The Honorable David R. Chaffee

Orange County Superior Court

Court Info

Orange County Superior Court, Department C20 (website)

Clerk phone: +1 (657) 622–5220

Courtroom Rules


The Hon. David R. Chaffee was first appointed to the Municipal Court of the Orange County Harbor Judicial District in 1994. Hon. Chaffee was reappointed by Governor Wilson in 1997.

Prior to his appointment, Hon. Chaffee practiced as Deputy and Senior Deputy County Counsel, Orange County, 1978-1994, with specialties in probate, tax litigation, and environmental and land use litigation. Additionally, Hon. Chaffee was Deputy Attorney General, California State Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Los Angeles, from 1974-1978. Hon. Chaffee is admitted to the California Bar, U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, U.S. District Court, Central, Northern and Southern Districts of California.

Education: J.D. (1973) Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles, CA. Law Review
Associate Editor, St. Thomas More Society. (1970) University of Arizona School of Law,
Tucson, Arizona. B.A. (History) (1969) California State University, Long Beach. Blue Key, Phi
Alpha Theta (National History Honor Society), varsity crew.

Personal: Married - Delaine Chaffee. Enjoys reading, walking, camping, and sailing.

Memberships: 1994 to present, California Judges Association (Executive Board, 1995-
1996). Devil Pups Inc., Board of Trustees, 1999 to present. William P. Gray Legion Lex Inn
of Court, Board of Directors. Beach Crew Alumni Association, Board of Directors.

Publications: “Litigating Ownership Disputes in Probate,” Orange County Trial Lawyers
Association Journal, January/February, 1985, “The Erosion of Citizenship” 5 Loyola Law
Review 589 (August 1972).

Assignments: Civil Panel - 1998-2004, Felony Panel - 1997; Mental Health/Probate - 1997-
1998; Harbor Court - 2004-2007; Civil Panel - 2007 to present.


  • J.D. from Loyola Law School (1973) (Law Review, Associate Editor)
  • B.A., History from California State University, Long Beach (1969) (Phi Alpha Theta - National Honor Society)


  • Deputy and Senior Deputy County Counsel at Orange County (1974 to 1994)
  • Judge at Orange County Harbor Judicial District (1994 to 1997)