Lawrence S. Viola

Lawrence S. Viola

Partner since 1991
San Mateo, California

Lawrence S. Viola has been practicing law in Northern California since 1987, and has been a partner at Knapp & Viola since 1991.  His practice includes trial and appellate work in general civil litigation and personal injury.  In addition to his litigation practice, he serves as a judicial arbitrator for the San Mateo County Superior Court.

Mr. Viola's personal injury litigation experience is diverse.  He has represented families whose loved ones have been killed in car crashes, airline accidents, and by dangerous off-road vehicles.  As well, Mr. Viola has handled injury claims on behalf of clients seriously hurt in countless ways, including but not limited to auto accidents, drunk driving accidents, transit accidents, assaults, and child abuse.  Several of the personal injury and death cases Mr. Viola has handled resulted in multi-million dollar recovery on behalf of his clients. 

California Western School of Law
J.D., 1986

Denison University
B.A., English and Philosophy, 1982

Representative Cases:
Mr. Viola negotiated a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of clients who were seriously injured in a car crash by a drunk driver leaving his office holiday party.  The defendants included the driver's employer, and other companies who supervised and served alcohol at the party.

Mr. Viola represented the heirs of a family killed in an Alaska Airlines crash, and successfully mediated their wrongful death claims against the airline, achieving a multi-million dollar settlement.

Mr. Viola negotiated the largest settlement ever paid by City of Palo Alto for premises liability, representing a client who was injured when she tripped on a defect in the city sidewalk.

Mr. Viola represented the son of a driver killed in a head-on car crash, as well as his surviving but injured passenger, against the intoxicated driver.  Settlement in excess of $1,000,000.00 was achieved shortly before trial.

Areas of Practice

  • Family Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1987
  • Supreme Court of California
  • California State Courts and Courts of Appeal
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • California Western School of Law, San Diego, California
    • J.D. - 1986
  • Denison University
    • B.A. - 1982
    • Major: English
    • Major: Philosophy

Honors and Awards

  • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2009 - 2017

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • San Mateo Bar Association, Member
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Member