The Hon. Sidney P. Chapin (Ret.) served as a judge for the Superior Court of Kern County in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Pete Wilson in 1992, where he was assigned to the general trial department. Over the course of his judicial career, he also presided over the criminal calendar and the direct calendaring department for civil unlimited.
Chapin earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1962. After graduating, he entered the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. He was then stationed in Vietnam, first in 1963 as a temporary advisor from the Third Marine Division for an infantry platoon commander. He was stationed there again in 1965, earning the Bronze Star with combat decoration in 1967.
After completing his military service, Chapin enrolled at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he completed a J.D. in 1971.
He began his legal career as an associate at Borton, Petrini, Conron, Wetteroth, Hitchcock, Werdel & Kuhs in 1972. He practiced there for the next five years, handling civil trials. Then, in 1977, Chapin and Werdel left the firm and opened their own practice. They continued their civil litigation work, litigating trust as well as oil and gas matters. Chapin also represented management in labor and employment law issues.
Chapin served as President of the Kern County Bar Association. He was also President of the Kern Philharmonic, and he advised the Kern County Women Lawyers about a gender bias policy proposal to the Superior Court of Kern County.
He is a recipient of the Bench and Bar Award from the Kern County Bar Association.
Chapin was born and raised in Mill Valley, California. He attended Mt. Tamalpais High School, lettering in tennis and swimming. His family has lived in the Bay Area since the late nineteenth century, having moved to Marin County after the 1906 earthquake.