Member Spotlight

Terry Driskill: Trained for Battle in the Courtroom

When Terry Driskill retired from the Army he decided to go to law school. Three years later, at age 46, he earned his J.D. from William & Mary Law School. The former Ranger (and FBI agent) was ready for battle in the Henrico County General District Court as a prosecutor.

One of his first assignments was a tough DUI case. As the new kid in town, “Everyone tried to kick my butt,” Terry remembers. He won that case and countless others, handling as many as 13 DUIs in one day. After serving his time as a prosecutor, he landed in the firm of Chucker & Reibach, seasoned traffic pros who knew a little something about legal marketing.

Terry learned the basics of running a firm, as well as the fundamental “You take care of the clients, and the clients will take care of you.” G. Barton Chucker and Robert Reibach went on to become General District Court judges, and Terry moved on to his own practice. He shares office space with three other attorneys (including his son-in-law) and concentrates on “small town” Hopewell and Prince George County.

His familiarity with the courts in these jurisdictions, as well as his military experience, are big selling points with his clients. No need to punch Hopewell into his GPS, like some big-firm lawyers from Richmond (who, Terry points out, often roll into court late and rarely get better results than the locals). He knows the judges, the clerks, and the cops. He’s defended so many traffic clients that when a potential client calls, he can predict the outcome based on the speed and driving record, though, as any good attorney will tell you, nothing is guaranteed.

Terry has been with CAMS since its start five years ago. Back then he covered six jurisdictions. He has since scaled back to two, and he appreciates the flexibility that CAMS has given him. “CAMS allows you to tailor your practice, “ Terry said during a recent visit to our office. “It helps keep the doors open and the lights on,” and gives him more time to devote to trying serious criminal cases. Terry is a court-appointed attorney for Hopewell, Petersburg, Colonial Heights, and Prince George County. Believe it or not, he says defending a client charged with murder is easier than defending someone charged with a DUI. “You have a body, and either your guy did it or he didn’t.” Things get more complicated in DUI defense.

Though he’s passionate about criminal defense, he enjoys the traffic side as well. One reason is that traffic clients are good people who happened to have a bad day. Criminal defendants tend to look upon Terry as part of the system and thus part of their problem—until he gets them a great result in court.

Terry recounts that one person who found himself in a bad traffic situation was the late Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court, Leroy Hassell Sr., who sat in Henrico GDC one morning waiting for his case to be heard. Apparently, the judge on the bench didn’t recognize who was in his courtroom, and—no surprise—the Chief Justice’s case was dismissed when his turn came. Fortunately for current traffic defendants and their lawyers, he had to wait half the day until his case was called. Soon thereafter Virginia’s GDCs had at least two dockets—one in the morning, and one in the afternoon. (If only all judges could experience what it’s like to be a “customer.”)
If you want to tailor your practice and gain more flexibility in your schedule—just like Terry did—call Teresa today at 1-844-BUY-CAMS.

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