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Plunkett Cooney mourns passing of partner Kenneth L. Lewis

08.16.2013

On Saturday, July 27, Plunkett Cooney lost an exceptional attorney, colleague, leader and friend when partner Kenneth L. Lewis lost his long battle with cancer. He was 63.

A memorial service for Ken will be held on Thursday, Aug. 22, at 10 a.m. at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit. The chapel is located at 7707 W. Outer Drive. Lewis leaves behind his loving wife, Linda, and their sons Bradford and Myles and daughter Zuri.

“Ken was one of the world's great people. He was an exceptional attorney, and he loved the firm,” said Plunkett Cooney President & CEO Henry B. Cooney. “Ken mentored many young attorneys, and he served in several leadership roles over the years. It is not an understatement to say that he helped set the future direction of our firm.”

Lewis joined Plunkett Cooney in 1993 as a member of the Detroit office. A tenacious advocate for his clients, Ken became a shareholder five years later, serving as a member of Plunkett Cooney’s Board of Directors for several years and chairing the firm’s Diversity Committee, which he helped create in 2002. He focused his practice in the areas of municipal liability, education law and commercial liability.

“Ken was a person of optimism, enthusiasm, humor and loyalty,” said long-time friend and colleague Anthony J. Rusciano, former chair of Plunkett Cooney’s Board of Directors and current Diversity Committee Chair. “Ken embodied our core values of excellence, service, family and integrity. It was uplifting to be around him.” 

Admitted to practice law in 1976, Lewis built a solid reputation in the local legal community through courtroom victories and strong client advocacy. He successfully defended numerous Michigan municipalities in matters involving labor, employment and municipal liability. Lewis tried over 175 adversarial proceedings, including jury trials, bench trials, labor arbitrations, disciplinary trial boards, administrative hearings and regulatory hearings!

Lewis held leadership positions in various legal organizations, including the State Bar of Michigan (Law Practice Management Section, Past Chair), the National Bar Association (Board of Governors), the Conference of Black Lawyers, the Wolverine Bar Association (Past President), the Detroit Metropolitan Police Academy and Institute for Continuing Legal Education (Law Instructor) and the Attorney Discipline Board (Chair).

Prior to joining the firm, Lewis worked for many years as a member of the Wayne County Corporate Counsel’s Office and in the City of Detroit Law Department. He was passionate about the City of Detroit, assisting numerous community groups and organizations over the years, including City Connect Detroit and Cornerstone Schools.

Lewis received his law degree from Catholic University of America in 1975 and his undergraduate degree from Morgan State University in 1972. One of the world’s leading legal industry peer reviewing rating services, Martindale-Hubbell, awarded Lewis its highest rating-AV Preeminent™ for quality and service. Crain’s Detroit Business also honored Lewis in 1998 as one of the most influential black leaders in Metropolitan Detroit’s legal community.

For more information about Kenneth L. Lewis, contact the firm’s Practice Development Manager John Cornwell at (248) 901-4008; jcornwell@plunkettcooney.com.

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