Jim Chanin has been litigating civil rights cases since 1979. He has been involved in many landmark civil rights cases. In 1979, he filed and successfully settled his first wrongful death case against the Oakland Police Department. He was part of the legal team that won a three million dollar verdict against the Richmond Police Department for wrongful death in 1983.
Mr. Chanin has represented eighteen families whose loved ones were killed by the police or Prison Guards in Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco, Pittsburg, Emeryville, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department and prisons in Calipatria and Soledad. Mr. Chanin represented other inmates in California Department of Corrections facilities and obtained a million dollar settlement for a prisoner who was scalded by Prison Guards in Pelican Bay Prison, a case which achieved national attention on 60 Minutes and helped inspire needed reforms through a Federal Court consent decree. Mr. Chanin also has filed wrongful death cases against the California Department of Corrections and campaigned tirelessly against the Department’s shooting policy which allowed the use of guns to break up fist fights as recently as 1994.
Mr. Chanin has represented adults and children who have been sexually abused and/or harassed by clergy, employers, and others. He has represented students in disciplinary hearings and was successful in representing the Spectator, an adult newspaper whose First Amendment rights were violated when the City of Alameda tried to use zoning regulations to prevent it from selling papers in news racks throughout the city.
He has also represented a range of city employees in meritorious civil rights claims and many hundreds of victims of police misconduct in numerous cities and counties, including people who were injured by excessive force and police negligence, as well as those who were sexually abused by police officers.
In the 1980s, Mr. Chanin began representing police officers who were the subject of civil rights violations by their own department. He has advised or represented police officers, police dispatchers, and parking enforcement personnel in many departments throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including whistleblowers, victims of sexual misconduct, and victims of racial and sexual discrimination. He has also represented police officers in third party lawsuits against negligent motorists who have injured officers while they are on duty. Since 2000, Chanin has represented more than 250 victims of police misconduct by members of the Oakland Police Department.
Click here to read more about Jim Chanin's notable civil rights and police misconduct cases.