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Richard McAdams

Hon. Richard J. McAdams (Ret.)

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Josephine Care
T: 408-346-0737
F: 408-295-5267
160 W. Santa Clara St. , Suite 1600 , San Jose , CA 95113

Prior to his tenure on the California Court of Appeal, Sixth District from 2003 to 2011, Justice McAdams served over 26 years on the bench in Santa Cruz County, including five years on the Civil calendar handling an individual caseload from filing through post-judgment proceedings.  He also heard civil cases, as assigned, while presiding in other departments throughout his trial bench career and taught civil topics in the Continuing Judicial Studies Program and other judicial education programs.  His bench experience included all categories of business litigation including corporation and partnership disputes, contract litigation, insurance disputes, professional liability cases, and related matters.  Prior to assuming the bench, a significant part of his law practice was devoted to advising small businesses and nonprofits organizations.

Representative Matters

On the Court of Appeal, Justice McAdams authored several published opinions concerning business disputes including:

  • Dorel Industries, Inc. v. Superior Court (Jackson) (2005) 136 Cal.App.4th 1267 (exercise of jurisdiction over foreign company under the “representative service doctrine”)
  • K.C. Multimedia, Inc. v. Bank of America Technology & Operations, Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 939 (California Uniform Trade Secrets Act and preemption)
  • Stonelight Tile, Inc., v. California Insurance Guarantee Association (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 19 (summary judgment for defendant affirmed where continuous loss and policies of solvent insurers not exhausted )

As a neutral, representative matters include:

  • Mediation of multi-party dispute over the purchase, development and operation of a winery
  • Arbitration of dispute involving radio program marketing services
  • Mediation of dispute between two corporations over misappropriation of trade secrets and other confidential information by terminated employees who joined rival company
  • Mediation of a construction contract dispute between school district and general contractor pending appeal of a $2.5M jury verdict
  • Arbitration of attorney client dispute including claims of attorney malpractice in business dispute
  • Arbitration of attorney malpractice action arising from estate planning services
  • Mediation of malpractice claims against veterinarian and an animal hospital after death of pedigreed dog and puppies
  • “Appellate Justice of the Year,” Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, 2010
  • Member, California Judges Association, 1977-present
    • Civil Law & Procedures Committee, 2000-2003
    • Family Law Committee, 1995-1997
    • Discipline and Disability Committee, 1992-1995
    • Executive Board, 1989-1992
    • Courts & Technology Committee, 1988-1989
    • Judicial Elections Committee, 1987-1988
    • Courts Administration Committee, 1986-1987
  • Appellate Justice, Sixth District Court of Appeal, 2003-2011
  • Superior Court Judge, Santa Cruz County, 1998-2003
  • Municipal Court Judge, Santa Cruz County, 1977-1998
    • Assigned to Superior Court, 1994-1998
    • Presiding Judge, 1980, 1984, 1987, and 1990
  • Founding Partner, Fox McAdams and Popin, 1974-1977
  • Solo practice, 1973
  • Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Santa Cruz, 1970-1973
    • Acting Director, 1973
  • Attorney, Jarvis, Miller and Stender, 1969-1970
  • J.D., Hastings College of Law, 1968 
  • B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1965

Counsel Comments

    Named “Appellate Justice of the Year” by the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association, 2010

    “Throughout my judicial career, I have been dedicated to the fair and just resolution of cases and to the creation and promotion of alternatives to traditional litigation. It is my experience that disputes can be resolved in a timely and efficient fashion without sacrificing the participant’s right to be heard and the right to be treated with respect.”

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