About
Ed...
Edward J. Benthale

Benthale, McKibbin & McKnight founder Ed Benthale is no stranger to leadership. Growing up the eldest of four siblings, initially in a suburb of Boston, Ed learned early on that leadership would play a role in his life.

“I am proud to have come from a working class family that was rich in value, discipline and a strong work ethic. My father, a proud Irishman, and my mother a first generation Italian, always taught there is simply no substitute for good old fashioned hard work and best efforts.

When the family moved West, his father took a job in the shipyards of Long Beach, while his mother took a job as a sewing instructor at the local Catholic high school. They were the pioneer risk takers of the day in making such a move without any knowledge of a potential job or place to live. Ed did what he could to help the family by taking odd jobs and running errands at the tender age of 8 or 9. He did okay in school and helped set an example for his younger siblings, who all earned college degrees.

Ed worked in the retail sector during college selling shoes and men’s suits “on commission” for a large department store. Although offered a junior management position in retail, Ed elected to take a job in aerospace with Northrop following graduation from California State University. Working his way through the ranks, he served in governmental program management for the aerospace giant. He enjoyed positions in program planning, contracts administration, risk management and program management. He was proud to have ended his aerospace career working on the final governmental purchase of the B2 Bomber aircraft.

“I liked working in that sector and wanted to advance my career, so I planned to go back to night school and get my Masters” recalls Ed. “But, because much of what I did was interacting with attorneys, I decided instead to go to law school. I didn’t have an intent of being a lawyer at the time, but just wanted to learn more about the law and advance my career at Northrop”. Working full time and completing law school in 3 ½ years could not have been accomplished without the loyal support of his wife Mary.

Although he had no interest in being a licensed attorney, he took and passed the California State Bar. He however chose to remain with Northrop enjoying various management roles. Realizing a new opportunity, Ed with the support of his wife Mary and his two sons elected to end his 14 year aerospace career and enter the law profession.

He went to work for a large workers’ compensation defense firm, where he honed his skills as a litigator. After a couple of years, he joined a smaller firm closer to his new home in Murrieta. It was a good fit for a while. However, one of the lessons his father taught him early on gave him an idea.

“My father always wanted us to be entrepreneurial and start something for ourselves. I always had that in the back of my mind, and once I felt I was ready, I decided to go out on my own”. He has never looked back.


Mike McKibbin joined him early on with the eventual joinder by Ed McKnight. “As a second career attorney, I am proud to have built the practice to where it is today. I enjoy bringing all of my past experiences to the practice of law and to the management of the law firm.”

When he is not knee deep in case files, he is usually knee deep in powder snow, or flying off the wake on one of his wakeboards. An avid outdoorsman, Ed enjoys boating, camping, snow boarding, wake riding, waterskiing and generally just having a good time with family and friends. He enjoys all of these experiences with his wife Mary and two sons Ryan and Curtis.

“Ed’s perfect day would be to go snowboarding in the morning, attend a Chargers football game in the afternoon, and then go to a New Year’s Eve party”, says one close associate. “And I guarantee you he would still be going strong long after the other guests have ditched their funny hats and noisemakers”.

Whether at work or at play, he is a strong Type A personality.

“I like to work hard and play hard. But, really I just want to do things right. I see this practice growing within boundaries and never losing sight of providing our clients with personalized service. I don’t want this firm to be the biggest on the block, I just want it to be one of the best.”