2018 Legal Elite | Appellate
MATTHEW NIS LEERBERG
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP | Raleigh
Guilty Pleasure Inexpensive Chinese food.
Vita 39; born in Pittsburgh; bachelor’s from Harvard University and law degree from Duke University; married with three children.
Why he chose to specialize in this field The appeal represents the client’s last chance to salvage a win or protect a victory. I love plotting out the appellate strategy and developing a compelling narrative of how the law is supposed to deal with the dispute on appeal. It’s a complicated chess match and a chance to tell a story — all wrapped up in one.
Memorable case Very early in my career, I got a cold call from a client who needed help protecting a sizable judgment arising out of a shareholder dispute. Of course, I enjoyed developing the appellate strategy, crafting a sympathetic narrative and delivering a passionate argument. But the real payoff was reading the opinion and realizing for the first time how much power and responsibility the client had entrusted to me.
What he’d be if not a lawyer Voice actor, in my dreams.
Best advice received Marry that girl.
Favorite place Sitting in a chair on my front porch. Simple pleasures.
Favorite author I’m a big fan of Kurt Vonnegut. He was smart enough to write long and complicated sentences, but wise enough not to do so.
Favorite TV show Six Feet Under. Weighty themes, brilliantly executed.
Passions Writing, music, philosophy.
Don’t ask him to Cook. I can eat. I can clean. But I can’t cook.