The Hon. John A. Behnke is a judge for the Superior Court of Mendocino County in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Henry K. Nelson.
Behnke earned a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University. After graduating from college, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Then, upon his return to the United States, he enrolled in the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, where he completed a J.D. in 1977.
He began his legal career as a deputy district attorney in the Office of the District Attorney of Mendocino County in 1977.
Then, in 1981, he left the public sector. He became a partner at Gaustad & Behnke and, two years later, headed Carter, Behnke, Oglesby & Bacik, where he specialized in real estate and land dispute matters.