JOHN CLAYTON ADAMS III
Born in 1951 - U.S. Naval Academy Hospital, Annapolis, Maryland.
B.A.- History; U.C. Irvine (June 1973)
J.D.- Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles (June 1979)
State Bar Admissions:
California Supreme Court/State Bar of
California, November 1979
Federal Bar Admissions:
U.S. District Court, Central District of California (1981)
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California (2011)
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (1981)
Admitted In Haec Vice:
U.S. District Court, Denver, Colorado; and
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
(Re: Budd v.. American Excess Insurance Co.,
(10TH Cir. 1991) 928 F.2d 344.
Mr. Adams is the principal in the firm of Hunt & Adams, Inc., specializing in major
tort litigation, with an emphasis on serious personal injury/wrongful death cases
arising from major automobile, tractor-trailer, and other vehicular accidents, dangerous
premises, defective products, medical, psychological, and legal malpractice, and
public entity negligence; as well as insurance bad faith/insurance coverage and
selected business fraud/tort cases.
Since his admission to the California Bar in 1979, Mr. Adams’ entire professional
career has been devoted to representing consumers in civil litigation and civil appellate
work involving major personal injury/wrongful death cases caused by negligence,
defective products, dangerous conditions of public or private property, and medical-psychological
or legal malpractice; as well as selected fraud and other tort cases.
Mr. Adams began his legal career (1979-1984) as a trial and appellate associate with
the Law Offices of Wylie A. Aitken (one of the preeminent personal injury/tort litigation
firms in Orange County; now Aitken, Aitken & Cohen); where he had clerked directly
for Mr. Aitken from 1977 through 1979 while completing law school.
After a short period of employment as a civil trial and appellate specialist with
another law firm (1984-1986), Mr. Adams left to pursue a partnership opportunity.
Mr. Adams became one of the founding partners in the firm of Adams, Rowley, Mathews
and Hadley in Fullerton, California (1986-1991) continuing to specialize in civil
litigation and appellate practice until leaving in 1991 to become a partner in the
firm of Hunt, Colaw & Adams; with the late Vernon W. Hunt, Jr., and Thierry Patrick
Colaw (who now serves as an Orange County Superior Court Judge).
Since 1979, Mr. Adams has therefore accumulated extensive experience in all phases
of civil litigation, including substantial jury trial experience which was recognized
by his peers in 2003 by their invitation to become an associate of the Orange County
Chapter of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and has been
an ABOTA member in good standing since 2003.
Mr. Adams also has extensive appellate experience; with published opinions in the
4th District Court of Appeal (Institute of Veterinary Pathology v. California Health
Labs, (1981) 116 Cal. App.3d 111); the California Supreme Court (Mesler v. Bragg
Management, (1985) 39 Cal.3d 290) and the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (Budd
v.. American Excess Insurance Co. (10th Cir. 1991) 928 F.2d 344),. Mr. Adams has
presented oral argument in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th California District Courts of Appeal,
the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition, Mr. Adams has been an invited guest speaker for The Rutter Group, The
Consumer Attorneys of California (previously The California Trial Lawyers Association),
the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB,
California State Bar), The National Business Institute, and The Orange County Bar
Association College of Trial Advocacy; presenting numerous seminars on Personal Injury
Practice, Trial Practice, Law & Motion & Appellate Practice, Insurance Bad Faith/Coverage,
Uninsured Motorist Practice, and other related civil litigation and appellate topics.
Mr. Adams has had extensive Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) experience (as both
a litigator and mediator/arbitrator) in various types of binding and non-binding
arbitrations and mediations; including three-arbitrator/judge panel binding arbitration
of medical malpractice claims. Mr. Adams also has experience with Christian-based
alternative resolutions of disputes between churches and/or individual Christians.
Mr. Adams has been awarded the highest “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell; the preeminent
independent attorney rating service in the United States. The “AV” rating designates
the highest level of professional knowledge and ethics, reflecting the confidential
opinions of judges Mr. Adams has appeared before, and attorneys Mr. Adams has litigated
cases for and against.
He has also had experience as an expert witness/consultant in insurance bad faith/insurance
coverage, legal malpractice and other civil cases.
Mr. Adams was also nominated by his peers for inclusion in the Southern California
Super Lawyers list (2007 to the present).
OTHER PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND ACTIVITIES:
American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) (2003 to present)
Orange County Trial Lawyers Association (1980 to present)
Past President (2006)
Executive Board (1986-1989) (1995-1999)
Orange County Bar Association (1980 to present)
Board of Directors (1988 to 1994)
Daniel's Inn (Charter Member/Seminar Speaker) (1994 to present)
Married: Wife (Charlotte J. Adams, Esq.); 3 children (Rick, Chelsea and Joshua),
3 grandchildren (Anthony, Jasmine and Josiah).
Interests/Activities: Mr. Adams is active with his wife and family in their local
Christian church and his children’s and grandchildren's various pursuits. He also
enjoys racquetball, working out, chess, hiking, fishing and travel.