The Best Law Firms in Santa Barbara

The Best Law Firms in Santa Barbara 2

Ben Thomson – Any reference to the ‘best’ law firms anywhere must involve subjective determination with a variety of factors at play, including the specific legal areas or business practice area and the needs of the client for the firm.

Those seeking commercial litigation will be different from those wanting a personal injury lawyer, of course. The legal representation that is obtained will vary according to the legal issues that are sought to be undertaken.

Santa Barbara County is located in the California Central Coast with software, tourism, engineering and petroleum extraction being the main industries in the area, but it is also a highly popular residential and holidaying area.

For those seeking specific listings there are ranking directories to find the best lawyers such as BestLawFirms and BCGSearch which can assist in determining the firms that might have the experienced lawyer you may be seeking.

For instance Mullen & Henzell have been previously awarded the title of Santa Barbara’s best law firm (handling business, property, litigation and employment law issues). But, as always, anyone seeking the ‘best’ law firm needs to know (a) the area of speciality they are looking for and (b) make their own enquiries via other lawyers, the local Bar Association, online ratings etc.

5 of the top personal injury firms in Santa Barbara:

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Bisnar Chase, (see below)


  1. The May Firm: This firm has experience handling a variety of personal injury cases, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and slip and fall accidents. The firm has multiple offices in California with a claimed 99 per cent success record for injury victims.
  2. Law Offices of Robert L. Starr: This firm has experience handling personal injury cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, and wrongful death cases.
  3. Garcia, Artigliere & Medby has wide experience handling personal injury cases arising from elder abuse and nursing home neglect, medical malpractice, and other types of accidents and injuries.
  4. Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys: This firm has experience handling a variety of personal injury cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, and defective products cases.
  5. McNamara Law Group: The firm has experience handling personal injury cases, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.

The law office of William K Gamble is also a well recognized name in personal injury litigation, with Gamble having over 50 years in handling personal injury, family law and criminal law matters. The firm have offices in multiple locations in Santa Barbara.

5 of the best business and property law firms in Santa Barbara

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Reicker Pfau attorneys (see below)
  1. Reicker Pfau is a top firm with key practice areas in transactional and business law, litigation and estate planning. The firm, established for 20 years, has continued to excel at providing high level service for clients locally and nationally.
  2. Mullen & Henzell: Business, property, litigation, estate and employment law.
  3. McNamara Law Group: This firm practices in the areas of business law and real estate law.
  4. McCune & Harber: This firm practices in the areas of business law, real estate law, and construction law.
  5. Law Offices of Eric L. Reinken: This firm practices in the areas of business law and real estate law.

Also prominent is Dracup & Patterson who have offices throughout California, including Santa Barbara and with a deserved reputation for their work in business litigation, including related areas of law including alternative dispute resolution.

5 of the best litigation law firms in Santa Barbara

  1. Capello & Noel has obtained over $1 bilion in verdicts and prides itself on its ability as a major litigation law firm. Established in 1977 the firm has focused on complex business litigation matters, which previously meant the business was going to Los Angeles law firms. It has become a significant litigation power house.
  2. Sanger Swysen & Dunkle is a well known litigation firm that has specialized in handling civil litigation and criminal litigation work at both a local and State level and in federal courts.
  3. Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George has focused on high end litigation, including representing property owner dispute and real estate transactions litigation as well as employment related litigation. It comes with a reputation for professionalism and success throughout Souther California.
  4. Marlin & Saltzman, LLP comes with a litigation reputation that focuses on employment actions and consumer litigation work, achieving some notable verdicts for clients.
  5. Bamieh & De Smeth is a well known firm that handles both personal injury litigation and also general litigation work. They have collected some significant verdicts over several years.

Best Elder Law Firms in Santa Barbara

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The growth of the retirement population of Santa Barbara has grown the number of law firms specialising in elder law and its related legal areas. Legal specialists like Jeraylyn Ehler (pictured) enjoy a high reputation for their legal expertise in the area.

Among the top firms practising in this important area are:

  1. Barnes & Barnes, a leading firm that has been practising its estate planning, trust and probate law since 1984. It also handles guardianships and convervatorships, among other areas.
  2. The Law Offices of James F Cote is another long-established Santa Barbara practice that has extensive experience in estate planning, probate and all related areas.
  3. Mullen & Henzell (above) have an excellent reputation in the area too (refer to Lori Lewis)
  4. Jeraylyn C Ehlers is a highly experienced family and estates law headed by a lawyer who has been recognized for her specialized assistance in these areas of law and for her dedication to them.
  5. Stephen E Penner is another specialist estate planning and probate lawyer who has very significant experience in this practice area.

Best Criminal Defense Law Firms in Santa Barbara

Criminal law cases involve a multitude of potentially serious consequences and there are ways to obtain assistance such as through the Santa Barbara Lawyer Referral Services, which can help you find lawyers to defend a case.

The intake staff at the Santa Barbara County Bar Association are focused on helping you to locate whatever legal help is required, no matter how complex the issue may be.

You can call the State Bar certified, public service oriented, Santa Barbara County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service to find the right criminal defense attorney but consider the following also –

Sanford Horowitz is highly recognized as a leading criminal defense attorney handling criminal charges and general felony criminal offenses. His background includes professional life working for the Santa Barbara District Attorneys office before starting his own criminal defense practice.

William K Gamble (mentioned above) is another well known criminal lawyer.

For estate planning and probate issues DT Law Partners are regarded as one of the best. Attorney John Ambrecht has ‘Super Lawyers’ ranking and is well experienced in the area. They also handle business law and litigation in the estate and probate areas.

What to Think About When Choosing the Best Santa Barbara Lawyer

Obviously you will check the experience of the attorneys in terms of what you are seeking, but you should also rank highly those lawyers who are prepared to provide a free consultation and, preferably, a free case evaluation.

These will both stand you in good stead when making your choice and particularly when you consider the breadth of experience and other relevant information they can provide you regarding their expertise.

Areas like business transactions experience for business lawyers will involve enquiries based on the experience and based on the clients’ needs, but having an attorney who check out (in terms of Bar Association reputation), years of experience and their reviews for legal services provided will all hep you make the best choice when looking at the lawyer you want to ‘go with’.

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