Our Criminal Justice World was absolutely rocked today to learn of the sudden and unexpected passing of our friend and colleague, Jordan Lewis, at the age of 40.
I honestly don't even know where to begin with what I'm writing here because it seems so surreal to think that he's gone.
He was my friend, although many knew him far better than I did. He became a defense attorney in 2008 which was around the time I was wrapping up my career as a prosecutor, so I never dealt with him in an adversarial situation. I'm pretty sure that we first met around that time when we were both single and hanging out at Char Bar.
Back in those days, the younger lawyers came to hang out and hear war stories from the older lawyers. He was part of that group. He was an extremely nice guy. Fun to hang out with. He was very earnest about his approach to defending clients. He was very zealous with his ideals, but he wasn't naive about the way the System treated them. He was very obviously the attorney who did his homework and wanted to work hard to be the best at what he did.
In the next couple of years, I remarried and had a second child, so I didn't hang out with the old guard at the Char Bar anymore. I know Jordan got married and had two children, as well. I didn't see him out and about socially anymore, but I'd see him at the CJC regularly and we'd always stop and talk for a minute.
Jordan was always on the move in the profession. As I mentioned, he did his homework and he worked hard. He zeroed in on the laws and the procedures governing Driving While Intoxication offenses. He challenged accepted protocols and he made a name for himself. It seemed that in the blink of an eye, the rookie defense attorney that I met at Char was suddenly a highly respected authority in his field.
It would have been very easy for him to keep that knowledge to himself as a very profitable source of revenue, but it was important to Jordan to pay forward what he had learned. He was well known for being a constant resource for attorneys that had questions about anything -- from DWI to financial planning. He was somebody who was there to help others find their way in a tricky business that he had mastered. He gave speeches. He answered phone calls. He showed up in court when people needed help.
He was, without question, one of the Good Guys.
Facebook and the HCCLA Listserve have been filled today with heartbroken tributes to a good man who gave so much of himself to so many other people. Our hearts are heavy with grief for a young father and husband with so much professional talent. He was well-known and very loved by his CJC family and we are devastated for what his family is going through.
You will be missed, Jordan.