About Emma Way

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Emma Way Articles written 9

Articles written by Emma Way

In Their Blood

Paul and Kevin Mahoney carry on the legacy of their father, Denny

Dennis Mahoney never owned a computer in his 54 years of practicing medical malpractice law. His only cellphone folded in half. When an email arrived for him, a paralegal would print it out, and he’d scribble notes in red ink on the page in response. Denny, as his friends called him, was old school. He took notes on yellow legal pads, jotting down questions and thoughts for a trial. No copy, no paste. No backspace. Terrible handwriting, his sons and fellow attorneys, Kevin and Paul say. …

Solo Success

Six attorneys share the ups and downs of building their own practice

When Jill Jackson appears via Zoom, she jokes about her background. It’s not a buttoned-up law office with books or framed diplomas. Jackson is sitting in the backyard of her Raleigh home. “Of course my dog was like, I need to go out now,” she says with a laugh. Owning her own firm means independence, flexibility and boundless opportunity. The six solo attorneys in this story set their own schedules, choose the clients and cases they take on, and have the freedom to take calls while their …

Shedding Light (without the spotlight)

If you’ve never read about Valecia McDowell’s work, she’s doing it right

“Doing an investigation is a little bit like being in a Scooby-Doo gang,” says Valecia McDowell, co-head of Moore & Van Allen’s white collar, regulatory defense and investigations practice. “A problem presents at the beginning of the episode: ‘Is there a ghost living in this haunted house?’ Or, ‘Who stole the Scooby snacks?’ Then you put together your team. We need a diversity of perspectives and experiences. And then you start fresh, with no assumptions, and you work …

Keeping the Conversation Going

Leto Copeley and Valerie Johnson started a #MeToo podcast before #MeToo hit

In 2017, partners Valerie Johnson and Leto Copeley knew they wanted to do something that addressed the reoccurring questions they encounter in the employment, sexual harassment and personal injury space. They thought a book made sense, came up with an outline, but, in the end, Copeley says, “It just felt so daunting.”  So the duo, who dubbed themselves the “Law Sisters,” turned to Plan B: a podcast. “It just seemed like something we could do more immediately,” Johnson says. The …

Dive Bar

Tony Scheer loved working in the boat and scuba biz; that’s why he stopped doing it

When Tony Scheer talks about his childhood in Syracuse, New York, he recalls summers on the water. “Even though I grew up nowhere near the ocean, I was a water guy,” he says. Scheer loved to sail and water ski, and he was obsessed with underwater explorer and conservationist Jacques Cousteau. His parents were both waterfront directors at a summer camp. “We were a water family.” Scheer, 62, a partner at Rawls, Scheer, Clary & Mingo, always wanted to be a diver and marine biologist. …

Rewriting the Narrative

Five Missouri and Kansas women attorneys recount their life in the law

Choosing law school in the ’70s was not a popular option for women. But for these five, lawyering felt like the only choice.  While future Sedgwick County District Attorney Nola Foulston had her heart set on law school before she was old enough to drive, the idea didn’t occur to St. Louis’ Ferne Wolf until college. Kansas City’s Jennifer Bacon was heading toward a Ph.D. in psychology before she changed course. St. Louis’ Sally Barker turned to the law thanks to a passion for debate, …

The 300

Richard Serbin’s 32-year fight to uncover the truth of clergy sexual-abuse

Altoona used to celebrate train whistles like they were paydays. As the locomotive industry boomed, the central Pennsylvania community grew too, jumping from about 3,000 in 1854—when the first train chugged around Altoona’s famous horseshoe curve—to more than 80,000 in 1940. But as deindustrialization crept in during the second half of the 20th century, the once-thriving downtown stumbled, and Altoona sank into the shadows of the Allegheny mountains. Even in a small town nestled in the …

A Little Bit Louder Now

Charlotte attorney Lori Keeton makes some noise for women entrepreneurs

With a bedazzled pink laptop on her desk and a diamond ring nearly the size of a garlic bulb on her left hand, Lori Keeton thinks back to opening her solo shop—it wasn’t as glitzy as she had hoped. “In the very beginning, I’m meeting with all these vendors, and they’re asking how long I want our contract to be,” she says. “And I’m like, ‘Lord knows! It could be six months.’” It’s been two years and counting, and the bling she wears was a gift to herself, a reminder of …

The Reconstruction of David Rudolf

The verdict in the Michael Peterson case shook his very foundation. Now, thanks to Netflix, he’s on a new mission: fixing the criminal justice system

Michael Peterson was on top of the world in 2001. He was a successful novelist and columnist, in love with his wife, had five children (two of his own, two he adopted, and one stepchild), and lived in a beautiful house in Durham. Peterson and his wife, Kathleen, liked to drink wine and talk deep into the night. On the night of December 9, that all went away. On a 911 recording, Peterson’s voice wavers frantically. Fifteen steps. Or is it 20? “She fell down the stairs,” he says between …

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