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Stephen K. Dunkle

Stephen K. Dunkle, Partner with Sanger Swysen and 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 responsible for the extensive law and motion and appellate practice in the Michael Jackson case.  Mr. Dunkle is an Appellate Law Specialist, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.  He has extensive experience in appellate work, including pre-trial writs and appeals before the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. He is also involved in death penalty defense litigation in matters before the Supreme Court.

Mr. Dunkle defends persons accused of crimes up to and through trial, felonies as well as misdemeanors.  Such offenses include driving under the influence (DUI or DWI), domestic violence, 

sexual offenses, embezzlement, theft, drunk in public, minor in possession of alcohol, vehicular manslaughter and homicide.  He handles parole hearings and compassionate release requests.  He has also been involved in preparing complex criminal and civil litigation matters and avoiding indictment for clients in potential federal criminal investigations.

Mr. Dunkle is admitted to practice by the State Bar of California, U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California, U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Ninth Circuit and D.C. Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Dunkle is a graduate of Pomona College, receiving his B.A. in 2000 with a major in Politics.  He received his law degree from the University of Southern California Law School in 2003.  He was a Public Interest Law Foundation Grant recipient and a member of the California Review of Law and Women's Studies at USC.  He has clerked and served as a volunteer attorney at the Santa Barbara Public Defender's Office before joining the firm.  He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the California Public Defender's  Association (CPDA), California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), California Appellate Defense Counsel (CADC) and American Bar Association (ABA).  He is the Chair of CACJ's Amicus Committee, a CACJ board member, the former co-editor of the CACJ Forum magazine and member of CACJ's Contempt Committee.  He is a member of the board of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association (SBCBA).  He has obtained an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell.  He is also designated a SuperLawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Mr. Dunkle received the 2016 Skip Glenn Award from CACJ.   The Skip Glenn award the extraordinary achievements of a young attorney (39 years-old or less).

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