Matt P. Lavine was fortunate to have attended one of the finest universities in the United States and then one of the Nation’s finest law schools. In 1981, Lavine graduated from The Johns Hopkins University. In 1985, he received his J.D. from Duke University School of Law.
Passing on opportunities to join big law firms representing large corporations, Lavine began his legal career serving as a law clerk to the Hon. John Garrity of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. After completing the clerkship, Lavine accepted two jobs, a unique approach for a young lawyer of Lavine’s background. To maximize his experience, Lavine worked as a trial attorney in the Prince George’s County Public Defender’s Office and as a litigation associate for a small commercial development law firm.
After a few years, Lavine opened his own law office. His practice included felony drug trials and appeals; business litigation; injury claims; civil rights; worker’s compensation; and employment discrimination cases. Lavine had several satisfying victories. He won a federal civil rights case involving a false arrest. In a pro bono matter, he won a ruling that a school system’s student code violated the First Amendment. In criminal court, the arrest of his client was deemed improper because Lavine successfully argued that a University’s security system violated the Fourth Amendment. In a landmark case, Lavine won the trial and then the appeal of case that set the precedent for wrongful termination in Maryland.
Throughout his career, Lavine has found areas of the law or society that seem unjust, hypocritical, or deceitful. Having the experience of trying hundreds of drunk driving cases, over the course of 30 years, Lavine knows the misinformation and inefficacy that fills the law of drunk driving and drug use. Lavine seeks to save his clients from criminal penalties, and jail, because of the criminalizing of their conduct. While attempting to defeat the case against his clients, Lavine also advises his clients of health treatment that may be of help. The experience of 30 years interacting with people charged with alcohol or drug abuse suggests that punishment does little to help with addiction.