Served on the Iowa Supreme Court from 1986 until his retirement in 2006. He served as chief justice from 2000 to 2006.
A native of Des Moines, Iowa, he received his undergraduate degree and his law degree from Drake University. He was first in his class at Drake Law School, Assistant Editor of the Drake Law Review, and graduated Order of Coif and with other honors in 1962.
He practiced law in West Des Moines. He served as a district court judge from 1979 until his appointment to the Supreme Court. He was Chief Judge of the Fifth Judicial District from 1983 to 1986.
Chief Justice Lavorato received the Award of Merit of the Iowa Judges Association in 1996 and the Judicial Achievement Award from the Association of Trial Lawyers of Iowa in 1985.