About Riley Beggin

Riley Beggin Articles written 9

Riley Beggin is a freelance journalist for Super Lawyers. She has a master’s in journalism from the University of Missouri, and is a watchdog reporter with Bridge Magazine. She has previously worked for NPR, KBIA, ABC News, and Southern California Public Radio.

Articles written by Riley Beggin

The Wolf of Smalltimore

From mass shootings and CTE to police and political corruption, Steve Silverman has litigated it all

In “Smalltimore,” everybody knows everybody, reputations mean everything, and when someone asks where you went to school, they mean high school. But big stories and bigger personalities still find their way to this so-called small town, and no one has seen more of them than Steve Silverman. From dirty cops and mass shootings to concussions in professional sports and a mayoral corruption scandal, Silverman has been involved in some of the most fascinating and consequential cases in Baltimore …

No Blueprint

Jhanelle Graham Caldwell’s musically paved path to the law

Many lawyers are familiar with the combination of adrenaline and anxiety that comes with performing during a trial. Jhanelle Graham Caldwell knows it better than most—thanks, in part, to her experience approaching a different kind of bench. Caldwell began practicing the piano at six years old in her hometown of Kingston, Jamaica. Her parents had a deep love and appreciation for music, and believed it would enhance the learning abilities—and positively impact the cognitive development—of …

Gaming Changers

Three Vegas attorneys on bringing women into gaming law

Las Vegas has long been a wellspring for gamblers, entertainers, entrepreneurs, and others seeking adventure on the Strip. But the bounty hasn’t come easily for everyone: Behind the scenes, the law firms helping those casinos navigate regulatory and corporate law have long been dominated by men. That’s changing, slowly but surely. Jennifer J. Gaynor, an administrative law and gaming lawyer at J. Gaynor Law, and author of That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and …

'When We Fight, We Win'

Lawyer and activist Rod Chapel has lived his father’s lesson

Rod Chapel learned the power of the courts when he was just seven years old.  His father was working as a subcontractor, building houses in the town of Guthrie, Oklahoma. When payment came due, the contractor stiffed him. Maybe they felt they could get away with it; maybe it was because Nimrod Chapel Sr. was Black in the majority-white town. Either way, his father was going to court to get that money back.  Chapel remembers sitting in the family yard that day, his dad explaining how the …

Taking Chances

Brian McKeen’s medical malpractice career is defined by cases that weren’t obvious winners

A baby left to nearly suffocate, despite the mother’s pleas. A doctor inducing seizures and diagnosing epilepsy in children for personal gain. A neurosurgeon who performed unnecessary spinal surgeries to cheat insurance companies.  Such cases define Brian McKeen’s nearly 40-year career. Some would have gone nowhere—the victims left to suffer without compensation—if he hadn’t taken a chance on them.  Medical malpractice cases aren’t cheap, he says. That’s why some med mal lawyers …

In the Moment

Zen and the art of Michael Zimmerman

Early in the mornings, with his daughters fast asleep and the sun just cresting, Michael Zimmerman would go out to his porch, close his eyes, and sink into meditation. “I’d just listen to the sounds of traffic, feel the air on my skin, and let my mind and my breath settle,” he says. “And, in those moments, everything was fine.” Off the porch, everything was not fine. His wife, the mother of their three young daughters, was dying of cancer, while he was about to become chief justice of …

The Everyday Extraordinary

Seven former SCOTUS clerks share stories from the court’s last 70 years

Most interns are lucky to get some experience, a little mentorship and, maybe, a letter of recommendation. But a pair of World War II-era binoculars lent for stargazing or an invitation to President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration are offerings reserved for the fortunate few who are selected to be clerks to U.S. Supreme Court justices. We spoke with seven D.C. attorneys who worked in the chambers of the high court over the past seven decades—from the 1950s to the 2010s. These are their …

The Writing's On the Wall

The signs that guided Jennifer Salvatore to open her own employment and civil rights firm

Jennifer Salvatore was at Northville High School in the ’80s, she caught mono and was sidelined from the varsity soccer team for a month. She wanted back on the field, but her mother said it was too soon. So Salvatore pulled out a pen and began to write. The letter, detailing multiple reasons why she should be allowed back on the field, spanned four full pages. The last lines read: “I’m of absolutely no use to [the team] now. I can’t stand to sit there while everyone else plays.” She …

The Way Back Home

Homayune Ghaussi works to bring law back to Afghanistan

The top of Homayune Ghaussi’s desk is piled with the usual: files, family photos, a paperweight or two. But nestled safely away in a drawer sits a less conventional item: a small glass bottle filled with dirt. It was scooped from a stretch of earth nearly 7,000 miles away in Afghanistan—soil that Ghaussi’s feet haven’t touched for almost four decades.  The Afghan native left his home country in 1979, around age 7, when his father took up work with UNESCO in Sudan. The year before, the …

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