Craig Jennings Lavoie is a trial lawyer and litigation partner in Los Angeles who has been recognized as one of the leading litigators in America.
Mr. Lavoie is best known for his role as trial counsel for Vanessa Bryant in her landmark civil rights victory against the LA County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments for their improper photos of the victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant, Gianna Bryant, and seven others. Following Mr. Lavoie’s closing argument, which generated coverage by the New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg, People, Rolling Stone and the Los Angeles Times, among many others, the jury delivered a verdict in favor of Mrs. Bryant and awarded her and a co-plaintiff $30 million in damages for their emotional distress. Craig recieved the Daily Journal's California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award for his work on the matter.
Mr. Lavoie’s other significant representations include:
- The LA Clippers in litigation against the former owner of the Forum concert venue, Madison Square Garden Company, which challenged development of the Clippers’ new basketball arena in Inglewood, California.
- A group of lenders in litigation arising out of the General Motors bankruptcy and JPMorgan’s erroneous filing of a UCC termination purporting to cancel a lien securing a $1.5 billion loan.
Mr. Lavoie has served as a volunteer deputy for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, first-chairing five jury trials to verdict for criminal offenses including driving under the influence, hit and run, and domestic violence.
Before joining MTO, Mr. Lavoie clerked for the Honorable Michelle Friedland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Lavoie received his J.D. from Stanford Law School, where he and a teammate won the school’s annual moot court competition and he received an individual honor for presenting the best oral argument in the final round. Mr. Lavoie also received the Judge Thelton E. Henderson Prize in recognition of his outstanding work in Stanford’s Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, including his contributions to the petitioner’s merits briefing in Freeman v. Quicken Loans.
Prior to law school, Mr. Lavoie taught social studies and coached debate at W.E.B. DuBois High School in northeast Baltimore as part of the Teach For America program.