Law School/Year: University of Missouri, 1972
College/Year: Missouri State University, 1964
California, 1972; all U.S. District Courts in California; U.S. Court of International Trade
Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Insurance, Legal Malpractice, Personal Injury & Property Damage
Currently, I am lead trial counsel for the manufacturer of the chemical at issue in the “Erin Brokovich Story” movie. Also, I represent consumers in national or state class actions, handle business litigation on behalf of individuals and businesses, and represent plaintiffs in serious personal injury litigation. A gratifying case I recently resolved involved a significant recovery for an immigrant child tragically injured in a swimming pool accident. The child is in a permanent vegetative state and will have adequate medical and home care for life as a result of the outcome of the case.
In addition to handling cases on behalf of clients, I have participated in major insurance bad faith and coverage and legal malpractice cases as an expert witness.
I began my legal career with the criminal division of the Office of the City Attorney in 1972. Fourteen months later, I joined the firm of Todd, Wingert & Grebing. The firm eventually became Wingert, Grebing, Anello & Chapin, where I remained until 1987. At that time my friend Bob Brewer and I formed Chapin & Brewer. The firm went through various name changes over the years and I left in 2003 to join Gordon & Rees, where I remained until 2005. At that time my fellow Vietnam veteran and friend, the late Jay Wheeler, and I formed Chapin Wheeler LLP. I remain with that firm, where I am fortunate to practice with Wheeler’s protégés from Latham & Watkins, Ken Fitzgerald and Jill Sullivan.
Presently, I am actively involved with the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and Enright Inn of the American Inns of Court. I am completing my 20th and final year on the national board of directors of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Previously, I served as president of the San Diego and California Chapters of ABOTA. I have had a career-long interest in lawyer professionalism issues and have headed committees of the San Diego County Bar Association and ABOTA national board of directors to develop principles of civility, integrity and professionalism. Finally, another enjoyable professional affiliation is to work with Steve Boudreau on the annual Boudreau Dinner, in particular the Broderick Award.
I was raised on a farm in south central Missouri. I attended elementary school in a one-room school house for first and second grades and thereafter moved to a modern school facility. In high school I played varsity football, basketball and baseball.
During my college years I participated in football and student government, where I held leadership positions.
Following college I served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army for four years with tours in Germany and the Republic of South Vietnam.