The Hon. Jose R. Benavides is a judge for the Superior Court of Kern County in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in December 2009, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Charles B. Pfister.
Benavides earned a B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1979. He then continued his studies at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, where he completed a J.D. in 1982.
Prior to his appointment to the bench, Benavides worked as an attorney in his own private practice in Kern County for twelve years. Before that, he was an associate at Klein, Wegis et al. from 1993 to 1996. He has also worked at a number of law firms throughout Los Angeles, Pasadena, and Whittier. These included Vallejo and Benavides, the Law Offices of Ned Good, Hawkins, Schnabel and Lindahl, as well as Irell and Manella.
He has served as President of the Board of Community Action Partnership as well a President of the Kern Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He has also been an active participant of the Bakersfield Rotary Club and Leadership Bakersfield.
Benavides was born in Reedley but raised in Arvin, California. He attended Arvin High School, graduating in 1975.
He is registered as a Democrat.