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May 1, 2024

Hon. Frank J. Ochoa (Ret.)

See more on Hon. Frank J. Ochoa (Ret.)

Alternative Resolution Centers

Judge Frank Ochoa retired in January 2015 from the Santa Barbara Superior Court after more than 32 years on the trial court bench. He is “Of Counsel” with the Sanger firm in Santa Barbara, California. While on the bench, he served on numerous statewide judicial committees and task forces and was, for a time, assigned to the local division of the California Court of Appeal. Over the years, Judge Ochoa has been the trial court judge in numerous high-profile cases. He also rendered many decisions which had wide ranging impacts, including changing the juror system in Santa Barbara based on a lack of Latino representation, and the Grand Jury System in Ventura County based on an under-representation of women. He designed and implemented the local adult and juvenile court drug court programs as well as the court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program, known as the Court Administered Appropriate Dispute Resolution program (CADRe).

In addition to his extensive trial experience in all areas of law, he was the Presiding Judge of the court through the countywide court consolidation process which joined Municipal and Justice Courts into the Superior Court. He also managed the transition of the court from county funding to a statewide court funding base and administrative structure. He was a founding trustee of the Courthouse Legacy Foundation, a non-profit corporation formed for the purpose of raising funds to preserve and protect the national landmark Santa Barbara County Courthouse. He has lectured and taught judges and lawyers on a wide variety of topics and has taught law related courses at the Santa Barbara College of Law and the University of California at Santa Barbara.

He now operates a private judging practice in the areas of mediation and arbitration; as well as providing other dispute resolution and consulting services. Well-appointed arbitration and mediation spaces in Santa Barbara are provided without cost. He is a member of the National and the California Academies of Distinguished Neutrals and the Southern California Mediation Association. He serves as a private neutral (Arbitrator, Mediator, Referee, Special Master, or Neutral Case Evaluator) on a wide variety of cases locally and throughout the Western United States. He is a panelist for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), Alternative Resolution Centers (ARC), the California State Mediation and Conciliation Services’ Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), Resolute Systems, Inc., and each of the Court’s ADR programs in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and San Luis Obispo Counties.

frankochoa (805) 451-1240


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