CLOSE-UP / Steve Emmert

By Robin Brinkley, The Virginian-Pilot – November 6, 2005

Steve Emmert, a high-ranking member of the Virginia State Bar Association, authors a Web site that provides same-day analysis of court rulings, moonlights as a hockey writer and enjoys a lurid fascination with roller coasters.

Arguing before the Supreme Court of Virginia and riding roller coasters provide a similar experience.

“Both can give you butterflies if you think about being scared,” he said. “The fun of arguing before the Supreme Court is knowing others are scared – and I’m not.”

Emmert’s New Year’s resolution was to try 100 new things. Alas, he expects to finish the year at Around 70.

“I want to be a Renaissance man,” he said, “but right now I’m still in the Middle Ages.”

Full name: Lawrence Steven Emmert

Hometown: I will phrase this carefully: “Tidewater Virginia.”

What neighborhood do you live in? Lynnwood

Age: 47

Occupation: Attorney with Sykes, Bourdon, Ahern, & Levy. I focus on appellate courts (the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals of Virginia and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit).

Marital status: Married to Sondra since 1988

Children: One spoiled daughter, Caroline, age 11

What is your idea of a perfect day off? It starts in the mountains. I get up early and check the box scores from the West Coast (Dodgers 12, Giants 0. That’s perfect.). In the morning, I spend a couple of hours following a mountain stream to its source and climbing to at least one summit. After that, I drive to Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens and ride coasters until they kick me out of the park.

Last smart thing you did: This one’s easy: Joined Town Center Fitness.

Last dumb thing you did: I got talked into buying a pony for my daughter. It’s like a luxury car payment that never gets paid off, and I don’t even get to drive the car.

If you could invite three famous people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be? The wisest person I know about, Socrates; the most courageous person I know about, Michel Ney; and the funniest person I know about, Mark Twain.

Favorite movies: I think “Casablanca” is the greatest movie ever made, but my personal favorite is “The Lion in Winter.” I always enjoy watching “The Princess Bride,” and never get tired of seeing Roy Hobbs connect at the end of “The Natural.” Just about any movie that features John Wayne with a horse between his knees.

Favorite hangout: Conklin’s Irish Rover

What do you drive? A Honda CRV. How many SUVs get well over 20 miles to the gallon?

Pet peeve: Apostrophe abuse. “The Johnson’s are coming over for dinner” drives me nuts.

Hobbies: Mountain hiking, roller coasters, book collecting, daughter spoiling

If I won $10 million, I would: Do you think Kings Dominion would sell me the Volcano?

One thing people don’t know about you: I’m a sportswriter. I cover the Carolina Hurricanes for

Somewhere you’ve never been, but would like to visit: Thermopylae, where the Spartans essentially saved Western civilization.

Guilty pleasure: Mint juleps, mixed correctly

Favorite restaurant: Mi Casita, This Old House, and the Town Center City Club, each on its own day

Favorite night on the town: I must confess that my favorite nights are off the town, at home with my girls.

Favorite television shows: “Jeopardy!” I took the test once, and passed; just about any baseball or hockey broadcast; the late, lamented “Ed.”

Favorite sport or sports team: I’ve been a devoted Dodgers fan since 1974.

Dream vacation: Well, the last one, back in August, was a pretty good dream. I spent most of a week with my family going from amusement park to amusement park, riding coasters.

Pets: A dog and a pony, neither of which I’ll claim, but both of which I have to pay for

Worst job: In college, I got a summer job doing anything and everything for the school. Up to 70 hours a week, for the princely sum of $2.01 an hour, since the school was exempt from minimum wage laws.

Of what achievements are you most proud? My record in reported appellate cases is 17-2 (and I’m working on reversing one of the two right now). In my former life, back when I played competitive softball, I was 7-for-7 with runners in scoring position and the game on the line.