Known as a polo enthusiast who was detail-oriented and loved to spend time with friends, Connecticut attorney Richard Terbrusch, who died in a New York plane crash on Oct. 13, was 53 years old.
An attorney based out of Stamford and Danbury, Terbrusch, a family law and divorce lawyer, was best known in recent years for representing “Southern Charm” star Thomas Ravenel following the reality TV star’s arrest. Ravenel, who was accused of sexually assaulting his children’s former nanny, has denied the charges.
Terbrusch was hired as a support enforcement officer for the Connecticut judicial branch in 1991 and ended his 16-year run with the branch in 2007 as a research attorney. The Ridgefield resident later went on to open his own practice, where he was the principal attorney, focusing on matrimonial law, probate and bankruptcy. According to court records, he handled 75 bankruptcy cases for clients.
One of Terbrusch’s closest friends from the late 1990s through 2005 was Paul Bourdoulous, who was recently promoted to director of Support Enforcement Services for the state’s judicial branch. Bourdoulous worked in the New Britain branch in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Terbrusch was the supervising support enforcement officer for the Connecticut Family Magistrate Court based out of Hartford.
In addition to working in similar roles, the two men got to know each other when they went to law school together for four years at night. They both graduated from the Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2004.
At work, Terbrusch was professional, organized and detail-oriented, Bourdoulous told the Connecticut Law Tribune Tuesday.
“He was someone who really embraced technology very early,” Bourdoulous said. “He was one of the first [in the judicial branch] to use spreadsheets and to access databases to manage child-support work.”
Bourdoulous and Terbrusch would often socialize at restaurants and school functions. Both also worked as associate editor of the Quinnipiac Law Review. At law school, Terbrusch was a “rule follower, without a doubt,” Bourdoulous said. ”He did not bend them and he did not break them. He could recite the rules in things like employment practices or the DMV [Department of Motor Vehicles].”
Terbrusch, Bourdoulous noted, “definitely had a sense of humor. He liked to relax and enjoyed the time he had with his other friends in law school.” Terbrusch and Bourdoulous were both fly fisherman and would often enjoy the hobby together on the Farmington River. The friendship between the two men extended to their spouses. Bourdoulous and his wife Kristie would often socialize with Terbrusch and his wife Susan. The Terbrusches were in the middle of a divorce when the attorney died in the plane crash, along with his girlfriend and the pilot.
Terbrusch also had a deep passion for polo, Bourdoulous said.
“His hobby grew with polo while mine grew elsewhere,” said Bourdoulous, who added he had not seen his friend in several years.
Danbury Probate Court Judge Dianne Yamin said she knew Terbrusch professionally for the past eight to 10 years, when he served on a panel of court-appointed attorneys and worked as a conservator.
“He was always willing to take an assignment, always willing to help or serve the court.” Yamin said. “He was always very pleasant and courteous. When someone you know dies so young and unexpectedly. it drives the point home that life is too short.”