For over 20 years, Robert Chalfant has been handling high profile civil rights and personal injury/wrongful death cases in state and federal courts across California. Robert started his career at the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office, representing indigent clients charged with criminal offenses. Robert began handling civil rights cases in 2001 and specialized in defending public entities and their employees.
The majority of Robert’s caseload from 2001 to 2018 involved defending civil rights and police misconduct matters, including officer involved shootings, excessive force, unlawful searches and seizures, false arrest/false imprisonment, the use of restraints, K-9s and Tasers, defamation, deliberate indifference to prisoner’s serious medical needs, wrongful death/catastrophic injury and cases involving sexual misconduct by a peace officer on duty.
Robert also handled and tried to verdict employment cases alleging discrimination and harassment as well as wrongful termination and cases alleging dangerous condition of public property.
In 2018, Robert accepted a position as General Counsel for George Hills, a third party administrator that handled civil claims and cases against public entities, and was personally responsible for overseeing all public entity litigation against approximately 40 California Cities, several counties, and 18 school districts. This involved the retention of outside counsel, monitoring and directing all aspects of litigation, attending settlement conferences and mediations and making strategic decisions as to whether to pursue motion practice, settle or try all cases.
Robert is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell and is a Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an invitation only organization of judges and lawyers recognized for their ethical conduct, civility and significant litigation and trial experience.
Education, Honors and Awards
- University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
- Juris Doctor, With Distinction, May 1999
- Justice Traynor Honor Society, 1999
- Prescott College, Prescott, Arizona
- Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies, 1992
- George Hills
General Counsel/Litigation Manager
August 1, 2018 to Present
Rancho Cordova, California
Chief legal executive for third party administrator that provides civil litigation and claims processing services to insured and self-insured public entities across California. Duties include contract review, compliance, and management of litigation (business, employment, general liability). Advise CEO on legal and regulatory issues.
Litigation Manager for assigned joint powers authority (JPA) accounts, including Public Agency Risk Sharing Authority of California (PARSAC), Ventura County Schools Self-Funding Authority (VCSSFA), Redwood Empire Municipal Insurance Fund (REMIF) and the County of Alameda. Provide legal advice and claims civil litigation consultation to the corporation’s staff and clients on potential and litigated claims.
- Randolph Cregger & Chalfant, LLP
May, 2001 to July, 2018
Defended public entities and railroads throughout California in both state and federal courts. The majority of cases involved constitutional law claims brought under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, and all related state torts. Emphasis on defending civil rights and police misconduct cases, prisoner and pretrial detainee litigation, and employment cases. Defended cases involving officer involved shootings, excessive force, unlawful searches and seizures, failure to protect inmates, deliberate indifference to inmate’s serious medical needs, substantive and procedural due process claims, Takings, discrimination, harassment, and cases brought under the ADA.
ADMITTED TO PRACTICE
- Supreme Court of the State of California
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California
- United States District Court for the Central District of California
- United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- United States Supreme Court
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS & AWARDS
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Member.
- “Joe Ramsey Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service,” 2016, United States District Court, Eastern District of California.
- “Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year,” 2012, Northern California Lawyer Referral Service.
- Rated AV® Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell, since 2010.
- Named “Super Lawyer” 2017-2019 by Super Lawyers Magazine.
- Named “Rising Star” 2009 by Super Lawyers Magazine.
- Featured Speaker, Malpractice Seminar for Criminal Defense Attorneys, September 27, 2013.
- Advanced Officer Training, Instructor, Search and Seizure Issues, UPRR P.D., 2013.
- Featured Speaker at Wildland Fire Litigation Conference, April 20, 2013 (Valuing Timber Loss from a Defense Perspective).
- Judge Pro Tem, Small Claims: Placer County Superior Court, 2011 to 2018; Sacramento County Superior Court, 2008 to 2018; and, Nevada County Superior Court, 2014 to 2018.
- Sacramento County Superior Court, Appointed Pro Tem Civil Settlement Judge, 2010 to 2018.
- Eastern District of California, Voluntary Dispute Resolution Program, Appointed Mediator.
- Adjunct Faculty, Stanford Trial Advocacy Program, “Evidence”, 2009; “Evidence” 2010; “Evidence”, 2012; “Depositions” 2013; “Evidence” 2014; “Voir Dire” 2015; “Depositions” 2016; “Cross-Examination” 2017; “Closing Arguments” 2018; “Impeachment” 2019. “Closing Arguments” 2020.