A former Chief Justice and founder of Justice Teaching, Justice Lewis was appointed to the Supreme Court of Florida on December 7, 1998, by the late Governor Lawton Chiles. While serving as Chief Justice, he founded Justice Teaching, an organization that now has over 4,000 volunteer lawyers and Judges placed with and active in Florida public schools, which enhances civic and law-related education through the active programs in all levels of Florida schools. In 2014, Justice Lewis received the prestigious Justice Sandra Day O'Connor national award for civic education recognizing his work with Justice Teaching as the top civic education program in the nation. As Chief Justice, he also convened the first commission and statewide all branch mental health summit which developed and proposed a unified and comprehensive plan to address the increasing needs with the intersection of mental illness and the justice system.
He also attempted to provide greater public access to justice for the disabled by mandating a survey and audit of all court facilities in Florida through a task force of professionals to identify and remove obstacles to facility access. While Chief Justice, Justice Lewis also instituted for the first time in Florida, a uniform high-level diversity training program for all Florida judges. Having a background in civil litigation and recognizing the need for better jury instructions in complex cases, he created and appointed the first Standard Jury Instruction Committee for Contract and Business Cases, a group that now finalized comprehensive jury instructions for these complex cases. Justice Lewis serves as liaison to both civil jury instruction groups.
Justice Lewis and his wife Judith attended Florida Southern College together and were married in 1969. They have two children, Elle and Lindsay.