Hon. Richard J. McAdams (Ret.)

T: 408-288-2240
F: 408-295-5267
Family Law

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 four years as the court’s solo Family law judge.  He also heard family law cases, as assigned, while presiding in other departments throughout his trial bench career and taught selected family law topics in various judicial education programs.  Prior to assuming the bench, a significant part of his law practice was devoted to family law matters. He also heard family law, estate, probate and trust matters, as assigned, while presiding in other departments throughout his trial bench career. 

Representative Matters

On the Court of Appeal, Justice McAdams authored many opinions concerning family issues including:

  • In re Marriage of Blazer (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 1438 (self-employed spouse, business reinvestment and determination of spousal support)
  • In re Marriage of Rossin (2009) 172 Cal.App.4th 725 (characterization of private disability benefits)
  • Librers v. Black (2004) (presumed fatherhood and standing to bring paternity action)
  • In re Marriage of Tejeda (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 973(putative spouse issues)

In addition, he authored unpublished opinions on a variety of family law issues including:

    •  termination and modification of child and spousal support
    • community property business apportionment issues
    • reimbursements (“Watts” issues)
    • omitted assets
    • goodwill value of businesses
    • stock options and support
    • rescission of marital settlement agreements
    • sanctions under F.C. §271
    • nullity
  • Has mediated disputes involving: 
    • property division
    • custody and visitation
    • child and spousal support and attorney fees
    • post-judgment issues
    • termination of Domestic Partnership
    • “Marvin” issues
  • Has served as an arbitrator in cases involving:
    • post-judgment issues
    • visitation
    • child support
    • spousal support
    • property issues including deferred sale of family home and attorney fees

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • “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

Background and Education

  • 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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