Skip Glenn Award

Stephen Dunkle, Esq.

Stephen Dunkle graduated from Pomona College and USC Law School. He began his career as a law clerk and volunteer attorney with the Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office. He was then hired as an associate by the firm of Sanger & Swysen (now Sanger Swysen & Dunkle). His practice includes representing defendants in trials and appeals in state and federal court. He is an Appellate Law Specialist, certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Mr. Dunkle is on the Board of Governors of CACJ. He serves as the co-editor of the CACJ Forum since 2010, and is Vice Chair of the Amicus Committee, and Chair of the Contempt Committee.

Mr. Dunkle’s career highlights include being part of the team of attorneys who successfully defended Michael Jackson. He was
primarily responsible for the extensive law and motion and appellate practice in the case.

Mr. Dunkle led a team of criminal defense attorneys who volunteered their time to defend against a proposed gang injunction in Santa Barbara. He devoted more than 400 hours of his time over three years on pro bono basis to fight the injunction. Following a four week bench trial, the court issued its decision denying the injunction. It is believed to be the first time that a court has rejected a proposed gang injunction.

Mr. Dunkle filed a writ petition in Johnson v. Superior Court (No. B266421, 2016 WL 6302112 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 27, 2016)), a death penalty case, based on vindictive prosecution which resulted in the Court of Appeal issuing a writ of mandate directing the trial court to dismiss two counts of murder with special circumstances and one count of attempted murder.


Purpose of the Award:

To recognize the extraordinary achievements of a young attorney (39 or less).

Origin of the Award:

The Skip Glenn Award for Excellence in Advocacy was created as a way of recognizing the work of young, unsung California criminal defense attorneys. The naming of this award is intended as a tribute to Skip Glenn, who died in 1980, at the age of 39, following a massive heart attack. “Skip was a tireless, unselfish, dedicated worker,” said CACJ President Charles M. Sevilla. “And an inspiration to those who knew him.” The qualities of selfless dedication and tireless work are those we want to recognize in our award recipient. From the civil rights movement of the 1960's onwards, Skip Glenn represented hundreds of defendants in cases frequently involving political controversy, and just as frequently involving little or no pay. He participated in the defense of Paul Skyhorse, Richard Mohawk, and the San Quentin 6. In the case of civil rights activist Gary Lawton, being tried for the third time on charges of murdering two policemen, Glenn got an acquittal after the longest trial in Riverside County history. At the time of his death, he was involved with the 'Cheese King' murder trial in San Jose. In addition to his work as a criminal defense attorney, Glenn was appointed by Governor Brown in 1975 to a task force of lawyers charged with supervising the implementation of California's new Agricultural Labor Relations Act.


| Lifetime Achievement Award | Legislative Awards | Charles R. Garry Award |
| Skip Glenn Award | Journalistic Integrity Awards | President’s Awards |

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