Leo Copeley

Copeley Johnson & Groninger PLLC


Leto grew up in New Jersey, where her father, a doctor, took her with him on his visits to families living in shacks by the railroad tracks so he could make sure the children had their vaccinations. He taught her that all people deserve to be treated with respect, no matter what their circumstances, and explained that she was no better than those kids in the shacks. Later she decided to become a lawyer when she saw that the court system often didn’t live up to her father’s ideals. She moved to North Carolina in 1983, right after graduating from Harvard Law School, to work for the Honorable James B. McMillan (a native of McDonald, NC), a federal judge in Charlotte, and never left. She is married to Bert Fisher, a native North Carolinian. The two love to be outdoors, hiking and looking at wildlife, including birds, reptiles and even bugs and snakes. You may find her posting photos online of the strange creatures she finds in the woods or that sometimes manage to sneak into her home. The house is also shared with two very entertaining cats. Leto has worked to keep the courts open and fair to all, regardless of their circumstances. Throughout her career, she has handled cases of workplace injury and mistreatment, personal injury and wrongful death, and sexual harassment and sex abuse. She enjoys representing individuals since she has never forgotten the early years after her father’s death when she supported herself as an auto parts worker, house cleaner, and waitress. Leto regularly lectures and advises her colleagues in the law. She has taught in continuing legal education programs sponsored by organizations including the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Bar Association, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys and the Labor and Employment Section of the American Bar Association. Leto has served in various leadership roles in the North Carolina legal community and currently serves as President-elect of the Advisory Board to the National Crime Victim Bar Association. Leto believes in public service. She is an enthusiastic member of Rotary International and is a past president of the Hillsborough, NC chapter. She is also actively involved in her church, St. Philips Episcopal of Durham, where she has served as a youth group leader and on the church vestry (governing board). For four years she served as the American Sign Language interpreter for the church, and in 2010, she was profiled in Law and Politics Magazine in an article entitled “The Interpreter,” which told of her participation as a team interpreter on a medical mission trip to Honduras.

Additional Information

Education Harvard Law School

Bar Admissions North Carolina

Professional Memberships Lawyers Mutual Liability American Association for Justice Workers Injury Law & Advocacy North Carolina Var Association NC Association for Women Attorneys

Position Attorney


300 Blackwell St., Suite 101
Durham, North Carolina 27701
United States

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  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Sex Abuse
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Employment Law

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