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About me

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.



Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 80%
    35 years
  2. Juvenile: 15%
    35 years
  3. Education: 5%

Attorney endorsements

3 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Denise Francesca Crawford

    As a brand-new lawyer, I had the privilege to work with Carol. Her compassion and commitment to her clients was an inspiration and I have never forgotten the incredible lengths she went to rescue clients in their darkest hours. If you want a tireless and talented advocate, Carol will not disappoint.


    Denise Crawford Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

  • Doreen Beth Boxer

    I have known Carol Lavacot professionally since 1996. Carol is an exceptionally dedicated attorney who truly fights for her clients. Carol is a highly qualified, experienced and knowledgeable attorney.


    Doreen Boxer Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

The Atrium Bldg
19200 Von Karman Ave Ste 400
Irvine, CA, 92612


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Everyday HeroOrange County Public Defender2003
Corpus Juris SecundumWestern State University1980
American Jurisprudence in Criminal LawWestern State University1979
The Daniel M. Potter Memorial AwardCalifornia State University1978
Who's Who of American LawyersWho's Who of American LawyersN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyLaw Offices of Carol E. Lavacot, Inc2005 - Present
Assistant Public DefenderOrange County Public Defender1981 - 2005
Judicial Law ClerkOrange County Superior Court1979 - 1981
Judicial Law ClerkOrange County Superior Court1978 - 1979
Association namePosition nameDuration
Orange County Criminal Defense Bar AssociationMember2009 - Present
Robert A. Banyard American Inn of CourtMaster Bencher2006 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember1981 - Present
Orange County Bar AssociationMember1981 - Present
California Public Defenders AssociationMember1981 - Present
California Attorneys for Criminal JusticeMember1982 - 2001
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v. Q.J.Dismissal
People v. J.M.Dismissal
People v. J.R.Dismissed
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Public Defender TrainingAttorney Preliminary Hearing Manual2002
Public Defender Training ManualAttorney Training Manual2000
Public Defender MagazineLoophole2000
Vol.7, No. 2 Western State University L.Rev. 159California's Judiciary: An Endangered Institution1980
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
California State University, FullertonN/AOther - BachelorsN/A
Western State University College of LawN/AJD - Juris DoctorN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Groups of Teachers, Parents and StudentsOur Criminal Justice System2003
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)Child Dependency2000
Public Defender's ConventionTechnology for Lawyers1997
Guest Speaker for Discussion GroupsDrug Abuse -- Elementary and High School Children1994
Education DoctorsExpert Witnesses1992