Serving clients for over 25 years
The firm’s story began over 25 years ago in January 1989. Just months beforehand, Danny Goforth was a partner at a renowned Houston trial firm. He’d spent the earlier part of his legal career practicing at a major international firm and serving as a special assistant to the Texas Attorney General. And now he was trying top cases at a top firm. Following a series of major personal life changes, however, Danny was ready for a professional one. So was his associate, Carlene Lewis. Carlene was a rising superstar at the firm. After earning her bachelor’s degree from Harvard and her law degree from the University of Virginia, Carlene started her legal career in 1984. In short order, she and Danny became trial partners, handling some of the firm’s hardest trials—and winning. So in January 1989 they fittingly decided to become law partners. They launched Goforth Lewis LLP.
In the years that followed, the office space changed but not the performance that earned Goforth Lewis a name as an elite trial firm. Danny and Carlene and their team of lawyers represented businesses and people, as plaintiffs and defendants, in commercial and personal-injury cases.
Danny led the firm’s personal-injury defense practice—defending companies across America in cases where people alleged they were injured by defective products including tires, cranes, car seats, dryers, and insulated aerial equipment. He also headed the firm’s commercial practice—representing Houston-area car dealerships in business disputes and parties tangled in oil-and-gas cases involving well blowouts, royalties, and polluted property.
Carlene dedicated her practice to protecting the rights of consumers on the plaintiff’s side. For instance, when laxative manufacturers promoted a product to minors by misrepresenting how it can help them lose weight, she spearheaded a series of lawsuits that got them to disclose publicly their product’s true dangers. Carlene is also credited with starting the lawsuits against Merck and Co. Inc., for its dangerous pain medication Vioxx. Carlene’s fight got the drug removed from the market. And for those injured by Vioxx, Carlene had the honor of being appointed a member of the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee for the national Vioxx litigation and for litigation against other harmful drugs like Bextra and Celebrex. Because of Carlene’s service in safeguarding the public from these dangerous products, in 2006 the American Association for Justice awarded her the Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award.
Tragically that honor was bestowed to her posthumously. That year, Carlene lost her battle with cancer. She is survived by her husband and daughters and a law firm that each day tries to live up to the standard of excellence and professionalism that Carlene set as one of its founders.