Terry Ney, Former McGuireWoods Partner, Fairfax County Judge, Dies

November 24, 2014

Terry Ney, a McGuireWoods partner for more than 11years before his appointment as a judge on the Fairfax County Circuit Court, died Monday after a long and heroic battle with leukemia. He was 70.

“A great man is gone,” McGuireWoods Chairman Richard Cullen said.

R. Terrence Ney was a civil litigator who specialized in appellate, real property and construction litigation during his tenure at McGuireWoods in the late 1980s and through the 1990s. He led the firm’s real property and construction litigation group at the time. Many of our young lawyers, including Melissa Glassman and Tom Farrell, were mentored by Judge Ney in our Alexandria and Tysons offices.

He was a partner in the firm of Boothe Prichard and Dudley, then the largest firm in northern Virginia, and came to McGuireWoods as part of the 1987 merger that created McGuire Woods Battle and Boothe.

In January 1999, Gov. James S. Gilmore III appointed him to the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, Virginia’s largest trial court, and the General Assembly confirmed him a few weeks later.

In 2002, after the arrests of two suspects charged with sniper attacks in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia that killed 10 people and left three others wounded, Ney issued an order barring Fairfax County authorities from discussing the investigation, fearing publicity could damage the case. Both suspects – John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo – were convicted in the shootings, and Virginia executed Muhammad. Malvo is serving a life sentence in Virginia without the possibility of parole.

Ney also served as president of the Virginia Bar Association and served over the years in numerous leadership positions for both state and national bar organizations. He was also the editor of a treatise on appellate practice in Virginia and federal courts, serving as a chapter author for its first two editions. For several years, he was an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University, teaching a class in appellate practice and procedure.

He was a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Texas School of Law.

Ney never lost his affection for McGuireWoods or his appreciation for the learning and professional growth he achieved here.

“I was – and remain today – so very, very proud to have been a part of McGuireWoods. It is not only a wonderful and excellent law firm, but it is composed of so many wonderful and talented people, who became and will remain friends forever,” he said in an interview published in the February 2006 edition of McGuireWoods Matters.

Former colleagues remembered him Monday as an exemplary lawyer and jurist.

“An absolute gentleman with an unforgettable warm tone of voice, who had an extraordinary depth of knowledge of history and an uncompromising commitment to professionalism at the bar,” said Richmond partner Anne Marie Whittemore. “We were privileged to be his partner and friend.”