About Lori K. Tate

Lori K. Tate Articles written 7

Articles written by Lori K. Tate

Warrior for the Worker

Ken Suggs remembers his roots

Before every trial Ken Suggs watches Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Henry V. Not the whole thing. Just the part immediately before the Battle of Agincourt where Henry tells the French herald, Montjoy, that he will not surrender to France. Suggs knows the words by heart, "Good God, why should they mock poor fellows thus? Let me speak proudly. Tell the constable we are but warriors for the working day. Our gayness and our gilt are all besmirched with rainy marching in …

Hurricane Craig

How Craig Cannon got FEMA to let disaster victims sue FEMA

Craig Cannon keeps his eye on the weather. Not because he has a fascination with meteorology or because he's worried about getting rained on. As national director of the American Bar Association's Disaster Legal Services program, he simply needs to know when and where Mother Nature is about to strike. The BB&T Corporation in-house litigator has traveled to several major disasters—including Hurricanes Katrina in Louisiana and Rita in Texas, flooding in Wisconsin, and Hurricanes Alex, …

From DJ to J.D.

Coe Ramsey masters the art of mixing

As a student at T.W. Andrews High School in High Point, Coe Ramsey left Friday night football games right after halftime. It wasn't a lack of school spirit that forced his exit—he was a proud member of the marching band. Instead, it was his responsibility as a Friday night DJ for a Greensboro radio station. "I had hit the pinnacle of life at that point," says Ramsey, an entertainment and communications lawyer for Brooks Pierce in Raleigh. "I'm in high school doing this mix show on this …

Dead Set

I.S. Leevy Johnson’s legendary legal career began in a funeral home

It’s hard to see how working in a funeral home could mold someone into a great lawyer, but if you talk to I.S. Leevy Johnson, it starts to make sense. Beginning when he was a small child, the trial lawyer worked at his grandparents’ Columbia business, Leevy’s Funeral Home. Although Johnson had every intention of going into the same field—even earning an associate degree in mortuary science from the University of Minnesota—fate had other plans for him.  “My ambition at that time was …


Betsy Gray’s determination fuels her career

In 2004, Elizabeth “Betsy” Van Doren Gray’s daughter was finishing her senior year of high school in Columbia. During most of that year, her mother was an hour and a half away at a school-funding fairness trial in Manning. Although the litigator made time for her daughter’s National Honor Society induction, prom, graduation and senior trip, it wasn’t easy. “It killed me,” says Gray. “My daughter didn’t like it one bit.” And the case isn’t even finished: Abbeville County …

Hard Driver

Elizabeth Kuniholm fights for victims of abuse

Susan Bennett was afraid to go to the grocery store. A divorced mother of three, the Apex woman managed to make it to work and back every day, but her teenage daughter had to take care of everything else. At 38, she had shrunken away from everything and everybody in her life. She was falling apart. Bennett’s mental decline began in February 1995, after Cary doctor Wally Evans allegedly assaulted her during a physical. She called the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners, the American …

The Quick Study

Leslie O'Toole's openness to new things led her to the courtroom

In November 2004 British runner Paula Radcliffe won the New York City Marathon in two hours, 23 minutes and 10 seconds. Cary attorney Leslie O’Toole lagged slightly behind that time — she finished in four hours and 57 minutes. Although O’Toole didn’t receive the press coverage Radcliffe did, she, like Rocky Balboa, was happy to go the distance.   O’Toole, 44, who runs four miles a day, five days a week, never had any intention of running a marathon; but Alex Hagan, a …

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