Joseph Lavitt currently teaches Torts for LL.M. Students and Insurance Law at Berkeley Law. He has taught Torts, Insurance Law, Health Law and several other law school courses as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law, and as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the Golden Gate University School of Law.
Mr. Lavitt’s scholarly work has been published by the Loyola Law Review, Maine Law Review, California Law Review Circuit, Wayne Law Review, Denver University Law Review and the Rutgers University Law Review. In turn, this work has been cited by scholars in scores of preeminent law journals and other scholarly publications, including the Harvard Law Review, Hastings Law Journal, Connecticut Journal of Insurance Law, and Columbia Journal of Law & the Arts. One of Mr. Lavitt’s law review articles is actually cited in the textbook he uses for his Insurance Law course.
Lavitt has been quoted on matters of tort and insurance law by several news services on more than a dozen occasions, including the AP, Reuters, the Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Business Insurance and many others. He appeared nationally with Margret Brennan on Bloomberg Television News to discuss the BP Oil Spill. He addressed the handling by the Supreme Court of the United States of cases affecting the Affordable Care Act at the Annual Meeting of the State Bar of California for three consecutive years, from 2012 – 2014. In 2016, he lectured on data privacy at Université de Lausanne, CEDIDAC, Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Mr. Lavitt’s scholarship and teaching have been enriched by extensive experience in court, handling all aspects of complex, high-profile civil litigation and numerous appeals from criminal convictions (by appointment). He has been called upon as an expert witness in numerous civil matters concerning insurance coverage and claim handling. He has been a signatory to two amici curiae briefs: the first, the Brief of Amici Curiae Scholars of Insurance and Financial Regulation, filed June 23, 2016, in Metlife, Inc., v. Financial Stability Oversight Council, then-pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the second, the Brief of Amici Curiae Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety, et al., filed April 14, 2016, in Assoc. of California Ins. Cos., et al., v. Jones, in his capacity as the Comm. of the California Dept. of Ins., then-pending in the Supreme Court of California (Opinion: 2 Cal.5th 376 (2017)).
Prior to becoming an attorney, Lavitt did constituent and campaign service for Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut. He has spoken widely to housing providers about remedying housing discrimination. He served as Co-Chair Emeritus on the Standing Committee of the State Bar of California for Group Insurance Programs, and thereafter was retained as a paid consultant by the State Bar regarding transition of its Life Insurance Program. Mr. Lavitt is on the panel of Arbitrators for the San Francisco Human Services Agency Housing & Homeless Division, and has served as a contributor to several other non-profit and civic organizations (e.g., the American Inns of Court, as Counselor and Executive Committee member).
Lavitt earned his A.B. at the University of Georgia (Athens), with high honors, and his J.D. at Berkeley Law.