Mediator's Profile

Hon. Frank Ochoa

Business Name: Destination Dispute Resolution, LLC

Hon. Frank Ochoa has served as a private mediator, arbitrator, referee, special master and hearing officer since he retired in 2015 after more than three decades of service on the superior and municipal courts. He heard the full range of civil, family and probate cases, including complex, high-profile matters, on the Santa Barbara Superior Court (1997-2015). Impelled by his Legal Aid experience and a realization that the traditional litigation forum was not the best way to resolve some of the cases in court, Judge Ochoa implemented the CADRe (Court Administered Appropriate Dispute Resolution) “ADR” Program.

Judge 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…”

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.

Judge Ochoa is a panelist on the American Arbitration Association’s roster of arbitrators and mediators, and is a panelist for Resolute Systems, LLC. He is an approved member of the Santa Barbara Superior Court’s panels for Arbitrators, Mediators, and Neutral Case Evaluators, and is a panelist for the Ventura County Superior Court’s mediation programs.

Areas of Focus

  • Commercial
  • Business
  • Contract
  • Partnership Disputes
  • Real Estate
  • Employment
  • Workplace
  • Personal Injury
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Professional Malpractice
  • Product Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Elder
  • Guardianship
  • Trust / Estates
  • Probate


  • University of California, Davis – School of Law, Juris Doctor, Law, 1975
  • University of California Santa Barbara, Bachelor’s degree, English and History Major Degrees, 1972
  • Long Beach City College, Associate of Arts, English

Mediation Training

  • Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Continuing Judicial Studies Program (35 hours)
  • American Institute of Mediation, “Mediating Commercial & Litigated Cases (40 hours)
  • Arbitration Training:  American Arbitration Association, “Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices”
  • National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals-2019 Advanced Mediation Training Course (3 days-Seattle, WA)
  • National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals-2022 Advanced Mediation Training Course (3 days)-Atlanta, GA)

 ADR Courses

  • Mediation Certificate of Training,  Pepperdine University School of Law,  2001
  • Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Continuing Judicial Studies Program
  • Mediation Certificate of Training, “Mediating Commercial & Litigated Cases”  2015
  • American Institute of Mediation
  • MCLE Course, “Avoiding Damaging Mistakes in Mediation”, Santa Barbara County Bar 2015 Assn. 7/21/15
  • American Arbitration Association, “Arbitration Fundamentals and Best Practices for New AAA Arbitrators” 2016
  • American Arbitration Association, “Award Writing”  2016
  • American Arbitration Association, “Protecting the Reasoned Arbitration Award” 2017

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
  • National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
  • California Academy of Distinguished Neutrals
  • California State Mediation and Conciliation Service


  • State of California (1975)
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (1976)
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (1979)
  • U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (1980)

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