“…You can’t get good settlements unless you have good trial results”
Working with a Federal Court Judge in New Orleans while he was in college fueled Jeffrey Breit's interest in the law. A native of the Tidewater area, his father, brothers and even his wife have all been attorneys at one time or another. In 1988, he left the firm where his father had practiced and together with Jack Drescher started Breit, Drescher & Imprevento specializing in representing injured victims. As past president of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Jeffrey has been instrumental in persuading Virginia's General Assembly to raise the cap on damages plaintiffs may receive in medical malpractice suits. Throughout a successful career he has continued to work hard to improve the reputation of attorneys representing injured people. Jeffrey is an adjunct professor of law at William & Mary Law School. He has been characterized as tough, fair and honest.
What do you like about the law? I love helping people that otherwise wouldn't get the help. The law fuels my competitive nature. I've always thought of what we do in terms of David against Goliath. Each victory where we force large insurance companies to compensate an injured person reminds me why I love this profession.
On choosing a lawyer: I encourage people to do some research before they select an attorney. Find out who consistently gets the best results. I think you'll find we have a reputation for consistently large verdicts.
Are you generally looking to settle a case or do you like going to court? The thrill of trying a case is why we became lawyers. You can't get good settlements unless you have good trial results. The fear of going to trial against our firm is what defense attorneys face. We think our reputation earns us good settlements but when we can't settle the case we know how to win in court.
Most rewarding case: Virginia Power and Electric Company v. Dungee, 258 Va. 235 (1999), a $20 million verdict.
Most disappointing case: Carmen Daniels v. Basic Construction. We lost. It was very disappointing. I keep a reminder of that case on my desk so I won't ever forget.
How would you characterize Breit, Drescher & Imprevento? We're a firm of tough trial lawyers who like trying cases and get results. We're not too big, so you know who is handling your case and can be confident that it will be thoroughly prepared. Without lawyers to help the people that come to us, big business, corporations and insurance companies would take away all our rights.
Favorite book: Trinity by Leon Uris.
Favorite music: Eric Clapton, Wava, Santana and Jackson Browne.
Hobby: Playing with my four children, otherwise...tennis and surfing.
What people are saying about Jeffrey Breit: "He personally met with legislators for months, helping them to understand the need to raise the medical malpractice cap, which had been frozen for 17 years. That was a major triumph. He's driven to be the best and has had far-reaching accomplishments that will be felt for years to come." Jack Harris, Executive Director of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.
- Tulane University of Louisiana (B.A.), 1977
- Tulane University of Louisiana (J.D.), 1979
Professional Honors & Activities:
- William & Mary's St. George Tucker Adjunct Professorship Award Recipient, 2008
- Adjunct Professor of Law, William & Mary Law School
- Voting Member of the GRAMMY Awards
- Fellow, National College of Advocacy, ATLA
- Listed, Best Lawyers in America
- Listed, Who's Who in American Law
- Listed, SuperLawyers Magazine - One of the Top 10 Lawyers in Virginia 2006
- Listed, SuperLawyers Magazine - One of the Top 50 Lawyers in Virginia 2007
- Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (Member, Board of Governors, 1983-1993 and President, 1998-1999)
- Member of Virginia, North Carolina, Louisiana, New York, and District of Columbia Bar Associations
- Member of American Bar Association
- Member of Virginia Beach and Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Associations
- Member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States
- The Association of Trial Lawyers of America (Member, Board of Governors, 1988- present)
- Member, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Member, North Carolina Trial Lawyers Association
- President, Operation Smile, 1986-1988
- Member of the Board of Editors, Maritime Law Reporter, Butterworth, 1986-1988
Presentations & Speeches:
- Author, "Technology in the Courtroom", North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, Raleigh, NC, October 10, 2008
- Panel Discussions: "Having the Plaintiff at Trial" and "Effective Witnesses the Defense Does Not Anticipate", Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Brain Injury Retreat, Richmond, VA, September 27, 2008
- Author, “Opening Statements”, Virginia Trial Lawyers - Virginia College of Trial Advocacy, Williamsburg, VA, May, 2008
- Lecture on Focus Groups in Brain Injury Cases, Brain Injury Association of America Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV, April, 2008
- Author, “Tort Law Update”, Virginia Trial Lawyers Annual Convention, The Homestead, March, 2008
- Author, "Use of Demonstrative Evidence for Direct and Cross Examination:Entertaining Story With Pictures and Words", Kentucky Justice Association Annual Convention, Lexington, KY, September 27, 2007
- Author, "Use of Demonstrative Evidence for Direct and Cross Examination: Entertaining Story With Pictures and Words," North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers, Sunset Beach, NC, June 16, 2007
- Author, "Opening Statements," Virginia Trial Lawyers Annual Convention, April 2006
- Author, "Enhancing Damages by Proving a Defendant's Bad Conduct," ATLA Annual Convention, Toronto, July 2005
- Author, "The Things They Didn't Teach You in Law School," ATLA Annual Convention, Toronto, July 2005
- Author, "Damages in Opening Statement," New Approaches to Damages Seminar, ATLA, New Orleans, LA, October 2004
- Author, "Tips to Motivate a Jury in a Traumatic Brain Injury Case," VTLA Brain Injury Retreat, Richmond, VA, October 2004
- Author, "Dealing with Defenses," NABIS Annual Conference, Vail, CO, September 2004
- Author, "Improving the Jury Using Juror Questions," ATLA Annual Convention, July 2004
- Author, "Conflict Between Attorney and Client on Settlement v. Trial," Virginia Trial Lawyers Annual Convention, April 2004
- Author, "The Wired Courtroom," Virginia Bar Association, January 2004
- Author, "Supreme Court Update, 2003," VTLA Annual Convention, 2003
- Author, "Using the Jury's Imagination to Maximize Damages," New Jersey Trial Lawyers Annual Convention, April 2003
- Author, "Responding to Difficult Courtroom Situations: Ethical Considerations," "Direct Examination," "Closing Argument," ATLA NCA Trial Advocacy College, Harvard Law School, March 1999
- Author, "Deflating Defense Counsel's Arguments at Voir Dire," Association of Trial Lawyers of America, July 1999
- Author, "Negligent Hiring and Retention in Violent Crime Cases," ATLA NCA Premises Liability Seminar, Phoenix, AZ, Februar