Jill Cranston Rice (formerly Bentz)

Biography

Jill is the chair of the Government Relations practice group and a member of the firm's Board of Directors. She focuses her practice on government relations, insurance and health care law but litigates on behalf of many sectors. She has extensive legislative and administrative government relations and commercial litigation experience. She has been a registered lobbyist in West Virginia for more than 20 years and has lobbied on behalf of various businesses and industry sectors. 

Jill currently serves as president of the West Virginia Insurance Federation and is the lead lobbyist for the property and casualty insurance industry in West Virginia. She played a key role in the passage of West Virginia's comprehensive insurance and civil justice reform legislation in 2005 and she regularly defends insurers in civil and administrative proceedings involving coverage disputes and claims for common law and statutory bad faith.

She maintains an active commercial litigation practice, representing West Virginia businesses ranging from financial institutions to national drug companies to health care providers. She has extensive health care experience, having represented hospitals in antitrust, on-call pay, uninsured billing, medical staff privilege, certificate of need, and rate-setting cases, and routinely deals with clients on day-to-day regulatory matters.

In addition to serving on the firm's Board of Directors, Jill also is a member of the firm's Professional Development and Diversity committees.

Education

  • West Virginia University College of Law  (J.D., 1997)
  • University of Kentucky  (B.A., 1994)
    • Political Science
    • Otis A. Singletary Outstanding Freshman
    • University commencement speaker, May 1994

Bar Admissions

  • West Virginia

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia

Affiliations/Memberships

  • Defense Research Institute (DRI)
    • Board of Directors
    • Center for Law and Public Policy, Management Council
    • Issues and Advocacy Committee, Center for Law and Public Policy, chair
    • State representative for West Virginia
    • Insurance Roundtable, member
    • Annual Meeting Steering Committee, member 
  • Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia
    • Past president 
    • Co-Founder and co-chair, Women in the Law Committee
    • President (2016 - 2017)
    • Vice president (2015 - 2016)
    • Treasurer (2014 - 2015)
    • Secretary (2013 - 2014)
    • Diplomat (2021)
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, prime member
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • West Virginia Insurance Federation, president
  • Highland - Clarkburg Hospital, Inc., chair, board member
  • WVU College of Law Visiting Committee 
  • Leadership West Virginia, board member
  • West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Government Relations Committee, Civil Justice Committee
  • Junior League of Charleston, Inc., past president
  • National MS Society, West Virginia Chapter
  • Bridgeport Varsity Soccer Association
    • Past president
  • Read-A-Loud West Virginia, volunteer
  • Junior Achievement of the Kanawha Valley, volunteer

Distinctions

  • Best Lawyers®   
    • "Lawyer of the Year" in Morgantown for Appellate Practice (2021)
    • Government Relations Practice (2021)
  • Chambers USA®: Guide to America's Leading Business Lawyers
  • Young Gun by the West Virginia Executive (2010)
  • Generation Next: 40 Under 40 award by The State Journal (2005)
  • Leading WV Business Lawyer by WV Inc. (2007)
  • West Virginia Super Lawyers® 
  • Kevin Driskill Outstanding State Representative Award (2020)
  • Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent in Martindale-Hubbell
  • Trailblazer, Insurance Law, The National Law Journal (2021)
  • Diplomat, Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia (2021)