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About me

I am Board Certified in Criminal Law (since 2005) and Criminal Appellate Law (since 2012) by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization  and the National Board of Trial Advocates (since 2009).


I am licensed to practice before courts in the following jurisdictions:



U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit

U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court District of Maryland





- B.A. with Honors from University of Texas, 1989

-J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, 1992

-U.S. Marine Corps Reserve since 1989; earned Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal during active duty service (1993-1996) and Certificate of Commendation during active duty mobilization (February to August 2008); also entitled to wear Meritorious Service Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, National Defense Service Medal with gold star, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze hourglass, and Global War on Terror Service Medal



 -Shareholder at Zimmermann, Lavine, Zimmermann, & Sampson, P.C., Houston, Texas; practices primarily criminal defense and military law in state, federal, and military courts

 - Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve; certified as a Judge Advocate and a Military Judge

 - Formerly, on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps; served as Civil Law Officer, Review Officer, and Prosecutor



 -  Former Chair - Military Law Section, State Bar of Texas

 -  Vice-Chair - Military Law Committee, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

 -  Member - American Bar Association

 -  Member - Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

 -  Member - Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association

 -  Member - Houston Bar Association




- United States v. Michael Behenna, U.S. Army, represented on appeal active-duty Army officer convicted of murder of enemy insurgent in Iraq (2010-2012, Washington, D.C.)

 - United States v. Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum, U.S. Marine Corps, represented active-duty Marine charged in deaths of Iraqi civilians in Haditha; charges dismissed on eve of trial (2007-2008, Camp Pendleton, California)

 - Texas v. Angel Maturino Resendiz, represented “Railcar Killer” in proceedings to determine his competency to be executed for capital murder (2006, Houston, Texas)

 - Texas v. Clemente Bañuelos and United States v. Corporal Clemente Bañuelos, U.S. Marine Corps, represented active-duty Marine on anti-drug mission on U.S.-Mexican border who returned fire from a man on U.S. side, killing him; two State grand juries and federal civil rights grand jury refused to indict (1997-1998, Marfa and Pecos, Texas)

 - Texas v. Wanda Holloway, represented client given probation for solicitation of capital murder – so-called “Cheerleader Mom” case (1996-1997, Houston, Texas)





Colonel Terri R. Zimmermann graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government with honors in May 1989.  In August of that year, she signed a Platoon Leaders Class (Law) contract and left for Washington, D.C., where she attended Georgetown University Law Center.  During the summer between her first and second year of law school, she graduated from Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant.  The following summer, she served on active duty for 30 days as a trial counsel at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. After graduation from law school in May 1992, as a First Lieutenant, she passed the Maryland bar exam and worked at a local D.C. law firm until she entered The Basic School at Quantico in January 1993.  She graduated with Bravo Company in July 1993 and moved to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California.  After Naval Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island, she became the Civil Law and Review Officer at the Joint Law Center at El Toro.  She performed these duties for approximately one year, and after her promotion to Captain on 1 September 1994, she became a prosecutor.  She was a trial counsel until she began her terminal leave at the end of May 1996.


After leaving active duty, she returned to her hometown of Houston, Texas, where she began her civilian law practice as an associate at Zimmermann & Lavine, P.C. (now Zimmermann, Lavine, Zimmermann, & Sampson, P.C.).  She passed the Texas bar exam, and practices primarily criminal defense and military law in federal, state and military courts.  She remained in the Marine Corps Reserve and assumed the responsibilities of appellate defense counsel at the Navy and Marine Corps Appellate Review Activity as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee in August 1996.  She was promoted to Major in October 1999.  She transferred to the Individual Ready Reserve in August 2000 but continued to perform duties as appellate defense counsel.  She also completed special assignments for the Staff Judge Advocate, Mobilization Command and the Staff Judge Advocate, Marine Forces Reserve.  She re-joined the IMA in February 2005 and was still assigned to the Appellate Defense Division.  She was promoted to her current rank effective 1 October 2005.  In April 2006 she transferred to the Legal Mobilization Training Unit at the Marine Corps Mobilization Command in Kansas City, Missouri, and served as the Operations Officer of that unit until the end of 2007.


Col Zimmermann was mobilized and served on active duty from February to August 2008 as the Deputy Counsel to the Commanding Officer of the Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity at Camp Pendleton, California.  She earned a Certificate of Commendation for her service at MCTSSA.


Col Zimmermann is still active in the Marine Corps Reserve.  In May 2010, she was certified as a military judge and was assigned to the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, where she served as an Appellate Military Judge until May 2013.  She was promoted to her current rank effective 1 October 2012.  In May 2013, Col Zimmermann was selected to serve as the Branch Head, Judge Advocate Reserve Defense Services Branch.  She is the Reserve counterpart to the Chief Defense Counsel of the Marine Corps.


Col Zimmermann also is entitled to wear the Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal, the National Defense Service Medal with gold star, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze hourglass, and the Global War on Terror Service Medal.  She is married with two children and a black lab.


Practice areas


  1. Appeals: 40%
    19 years
  2. Military Law: 40%
    22 years
  3. Criminal Defense: 20%
    19 years


Payment types:

Cash, Check

Attorney endorsements

12 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Scott Russell Shinn

    Ms. Zimmermann and I worked together in the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel of the Marine Corps. Her litigation and leadership instincts are impeccable. She can not only do, she can teach as well - bringing her years of experience in the trial and appellate courts to younger counsel. I would work with her again in a heartbeat - you should too!


    Scott Shinn Military Law Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

  • John Hunter Smith

    I have had the opportunity to work with Terri on a committee, and I have been amazed at her abilities. Tremendous Lawyer. I endorse this lawyer.


    John Smith Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Zimmermann, Lavine & Zimmermann, PC

770 South Post Oak Lane Suite 620
Houston, TX, 77056


TXEligible To Practice In Texas 199601/09/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Super LawyerLaw & Politics2012
Super LawyerLaw & Politics2011
Super LawyerLaw & Politics2010
Super LawyerLaw & Politics2009
Certificate of CommendationUSMC2008
Armed Forces Reserve Medal with bronze hourglassUSMC2008
Rising Star (Outstanding Lawyer under 40)Law & Politics2007
Rising Star (Outstanding Lawyer under 40)Law & Politics2006
Rising Star (Outstanding Lawyer under 40)Law & Politics2005
Rising Star (Outstanding Lawyer under 40)Law & Politics2004
National Defense Service Medal with gold starUSMC2001
Selected Marine Corps Reserve MedalUSMC2000
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation MedalUSMC1996
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
ColonelUnited States Marine Corps Reserve1989 - Present
Judge Advocate, Active DutyUnited States Marine Corps1993 - 1996
Association namePosition nameDuration
State Bar of Texas, Military Law SectionFormer Chair2007 - 2008
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Harris County Criminal Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMemberN/A
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersVice Chair, Military Law CommitteeN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
United States v. Wilsonconviction and 20-year sentence reversed on appeal
United States v. Banuelos ("Border Shooting Case")No charges
United States v. TatumCharges dismissed
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Laws.comFrom the Marine Corps to the Courtroom, Prominent Texas Attorney: Terri Zimmermann - See more at:
Super Lawyers (from publishers of Texas Monthly Magazine)The Cheerleader's Mom Case and Other Tales2007
Legal Muscle: Anabolics in America, Legal Muscle Publishing, Inc.Contributing Author, Chapter Entitled, "Soldiers on Steroids" (with update in 2007)2002
Criminal Procedure in Practice published by NITAContributing Author, book entitled "Criminal Procedure in Practice"2001
The Trial Lawyer, Aspen Law & Business"Effective Witness Preparation"1998
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Georgetown University Law CenterLawJD - Juris Doctor1992
University of Texas System, AustinGovernmentBA - Bachelor of Arts, with honors1989
University of Maryland, College Park(Fall 1987 semester only)N/AN/A