Members of the Firm

Robert M. Sanger, Senior Partner, Sanger Swysen and Dunkle
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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Catherine J. Swysen, Managing Partner, Sanger Swysen and Dunkle
Catherine J. Swysen

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, vehicular manslaughter, embezzlement, theft, driving under the influence of drugs...

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Stephen K. Dunkle


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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Frank J. Ochoa

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


Miguel A. Avila is an Associate with the firm working on civil, administrative and restraining order matters. 


Mr. Avila graduated from the University of California Santa Barbara with a degree in Chicana/o Studies and Sociology.  He obtained his law...

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Sarah Sanger, Associate with Sanger Swysen & Dunkle

Sarah S. Sanger


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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Rebekah Dillon

In-House Investigator

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

Jake Swanson

Senior Legal Assistant

Has been with the firm for nearly ten years, works with the attorneys on criminal and civil litigation matters.

Andrea Hart

Legal Assistant

Works with the attorneys on criminal and civil litigation matters.

SANTA BARBARA Office:  222 East Carrillo Street, Suite 300, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
SANTA MARIA Office:  301 East Cook Street, Suite A, Santa Maria, California 93454

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Sanger Swysen Dunkle recognized by Best Lawyers 2021
Robert M Sanger recognized by Best Lawyers 2021

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