Hon. Richard J. McAdams (Ret.)

T: 909-942-5942
F: 909-889-2162
Governmental/Public Agency

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, including government claims, in the Continuing Judicial Studies Program and other judicial education programs.  His bench experience included all categories of government and public entity issues   including tort and contract claims, tax disputes, employment, environmental and land use issues, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, school district matters, and inter-agency disputes.

Representative Matters

  • County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (California First Amendment Coalition) (2009) 170 Cal.App.4th 1301 (open public records laws and issues of federal homeland security provisions and county’s copyright claims and reproduction charges)
  • County of Los Angeles v. Glendora Redevelopment Project (2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 817 (invalidation of redevelopment plan where necessary findings of blight were not supported by substantial evidence in the administrative record)
  • San Lorenzo Valley Community Advocates for Responsible Education v. San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 1356 (issues surrounding school closure)
  • Mediation of dispute between two water agencies pending appeal
  • Mediation between County and commercial property owner over claims of use permit and grading permit violations and other code enforcement issues, with counterclaims for inverse condemnation and indemnity
  • Mediation between County and investment company over taxation issues arising after merger of companies with multimillion dollar real estate holdings
  • Mediation of a construction contract dispute between school district and general contractor pending appeal of a $2.5M jury verdict
  • Mediation of dispute between charter school and school district over facilities and funding

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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