Hon. Richard J. McAdams (Ret.)

T: 408-288-2240
F: 408-295-5267
Real Property

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 real property matters including purchase and sale, leasing, and owner/tenant cases.  Prior to assuming the bench, a significant part of his law practice was devoted to real property cases.

Representative Matters

  • Spinks v. Equity Residential Briarwood Apartments (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 1004 (effect of termination of employment on residential lease agreement)
  • Zipperer v. County of Santa Clara (2005) 133 Cal.App.4th 1013 (Solar Shade Control Act exemption bars property owner’s negligence action)
  • McAllister v. County of Monterey (2007) 147 Cal.App.4th 253 (issues surrounding approval of Big Sur coastal development permit )
  • County of Los Angeles v. Glendora Redevelopment Project (2010) 185 Cal.App.4th 817 (reverse validation action challenging the approval of a redevelopment plan)
  • Wunderlich v. County of Santa Cruz (2009) 178 Cal.App.4th 680 (valuation of replacement dwelling for property tax purposes)
  • Hoffman v. Smithwoods RV Park (2009) 179 Cal.App.4th 390 (mobilehome park tenant action against park owner, for violation of Mobilehome Residency Law)
  • Mediation with buyer, seller and real estate firm involving claims of failure to disclose a recent death on the property
  • Mediation of dispute between property owner and multiple tenants over issues of habitability based on mold and other conditions
  • 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
  • Arbitration of dispute between seller and buyer over claims of failure to disclose, fraud and misrepresentation and for rescission based on sewage, washer and plumbing system problems
  • Mediation between County and investment company over taxation issues arising after merger of companies with multimillion dollar real estate holdings

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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