Tenacity, talent and toughness make Greta Van Susteren a...


September 22, 1991|By Mary Corey

Tenacity, talent and toughness make Greta Van Susteren a 0) tough legal adversary

Greta Van Susteren knew she'd arrived when inmates began selling packs of cigarettes to get her phone number.

Years later, Barrister magazine has also discovered the tenacious trial lawyer, recently naming her one of 20 outstanding young lawyers in the country.

"Why me? That was sort of my reaction," says Ms. Susteren, 37, who lives in Howard County.

Talent had a lot to do with it. Tough and ambitious, she has developed a reputation for taking on the establishment. During one three-year period, she won 17 consecutive jury trials.

At 5 feet, 3 inches and 105 pounds, she doesn't look the part of firebrand, but there is one precedent in her life for such behavior. At 15, she became the first student kicked out of her Catholic girl's school in Wisconsin.

"I went into a 7-Eleven to buy cigarettes, and they sent a nun to pick me up," she says.

Now, however, she's all business, often putting in 15-hour days at Coale, Allen & Van Susteren, the Washington firm she formed with her husband, John Coale, a year ago. She also teaches at her alma mater, Georgetown Law Center.

As for the future, she's toying with entering politics. "But if the people won't have me," she says, "I'd like to be a sod farmer."

In the world according to Harry A. Evans Jr., only three things matter: buildings, streets and sidewalks.

The rest simply doesn't exist in the historic Baltimore cityscapes the neo-folk artist has vividly painted for 33 years.

"When I run across an old house, the adrenalin starts flowing and I say, 'I want to paint that,' " Mr. Evans, 65, explains.

Whether he turns his attention -- and paintbrush -- to the Inner Harbor, Fells Point or East Baltimore, his work serves to chronicle the architectural changes the city has experienced over the last 125 years.

He's also become an amateur historian in the process, keeping a library of newspaper clippings, old photos and reference books in his Edmondson Village home.

Before beginning a painting, he makes a point of visiting local libraries to research the time period and also checks out the neighborhood.

Such attention to detail has earned him the respect of many gallery owners. Meredith Gallery currently shows his work, and a chair he painted is featured in Maryland Art Place's "Take a Seat" exhibit.

But his next subject remains a mystery, even to him.

"I never think about the future," he says. "I'm too busy with the past."

Have someone to suggest? Write Mary Corey, Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or call (301) 332-6156.

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