Charles Lavine was born on August 14, 1947, in Marinette, Wisconsin. He grew up in Marinette and Green Bay, Wisconsin and Menominee, and Manistique, Michigan. He graduated from Marinette High School in 1965 and from the University of Wisconsin in 1969 with a B.A. in English Literature.
Mr. Lavine graduated from New York Law School in 1972, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Moot Court Board, Chairman of the Student Curriculum Committee, Student Bar Association representative and recipient of the Student Bar Association’s Exceptional Service Award. He was the editor of a publication titled Student Guide to Appellate Advocacy.
Between 1972 and 1976, Mr. Lavine was a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of the City of New York. He was chosen as one of the initial members of the pioneering Continuity Unit, which provided each client with one attorney throughout the complete case. Clients had previously been represented by a succession of attorneys, with no single lawyer having full responsibility. That innovative approach became the model for the way modern Public Defender Organizations provide legal services.
Entering private practice in 1976, Lavine had offices in Queens and Manhattan, specializing in the defense of complex criminal litigation and municipal law. He played a role in many of the cases that captured headlines over the course of his legal career. Since his Assembly election, he no longer practices law and serves as a full-time legislator.
Lavine has lived in Glen Cove since 1980. He served as counsel for the Glen Cove Community Development and Industrial Development Agencies. Lavine was lead counsel in the City’s successful defense of litigation brought to prohibit Glen Cove from developing a movie theater in its downtown. He was also Chairman of the Glen Cove Democratic Committee and served two terms as general counsel for North Country Reform Temple.
Throughout the 1990’s, he fought to elect responsible candidates to the Glen Cove Board of Education and for the passage of responsible school budgets and to elect responsible candidates to the Nassau County Legislature.
In 2000, Mayor Thomas R. Suozzi appointed Lavine to the Glen Cove Planning Board. In May 2003, he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Glen Cove City Council, a position to which he was subsequently elected in November 2003.
In 2004, Mr. Lavine was elected to the New York State Assembly. He currently serves on the following committees: Codes, Ethics, Health, Insurance, and Judiciary. He served as Chairman of the bipartisan Assembly Committee on Ethics and Guidance and as Co-Chair of the New York State Legislative Ethics Commission. He is currently Chair of the Assembly Elections Law Committee. He is President of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Jewish Legislators and a member of its national board of directors. He is proud to have served as chair of a bipartisan task force that developed the Assembly’s Policy on Sexual Harassment, Retaliation, and Discrimination, which is a model for all other legislatures.
Chuck is married to Ronnie, a retired public school educator and active Planned Parenthood of Nassau County volunteer.