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About me

Joel R. Rhine is nationally recognized for his local and national trial work. Mr. Rhine has decades of experience in complex litigation matters, including:

• Serious motor vehicle accidents such as car accidents, 18-wheeler and tractor-trailer accidents, and other types of collisions
• Defective drugs and medical devices
• Other products liability claims
• Work-related accidents
• Construction litigation claims
• Business and civil litigation
• Wage and hour claims
• Medical malpractice
• Premises liability claims
• Data breach litigation
• Construction Accidents
• Construction Defects
• Resort & Recreational Accidents

Mr. Rhine’s recent results include: a $9.0 million wrongful death judgment in North Carolina State Court; being co-lead counsel in largest individual Chinese Drywall settlement, which was valued at over $24 million; obtaining a $3.1 million settlement that occurred during trial in a bus collision case; receiving a 2.0 million recovery related to a motorcycle- truck accident;  and $300,000 for the victim of a dog bite.
 Mr. Rhine’s hard work has been recognized by his peers and many publications. Mr. Rhine has been recognized repeatedly as a SuperLawer - Top 100 North Carolina Lawyers;   Business North Carolina's Legal Elite; Best Lawyers; National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers; and has enjoyed an AV rating by Martindale Hubbell since 2002 and more.

Mr. Rhine achieved his first eight-figure verdict in a federal jury trial at age 30. Mr. Rhine filed the first lawsuit in what became the multi-decade, multi-state synthetic stucco (EIFS) litigation, where he represented thousands of homeowners against a variety of constructions participants and manufacturers. When this mass tort litigation bogged down, Mr. Rhine began taking the cases to trial. The first trial ended in a settlement after six weeks of testimony.  Later, Mr. Rhine obtained the nation’s first verdict against an EIFS manufacturer.  This multimillion dollar verdict was a catalyst for a national EIFS settlement against this EIFS manufacturer.

Mr. Rhine sought new challenges after the EIFS litigation, including class actions of many types, business dispute litigation, catastrophic personal injury and wrong death cases, product liability actions and data breach cases. He is regularly invited to participate in interesting, important, and complex litigation by attorneys who know his trial talents, integrity, and work ethic. He has been counsel, lead counsel, or a member of the Plaintiff Steering Committee in dozens of class actions and national mass tort cases.

Mr. Rhine’s present caseload includes:

• Catastrophic construction accident cases, including several multi-million dollar deck and porch collapse case;
•  Numerous catastrophic personal injury cases, including automobile, trucking and product liability cases,
• Co-counsel and co-lead counsel in approximately 700 Chinese Drywall cases pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana,
• Co-lead counsel in several consumer class actions against manufacturer Louisiana Pacific pending in numerous jurisdictions. 
• Numerous Federal cases against Pella Corporation for defective windows.
• A member of the Plaintiff Steering Committee in the Benicar MDL litigation.
• Numerous multi-family construction defect cases.
• Mr. Rhine is involved in dozens of class actions and national mass tort cases, including numerous data breach cases, defective medical devices (such as IVC filters) and pharmaceutical cases.

As a frequently requested speaker on legal topics for trial lawyers and judges, Mr. Rhine speaks at continuing education seminars on topics ranging from trial skills, class actions, ethics, and more. Mr. Rhine has presented on multiple occasions throughout the United States for, among others, Mass Torts Made Perfect, North Carolina Advocates of Justice, North Carolina Bar Association, Mealeys, Lorman, and the AEI-Brookings Joint Center Judicial Education Program.

Mr. Rhine received his Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University in 1988, where he was elected to the Wake Forest University Law Review.  He was published twice in the Law Review while a student and received the Wake Forest Law Review award.

Mr. Rhine received a BA degree from the University of Tampa in 1985, where he received an academic scholarship, was inducted into four honor societies, was on the Dean's List from 1982 through 1985, was awarded the Political Science Graduate Award for attaining the highest GPA among Political Science graduates, and was a letterman on the varsity baseball team.

Mr. Rhine was admitted to The North Carolina State Bar in 1988.

Mr. Rhine remains involved in many legal associations.  These include: New Hanover County Bar Association (President, 1997-1998); American Association for Justice; Public Justice Foundation; North Carolina Bar Association; North Carolina State Bar; and North Carolina Advocates for Justice. Mr. Rhine is a has participated in executive boards and leadership positions in many of these organizations and his participation in various sections changes based upon his current caseload and whether pressing issues about which he is interested are being dealt with by these sections.

Finally, and above all, Mr. Rhine is a devoted family man. While he works extremely long hours and appears in courtrooms across the country, he spends his leisure hours with Alice, his wife of 25 years, and their two children.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Defective Products: 20%
    3 years
  2. Car Accident: 20%
    3 years
  3. Personal Injury: 20%
    Less than 1 year
  4. Litigation: 10%
    Less than 1 year
  5. Other: 30%
  6. More 



Hourly ($325-500/hour), contingent (33-40%)

Attorney endorsements

11 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Dennis H. Sullivan Jr.

    Joel is a thorough aggressive advocate for his clients. He has a great reputation among members of the bar and the judiciary. I highly recommend Joel.


    Dennis Sullivan Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Michael J. Lewis

    I wholeheartedly endorse Joel. He is a tremendous lawyer who leaves no stone unturned in seeking fair treatment for his clients. Smart, diligent, articulate --he is a true warrior who relentlessly and tirelessly pursues justice. Great guy, great lawyer.


    Michael Lewis Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Rhine Law Firm, P.C.

1612 Military Cutoff Road
Suite 300
Wilmington, NC, 28403


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV Preeminent RatedMartindale-Hubbell2016
SuperLawyer Top 100 Lawyers in North CarolinaSuper Lawyers2016
Wake Forest Law Review AwardWake Forest University School of Law1988
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyRhine Law Firm, P.C.2014 - Present
AttorneyRhine Martin Law Firm, P.C.2013 - Present
AttorneyRhine Law Firm, P.C.2011 - 2013
AttorneyLea, Rhine & Associates1995 - 2011
AttorneyShipman & Lea1991 - 1995
AttorneyHunton & Williams1988 - 1991
Association namePosition nameDuration
American Association for Justice, Interstate Trucking Litigation GroupN/A2012 - Present
American Association for Justice, Preemption Law Litigation GroupN/A2009 - Present
North Carolina Advocates for JusticeN/A2000 - Present
North Carolina Bar AssoociationN/A1988 - Present
New Hanover County Bar AssociationFormer President1998 - 1999
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Wishon, et al, v. America Charters, Ltd., et al3.1 million settlement
Hobbie et al vs R C R Holdings II LLC et alSettled- valued at 24 million
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Michie PublishersDouglas' Forms Fourth Edition1989
Wake Forest Law ReviewNote1988
Wake Forest Law ReviewNote1987
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Wake Forest University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1988
University of TampaPolitical ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1985
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Construction Product Litigation ConferenceEthics Issues Arising in Construction-Related MDLs2013
Civil Masters in AdvocacyAll Things Deposition2013
NCBA- Construction Litigation Winter CLEARE CGL POLICIES STILL WORTH HAVING?2010
Construction Law Winter Program.Adding Tools to the Construction Lawyer’s Tool Belt". Hot Topics in Construction Law 2010 Issues Involving Chinese Drywall Litigation2010
Condominium Construction Issues in North CarolinaCondominium and Multi-Family2008
Contracts for Construction Lawyers: How to Get the Party StartedContracts for Construction Lawyers: How to Get the Party Started2006
Judicial Symposium on "Critical Issues in Construction Defects LitigationProduct Liability2005
Securities, Drug & Environmental LitigationProduct Liability and Mold Litigation2003
Plaintiffs' Firm RetreatStrategies on Water Intrusion and Mold Litigation2003