Members of the Firm


Robert M. Sanger
Senior Partner

Robert M. Sanger, senior partner in the firm, is an experienced trial lawyer who has practiced in Santa Barbara since 1973.   Mr. Sanger is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist, certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  Mr. Sanger has tried a number of high profile...

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Managing Partner

Catherine J. Swysen, managing partner in the firm, is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer.  She has handled major criminal and civil cases in the State and Federal courts.

Ms. Swysen represents people accused of felony and misdemeanor offenses including murder, death penalty,...

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Stephen K. Dunkle, a partner with the firm, handles criminal trials and appeals. He also handles criminal law and motion matters and writs. Mr. Dunkle has been instrumental in a number of the firm’s successful cases, including Constitutional challenges in the appellate courts and was primarily...

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Of Counsel
The Honorable Frank J. Ochoa (Ret.) is of counsel to Sanger Swysen & Dunkle.  He retired after 32 years on the Santa Barbara trial court bench in 2015. He has an active arbitration and mediation practice, and takes selective civil and criminal cases in his return to practice as a lawyer...
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Miguel A. Avila, an associate with the firm, handles criminal and civil litigation.  He is a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara College of Law.  He worked as a law clerk for Sanger Swysen & Dunkle since 2016.  He attended the Capital Case Defense Seminar...

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Sarah Sanger is an Associate with the firm working on criminal defense matters in both the state and federal courts primarily involving capital cases.

Ms. Sanger graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Philosophy.  She attended the...

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In-House Investigator

Is responsible for conducting interviews, locating witnesses and other investigation in criminal and civil cases.  PI # 29006.

Legal Assistants

Senior Legal Assistant

Has been with the firm for more than seven years, works with the attorneys on criminal and civil litigation matters.

Legal Assistant

Works with the attorneys on criminal and civil litigation matters.