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 disputes involving schools and school districts and their teachers, administrators and students. Prior to assuming the bench, a portion of his law practice was devoted to pro bono representation of early childhood educational programs.
- On the Court of Appeal, Justice McAdams authored several opinions on school issues including: San Lorenzo Valley Community Advocates for Responsible Education v. San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 1356 (school closure and CEQA)
- Mediation of wrongful termination claim between teacher and religious school
- Mediation of dispute between charter school and school district over facilities and funding