Sunday, May 26, 2024

Legal Elite 2023: Criminal


Goodman Carr Laughrun Levine & Greene, Charlotte

Hometown: Summerfield

Undergraduate: UNC Chapel Hill

Law: UNC School of Law

Practiced law: 16 years

Family: My mother taught history at Northeast Guilford High School, and my dad was a photographer in Greensboro. I have two brothers in Charlotte. My wife, Katie, is a former prosecutor who is now occupied chasing after our maniacal boys, ages 6, 8 and 10.

High school group: It definitely was not the athletes or the cool kids. We were just normal kids. We played cards, board games and video games. We were surrounded by woods and spent a lot of time exploring.

Karaoke night song: Karaoke is far and away my greatest fear in life. I was coerced into
it once at a Mecklenburg County Bar function. To add insult to injury, I drew “Hit Me Baby
One More Time” by Brittany Spears. That was embarrassing.

One meal to eat forever: Nashville hot chicken

Biggest risk taken: My law school roommates and I were once fairly serious poker players — online poker and trips to casinos. I came just short of a final table in the World Series of Poker in 2009. As exciting as that life was, I wouldn’t go back to it. I can no longer see myself doing any job but criminal defense.

Last show binge-watched: “Better Call Saul.” No other show comes close to capturing the stress and the pain of trying to make it and to find your way around when you’re new to the practice of criminal law.

Movie you could quote by heart: Name a Will Ferrell movie. I don’t mean to brag, but I have seen “Old School” and “Anchorman” more than 100 times each. I’m kind of a big deal.

Favorite winter activity: Snow skiing with the maniacal boys mentioned above.

Favorite snack: My beautiful wife is also an avid runner who talked me into running a marathon with her. So the consistent snack is now salted watermelon flavored running gel washed down with lemon-lime Nuun.

Definition of success: Criminal law is brutal. High-stakes decisions are made quickly. Each day, I see the impact of those decisions on my clients and their families. It can be hard to step away from that, but to consistently get good results in the arena, you can’t be blinded to the rest of the system. You have to see the Matrix. The judge, law enforcement and the prosecutor are all part of this system with important jobs. You can’t succeed
without recognizing everyone’s role.





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