Insight

An Interview With R. Lewis Van Blois

Oaklands' 2020 "Lawyer of the Year" honoree in Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs

An Interview With R. Lewis Van Blois
Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers

October 22, 2019 02:30 PM

One thing that has kept R. Lewis Van Blois going through almost 50 years of practicing high-stakes personal injury litigation is the reward of making a meaningful difference in his clients’ lives.

“When you see that someone’s life or some families’ lives have been disrupted or damaged terribly,” says Van Blois, “it is extremely rewarding to help them patch everything back together as best as possible so they can move forward even after a terrible tragedy.”

And as his record shows, Van Blois has had ample opportunity to try and right wrongs done to victims of negligence, accident victims, and survivors of victims of wrongful death. After earning an undergraduate degree at George Washington University, Van Blois worked in the U.S. Senate as a legislative assistant before earning his J.D. from the University of California Law School at Berkeley. Hundreds of cases later, beginning with smaller cases decades ago, Van Blois’s work has grown ever more complex and detailed, and he is always keen to stay on top of technology, law, and precedent.

“The challenge of these complex legal issues is that they’re always evolving and changing,” says Van Blois. “You need to read all the cases in your field, understand tactics and strategies in court rooms with regard to ability to present evidence and the medical developments.” Van Blois himself has dedicated a lot of time over the years to studying medical science—even studying human anatomy and cadavers so that he can clearly and sensitively present evidence regarding injury—determined to understand as best he can what happened to the victims in these cases or what they will face over the years ahead.

It is that diligence and dedication to clients that has served to earn Van Blois respect from judiciary, opposing counsel, and his clients alike—not to mention numerous winning verdicts and awards— against BMW, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai and other carmakers, against government entities for dangerous roads and against trucking companies for their negligence—as well as consistent accolades, including being Preeminent AV rated by Martindale Hubbell for nearly 40 years, voted Top Attorney in Northern California for seven years, named to Super Lawyers more than 10 years running, and ranked in the Top 100 National Trial Lawyers in the U.S. He has been certified as a Civil Trial Lawyer by the National Board of Trial Advocacy for over thirty-five years.

But as founder of the firm that he now heads, Van Blois is the first to state that success is a group effort. “We have a team with diverse legal and medical experience, which is a huge benefit for our clients,” he says. “We have or work with the most qualified lawyers for understanding medicine or technology, who can speak to the kind of cost and care people will face after an accident.”

Van Blois himself specializes in liability and dangerous conditions cases, trucking accidents, construction accidents, incidents where terrible things happen to workers and someone—or some company or place—needs to be held responsible for making the workplace safe.

And that drive to improve policy, to achieve change and avoid future incidents, and to help people through a difficult time and help them figure the best way to move forward—that’s what has kept Van Blois going for over half a century. And he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

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