View related topics

Tom L. Lewis

Tom L. Lewis

Of Counsel
Location:
Great Falls, Montana
Phone:
406-564-1743
866-630-8868
Fax:
406-761-5805
Email:

Tom Lewis is a former principal at Lewis, Slovak, Kovacich & Snipes, P.C. (now Kovacich Snipes, P.C.) He grew up in Escalon, California. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies, emphasis in economics, from Raymond College of the University of the Pacific in 1966. In 1967 he entered the U. S. Air Force and achieved the rank of Captain prior to his honorable discharge in 1972. Tom entered Gonzaga Law School in 1972 and graduated with honors with a Juris Doctor degree in 1975.

Upon graduation from law school 1975, Tom was admitted to the bar in both Washington and Montana and then became an associate of the law firm of Hoyt and Bottomly in Great Falls, Montana. He formed his own firm in 1979 and has been continuously involved in civil trial advocacy in private practice in Great Falls since 1975. He has been the senior member of Lewis, Slovak & Kovacich, P.C. since its inception.

Tom Lewis' practice has been exclusively limited to civil litigation on behalf of plaintiffs who have been injured or damaged by the fault of others. The firm's state-wide trial practice focuses on toxic tort, product liability, bad faith insurance claims, safe place to work, and environmental claims. Tom has handled many high profile cases that have advanced not only the causes of individual clients, but the rights of Montana workers, consumers, and landowners. He is a past president of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association. In both 2001 and 2008, he was honored as the Montana Trial Lawyers' Outstanding Appellate Advocate of the Year. In 2005, he was honored as the Montana Trial Lawyers' Trial Lawyer of the Year. In 2012, he received the Career Achievement Award from the Montana Trial Lawyers Association.  The awards resulted from outstanding results achieved in the courtroom and during appellate advocacy.

Tom is a Fellow of the American College Trial Lawyers. He is a Montana charter member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is a sustaining member of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association of Justice. He is a frequent lecturer at the University of Montana Law School and legal seminars. He has presented at the MTLA Seminar of the Masters and has served as a faculty member at the MTLA Trial Academy for younger lawyers.

Tom has been annually listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1987, and is currently listed in that publication as a best lawyer in the following categories: Bet-The-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury, and Workers Compensation. He is further recognized by Mountain States Super Lawyers as one of the Top 75 lawyers in the Mountain States Region. Tom and the firm of Lewis, Slovak & Kovacich, P.C., have received the highest available ethical and legal score rating (AV) as compiled by Martindale Hubbell based upon the ratings of fellow attorneys and judges. He is admitted to practice before all Montana Courts, the U.S. District Courts in Montana, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, wherein he has successfully represented numerous clients in toxic tort, environmental remediation, safe place to work, product liability, and insurance bad faith claims.

Tom has secured many of the largest verdicts, judgments, and recoveries in Montana history for his clients. A number of the his firm's cases have generated national attention. The $41.2 million verdict achieved in Sunburst v. Texaco, was recognized by Verdict Search Top 100 of 2004. Other cases have been featured in the New York Times and other national publications. He was appointed as a Special Assistant Attorney General to represent the State of Montana in the tobacco litigation suit that resulted in an $800 million settlement on behalf of the State of Montana. Other notable jury awards, judgments, and appellate results can be found at the Verdicts, Judgments & Settlements link.

Tom is an avid supporter of youth enrichment and athletic activities in Montana. He has served on the board of directors of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Great Falls. He has served as field Manager and as President of the Great Falls Stallions American Legion Baseball Team.

He has served on the Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and is a recipient of the Wallace Pate Award, the highest award given by that foundation to honor extraordinary achievement for conservation of wildlife and its habitat. He is one of the 100 Regular Members of the Boone & Crockett Club. He has served as Chairman of the Board of the Torstenson Wildlife Center, a 125,000 acre ranch in New Mexico dedicated to wildlife habitat and range enhancement.

Tom and his wife, Debra, split time between their home in Great Falls and their ranch on the Marias River in Northern Montana. They have three children, Michael, Susan, and Anne. Tom spends much of his free time in the outdoors. He enjoys hunting, fishing, reading, and travel.

Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury - Plaintiff
  • 30% Toxic Torts
  • 20% Environmental Litigation
  • 20% Safe Place to Work Claims (including FELA)
  • 10% Product Liability
  • 10% Insurance Bad Faith
  • 10% Workers' Compensation

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Montana, 1975
  • Washington, 1975
  • U.S. District Court District of Montana, 1975
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1981

Education

  • Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington
    • J.D. - 1975
    • Honors: With Honors
  • University of the Pacific, Stockton, California
    • B.A. - 1966

Representative Clients

  • Citizens of North Havre
  • Citizens of Sunburst
  • Brad Skramstad
  • Ann Bustell
  • Brian Musselman
  • Jeremy Parsons
  • Mary Derks
  • Ron Huston
  • Jerrold G. Cooley
  • Sun River Co-Op
  • Russell Gibby
  • Libby Mine Claimants

References

  • Mountain West Bank, Great Falls, Montana
  • Hamilton Misfeldt & Company, Great Falls, Montana
  • US Bank, Fargo, North Dakota
  • Entech, Great Falls, Montana

Classes/Seminars

  • Instructor, MTLA Trial Academy, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, 2005
  • Remedies in Toxic Tort Litigation, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, 2000
  • Safe Place to Work Litigation, Montana Defense Trial Lawyers, 1999
  • The Masters in Trial - Examination of Adverse Witnesses, American Board of Trial Advocates, 1996
  • Do's and Don'ts of Cross-Examination, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, 1994
  • Workers' Compensation Appellate Procedure, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, 1992
  • Trying the Case, Montana Trial Lawyers Association, 1989
  • Tort Law Up-Date, State Bar of Montana, 1988
  • Extra Contractual Damages Actions in Lender Liability Cases, Montana Banking Association, 1983

Honors and Awards

  • The Best Lawyers In America, 1987 - 2011
  • Montana Trial Lawyers' Outstanding Appellate Advocate, 2001
  • Montana Trial Lawyers' Trial Lawyer of the Year, 2005
  • Montana Trial Lawyers' Outstanding Appellate Advocate, 2008
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
  • Mountain States Super Lawyers, 2007 - 2012
  • MTLA Career Achievement Award

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of Montana, Member, 1975 - Present
  • Washington State Bar Association, Member, 1975 - Present
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2005 - Present
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Montana Charter Member
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association, Sustaining Member, 1975 - Present
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association, Member, Board of Directors, 1981
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association, Secretary/Treasurer, 1983 - 1984
  • Montana Trial Lawyers Association, President, 1985 - 1986
  • American Association of Justice, Sustaining Member, 1975 - Present
  • Cascade County Bar Association, Member, 1975 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Hoyt & Bottomly, Associate, 1975 - 1976
  • Hoyt & Lewis, Partner, 1977 - 1978
  • Hoyt, Trieweiler, Lewis & Regnier, Partner, 1978 - 1979
  • Regnier & Lewis, P.C., Partner, 1980 - 1983
  • Regnier, Lewis & Boland, P.C., Partner, 1983 - 1991
  • Tom L. Lewis, P.C., Owner, 1991 - 1995
  • Lewis, Huppert & Slovak, P.C., Partner, 1995 - 2002
  • Lewis & Slovak, P.C., Partner, 2003 - 2004

Languages

  • English