Judge Ochoa presides over
Dept. 1 in the Santa Barbara
Judge Frank J. Ochoa
Born in Long Beach, California, Judge Frank
Ochoa traces his roots back to the Spanish land grant era. After
earning BA degrees in English and History from UCSB, he studied
law at U.C. Davis School of Law, graduating in 1975. In 1980, he
became the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa
Barbara County. In 1983, at age 32, he was appointed to the Municipal
Court by Governor Brown, making him the youngest judge in the state
at the time. He also became the court's first Hispanic judge in
Judge Ochoa was elected to the Superior Court
in 1996. As Presiding Judge, he managed the court through the unification
process, merging the Municipal Courts with the Superior Court. He
has been appointed by the Chief Justice to serve on the California
Trial Court Budget Commission and on Judicial Council's Probation
Services Task Force. He has also served on the Executive Committee
of the Presiding Judges Advisory Committee to Judicial Council.
He has served on the Executive Board of the California Judges' Association.
Judge Ochoa started two successful adult drug
court programs in Santa Barbara, the Substance Abuse Treatment Court
and the Clean and Sober Calendar. These calendars offer intensive,
court supervised treatment to drug offenders. He also started a
Juvenile Drug Court program. He founded the Court Administered Appropriate
Dispute Resolution program (CADRe), to provide early ADR opportunities
for civil litigants. He has also served as a Justice Pro Tem for
the California Court of Appeal.
He is a former President of the Board of Directors
of the Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law. He later served
as a Professor at the Santa Barbara College of Law, teaching courses
on Legal Process, Statutory Law, and Legal Ethics.