VIRGINIA LOSES AN APPELLATE PIONEER
[Posted November 24, 2014] Virginia Lawyers Weekly is reporting the death of Fairfax Circuit Court Judge R. Terrence Ney today. Before he was Judge Ney, Terry Ney was an outstanding appellate lawyer. If you own a copy of the Virginia CLE book, Appellate Practice – Virginia and Federal Courts, you have a wonderful example of his expertise in our field; he’s listed as the editor of the Fifth Edition, which rests comfortably on the small bookcase that is always within easy reach of my office chair.
Judge Ney served as a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at George MasonUniversity’s School of Law, where he taught, naturally enough, Appellate Practice and Procedure.
Ten years ago, when I set out to create a purely appellate practice, there was no appellate bar in Virginia. There were no established appellate practices on which I could pattern my efforts. I kept hearing that there was this guy up in northern Virginia named Terry Ney who had been a terrific appellate lawyer, but he had been made a judge a few years earlier – he was elevated to the Fairfax Circuit bench in 1999 – so that avenue was closed. That left me to feel my way around in the dark for a while.
I’ll always regret that I never got the chance to sit down with Judge Ney to get his take on the development of the appellate bar, and on how things nowadays differ from how they were when he led an uncrowded field. He was a real pioneer for the several dozen of us who are now grateful that we’ve been able to follow in his footsteps.