Great Falls Office
21 3rd St. North Suite 301
Great Falls, MT 59401
(406) 761-5595

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Tom L. Lewis

Of Counsel, Odegaard Kovacich Snipes, PC

With multiple office locations across Montana, Odegaard Kovacich Snipes has experience serving clients throughout the state.

Tom Lewis is a former principal at Lewis, Slovak, Kovacich Snipes Johnson, P.C. (now Odegaard Kovacich Snipes) He grew up in Escalon, California. He received a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies with an 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. 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.

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 young 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. 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 his firm's cases have generated national attention. The $41.2 million verdict achieved in Sunburst v. Texaco, was recognized by VerdictSearch 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.

Education

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

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

Bar Admissions

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

Litgitation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

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

Over $500 Million Recovered for Our Clients

Giving it all it takes to maximize our client’s recovery. Read our case results to see how we’ve recovered millions for injury victims. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, turn to a firm with a history of success.

$41,200,000
Jury Verdict for Environmental Contamination

The firm represented several property owners in Sunburst, Montana, against Texaco for causing large scale pollution in the community as a result of historic refinery operations. After a month-long tr...

$36,000,000
Soil and Groundwater Contamination

We represented the City of Livingston and over 100 property owners against the railroad for causing soil and groundwater pollution in Livingston during historic railroad operations. After two weeks i...

$24,000,000
False Claims Act / Whistleblower Settlement

The largest False Claims Act recovery in Montana history. Representing a whistleblower CFO for a large Montana medical facility, Paul Odegaard acted co-counsel with lead counsel, Bryan Vroon, an Atlan...

$13,750,000
Traumatic Brain Injury

Our client suffered a severe traumatic brain injury when a faulty and improperly maintained parking barrier fell onto his head. After extensive litigation, including significant insurance coverage di...

Awards / Accolades