A former Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA), Jerry Behnke’s trial and appellate practice covers white collar criminal defense and internal investigations, as well as complex civil litigation matters.
Clients value Jerry’s tenacity and willingness to work closely with them to develop the best strategies to achieve their optimal results. With his diverse background handling criminal and civil matters in state and federal courts, Jerry has the proven experience 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.
Notable Experience and Results
In his more than 25 years of practice, Jerry has tried a wide variety of cases in both state and federal courts and in arbitration. He is also an experienced appellate attorney and has argued cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Jerry’s practice has included a broad range of matters—from complex business disputes and white collar cases to homicides and sexual assaults.
Jerry represents companies, executives, and other individuals in white collar criminal matters. He has conducted internal investigations on behalf of companies as well as government entities. Jerry draws upon his broad experience to defend clients in investigations and prosecutions related to conspiracy, healthcare fraud, government contracting fraud, public corruption, tax violations, and other white collar cases. His record includes securing a midtrial dismissal of all charges against a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent accused of conspiracy and fraud, negotiating a civil compromise of a case involving allegations of insurance fraud which resulted in the dismissal of all criminal charges against a manufacturing company, securing a non-prosecution agreement resulting in dismissal of criminal charges against a hazardous waste disposal company accused of violating the Clean Water Act, and obtaining a pre-preliminary hearing dismissal of all charges against a doctor accused of insurance fraud.
Jerry also represents companies of all sizes and individuals as plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes civil disputes in state and federal courts as well as in arbitration. He has defended companies in lawsuits brought under the federal Clean Water Act, served as co-lead counsel in complex arbitration matter involving more than 50 days of evidentiary hearings, and represented a financial services company in a joint investigation by several District Attorneys’ Offices related to allegations of unfair competition and false advertising.
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 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
- Loyola Law School, J.D.
- University of Southern California, B.A.
- District of Columbia
- 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