When Sheila Taormina‘s historic attempt to become the first woman to have qualified for the Olympics in three different sports hit a snag in May, she looked for a lawyer to help her deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee. Lucky for Taormina, who has competed in the Olympics three times before, a Texas attorney who happened to be an old friend looked for her, too.

“I was working on a Sunday, and my homepage on my computer is ESPN.com. They did a front page story about her,” says Scott DeWolf, a partner in the Plano office of Rochelle, Hutcheson & McCullough. “There was a controversy about her selection. I … knew of her coach, Lew Kidder. I e-mailed him and said, ‘It looks like Sheila may need some help. Have her call me.’”