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 to make sure that the courts provide equal justice to everyone.
She moved to North Carolina in 1983, right after graduating from Harvard Law School, to work for Federal District Court Judge James B. McMillan (a native of McDonald, NC), and never left. She is married to Bert Fisher, the son of a Methodist minister, who grew up in eastern North Carolina. They both 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 shared with two demanding cats.
Throughout Leto’s career, she has handled cases of workplace injury and mistreatment, personal injury and wrongful death, and sexual harassment and sex abuse. She has obtained substantial jury verdicts for her clients, and has argued and won cases at the North Carolina Court of Appeals, the North Carolina Supreme Court, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 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 presents at seminars for other lawyers. She has taught in continuing legal education programs sponsored by the American Bar Association, the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Bar Association, and the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys. Leto has served in various leadership roles in the legal community and currently serves as President of the National Crime Victim Bar Association.
Leto has a record of community service and is actively involved in her church, St. Philips Episcopal of Durham, where she has served as a youth group leader, usher 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. Read about Leto’s recent activities on our blog. See what our clients think on our Video Testimonial and Client Testimonial pages.
Attorneys Leto Copeley and Valerie Johnson (aka the “Law Sisters“) recently started a new podcast about Sexual Harassment in the workplace. Learn ways you can protect yourself from sexual harassment and sexual assault by listening to their podcast series, Sex at Work, available on the Law Sisters website, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, TuneIn, and Stitcher.