Max Kravitz’s 37-year affiliation with Capital University Law School began in 1970 when he enrolled as a law student. He graduated in 1973 with his J.D. and returned two years later as a staff attorney in the Law School’s Legal Clinic.
Professor Kravitz began working as a professor at Capital University Law School in 1976. Over the years, he taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Federal Criminal Law, and Capital Punishment Litigation and practiced and taught in the Law School Legal Clinic.
Professor Kravitz practiced criminal law starting in 1973 as a public defender. He defended federal and state criminal cases throughout the United States in cases such as homicide, RICO, drugs, federal bribery, mail fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, voting fraud, conspiracy, Hobbs Act, obstruction of justice, bank robbery, postal robbery, cash bulk smuggling, money laundering, receiving stolen property, rape, aggravated vehicular homicides, DUI, solicitation and importuning as well as prevailed on cases involving the defenses of insanity, self-defense, entrapment and necessity.
He and his wife, Janet, a 1987 graduate of the law school, founded their law firm, Kravitz, Brown & Dortch, LLC, in 1988. His areas of practice included state and federal forfeiture proceedings, appellate advocacy, state and federal administrative law, equine law and selected issues concerning civil litigation.
In 1997, Professor Kravitz settled a federal civil rights, class action case against the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction that resulted in a $40 million renovation of London Correctional Institution.
He published numerous articles on criminal law and procedure and was a sought-after lecturer in criminal law education programs for attorneys. He also appeared as counsel in the United States Supreme Court in Lockett v. Ohio, 438 U.S. 586 (1978), where Ohio’s death penalty was held unconstitutional and more than 450 individuals were immediately removed from death row. He appeared as counsel in Smith v. Ohio, 494 U.S. 541 (1990), where the United States Supreme Court held that a stop and search violated the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In 1993, he was appointed by Governor George Voinovich to the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, serving for 14 years. He also served on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism and was a member of the Rule 65 Committee on the Appointment of Counsel for Indigent Defendants in Capital Cases.
He was a member of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, where he served on the Board of Governors; a Life Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; and a longtime board member and past-president of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Professor Kravitz was an active member of the Ohio State and Columbus Bar associations. He spoke frequently at criminal law education programs for attorneys and judges and authored many criminal law articles and training manuals. In 2002, he was awarded the OSBA’s Legal Education Committee Award.
Professor Kravitz died on Aug. 12, 2007. His family and friends created the Max Kravitz Memorial Endowment Fund in his honor. The fund supports Capital University Law School alumni who want to work as public defenders.