The Honorable Rafael Vazquez

Monterey County Superior Court, Department 5


The Hon. Rafael Vazquez is a judge for the Monterey County Superior Court in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2017. He filled the vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. Albert H. Maldonado (Ret.).

He is a registered Democrat.

Judge Vazquez graduated with his B.S. in Criminal Justice from San Jose State University in 2000. A year later, he also obtained his M.S. from San Jose State University. He then received his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 2004.

While in law school, Vazquez served a clerkship at Kazan Law. After graduating from law school, Vazquez joined the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, where he worked as a deputy district attorney for three years.

Then, in 2007, Vazquez reentered private practice, where he practiced briefly at Abramson, Church, and Stave LLP, before then rejoining Kazan Law for a brief stint in 2008.

After leaving the firm in 2009, Vazquez returned to the public sector, joining the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office as an assistant district attorney, where he worked from 2010 until his appointment to the Monterey County Superior Court in 2017.

Before joining the bench, Vazquez, who was the son of immigrant parents, was part of a coalition in Santa Cruz County that sought to combat sexual abuse of immigrant farm workers, in 2014.

During his tenure on the Superior Court, Judge Vazquez has presided in the Felony Trial Department.

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