Call us confused because we really aren’t sure what Black Lives Matter protests have to do with the climate, except for all of the smoke put into the sky by all of the burning buildings.
As far as the California wildfires, those had as much to do with environmentalists interfering with adequate forest management as they did anything to do with so-called climate change.
Once again, according to Climate Depot, California has a massive backlog of forest management work that needs to be done, with millions of acres in need of treatment. This is also not a one and done process…this is a process that must be repeated over the years. Still, even with an aggressive forest management program, there is no guarantee that it will end wind-driven fire events that we have seen over the past several years.
Well done voters. Piling confiscatory taxes and eliminating fossil fuels on top of unemployment and business closings caused by a pandemic and dictatorial governors is just the recipe to boost the economy. Kind of like pouring gasoline on a fire of economic malaise.
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