Bretta Z. Lewis's Photo

Bretta Z. Lewis, Attorney at Law

Bretta Z. Lewis specializes in Domestic Litigation, including contested and uncontested divorce matters involving corporate interests, division of complex marital estates, and valuation of all types of businesses for equitable distribution and support purposes. Ms. Lewis has extensive experience trying custody and visitation cases in Juvenile and Circuit Court, and has handled a wide range of matters including both traditional and non-traditional family structures such as grandparent custody and visitation matters, same sex family issues, and step-parent or other third party cases.

In addition to representing adult clients dealing with complex family issues, Ms. Lewis has been certified as a Guardian Ad Litem for children since 2005, representing children in Juvenile and Circuit Court, and the Court of Appeals. She also has two decades of experience representing adolescent and adult defendants in civil, criminal and administrative proceedings related to domestic violence, family abuse, and child behavioral issues at school, home, or in the community. Ms. Lewis has extensive experience representing clients in proceedings involving Child Protective Services, and has a unique basis of knowledge and expertise in matters involving children and adults with special needs such as physical or cognitive disabilities, mental health issues, substance abuse issues and other challenges that may impact the outcome of civil and/or criminal litigation, mediation, or other proceedings.

Ms. Lewis holds an undergraduate degree in History from The University of Virginia, a Master’s Degree in English from George Mason University, and received her J.D. from the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. She was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 2000 and began her litigation practice as an associate at a prestigious Norfolk law firm, where she gained years of experience in general civil litigation, including corporate matters, administrative hearings, bench and jury trials, and complex equitable distribution cases.  In 2003, with the birth of her first child, Ms. Lewis narrowed her focus to child-centered family law matters and opened a boutique law firm with her mother, a former Juvenile Public Defender. Ms. Lewis gained her certification from the Supreme Court as a Guardian Ad Litem for children in 2005 and was certified by the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission for misdemeanor and felony criminal cases shortly thereafter.

In 2002, Ms. Lewis was nominated by her peers and selected to serve as a member of the Virginia State Bar Second District Disciplinary Committee, where she served as Secretary. She was appointed in 2013 by the Virginia Supreme Court to the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board, on which she served regularly until the end of her second term in 2019, and continues to serve as an immediate past member. With the 2019 retirement of her mother and partner, Ms. Lewis has returned to a larger firm practice, joining Wolcott Rivers Gates to share her expertise and extensive trial experience with a wider range of private sector clients.

Ms. Lewis is a frequent lecturer and faculty member for multiple bar and professional organizations, authoring and teaching seminars on ethics and professionalism, as well as advanced family law topics. She was selected in 2018 to serve as a faculty member of the Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course required of all new members of the Virginia State Bar. Ms. Lewis also serves as an adjunct professor at William and Mary Law School, where she teaches legal skills to first year law students.

In addition to raising three children with her husband of more than 20 years, Ms. Lewis is active in the community, serving as legal counsel for and Board Member of Team Hoyt Virginia Beach, a local charity that assists children and adults with special needs by facilitating their participation in road races and other athletic events. Through this charity, she has pushed her younger brother, an adult with special needs, in countless road races ranging from 5Ks to half marathons. She also serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum, as well as co-chair of the Virginia Beach Bar Association/Juvenile and Domestic Court Liaison Committee.

Bar Admissions
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Supreme Court
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
Education
  • Marshall Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
    J.D. – 2000
  • George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
    M.A. - 1996
  • University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia
    B.A. - 1994
  • Norfolk Academy, Norfolk Virginia
    1990 Graduate
  • Adjunct Professor - Marshall Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary
  • Faculty Member - Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course 2018- present
  • Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board – July 1, 2013 – July 1, 2019 (Current Past Member) Virginia State Bar District II Disciplinary Committee - July 1, 2002 - June 30, 2008 (Secretary)
  • Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court/Virginia Beach Bar Association Liaison Committee – 2013 – present, Vice Chair 2018 – present
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  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Virginia Beach Bar Association
  • Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Legal Counsel, officer and board member – Team Hoyt Virginia Beach
  • Vice President, Board of Directors - Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum
  • Adjunct Professor - Marshall Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary
  • Faculty Member - Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course 2018- present
  • Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board – July 1, 2013 – July 1, 2019 (Current Past Member) Virginia State Bar District II Disciplinary Committee - July 1, 2002 - June 30, 2008 (Secretary)
  • Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court/Virginia Beach Bar Association Liaison Committee – 2013 – present, Vice Chair 2018 – present
  • View More
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Virginia Beach Bar Association
  • Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Legal Counsel, officer and board member – Team Hoyt Virginia Beach
  • Vice President, Board of Directors - Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum