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Richard McAdams

Hon. Richard J. McAdams (Ret.)

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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 and as a CEQA judge handling an individual caseload from filing through post-judgment proceedings.  He also heard land use and environmental cases, as assigned, while presiding in other departments throughout his trial bench career. 

Representative Matters

  • Architectural Heritage Association v. County of Monterey (2004) 122 Cal.App.4th 1095 (negative declaration and proposed mitigation measures regarding impact of historic site demolition deemed insufficient in light of CEQA)
  • California Native Plant Society v. City of Santa Cruz (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 957 (city’s reliance on a legally sufficient environmental impact report and rejection of project alternatives based on public policy considerations found not to be in violation of CEQA)
  • Friends of Juana Briones House v. City of Palo Alto (2010) 190 Cal.App.4th 286 (historic adobe house demolition permit as a ministerial act under City’s governing municipal code provisions and not subject to provisions of CEQA)
  • Zipperer v. County of Santa Clara (2005) 133 Cal.App.4th 1013 (Solar Shade Control Act exemption bars property owner’s negligence action)
  • 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)
  • McAllister v. County of Monterey (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 253 (issues surrounding approval of Big Sur coastal development permit )
  • Mediation of suit brought by a State agency against a County and a private developer alleging CEQA violations.
  • Neutral evaluation of CEQA mandamus action brought by community group over an expansion project of a local transportation district
  • “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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