W. Cory Reiss
I hate "legalese." Not just the jargon it references. I hate the word itself. Legalese. Just saying it produces an involuntary sneer.
I've been a storyteller and communicator my entire life, so I take it as a personal challenge to ensure that my clients never go home thinking I speak in legalese. My goal is to help clients cut through the legal hair-splitting to understand how best to confront whatever problem has come their way.
And I know for sure that jurors would prefer being pretty much anywhere but a courtroom, and they hate legalese more than I do.
My broad legal practice covers business litigation, ranging from complex cases in the North Carolina Business Court to more straightforward contract disputes, personal injury, and wrongful death cases, including medical malpractice.
But whatever type of case, I use investigative instincts that I honed over more than 14 years as a professional journalist before turning to the Bar.
I exited the University of Virginia in 1994 skilled in various forms of writing and on a mission to get to the bottom of things. A freelance writer and part-time newspaper reporter while still in school, I became a full-time journalist upon graduating and then managing editor of a weekly newspaper that I led to numerous awards.
In 1997, I joined the Wilmington Morning Star (now the Star-News), where I primarily covered state and federal courts, laying the foundation for my interest in law. I then became the New York Times Regional Media Group Correspondent in Washington, D.C., covering Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court, and federal agencies for 14 daily newspapers in six states as well as the New York Times News Service.
But the old courts beat beckoned me. In 2007, I entered the Wake Forest University School of Law, where I was a teaching assistant for legal writing and a leader on the Dean’s List, Law Review and my trial team — all while my wife and I raised two young sons.
Since joining the Bar, I've tried numerous cases, argued before our state's highest courts and the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and enjoyed my daily mission to help steer clients clear of, or through, problems large and small.
N.C. Bar Association Communications Committee, 2020-2021
The Order of Barristers, 2010
James F. Hoge Memorial Award for Outstanding Written Contribution to the Wake Forest Law Review, 2008-2009
Society of Professional Journalists Sunshine Award, 1998
Virginia Press Association Awards for Excellence in Journalism, 1994-1996
North Carolina, 2010
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D. 2010
Law Review, Senior Notes and Comments Editor, 2010
Law Review, Member, 2009-10
Moot Court Board, 2009-10
Trial Team 2009-10
Legal Writing TA 2008-10
The University of Virginia, 1994
B.A. English Language and Literature
B.A. Rhetoric and Communication Studies
Read my Law Review article, Crime that Plays: Shaping a Reporter's Shield to Cover National Security in an Insecure World