|By Jay Weaver, The Miami Herald|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Tew, known as "Tom" to everyone, started his legal career in a tiny
Dozens of attorneys, judges, friends, and family members visited the 73-year-old lawyer at the
"It was beautiful because he could hear everything," his daughter,
"He was one of the most respected attorneys in
"But he was more than just a wonderful lawyer, he was a wonderful person. He treated everyone the same, no matter who they were."
Tew, born in
While their father worked as an insurance salesman, their mother took a job as a secretary at the
He was accepted at
When he left, Tew joined one of
"Tom liked to be his own boss," said
He also specialized in securities law, representing flamboyant entrepreneurs involved in two of
Tew also served as the bankruptcy trustee in the high-profile
After working as partners with some of
For his part, Cardenas was a mover and shaker in government circles, from
Cardenas described Tew as a "true friend" whom he had known for a decade before they formed the law firm together. He said that, even after he was diagnosed with cancer last year, his idea of slowing down was to come into the office every day. "His first love was practicing law," Cardenas said.
Newspaper and TV reporters often sought out Tew's comments for stories because of his legal expertise and ability to explain complex financial matters in layman's terms.
In recent years, Tew, an avid golfer, turned his attention to boxing. He renovated a row of storefront buildings on
Tew, a UM football booster, helped establish the university's boxing club and provided his gym as a place for boxers to train.
Tew's brother, Jeffrey, said that Tom liked to give back to the community but in his own private way, one person at a time. He recalled the day his older brother received a letter from a
He said Tom had met her when she was working as a waitress and was struck by her drive to further her education. He volunteered to help pay her college and medical-school tuition.
"He was a no-nonsense guy in the business world, but was very soft-hearted with people who needed help and wanted to get ahead,"
Tew is predeceased by his father,
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