Award-Winning San Diego Toxic Mold, Chemical Exposure and Environmental Injury Attorney
Jeff LaFave has gained an outstanding reputation for his expertise as a plaintiff’s trial attorney. Mr. LaFave has an impressive track record representing injured families, homeowners, renters, workers and children. For 25 years, he has specialized in toxic tort and environmental injury litigation, including representing adults and children made sick by poor indoor air quality in their homes, workplaces and schools. Mr. LaFave has pioneered environmental injury and toxic tort litigation since helping to successfully resolve the first known mold exposure lawsuit brought in 1992. He has represented many hundreds of sick people in toxic mold, poor air quality, sick building, water damage and toxic chemical exposure cases. He has never lost any case, recovering tens of millions of dollars on behalf of his injured clients. LaFave’s expertise is acknowledged by other attorneys who have hired him as a consultant and as co-counsel to help them with their cases. He has even been hired as an expert witness.
Mr. LaFave is not just a litigator, but an experienced trial lawyer with an undefeated record in court. In 2006, Mr. LaFave received the Outstanding Trial Lawyer Award for his highly publicized trial victory in a mold exposure case representing two sick families which resulted in more than a million dollar award for his clients. He is one of the few plaintiff’s attorneys in the environmental injury/mold exposure field with a proven track record of winning jury trials. An important foundation of his success was built while interned as a Deputy District Attorney with the San Diego County D.A.’s office in 1998, where he was undefeated in a variety of criminal trials. LaFave has also been involved in multiple landmark settlements, including some of the largest monetary victories in mold and environmental injury cases in California and the United States.
Jeff, I just wanted to tell you that you are an outstanding lawyer. If anyone ever wants to know whether they should hire you, tell them to contact me because I would tell them that hiring you would be the best decision they could ever make.
Mr. LaFave worked from 1991 through 1999 at the prestigious San Diego law firm of Thorsnes, Bartolotta, McGuire & Padilla. In March of 1999, he founded the firm of LaFave & Rice with another former Thorsnes attorney. In 2017 he founded his own firm, LaFave Law. Mr. LaFave’s practice focuses primarily on building-related illness and environmental litigation, though he also sometimes represents plaintiffs in insurance “bad faith”, wrongful death, professional malpractice and other types of cases. He has been actively involved in all facets of the civil litigation system from trial to appeal. During his career, Mr. LaFave has represented the interests of individuals, homeowner associations, corporations, partnerships, federally chartered institutions, and the United States of America.
Raised in the Midwest, Mr. LaFave has a deep appreciation for the environment. During law school, he helped the Sierra Club with a Clean Water Act lawsuit and also served at the Center for Public Interest Law as a staff monitor with special emphasis in protecting water resources. LaFave’s love for the environment also finds expression in his personal life as a hiker, as well as an avocational archeologist with a special interest in photographing Native American pictographs and petroglyphs. He has authored numerous publications and given many lectures on aboriginal rock art and has received awards for his photography, which has appeared in multiple publications.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1987 from the University of Redlands, Mr. LaFave received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law in 1990. He also studied international law in London with the Institute for International and Comparative Legal Studies. While at USD, Mr. LaFave was published in the Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues and participated in numerous moot court and trial advocacy competitions. He was a member of the Appellate Moot Court Board and was selected to represent USD School of law on the Moot Court National Team and on trial competition teams. He was inducted into the National Order of Barristers and received the American Jurisprudence Award for tort law.
Mr. LaFave passed the California Bar exam in 1990 and was admitted in 1991 to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California. He has also appeared before California Appellate Courts, Federal District Courts, Federal Bankruptcy Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. Mr. LaFave is a member of Consumer Attorneys of California, the San Diego County Bar Association, the California Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, American Inns of Court and Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. His numerous articles have been published by Consumer Attorneys of San Diego and California, the San Diego County Bar Association, the Arizona Bar Association and the Community Associations Institute.