Legal Elite – Environmental 2011
RAMONA CUNNINGHAM O’BRYANT Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, Greensboro
I would likely be practicing in West Virginia. I lived there until I went to law school. It was a tough decision not to go home, and I still have several friends who practice in West Virginia. My practice would be similar to what it is here.
Vita: Born April 16, 1958, in Cowen, W.Va.; bachelor’s from Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, W.Va., law degree from UNC Chapel Hill; husband and one child. Why she chose this field: I began as a litigator but didn’t enjoy the courtroom. Our environmental folks needed help, and I was offered the chance to work with them. Once I began, I was hooked. I enjoy rules and working on the puzzle of how they all fit together. What she’d be if not a lawyer: I would probably be more involved in community work. Memorable case: It was recently decided by the state Supreme Court and deals with regulation of trout-stream buffers. We worked with the client for many years, initially dealing with regulatory agencies prior to the state’s approval of the project and then defending against third-party challenges. Favorite places: The beach and Baptist Camp in Cowen, W.Va., where I went to camp and then worked through high school and college. Recent reading: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. Hero: My mother set such a wonderful example of giving, and at 80, she still runs circles around us all. Don’t ask her to: Go away from my family for long periods. Or wash my car.
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Ramona Cunningham O’Bryant Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP | Greensboro Stanford D. Baird K&L Gates LLP | Raleigh Stephen R. Berlin Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP | Winston-Salem Craig Bromby Hunton & Williams LLP | Raleigh William E. Burton III Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP | Greensboro Harold N. Bynum Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP | Greensboro William Clarke Roberts & Stevens PA | Asheville John S. Curry Law Offices of John S. Curry | Asheville John M. Flynn Carruthers & Roth PA | Greensboro David A. Franchina K&L Gates LLP, Charlotte Stanley B. Green Strauch Fitzgerald & Green PC | Winston-Salem Thomas N. Griffin III Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP | Charlotte Matthew F. Hanchey Hunton & Williams LLP | Raleigh Gregory S. Hilderbran Adams, Hendon, Carson, Crow & Saenger PA | Asheville Lori Privette Hinnant Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC | Winston-Salem James F. Hopf Law Offices of James F. Hopf PLLC | Greenville John C. Hunter The John C. Hunter Law Firm PLLC | Asheville Keith H. Johnson Poyner Spruill LLP | Raleigh William F. Lane Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP | Raleigh Steven J. Levitas Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP | Raleigh Peter J. McGrath Jr. Moore & Van Allen PLLC | Charlotte Charlotte A. Mitchell Styers & Kemerait PLLC | Raleigh Donald M. Nielsen Bell, Davis & Pitt PA | Winston-Salem Natalie D. Potter Caudle & Spears PA | Charlotte Gary S. Rice Duke Energy Corp. | Charlotte William Ross Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP | Raleigh Frank H. Sheffield Jr. Ward & Smith PA | New Bern Catherine Stempien Duke Energy Corp. | Charlotte Carol Jones Van Buren Van Buren Law PLLC | Charlotte I. Clark Wright Jr. Davis Hartman Wright PLLC | New Bern Julie F. Youngman Southern Environmental Law Center | Chapel Hill