Law School/Year: Harvard Law School, 1996
College/Year: University of Kansas, 1993
Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Discrimination & Civil Rights, Intellectual Property, Legal Malpractice
The cases that are most important to me are always the cases I am working at the moment, which tend to supersede everything before them. However, I am proud of my representation of Kyocera Wireless Corp. in a trial against a Mexican manufacturer of lithium ion cell phone batteries that caused Kyocera phones to explode, and precipitated a major product recall. I also recently finished prosecuting a lengthy legal malpractice case against a national law firm. Currently, I am engaged in multiple class action lawsuits on behalf of consumers and employees of national companies. Consistent with our vision when we started this firm, I enjoy representing individuals as plaintiffs in various kinds of cases that involve business aspects.
After graduation from law school in 1996, I began working at Latham & Watkins LLP in San Diego. I was fortunate to work in a mentoring relationship under the tutelage of Joseph “Jay” Wheeler, an enthusiastic master of the art of trial practice. I left Latham & Watkins in the summer of 2004 for a very brief move to my hometown of Kansas City. By February 2005, I opened the office of Chapin Wheeler LLP with Jay Wheeler and Ed Chapin. We focused on representing businesses and individuals in all varieties of business and other complex litigation, and we succeeded in transitioning from our former principally defense practices to representing plaintiffs in the majority of our cases. Nevertheless, we enjoyed representing defendants in just cases, as we continue to do. After Jay Wheeler’s tragic death in 2008, and eventually the wonderful, valuable addition of Jay’s protégé Ken Fitzgerald in January 2010, we became Chapin Fitzgerald Sullivan LLP. We are having a lot of fun with our practice together, and we continue to represent businesses and individuals in a broad variety of civil litigation matters.
I am currently the chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Jay Wheeler Civility Seminar Committee, and in 2008 I was a member of the SDCBA’s Committee on Civility, Integrity and Professionalism in the practice of law. I am a barrister in the Enright Inn of Court, a San Diego Chapter of the American Inns of Court. In 2008 and 2009, I served on the Board of Directors of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. I am a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, the San Diego County Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.
I am about to complete my training to become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (“CASA”) for children in the juvenile dependency system. CASAs work under the direction of the nonprofit Voices For Children. I also volunteered this year through the SDCBA to read to children at Porter Elementary school, which has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Although I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, Kan., I have become a Californian through and through. My two terrific children were born here, and we enjoy getting outdoors together at San Diego’s beaches and parks. In my free time, I like to train for and compete in triathlons.