Hon. Richard J. McAdams (Ret.)

T: 408-288-2240
F: 408-295-5267
Personal Injury/Torts

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 torts, in the Continuing Judicial Studies Program and other judicial education programs.  His bench experience included all categories of personal injury and tort matters as well as wrongful death.  Prior to assuming the bench, a significant part of his law practice was devoted to personal injury cases.

Representative Matters

  • Truong v. Nguyen (2007) 156 Cal.App.4th 865 (wrongful death action arising from a personal watercraft collision; question of primary assumption of risk)
  • Melton v. Boustred (2010) 183 Cal.App.4th 521 (homeowner’s posting of an open party invitation on a social networking website does not create a legal duty to protect guests from an unforeseeable risk of harm)
  • Mediated numerous wrongful death and personal injury cases involving auto accidents, medical/dental malpractice, premises liability and product liability
  • Mediation of dispute between property owner and multiple tenants over issues of habitability including tort claims based on mold
  • Mediation of rafting accident with related assumption of risk issues
  • Mediation of amusement park injury
  • Mediated defamation cases
  • Neutral evaluation of catastrophic death and injury case
  • Arbitration of slip and fall/premises liability case
  • Mediation of case with multiple defendants involving injuries caused by improperly assembled home entertainment center

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

Disclaimer

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