Jerry A.
Behnke

Partner

 
"From my first experience as a file clerk through more than 25 years as an attorney, I enjoy the variety of work the law offers. My career evolved by pursuing and embracing new challenges, so no matter the legal issue, I roll up my sleeves, dive in, and work with my clients on a winning strategy."

Education

  • Loyola Law School, J.D.
  • University of Southern California, B.A.

Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S.D.C. Central District California
  • U.S.D.C. Eastern District California
  • U.S.D.C. Southern District California
  • U.S.D.C. District of Columbia

A former Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA), Jerry Behnke’s trial and appellate practice covers white collar criminal defense and internal investigations, as well as a broad range of complex civil litigation matters.

With his diverse background handling criminal and civil matters in state and federal courts, Jerry has the proven experience and acute knowledge to navigate clients through the many complex and varied issues that may arise when the government initiates an investigation or prosecution of a white collar matter. In these situations, clients value Jerry’s tenacity and willingness to work closely with them to develop the best strategies to achieve their optimal goals. As just one example, a large financial services company praised Jerry for taking the time to really learn the intricacies of their unique business while responding to a government investigation and negotiating a favorable outcome.

If negotiation fails, Jerry draws upon his experience trying more than 45 cases in both state and federal courts and in arbitration, as well as handling numerous appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Based on his enviable track record in the courtroom, he believes that the key to winning at trial is preparation combined with skilled advocacy. Through detailed preparation, Jerry identifies the key facts and evidence, as well as the weaknesses in the other side’s argument. He then applies skilled advocacy gained from trying all types of cases—from complex business disputes and white collar cases to homicides and sexual assaults—to present his client’s case in court, poised for a successful result.

Notable Experience and Results

Throughout his career, Jerry has thrived on unique, challenging cases. As a young prosecutor, he tried one of the first cases that involved short tandem repeat DNA analysis and conducted a week-long evidentiary hearing to establish the reliability and admissibility of the DNA results. As an Assistant United States Attorney, Jerry handled one of the first cases to proceed to trial in which jurisdiction was based on the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act. At Larson, he defended a client at trial in a matter that involved complicated and unique regulatory issues related to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business set aside contracts. Jerry’s clients benefit from his experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney in criminal cases and as both plaintiff’s counsel and defense counsel in civil cases as he works with them to meet any legal challenge they may face.

Professional Impact

In addition to his litigation and trial work, Jerry remains actively involved with the federal court through volunteer activities. He has served as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, a role that fosters open communication between judges and attorneys. Jerry has also served as a member of the Central District of California’s Merit Selection Panel, which evaluates and recommends to the District Judges the most qualified applicants for appointment to the position of U.S. Magistrate Judge and evaluates and recommends to the District Judges whether an incumbent Magistrate Judge whose term is expiring should be reappointed to a new term of office.

Prior Experience

Prior to joining Larson, Jerry served for 13 years as an AUSA in the Central and Southern Districts of California, where he handled federal and state anti-corruption, fraud, and regulatory matters. As an AUSA in the Southern District of California, Jerry was a member of the Major Frauds and Special Prosecutions Section and also served as a discovery coordinator. He also previously served as Deputy Chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Riverside branch office. Before his work as a federal prosecutor, Jerry served as a Deputy District Attorney for Riverside County.

Higher Education Honors and Achievements

  • Order of the Coif

Education

  • Loyola Law School, J.D.
  • University of Southern California, B.A.

Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S.D.C. Central District California
  • U.S.D.C. Eastern District California
  • U.S.D.C. Southern District California
  • U.S.D.C. District of Columbia

Jerry's
Associations

We use cookies on this site to enhance your experience. By using our website, you accept our use of cookies.