The Barrister Fall 2017 - 14

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Beyond the Bar:

Deep Diving with
Matt and Becky
By Ana T. López Vives

I

wish I had met with Matthew Kopecki
and Rebecca Smith for a drink at
a quiet bar somewhere, but instead
we met at their Wyomissing office on a
rainy Monday afternoon. Matt is wearing
what I call the "Dockers classic": khaki
colored pants and a blue polo shirt. It's
Columbus Day, not a national holiday
but, since the courthouse is closed today,
there is no reason for him to put on a suit.
Becky wears an oversized white cardigan.
It's warm outside and humid because it's
been raining since the night before. Matt
mentions that she is always cold. I can
tell they are both sharp and quick witted.
As the conversation flows, I quickly learn
these two are easy to talk to and a joy to be
around.
I've talked to Matt before about
beekeeping and while most of our
interactions have been over the phone and
email, I discover the image I created of
him in my mind isn't that far off reality.
He is of slight built, with a short-cropped
haircut, and when he tells me he was in the
Marines I can't help but think, "Well, that
explains it." But this is my first interaction
with Becky. What surprises me the most
about her is that she is full of laughter. It's
hard for me to imagine her in a courtroom
dealing with divorces and angry clients.
She can't seem to be able to sit still and,
here in their office, she tugs at her cardigan
while she sits crossed-legged across the
table from me and laughs when I ask her to
tell me how they met.
She was working for the Public
Defender's office while Matt was a law
14 | Berks Barrister

Rebecca at Hilma Hooker
clerk for Judge Yatron. They became quick
friends, and now seeing them together
it's easy to see why. Matt takes his time
explaining things; he takes you through
the process and makes sure you understand
what he wants you to see. Becky is all
about facts, high points, and conclusions.
As our conversation moves towards their
scuba diving adventures, Matt takes his
time explaining to me the complexities of
their hobby while Becky interjects with
interesting facts and tidbits. This is how
they draw you in; together they paint a
pretty picture.
While Matt tries to explain to me the
ins and outs of scuba diving, Becky flips
through pictures on her phone and, every
so often, shows me one. "This is a spotted
eel," she says to me while casually adding,
"That's probably 60 or 70 feet deep." I
laugh nervously. The idea of being so deep
underwater is giving me palpitations, but
to Matt and Becky it is just another one of
their adventures.
They have been to the Virgin Islands,
the Bahamas, St. Martin, Antigua,
Barbuda, St. John, Turks and Caicos,
Bonaire... all over the Caribbean, and
with a bucket list of diving in Bermuda,
Honduras, Belize, the Great Barrier Reef,
Greece, and maybe even Iceland.
Matt notices that I'm slightly
uncomfortable with the idea of being
so deep underwater and says to me that
once you are down there you don't really
notice it. I'm still not buying it, but when
the conversation switches to the practice
of law I can see why they enjoy scuba


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The Barrister Fall 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Barrister Fall 2017

The Barrister Fall 2017 - 1
The Barrister Fall 2017 - 2
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