Hon. Benjamin T. Reyes II is a judge for the Contra Costa County Superior Court in California. He was appointed to the bench in 2017 by former governor Jerry Brown. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Thomas M. Maddock (Ret.). At the time of his appointment to the bench, Judge Reyes held the distinction of being the first Filipino-American to be named a judge in Contra Costa County.
He is a registered Democrat.
Judge Reyes graduated with his B.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1987. He went on to earn his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1992.
While in college, Reyes, who was an active JROTC member in high school, served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1983 to 1987. He also served as a community service officer with the University of California Police Department.
After graduating from law school, Reyes would begin his legal career as an associate at the law firm of Boornazian, Jensen, and Garthe PC, where he practiced for four years.
He served briefly as a deputy city attorney for the San Jose City Attorney's Office in 1997, before becoming an attorney for the East Bay Municipal Utility District's Office of General Counsel from 1997 to 2000. He also served briefly as general counsel for Utility.com from 2000 to 2001.
Reyes then worked as a city attorney for Union City and the City of Pinole. During that time, Reyes represented the cities in code enforcement, First Amendment issues, premises liability, excessive use of force allegations, land use, and competitive bidding matters. He also served as a legal advisor to the cities mayors and city agencies.
He entered back into the private arena in 2001, joining the law firm of Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver, and Wilson PLC, where he worked first as an associate, until being named an equity principal in 2005. He remained in that capacity until his appointment to the Superior Court in 2017. During his tenure with the firm, Reyes served as chair for the firms Public Contract Practice Group and also served on the Executive Committee and Diversity Committee at the firm.
While on the bench, Judge Reyes has presided over the Criminal Division at the George D. Carroll Courthouse.
His memberships have included the Filipino Bar Association of Northern California, the Asian American Association of the Greater Bay Area, the National Asian Pacific Bar Association, and the National Filipino American Lawyers Association. He also served as president of the Alameda Free Library Foundation, where he was instrumental in helping to expand the library's resources and enrichment through the addition of artwork and books.
Reyes has taught at the University of San Francisco School of Law's Intensive Advocacy Program and at Stanford Law School's Trial Skills Program.
Judge Reyes was born in Olongapo City in the Philipines. After his family immigrated to the United States, Reyes would become active with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), reaching the level of Eagle Scout. Reyes has also served as Vice President of the BSA for Alameda County.
In his free time, Judge Reyes enjoys traveling with his wife and children and also takes karate lessons.