Since 2005, Carol Lavacot has been in private practice specializing in criminal law litigation after over twenty-three (23) years as a lawyer with the Orange County Public Defender’s Office. She has extensive experience in all aspects of criminal defense work as well as juvenile law and dependency law. She has tried over 100 cases including misdemeanors, felonies and homicides. During her tenure with the Public Defender’s Office, she attained the status of Assistant Public Defender. In addition to her trial work, Ms. Lavacot is a skilled Writs and Appeals lawyer with over eight years experience producing motions and appellate briefs, several of which resulted in published opinions. She is also an accomplished Juvenile Law and Juvenile Dependency lawyer, having served as a supervising attorney and trial lawyer in the Juvenile Court for several years. While the head of the Public Defender Training Department, Ms. Lavacot created an innovative new-lawyer training program and developed and coordinated continuing education programs designed to improve the skills of deputy public defenders at all levels. She is experienced in Educational Law representing students either suspended or expelled from school as well. Ms. Lavacot is a recognized leader in the legal community. She was known as “Public Defender Ambassador at Large” while serving as a public defender. She either initiated, organized or collaborated (many times all three) with justice community leaders including supervisors, department heads and staff, judges, court staff, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and private lawyers to establish programs and procedures designed to focus on the needs of Juveniles, Defendants and their families.