Jeffrey Chisholm McAdams
It was one of those days when something extraordinary happens, an event that sets the course of a life.
Attorney Jeffrey McAdams was in law school at the time, and had been invited by a friend to watch hearings at a criminal trial. What he saw that day shocked his conscience, shaped his philosophy of practicing law, and established the direction of his legal career.
The New York Civil Liberties Union had initiated court action to free a man wrongly convicted of a crime, whose legal rights had been brutally ignored by police and prosecutors. The District Attorney got the conviction using results of a lineup that outrageously disregarded standard investigation procedures. And the accused had already been improperly imprisoned for seven years.
McAdams was appalled and disgusted by the blatant violation of the man's rights. Looking back at this turning point in his life and career, Jeffrey says, "When I saw the abuse by prosecutors, I decided to champion cases of defendants. I wanted to become a lawyer to fight against the exploitation of people's individual rights."
Working as a Public Defender after graduation from law school, McAdams quickly noticed the circumstances that led people to drown in the criminal justice system. Poverty, unemployment, conditions in housing projects, and homelessness all made people likely to get arrested, whether innocent or not. One legal problem tended to involve others. Criminal charges, landlord tenant complaints, marital conflict and family strife - many clients were dealing with a cluster of issues.
To keep people out of the criminal courts, Mr. McAdams realized he would need to represent them on multiple fronts. This insight was the beginning of his dream to build an integrated law practice, which would serve client needs comprehensively. When he finally started his own practice in 1995, he was well prepared to give his clients one convenient, powerful source of representation for many related legal needs.
Mr. McAdams' approach blends the passion of a seasoned courtroom warrior with the empathy of a trusted advisor. In a word, he's got what's called heart. He believes in a genuine working collaboration with every client, getting to know each as an individual. Since Jeffrey takes on many complex cases, he feels it's critical for an attorney to know how the resolution of a legal problem will affect the broader picture of a client's life. Only in this way is it possible to achieve a genuine long-term answer, instead of a shortsighted quick fix.
In the interest of conserving money for clients and avoiding unnecessary legal fees, his philosophy is to negotiate if you can, but fight if you have to. A better result can often be achieved for a client with a negotiated settlement, than with a long, drawn out and costly court battle.
Mr. McAdams' has published a unique series of Special Reports for clients that have received a lot of attention recently. These include How to Protect Yourself Against a Ruthless, Greedy Landlord, How to Get Divorced and Survive Financially, and How to Win Your Child Custody Case. In them, he shares nuggets of case-winning wisdom gleaned from a long, successful career and many hard won legal battles.
In fact, Rennie Bishop interviewed Jeffrey on AM 1600 WWRL, one of New York's leading talk radio stations, about the landlord tenant report. The New York Beacon also published an article about it. He's been a guest on cable TV's The Tenant Call-In Show too.
Jeffrey gives back generously to the community at a free landlord tenant clinic, helping those who have difficulty affording legal representation. People who would otherwise be victimized by unscrupulous landlords are especially grateful for his guidance and support.
Graduating from Cornell University with a major in philosophy, Jeff was awarded the distinguished cum laude designation for academic excellence. He achieved his law degree from Cornell University Law School. He speaks Spanish.
Jeffrey lives in New York City with his wife Katia and their son Gideon. He is a music aficionado, and when he's not winning cases for clients in court, can often be found at some of the more interesting concerts.
Areas of Practice
- Real Estate
- Matrimonial Law
- Family Law
- Child Custody & Visitation
- Child Support
- Same Sex Family Law
- Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements
- 80% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- New York, 1990
- Pennsylvania, 1989
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1994
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1994
- Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York
- Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
- B.A. cum laude
- Major: Philosophy
- Tenants, children, spouses, parents, criminal defendants, husbands,
- wives, injury victims, debtors, and creditors
Professional Associations and Memberships
- New York State Bar Association, 1994 - Present
- New York County Lawyers Association, 1994 - Present
Past Employment Positions
- North Country Legal Services, Inc., Managing Attorney, 1994 - 1995
- Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, Staff Attorney, 1991 - 1994
- Bedford Stuyvesant Community Legal Services, Staff Attorney, 1990 - 1991
- Defender Association of Philadelphia, Staff Attorney, 1988 - 1990
- Cornell Legal Aid Clinic, Student Attorney (Intern), 1986 - 1988
- The Public Defender Association, Seattle, Intern, Summer, 1987
- Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, Brooklyn, Intern, Summer, 1986