Honorable Benjamin Reyes II — Department 16

Biographical Information

  • Education: University of California, Berkeley, B.A. 1987; University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D., 1992
  • Political Affiliation: Democrat; Appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.


Pre-Bench Legal Experience

  • For most of his 24 years as an attorney, Judge Reyes managed a public agency practice. Judge Reyes was an Equity Principal at Meyers, Nave, Riback, Silver and Wilson since 2005, and was an associate from 2001 to 2005. He chaired the firm’s Public Contract Practice Group and served on the firm’s Executive Committee and Diversity Committee.
  • While at Meyers Nave, he served as the City Attorney for the Cities of Pinole and Union City and District Counsel for the Stege Sanitary District in El Cerrito. Judge Reyes also held the position of General Counsel for the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee and Assistant General Counsel for the Rodeo-Hercules Fire District. He also served as Assistant General Counsel for the Northern California Power Agency.
  • While in private practice, Judge Reyes served as special counsel for the East Bay Regional Park District, the Cities of Berkeley, Walnut Creek, Newark, San Leandro, El Cerrito, Monterey, the Monterey Airport District, and the Alameda Health System.
  • Judge Reyes served as General Counsel and Secretary of the Board of Utility.com from 2000 to 2001 and as an attorney at the East Bay Municipal Utility District from 1997 to 2000.
  • Judge Reyes started his career in public law as a Deputy City Attorney at the San Jose City Attorney’s Office. He also served as an associate at Boornazian, Jensen and Garthe.

Judicial Experience

None prior to appointment in May 2017.


Pre-bench Civic & Professional Activities

  • Judge Reyes served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1983 to 1987.
  • Judge Reyes is an Eagle Scout. He served as the President of the Alameda Free Library Foundation, as a Board Member / Young Alumni Council Member of the California Alumni Association (Berkeley) and as the Chair of the Contra Costa City Attorneys Association.


Current Civic & Professional Activities

  • Vice President of Boy Scouts of America, Alameda Council
  • Active in Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC), Asian American Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA), National Asian Pacific Bar Association (NAPABA) and National Filipino American Lawyers Association (NFALA)


Continuing Legal Education Faculty

Currently teaching at USF School of Law Intensive Advocacy Program and Stanford Law School Trial Skills Program.


Important published decision(s)

Bay Cities Paving & Grading v. City of San Leandro (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 1181


Typical weekly schedule

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


Courtroom Policies

Generally rules from the bench. Adheres to court rules.



Per court rules



Per court rules



Per court rules; Please adhere to page limitations. Pinpoint citations are appreciated. When preparing a motion, submit a proposed order.



Per court rules


Settlement Conferences

Per court rules



Per court rules


In Limine Motions

Per court rules; The court prefers that the parties “meet and confer” to discuss in limine motions that are routine and be prepared to stipulate on standard motions.


Voir Dire

Per court rules


Jury Instructions

Per court rules; prefers to use CalCrim and not CalJic instructions.



Per court rules. Only request to approach witness once. Then permission is granted to approach throughout testimony session.



Per court rules



Per court rules; please pre-mark exhibits and show to opposing counsel before approaching witness and/or publishing to jury.



Per court rules. Treat opposing counsel, court staff and court with respect and courtesy at all times; Avoid excessive objections during opening statements and closing arguments.


Court Reporters & Translators

Per court rules; Speak slowly. When translators are used, the translators require frequent breaks (every half-hour to 45 minutes).


Computers in the Courtroom

Computers, tablets and other electronic devices are allowed in the court room. If using computers to play audio files, the court recommends using portable external or Bluetooth speakers, rather than the court microphones to amplify internal speakers.



The Court’s has an available ELMO machine in the hallway for use by counsel.


Cameras in the Courtroom

Per court rules