After graduating from Washington State University in 1992, where he majored in accounting and business law, Monte attended Cornell Law School. After graduating with a Doctor of Law in 1995, Monte moved to Walla Walla where he began practicing in the areas of civil litigation (including personal injury), real estate, business, estate planning, and probate with Minnick Hayner. He joined Hess Law Office in 2001 where he practiced exclusively in the personal injury field. In 2006, he and Debi Toews opened their present office and continue to practice exclusively in the personal injury field.
Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1970, Monte has been an avid cyclist/triathlete for many years. He has periodically acted in plays at the Little Theater of Walla Walla and is formerly a member of the Little Theater board or directors. He is also a former member of the Walla Walla Downtown Foundation board of directors, as well as the organizing committee for the Tour of Walla Walla.
- Admitted to the Washington Bar in 1995;
- Admitted to Federal District Court, Eastern District of Washington in 1999;
- Admitted to the Oregon Bar in 2000; and
- Admitted to Oregon Federal District Court in 2001.
Washington State University, (Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude, 1992; Phi Kappa Phi; Beta Gamma Sigma) with majors in Accounting and Business Law; Cornell Law School, (Doctor of Law, Cum Laude, 1995; Recipient: American Jurisprudence Award in Civil Procedure).
- Eagle Member, Washington State Association for Justice;
- Oregon State Trial Lawyers Association;
- Washington State Bar Association;
- Oregon State Bar Association; and
- Walla Walla County Bar Association.
After graduating from Whitman College with a Bachelors Degree in English in 1976, Debi taught in a secondary school in Kenya, East Africa for two years. From 1988 through 1994 she taught English as a Second Language to adults at Walla Walla Community College.
Debi has worked, first as a paralegal, and now as an attorney, in personal injury law since 1994. She completed Washington State Law Clerk Program in 2002, then took and passed the Washington State Bar Examination in July of that year. Debi has practiced exclusively in the personal injury field since being sworn in as an attorney in November, 2002. On January 1, 2006, she co-founded Willis & Toews, PLLC, with Monte Willis.
Debi was a presenter on “Bicycles: Risks and Rights” on representing injured bicyclists and on bicycle law in Washington at a Continuing Legal Education seminar for other attorneys at the Washington Association for Justice “Transportation Torts” Seminar in September, 2008.
She has also testified in both the Washington State House and Senate Transportation Committees on bicycle and pedestrian safety issues. She is currently a member of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington and is a member of their Legislative Committee. A summary of bicycle laws can be found on their website here.
In 2006 Debi won a “Hometown Hero” award from the Blue Mountain Chapter of the American Red Cross for her work in Public Safety. In 2005, Debi won the Washington State Susie Stephens Award for Bicycle Advocacy on behalf of her successful efforts to get the Safe Passing Law passed in Washington state.
Debi is an avid cyclist, enjoys reading a wide variety of books, and is involved in both church and community activities as a volunteer.
Admitted to Washington Bar in 2002.
- Whitman College, B.A. English, 1976;
- Washington Law Clerk Program, 2002;
- Washington Association for Justice.
- Walla Walla County Bar Association.
Michelle is a legal assistant with Willis & Toews. Michelle graduated from Walla Walla University in 2010 with a B.A. in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Journalism & Public Relations. She has worked in the legal field for over a year.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, cooking, baking and spending time with family and friends.