About Courtney Mault

Courtney Mault Articles written 9

Articles written by Courtney Mault

Hanging Their Own Shingles

Who’s the boss? Three area lawyers told us how they turned the answer into “I am.” They left other legal jobs—or never really had them to begin with—and mustered up the courage to go it alone. Their firms are dreams realized, but entrepreneurship also means figuring out accounts payable

Chad Moody Chad W. Moody P.C. “I had no desire to be a lawyer,” says Chad Moody. He was perfectly content working as a researcher for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He considered it to be the best job in the world. Then he quit. “I became frustrated and concerned with the perpetual encroachment upon liberty being perpetrated by the federal government.” Moody didn’t just research the outdoors when he was in Alaska; he also studied the Constitution. He began seeing …

Lady Liberty

Margaret Catillaz has the world knocking at her door

For Margaret Catillaz, the real accomplishments of a case come well after it has closed. “You can’t always see the change you’ve made, sometimes not for years,” she says. “There are concentric circles of impact you see over the years. For people who have gotten a chance and [to see] what they’ve done with that chance—it’s a glorious process to watch that unfold.” When Catillaz was a first-year lawyer, she divided her time between litigation and immigration. At first it was a …

The New Gold Rush

Fracturing rocks in the Appalachian Basin with Thomas West

“I don’t think anyone could have predicted the size of Marcellus Shale,” says Thomas West, referring to a large reserve of natural gas discovered in the Appalachian Basin. The natural gas is trapped in the pores of the thick black rock 5,000 to 8,000 feet below the surface of the earth. It’s not a complete surprise that there is natural gas down there; what is surprising however, is just how much there might be. According to Penn State geoscience professor Terry Engelder, it’s …

Rocketing to the Top

It took all of three months before Hiep Truong was made the head of his firm's workers' comp practice

Success came incredibly fast for Hiep Truong. In 2001, seven years after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, two years after graduating from Santa Clara School of Law and less than three months after starting work at Manning & Marder, Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Truong's boss asked if he'd like to head up the firm's workers' comp and employment law practice. Truong accepted. But then Truong wanted to give back to his community. So now when he's not trying workers' comp cases …

The Youngest Partner

For Clifford Yin, success came early

Clifford Yin is a perfect corollary to the dictum "Give and you shall receive." Only he flipped the order: he received first, then gave. He worked as a legal assistant one summer during college and one of his duties was to observe a high-profile case and share his impressions as a mock juror. "I was fascinated with the entire process," Yin says, "including the complex strategies and nuances involved in the trial and the critical importance of excellent writing skills." So after he became a …

Last Line of Defense

Bryan Stevenson weighs matters of life and death

One of Bernard Madoff's casualties was the JEHT Foundation, a grant underwriter formerly based in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood. The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a nonprofit dedicated to prisoner defense based in Montgomery, relied on JEHT for nearly 25 percent of its budget. Now the EJI is just hoping for a miracle. "You're treated much better in [Alabama's legal] system if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent," says the initiative's founder, Bryan Stevenson. With an …

Laser Show

Gina Longarzo stays grounded, even during cases with alleged national security implications

On Dec. 31, 2007, Gina Mendola Longarzo's client David Banach was out on his deck with his 7-year-old looking at the stars. They were using a laser pointer. They were having fun. Until he got arrested. Banach had unintentionally flashed a beam of light at a helicopter. Ten minutes later FBI agents were at his door, and not to help him ring in the new year. They took Banach—against his will—out of his home to FBI headquarters for polygraph tests. Even more startling: He was initially denied …

Brothers in Law

The Siebens carry on a family tradition

Jeffrey and Thomas Sieben are sitting across from each another at a large conference table. “This is the first time we’ve spoken in years,” Tom says. They look at each other, burst out laughing and Jeff shakes his head. “We live across the street from each other,” he says. The brothers are close, and not just because of the proximity of their homes. Jeff, two years older than his brother, recently became a father for the first time; he named his son Benjamin Thomas.  Jeff, a personal …

The Translator

Language whiz Mark Vavreck on volcanoes, earthquakes and sleeping under the stars

It was Mark Vavreck’s last day of Arctic Soldier Training, a mere week after arriving at Fort Richardson, just outside of Anchorage, Alaska. He was sleeping outside. In the snow. “The Army has to prove to us their equipment works so there’s no tent—I had an arctic sleeping bag,” he says. So what was that like? “I didn’t die,” he says with a chuckle. “It was difficult to get to sleep, as you could imagine, but when I finally did, we all woke up to an earthquake.”  That …

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