The Honorable Thomas W. Wills

Monterey County Superior Court, Department 8


The Hon. Thomas W. Wills is a judge for the Monterey County Superior Court in California. He was appointed to the bench by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2008. He filled the vacancy created by the removal of the Hon. Jose A. Velasquez from the bench.

He is a registered Democrat.

Judge Wills received his B.S. from Fordham University. He went on to earn his J.D. from Monterey College of Law in 1979.

While in law school, Wills clerked at the Salinas law firm of Noland, Hamerly, Etienne, and Hoss. Then, after graduating, he began practicing at the erstwhile law firm of Pioda, Bryan, and Ames. Wills was made a partner at the firm in 1982 and would remain with the firm, which would become Wills and Benoit, for twenty-nine years. During his tenure in private practice, Wills specialized in both civil and criminal cases.

Wills also taught business law at Monterey Peninsula College and trial advocacy at Stanford Law School's Advocacy Skills Workshop.

He received the Lews Fenton Award in Excellence in Advocacy from the Monterey County Bar Association in 2007.

He served on the executive committee as well as the board of trustees for the Monterey College of Law. He has been a member of the Monterey County Bar Association where he also served on the executive committee.

Before taking the bench, Wills served as a judge pro tem for the Superior Court.

After his appointment to the bench, Judge Wills has served as the Supervising Judge for the Criminal Misdemeanor Division and has presided in the Misdemeanor Trial Department.

Judge Wills was born in New York. He was the oldest of fourteen children and had his first job as a paperboy at the age of ten.

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