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Richard McAdams

Hon. Richard J. McAdams (Ret.)

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Josephine Care
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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.

Representative Matters

  • 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
  • “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
  • "An Appealing Approach," Daily Journal, ADR Profile, 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




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