Cantor Stoneburner Ford Grana & Buckner, P.C.
1111 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23218-0561
T.C Williams School of Law, UR, J.D., Cum Laude 1993
University of Richmond, BA, Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa 1990
Professional/business/civic/nonprofit organizations in which you are/have been involved and positions held:
Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA): Board of Governors (1998-present); Parliamentarian
(2007–present); Ethics & Professionalism Committee – Chair (2009-2010); Appellate Committee (2009-2010); Long Term Care Litigation Committee (2009- ); Litigation Support Committee (2008-2009); Judicial Relations Co-Chair (2007-2008); Diversity Committee – Chair (2006-2007); Convention Committee (Chair 2010, 2009, 2005-2006, 2003-2004); Membership Committee (2004-2005, Co-Chair 2001-2002, V.P. 2000-2001); Key Contacts Committee – Chair (2001-2002); Young Trial Lawyers – Chair (1999-2000), Chair-Elect (1998-1999), Secretary (1996-1998); Medical Malpractice Cap Legislative Committee, Legislative Committee, Bills Reading Night, VTLA Lobby Day, White Coat/Lobby Day (1999-present); Lewis F. Powell, Jr. American Inn of Court: President (2007-2009); Executive Committee (2003 – present); Secretary/Treasurer (2003-2007); Program Chair (2005-2006); John Marshall American Inn of Court: Executive Committee (1999-2003); Program Chair (1995-2003); Boyd-Graves Conference Committee (2009-present); Greater Richmond Bar Foundation (GRBF): Board of Directors (2005-2007); Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association (MRWBA): President (2003-2004): President – Elect (2002-2003); Vice-President (2001-2002); Chair, Awards Committee (1999-2001); Secretary (1998-1999); Awards Committee (1998-99); Public Relations Director & Newsletter Editor (1997-1998); CLE Committee (1996-1997)
Who were the important mentors you have had and how did they impact your career?
There have been many lawyers and past-presidents of the MRWBA who have offered a helping hand. Additionally, The Honorable Joseph E. Baker, Judge, Court of Appeals of Virginia, now deceased – I clerked for Judge Baker right out of law school and he was not afraid to hire a “northerner.” He was a firm believer that hard work gets the job done right, the utmost importance of a lawyer’s integrity and that sometimes the right decisions are not always the popular ones.
Edward W. Taylor, Esquire – I worked with Ed from 1994 through1997 and began practicing plaintiff’s medical malpractice law. Ed taught me to learn the medicine first and to develop your theory about a case before employing the experts. That has served me well for 17 years.
My parents – Joseph A. Grana, Sr. (deceased) and Kathy Grana – they taught my brother and me family values, professional excellence and the importance of helping in the community.
What do you consider your biggest personal and/or professional accomplishment and why?
Personally: My husband of 14 years, Scott Bemberis, and our three children, Nicole (10), Garrett (8) and Dakota (6). They are smart, fun, beautiful and put up with me no matter what.
Professionally: I am proud to have represented and hopefully, to have provided a measure of justice to many injured persons with good results. I continue to enjoy going to work each day.
What advice would you give to a young person graduating from college this spring?
Figure out what you are good at and turn that into your profession. Your choice may not be easy but with determination and hard-work, you can achieve your goals.
New to my advice is to persevere in the face of tragedy – time does heal.
How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?
I am not sure that I do, but I work on this everyday. On certain days, I am a great mom and on others, I am a great lawyer. I have learned to accept that I cannot be great at both all the time.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
An Olympic athlete, a veterinarian or a lawyer.
What is your favorite book or movie and why?
“The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein – it teaches us that we all have so much to give, even more than we realize.
“Gone with the Wind” – Despite its historical setting, Scarlett was a tough lady who got things done.
What are two things about you that not many people know?
I am a purple belt in Tae Kwon Do and can break boards with my bare hands or feet!