Richard McAdams

Hon. Richard J. McAdams (Ret.)

Case Manager
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
    •  Executive Board, 1989–1992
    •  Various Committees, 1986–2003 (including Civil Law & Procedures Committee and Family Law Committee, 1995–1997)
  • Member, Judicial Council Civil Jury Instructions Advisory Committee (CACI), 2008–2011
  • Judicial Educator, California Center for Judicial Education and Research (CJER), 1987– 2008 (including chair of the Civil Law Education Committee, chair of the Continuing Judicial Studies Program (CJSP), and Civil Law and Procedure faculty member (Judicial College, Civil Law and Procedure Institute and CJSP)
  • Co-Chair and Member, Appellate Courts Committee, Santa Clara County Bar Association, 2008–2011
  • "An Appealing Approach"; Daily Journal; March 2, 2012
  • 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



Practice Areas

  • Appellate
  • Arbitration
  • Business/Commercial
  • Education/Schools
  • Employment
  • Environmental/Land Use
  • Estates/Probate/Trusts
  • Family Law
  • Governmental/Public Agency
  • Personal Injury/Torts
  • Real Property
Available nationwide


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More