Member Profile: Hon. Frank Ochoa (Ret.)

Hon. Frank Ochoa (Ret.)
Sanger Swysen & Dunkle
125 East De La Guerra St., Suite 102
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Email: Click for email

Tel: (805) 962-4887
Fax: (805) 963-7311

CA Chapter:

ADR Services Include:

Mediation; Arbitration; Early Neutral Evaluation; Med-Arb; Facilitation & Systems Design; Fact Finding; Discovery Referee; Mini-Trial Judge; Special Master; ADR Training/CME


ONLINE SCHEDULING: Hon. Frank Ochoa (Ret.)
Calendar Last Updated: 15 Jun 17

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appointment request TO THIS MEMBER's OFFICE

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Hon. Frank Ochoa (Ret.) has substantive case experience in the following areas...

ADA Disability
Business Dissolution
Community Associations
Contract Disputes
Cross Cultural
Debt Collections
Divorce (High Asset)
Elder Abuse
Eminent Domain
Energy Sector (Oil, Gas)
Entertainment Sector
Family Businesses
Health Care
Land Use/Planning
Legal Malpractice
Lemon Law
Libel & Slander
Local Govt./Municipalities
Media & Communications
Medical Devices
Mergers & Acquisitions
Native American
Non-profit Organizations
Nursing Homes
Personal Injury
Premises Liability
Product Liability
Professional Fees
Professional Liability
Professional Malpractice
Professional Negligence
Property Damage
Public Policy
Real Estate
Sexual Harassment
Title Disputes
Trusts / Estates
Unfair Competition
Wage & Hour/FMLA
Workers' Compensation
Wrongful Death



     Of Counsel: Sanger Swysen & Dunkle. Mediation and Arbitration practice with limited case representation in civil and criminal cases.
     Judge Ochoa was a Santa Barbara County Trial Court Judge for 32 years.  He was a Municipal Court Judge for for 14 years, and a Superior Court Judge for 18 years.  He was elected to six terms of office.  Ochoa has been a private neutral for more than two years. 
     He settled tens of thousands of cases in his judicial career.  He also conducted many thousands of jury and court trials, as well as other trial court proceedings, including cases with statewide and national attention.  He handled lengthy, complex, multi-party trial proceedings on numerous occasions.   
     Ochoa developed a reputation as one of the primary settlement judges on the Santa Barbara County Superior Court.  Judicial colleagues would often send difficult cases to him for a "final" settlement conference.  In a Los Angeles Daily Journal "Judicial Profile" published on July 17, 2008, it was said of Ochoa, He is "a patient, compassionate, intelligent judge....a leader in Santa Barbara's legal community...Ochoa excels in settlement negotiations..."
     Ochoa handled all court assignments during his tenure on the bench.  He has tried, or handled as a private neutral, virtually all types of case disputes.  He has also taught university level courses and lawyer state approved educational seminars on aspects of employment discrimination and ethics in mediation.  His university teaching involved instruction in aspects of immigration law, education law, and a variety of civil rights related issues.  As a Law Professor, Ochoa has taught Legal Method and Process, Statutory Law, and Professional Ethics courses.
     As Presiding Judge of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court between 1998 and 2001, Ochoa managed the court consolidation of the Municipal and Justice Courts into a single countywide Superior Court.  He also oversaw the court's move to its current state funding and administrative base.  In addition, he designed, developed and implemented the court's ADR program, the CADRe program, which has become a state model for court-connected ADR programs.  (See:  
     He was awarded the Santa Barbara County Bar Association's "President's Award" in 1999, its "John T. Rickard Judicial Service Award" in 2012, and the Southern California Mediation Association's "Judge of the Year" Award in 2000, for development of the CADRe program.   


  • Martin Luther King Jr. School of Law, University of California, Davis 1975 - J.D.
  • University of California, Santa Barbara - Bachelor of Arts (English and History-double major)
  • Associate of Arts, Long Beach City College-English
  • Mediation Training: Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Continuing Judicial Studies Program (35 hours)
  • Mediating Training:  American Institute of Mediation, "Mediating Commercial & Litigated Cases (40 hours)
  • Arbitration Training:  American Arbitration Association, "Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices"


English, Spanish

Memberships & Affiliations

  • American Arbitration Association
  • Resolute Systems, LLC 
  • Southern California Mediation Association
  • Santa Barbara County Superior Court (CADRe Program)
  • Ventura County Superior Court
  • California Judges Association


$500 per hour. 4 hour minimum. Compensation is for for all time spent including study, review and decision writing. Reasonable expenses for non-local proceedings as agreed upon at time of engagement.


Hon. Frank Ochoa (Ret.) is a member of our CA chapter, California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, California's premier roster of preeminent mediators and arbitrators. The CADN profile includes more specific local information, such as counties and regions served, and can be visited directly at


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