Ed Chapin

Ed Chapin

San Diego Managing Partner


Ed Chapin, a partner in the San Diego office of Sanford Heisler Sharp, is a veteran litigator whose practice spans class actions, unfair business practices, professional negligence, insurance coverage, bad faith, toxic torts, serious personal injury, and wrongful death. His service in the U.S. military and long-standing ties to the greater San Diego community enable him to provide exemplary counsel to clients seeking representation in a range of matters. Across an illustrious 45-year his career, he has taken more than 100 cases to trial in federal and state courts.

In 2018, Ed secured final approval of a $4 million settlement for Beth Burns, the winningest coach in San Diego State University’s women’s basketball history.  His litigation acumen in this very public jury trial that focused on SDSU’s Title IX violations highlights how even the most powerful institutions can be made to take responsibility for the damage they cause to individual’s careers and overall wellbeing.

He has been involved in the leadership of professional and civic organizations at the local, state, and national levels, including serving as president of the San Diego Chapter and the statewide California Chapters of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).  He also served for over 20 years on the ABOTA National Board. He is the former Vice President of the San Diego County Bar Association. Ed has spoken at continuing legal education and trial advocacy seminars sponsored by the San Diego County Bar Association, American Board of Trial Advocates, California Continuing Education of the Bar, Litigation Section California State Bar Association, Association of Business Trial Lawyer Association, and the Rutter Group.

Ed has received many significant professional awards including the Daniel T. Broderick Award for “epitomizing the highest principles of civility, integrity and professionalism” presented by ABOTA, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, San Diego Defense Lawyers and the San Diego County Bar Association. He received the Lifetime Achievement award presented by the San Diego Defense Lawyers and his undergraduate alma mater Missouri State University recognized him with its Outstanding Alumnus Award. In February 2018, was recognized as the Outstanding Trial Lawyer for 2017 by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.

Ed has been named one of the prestigious Best Lawyers in America every year since 1989 and earned a Super Lawyers ranking every year since 2007.


  • J.D. University of Missouri School of Law, Columbia 1972
  • B.S. Southwest Missouri State University 1964
  • California
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Night Circuit
  • United States District Court- Southern Central Eastern and Northern Districts of California
  • United States Court of International Trade
  • American Bar Association (ABA)
  • California Bar Association
  • San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL)
  • American Association for Justice (AAJ)
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC)
  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (CASD)
  • Enright Inn of Court (EIOC)
  • Awarded Three Bronze Stars, Combat Infantry Badge, Air Medal and Army Commendation Medal during Vietnam Service
  • Active Duty, United States Army Infantry 1964-1968
  • Line Officer in Infantry Unit, Germany 1964-1967
  • Ground Combat Service, U.S. First Infantry Division, South Vietnam 1967-1968

Major Cases


In the fight to protect investors from stockbroker misconduct, Sanford Heisler Sharp has obtained a $2.1 million FINRA arbitration award on behalf of a San Diego client whose investment nest egg was decimated by an imprudent, high-risk investment strategy that her stockbroker David Barber had recommended. Read More


According to the complaint, Home Depot has selected multiple poorly-performing funds for its 401(k) plan, allowed investment advisers to charge its employees unreasonable fees, and turned a blind eye to a kickback scheme between an investment adviser and the plan’s recordkeeper. Read More


The Complaint asserts that GE and the Plan violated the Federal Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) by breaching their fiduciary duties and engaging in prohibited transactions and unlawful self-dealing detrimental to the three named plaintiffs individually and as representatives of a class. Read More

Aguayo v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Betz Laboratories, Inc.

Lead counsel in action in Los Angeles Superior Court against a Fortune 500 chemical manufacturer in toxic tort and products liability action involving more than 4,000 plaintiffs in cases which served as basis for the Academy Award winning movie, Erin Brockovich Story, starring Julia Roberts. These cases are widely recognized as some of the largest mass toxic tort cases in California history. After 36 months of intensive discovery and motion practice, client settled for confidential amount.

Lindsay Marcisz, et al. v. UltraStar Cinemas, et al.

Eight-week 2005 jury trial in San Diego Superior Court involving 4 plaintiffs seeking damages for sexual harassment and emotional distress arising in the work place. $6.85 million verdict in favor of plaintiffs extinguished in post-trial rulings. Plaintiff appealed.


  • 2018 Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment Star - West in the practice area of Labor & Employment
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist, Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Trial Lawyer of the Year by Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • Best Lawyers in America 1989-2019
  • One of the Top 50 San Diego Super Lawyers for 2008, 2009, 2015, 2017-2018
  • Super Lawyers 2007-2018
  • National Board of Directors of American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), 1989 – 2010
  • Chaired committees which developed the ABOTA Principles of Civility, Integrity and Professionalism
  • Chaired committees which developed the ABOTA Protocol for Responding to Unfair Media Criticism of Judges

If you or someone you care about has been taken advantage of in a securities or other financial transaction, Sanford Heisler Sharp can help right that wrong.

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Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP is a public interest law firm representing individuals and groups against corporations and governmental entities. The firm also represents individual citizens when a corporation is committing an act of fraud against the U.S. Government. As a private attorney general, Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP specializes in employment, Title VII and wage and hour matters; representation of executives and attorneys; qui tam whistleblower cases; consumer fraud; housing discrimination; mass torts; and appellate and complex litigation.

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