We Mourn the Passing of Founding Partner Bruce J. Terris

Bruce J. Terris, the founding partner of Terris, Pravlik & Millian, LLP, died at his home on February 3, 2017.  He was 83.  After a career with the Solicitor General’s Office in the United States Department of Justice, Bruce began his own public interest law firm in 1970.  He was a hero of the environmental movement, representing environmental groups from Friends of the Earth, to Sierra Club, to the Hackensack Riverkeeper, among many others.   Bruce’s path-breaking work established important precedents in environmental law, including the standard for environmental standing in the Supreme Court’s decision in Friends of the Earth v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc. (TOC), 528 U.S. 167 (2000).  Bruce was also a leading litigator in civil rights cases, representing individuals and groups in class actions to enforce the Constitution and federal laws including Title VII, the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), the Medicaid Act, and the Fair Housing Act.  Bruce was admired by colleagues and opponents alike for his passionate belief in his cause, his brilliant oral advocacy skills, and his persuasive brief-writing.  Bruce believed in fairness and justice.  He dedicated his career to representing those who could not otherwise afford a lawyer to take on the powerful, be it the government or a large corporation.  We will miss his optimism, his wit, his wise counsel, his kindness, and his generous advice and mentoring of the lawyers at our firm.  The firm will continue to practice public interest law and, as was Bruce’s wish, will continue to be known as Terris, Pravlik & Millian, LLP. 

For more about Bruce's legal career, click here.  

Memorial contributions in honor of Bruce may be made to the World Wildlife Fund, the Sierra Club Foundation, or the Waterkeeper Alliance.

Michael Huang