Lewis Remele received Minnesota Lawyers' Outstanding Service to the Profession Award. He is the perfect recipient of this prestigious award.
Lewis A. Remele, Jr. (“Lew”) graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1970 and received his J.D. cum laude from Creighton University in 1975. He was a law clerk for The Honorable Miles W. Lord at the United States District Court, District of Minnesota, from 1975 to 1977. He spent one year at Simonson & Bartsh before joining Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel where he tried a lot of cases. In 1989, Lew joined Bassford Remele (at the time it was named Bassford, Heckt, Lockhart, Truesdell & Briggs, P.A.; it was renamed in 2003), where he continues to practice.
Lew is regarded as one of the leading lawyers in Minnesota, and has been the top vote-getter in the annual Minnesota Super Lawyers list 17 times (2001-2005, 2008-2009, 2011- 2014, 2016, and 2018-2022). He was named as the 2019 Minneapolis Arbitration Lawyer of the Year, 2009 and 2013 Minneapolis Bet-the-Company Litigator of the Year, and 2012 Legal Malpractice Law–Defendants Lawyer of the Year by The Best Lawyers in America. He is listed in Benchmark Litigation, has been included in “200 Minnesotans You Should Know,” by Twin Cities Business, and is recognized by the international research firm Chambers & Partners as a top business litigator. In addition, he is included in the Minnesota Lawyer Circle of Excellence for being selected as an Attorney of the Year in 2007, 2011 and 2017.
Lew is a highly accomplished trial lawyer who for more than four decades has successfully tried, mediated, and arbitrated high-stakes matters and argued appeals in conference rooms and courtrooms across the nation. He is regularly sought out by businesses of all sizes, courts, and other organizations to resolve extremely complex disputes. Lew was court-appointed co-lead counsel in a consolidated multidistrict litigation, representing more than 70,000 plaintiffs in a high-profile international trade disruption. During his career, he has represented insurance companies in personal injury and coverage cases. Lew has represented corporate clients in diverse commercial suits including employment, contracts, securities, professional and fiduciary claims, directors’ and officers’ liability, class actions, shareholder disputes, debtor/creditor, and antitrust. He has also represented clients in products liability matters, and trusts and estates litigation. Numerous times Lew has been appointed a Special Master in both state and federal courts, as settlement master, and as a master to assist the court in discovery and related issues.
Lew Remele believes in giving back to the profession. He is past president of both the Minnesota State and Hennepin County Bar Associations and the Academy of Court Appointed Special Masters. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, the Academy of International Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the Litigation Counsel of America. He also is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He served as a volunteer attorney for the Legal Advice Clinics, as well as on its Board of Directors. Lew also gives back to the community with service as a Board Member on Prodeo Academy (also leading a team of volunteer tutors) and Ed Allies.
Throughout his more than 30 years at Bassford Remele, Lew has been a mentor to many Bassford lawyers, as well as other attorneys through his involvement with the William Mitchell College of Law and other organizations.
- Lew Remele treats everyone fairly and with respect. He is a good person and his goodness tends to infect those around him, lifting up the professionalism of the whole group. Everyone wants to be on Lew’s team. He encourages, supports and teaches us all. Everyone wants Lew’s input on tough questions. He gets to the heart of the issue and the solution. He is creative, finds new ways of looking at things. Lew collaborates and the result is excellent work and work satisfaction.
- Lew has the almost unique ability to trust his partners and associates on major case defining decisions and work, then to fly in from 30,000 feet at the last moment, digest incredible amounts of material, and take what they created to the next level.
- The Bassford firm started a mentorship program in 1989. I was a first-year associate assigned to Lew Remele. He has been my official and unofficial mentor ever since. Lew mentors and leads by example, letting his own conduct speak volumes rather than telling people what to do. Over the past three decades, I’ve observed how he treats everyone with respect and dignity regardless of your place in the profession or society. He has an uncanny ability to connect with people almost immediately, which serves him well in the courtroom, and in life. As a lawyer, Lew knows the law and the legal arguments, but his real gift is the ability to take a complex set of facts and circumstances and synthesize it into a simple and compelling story that everyone can relate to. Kevin P. Hickey
- Lew has always shown by his actions how to be a zealous advocate for our clients, while conducting litigation with class, civility, and respect for all sides and the court. Christopher R. Morris
- I’ve had the pleasure of working with Lew for more than 10 years and participating in several trials with him. Over that time, he graciously gave his time to teach me everything about being a lawyer that you don’t learn in law school. From how to handle a witness, how to pick a jury, to how to effectively argue to a judge. But more importantly, Lew taught me about professionalism and civility. How to be gracious in victory and how to learn from your mistakes. I am forever grateful for each of the lessons that I’ve learned from Lew. Jeffrey R. Mulder
- Lew leads by example. I have learned from him to try and keep the big picture in mind and to try and treat everyone fairly. Not everybody does things the same way, and there are lots of ways to get to a good result. You have to find your own. Jeffrey D. Klobucar
- It’s impossible to list all the things I’ve learned from Lew, but a couple stand out above the rest. First, the importance of civility. Lew is walking proof that treating others with respect is not only the right thing to do, but also makes you a better lawyer. Second, the importance of perspective. No matter how big the case, or complicated the issue, Lew maintains an understanding of what is important and what needs to be done to be successful. Casey D. Marshall
- It has been the privilege of my professional career to be mentored by Lew Remele. Lew has taken every opportunity to teach me how to be a litigator. But beyond the nuts and bolts of how to litigate, Lew has taught me that the way in which you practice is as important as anything you do in a case. Lew litigates on the biggest stage while staying true to what he believes in. Lew has demonstrated to all of us that you don’t need to get dragged into mudslinging and name-calling, and that remaining steadfast but respectful will ultimately win the day. Aram V. Desteian
Leading Commercial Litigator, Chambers and Partners, 2003-2018
- He's been a lion of the litigation market for a very long time. If you asked anyone in town, 'Who's on your Mount Rushmore of big-time litigators?' he'd be on every list. Chambers USA 2021 ed.
- One of the most respected lawyers in town. Chambers USA 2020 ed.
- Commands great respect across the state; a lovely man and a superb lawyer; mention his name and everyone knows him; broad-ranging experience, spanning class actions and multidistrict cases, professional liability matters and high-stakes shareholder disputes; peers rate him as an exemplary lawyer and interviewees go on to highlight his strong reputation as a mediator. Chambers USA, 2018 ed.
- A good, solid litigator with lots of experience who is highly regarded for his leading commercial litigation practice; expertise in both tort and commercial matters is highly sought after by his loyal client following. Chambers USA, 2017 ed.
- A phenomenal trial lawyer and incredibly savvy mediator. Chambers USA, 2013 ed.
- Praised as a spectacular litigator who really knows his way around the courtroom and increasingly highly regarded as a mediator. Chambers USA, 2011 ed.
- Praised for his mastery of complex commercial litigation and his alternative dispute resolution skills, clients value his “great rapport with judges, juries and the broader legal community.” Chambers USA, 2010 ed.
- Handles a range of civil litigation matters and is known throughout the state as a standout lawyer, with many recent, high-profile victories. He is “a man with great interpersonal skills.” Chambers USA, 2009 ed.
- Stands out as a “star lawyer, not just within his firm but statewide. Chambers USA, 2008 ed.
- A terrific practitioner, the star of the firm; the best I have ever encountered anywhere in the country.” Chambers USA, 2007 ed.
- In a league of his own; bringing wisdom and practical experience to his trial practice, extremely comfortable on his feet and has a charming way of cross-examining; enjoys a reputation as the world’s nicest guy; has enormous skill in the communication of complicated ideas and can bring people together. Chambers USA, 2005 ed.
- An extremely smart and articulate trial lawyer with many years’ experience; outstanding people skills, extremely affable, with high integrity and great judgment. Key cases: representing the Minnesota Partnership for Action Against Tobacco in protecting funding worth $200 million, and advising the Metropolitan Council, the regional planning organization for the seven-county Twin Cities area, on a controversial element of the $600 million light rail transport system. Chambers USA, 2004 ed.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Whitmore commented, "Lew, we at Bassford Remele are fortunate to practice with you, and learn from you, and we congratulate you on this well-deserved honor. You are a true legend in the legal community."
Bassford Remele proudly serves as local and national counsel for many major corporations and Fortune 500 Companies and is a go-to litigation firm representing local, national, and international clients in state and federal courts across the region.
Bassford Remele | February 20, 2023