Craig Jennings Lavoie

Craig Jennings Lavoie

Craig Jennings Lavoie is a trial lawyer and litigation partner who has been recognized by Lawdragon as one of the 500 leading litigators in America, by Law360 as a rising star in sports law, and by the Daily Journal as a top lawyer under 40.

Mr. Lavoie served 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 received 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:

  • Lead counsel for Berkshire Hathaway in a billion-dollar dispute with Pilot Corporation regarding the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain. Two days before trial was set to begin in Delaware Chancery Court, the parties reached a settlement under which Berkshire acquired 100% of the company.
  • 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.  Shortly after MTO moved for summary judgment in MSG’s primary lawsuit, the parties reached a settlement to eliminate MSG’s opposition to the arena, which is now on track for completion in 2024.
  • Lead counsel for BlackSand Capital LLC, owner of the Waikiki Galleria Tower in Honolulu, Hawai’i, in a suit against Galleria Tower’s primary tenant, DFS Group. Eight months after BlackSand filed suit, the parties reached a $150 million agreement to resolve the dispute.
  • Vanessa Bryant and her family in a wrongful death lawsuit against Island Express, the helicopter company that was transporting the eight passengers who perished in the January 2020 crash.
  • Hume Street Management Consultants—a world-renowned developer of luxury hotels—against members of the Qatari royal family—including the former emir of Qatar and a former prime minister of Qatar—regarding work Hume Street performed in managing and redeveloping the Maybourne Beverly Hills.

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.

Prior to law school, Mr. Lavoie taught social studies and coached debate at W.E.B. DuBois High School in Baltimore as part of the Teach For America program.