Our founding partner and managing attorney, Mike Lewis, is celebrating 50 years of service as a personal injury lawyer, and we at Lewis & Keller would like to thank him for bringing us together and leading us to a successful, meaningful future. Without his compassion, hard work, and determination, our lives and the lives of our clients would not be the same.
Continue reading for a special message from Attorney Mike Lewis himself.
An Influential Beginning in Law
The son of a Moravian minister, I was taught early and often about the importance of helping people. I attended Wake Forest University where I was fortunate to have several fraternity brothers who steered me towards law school. All of them became successful lawyers, but the most influential was Woody Tilley, now on the bench in the Middle District.
I had the privilege of being interviewed for law school at Wake Forest by the incomparable Dean Weathers and managed to gain his approval. After I was officially sworn in to the practice of law on September 3, 1970, I landed at the great firm of White and Crumpler and was lucky to have fantastic mentors through the early years of my practice.
The firm was a general practice, with an emphasis on litigation, representing plaintiffs, accused criminals, and aggrieved spouses. Not only was I able to try cases in district and superior court, as well as federal court, I handled more than 70 appeals in my first 7 years of practice. It was always a thrill to appear for oral arguments, and several of the cases resulted in landmark decisions. I will always be grateful to Jim White, Fred Crumpler, and Bill Pfefferkorn for all their guidance and advice.
Passion Brought Us Here
I left the firm in 1977 to become a partner in a two-man firm. By 1982, after handling a monumental domestic case, I decided to focus on litigating personal injury claims. I was able to obtain record verdicts in several counties. Since that time, I have been privileged to represent thousands of injured people, always striving to do so with integrity and compassion.
“My proudest moment occurs every time I am able to help someone be treated fairly and justly in regard to their claim.”
It has been gratifying to be designated “AV” by Martindale years ago, to be recognized repeatedly by both Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers for my work in Personal Injury and Eminent Domain, and to serve as President of the North Carolina Western Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates. I have greatly enjoyed my work over the years with many Wake Forest students who have served as law clerks. It has been a privilege to work with my partner, Lea Keller, who joined the firm in 2010.
A Life Worth Sharing & Looking Forward
I have been married to the love of my life, Kathy, for more than 51 years. Nothing I have ever accomplished would have happened without her support. We have traveled the world together; played lots of tennis, culminating in our USTA Southern 50s Mixed Doubles crown; learned ballroom dance, and lived a very blessed life together.
I still love the practice of law, in spite of all the new obstacles for those facing personal injury cases. I would like to continue for years ahead. My prediction is the practice will continue to undergo significant changes in the next few years as a result of the pandemic. My hope is the legislature and courts will lift some of the harsh limitations N.C. plaintiffs now face in trying to get fair treatment. More importantly, I hope reverence for the truth and the rule of law will be restored in our great country soon.