Marilea W. Lewis lives and breathes family – not just her own but those of her clients. Tough and experienced, yet compassionate and approachable, she blends an impressive family law background with a client-friendly style, providing a winning combination for those she represents. Board Certified in Family Law, and with a background which includes nearly 25 years on the bench as an Associate Judge and a District Judge, she is also an accomplished mediator and arbitrator for both general and family practice, and is qualified to sit as a private judge or special judge.
Lewis is a partner with the boutique family law firm Duffee + Eitzen LLP“Family law is more than just divorce. Divorce is just one area of our practice,” Lewis says. Post-divorce modification, adoptions, premarital and post-marital agreements, and enforcement of divorce decrees and orders are routine.” She is also trained in collaborative law.
“The collaborative approach is a very successful model in many cases,” Lewis says, unfortunately, if it falls apart, then basically people start over, making it important to be well represented from the start. “
Texas is one of the few states that allows a jury trial in family law cases.. Lewis has seen jury trials from both sides of the bench. “Although jury trials are rare in family law, there are some cases that require what is referred to as ‘the collective wisdom’ of a jury. Trying a case to a jury is much more challenging because there are twelve people listening, not just one.
Whether the case is settled before trial, tried to the judge or tried to a jury, the Texas Family Code directs that the main priority and objective should be to determine the best interest of the children involved.
Lewis is a fifth-generation Texan who grew up in Waco. Earning both her undergraduate and her law degrees from Baylor University qualifies her as a “double bear.” Her friends say that she “bleeds green and gold.” During her seven years on campus, she served as a freshmen representative for Student Congress, participated in theater, pledged a sorority, and was a fraternity sweetheart! “I had a grand time!” she says.
She and her husband live in University Park and raised their twin son and daughter here. Both her children are HP grads and are now practicing attorneys.
Widely honored and respected as one of the best attorneys in Texas, Lewis has received numerous honors throughout her career; most recently, she was named one of D Magazine’s Best Lawyers in Dallas for 2021. She currently serves as co-chair of the State Bar of Texas Firearms Conference, and she will be moderating the CLE class this fall.
“During COVID, people’s emergencies did not stop; their family law needs did not stop.. We adapted to new technology so that we could continue to advocate for our clients. Representation of a client in a family law matter is not only a responsibility but also a privilege.”