Our History

Clifford A. Chanler founded his public interest law firm in 1991 to represent plaintiffs who sought to enforce California’s newly-enacted Proposition 65.  Since then, he has focused his practice on Proposition 65 litigation and enforcement and has been counsel of record for many private enforcers, including non-profit organizations and private citizens.  In this capacity he has handled thousands of private enforcement actions involving hundreds of consumer product categories and a number of harmful chemicals known to cause cancer, reproductive harm, and birth defects.  Our clients' cases have sought to reduce or eliminate the use of heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, solvents like toluene and benzene, and phthalate chemicals used as plasticizers in the manufacture of consumer products.

Through this work, Mr. Chanler's clients and colleagues enforce California consumers’ statutory rights, promote public awareness of exposures to harmful chemicals, and thereby reduce the unnecessary use of hazardous substances in consumer products.  Over the years, The Chanler Group’s clients have successfully resolved hundreds of Proposition 65 cases and have been involved in many of the select few cases proceeding through a full trial on the merits.

The firm’s clients have compelled scores of manufacturers to rid their products of unnecessary and previously hidden toxins and have generated significant civil penalties for the State of California.  The penalties collected to date total over $100 million, including guaranteed payments of approximately $20 million (after taking reformulation credits into account). 

Mr. Chanler has served as counsel in ten Proposition 65 trials, including eight in the last ten years. He has been involved in more than 25 appeals and petitions in Proposition 65 matters brought before the California Courts of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Examples of these matters include DiPirro v. Bondo, (2007) 153 Cal.App.4th 150; Brimer v. Faygo Beverages, Inc., (Cal. Ct. App., 1st Dist., Dec. 7, 2007) Case No. A114983 (Unpublished opinion); People v. Cotter & Company, (1997) 53 Cal.App.4th 1373; As You Sow v. Crawford Laboratories, (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1859; and DiPirro v. American Isuzu Motors, Inc., (2004) 119 Cal.App.4th 966.  Legal issues raised on appeal include preemption, standing, personal jurisdiction, attorneys’ fees, discovery, liability and merits of the case, preliminary injunctions, and estoppel.

The Chanler Group has litigated more trials and appellate cases than any other Proposition 65 plantiff’s firm.  The firm has also been involved in several Proposition 65 cases brought before the federal courts including  As You Sow v. Sherwin-Williams Co., (N.D. Cal., Dec. 21, 1993) Case No. C-93-3577-VRW (Unpublished decision).  In addition, Chanler has represented qui tam relators in federal and state False Claim Act cases.