W. Cory Reiss
Litigation often boils down to who tells the better story.
The law provides plot points and rules that every story needs to follow in court, but the lawyer fleshes it out by finding compelling facts and arranging them for impact.
Every discovery request or deposition is an opportunity to build a better story than the other side. Every argument sharpens that story. At trial, that story unfolds before a jury’s eyes.
I’ve been telling other people’s stories most of my life, and that’s how I approach the litigation process.
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 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 won 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.
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
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