Judge James Cameron Chalfant received his B.A. in zoology from Pomona College in 1974, studied biochemistry in graduate school, and then obtained his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1979. After passing the Illinois bar in 1979, he worked as an associate at Sidley & Austin. He then passed the California bar in 1981 and worked as an associate at Irell & Manella before becoming a U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. Thereafter, he joined the firm of Hochman, Salkin & DeRoy from 1986-1988, became a partner at McCambridge, Deixler, Marmaro & Goldberg from 1988-1995, and started a solo practice in 1995. He was appointed to the bench by Governor Pete Wilson in 1996. In 2008, he took over one of the writs and receivers courtrooms at Stanley Mosk Courthouse.