Hon. Sidney P. Chapin See Rating Details
Superior Court
Kern County
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Attorney Average Rating:   6.9 - 8 rating(s)
Non-Attorney Average Rating:   - 0 rating(s)
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Only items marked with (*) are averaged into the displayed overall rating.

General Rating Criteria

* Temperament (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Scholarship (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Industriousness (1=Not at all industrious,10=Highly industrious)
* Ability to Handle Complex Litigation (1=Awful,10=Excellent)
* Punctuality (1=Chronically Late,10=Always on Time)
* General Ability to Handle Pre-Trial Matters (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
* General Ability as a Trial Judge (1=Not all Able, 10=Extremely Able)
Flexibility In Scheduling (1=Completely Inflexible,10=Very Flexible)

Criminal Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Criminal Litigation (1=Demonstrates Bias,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
General Inclination Regarding Bail (1=Pro-Defense,10=Pro-Government)
Involvement in Plea Discussions (1=Not at all Involved, 10=Very Involved)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Pretrial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Trial Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)
General Inclination in Criminal Cases Sentencing Stage (1=Pro-prosecution,10=Pro-defense)

Civil Rating Criteria (if applicable)

* Evenhandedness in Civil Litigation (1=Not at all Evenhanded,10=Entirely Evenhanded)
Involvement in Settlement Discussions (1=Not at all Involved,10=Very Involved)
General Inclination (1=Pro-defendant, 10=Pro-plaintiff)

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What others have said about Hon. Sidney P. Chapin


Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA28257
It is past time for him to retire

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA24767
Recuse this Judge if you get him he is highly political and a dishonest Judge

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA11727
I had a one week jury trial in front of him. The courtroom was well run, with a first rate staff. I think he had a low opinion of the case in general, but he really concealed it and gave plaintiff's counsel every opportunity to try his case. Courtroom staff is first rate.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA11518
Judge Chapin is knolwedgeable, fair and very well prepared jurist who is not afraid to make tough decisions

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Comment #: CA10603
Ruled contrary to established precedent. Refuses to consider valid points and authorities when pointed out that he is likely in error.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA10015
Although I enjoyed watching Judge Chapin in action, there were several questionable rulings on ex parte's and law and motion that I really disagreed with. Those were not my cases, but his call on the law seems to be something of a personal view which he eloquently justifies but likely would be reversed on appeal or quashed in a mandate action.

He seems to get edgy when he's called out on what a litigant thinks is a bad ruling. In at least one case he told a co-trustee that there was no standing to sue the other co-trustee who had a vested interest as an heir in a related probate matter, even though the co-trustee had no other remedy but to sue based on recent case law. He still stuck to his view, contrary to the COA ruling, and I was puzzled by that ruling he made. Nonetheless in the case I handled he made some questionable rulings as well.

I am not saying he is incompetent by a long shot. I do think he tends to try and interpret the law consistently even if its possibly contrary to current case law, or does so without distinguishing the existing precedent.

He knows the rules, seems to diligently search the file, scour the pleadings, and works hard. For that I would say he is industrious and appreciate his fastidiousness notwithstanding some rulings I disagreed with in the cases that came before him.

He has an even temperament, and seems to be respectful which I do appreciate.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA3185
Excellent judge...a paradigm of what a judge should be. Fair, hard working, straightforward, user friendly if you have held up your end.

Civil Litigation - Private

Comment #: CA2877
efficient, hard working, competent, fair,