University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., 2005

Salzburg University, Salzburg Austria, Certificate in International Studies, Summer 2004

University of California, San Diego, B.A., 2002

State Bar of California

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for Central District of California

U.S. District Court for Southern District of California

U.S. District Court for Northern District of California

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal

Co-Chair, California Franchise Law Committee (2015-2016) – a Standing Committee of the Business Law Section of the California State Bar

Vice-Chair, Content Production Subcommittee of the California Franchise Law Committee (2014-2016)

Vice-Chair, Membership for the California Franchise Law Committee (2019-present)

Case Reporter, California Franchise Law Committee (2014-2016)

Member, State Bar of California, Franchise Law Committee (2013-present)

Member, State Bar of California, Business Law Section (2013-present)

Member, American Bar Association – Forum Committee on Franchising (2010-present)

San Diego County Bar Association (2005-2008)

Association of Business Trial Lawyers – Orange County Chapter (2013-present)

Member, American Bar Association (2010-present)

Orange County Bar Association (2008-present)

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law Alumni Association (2005-present)

Consumer Attorneys of San Diego (2005-2010)

University of California, San Diego Alumni Association (2002-present)

Southern California Super Lawyers, “Super Lawyer,” Franchise/Dealership (2019-2024)

Certified Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law for the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization

Legal Eagle, Franchise Times (2014-2023)

Southern California Super Lawyers, “Rising Star,” Franchise/Dealership (2015-2018)

Top Attorney, Coast Magazine (2015-2017)

Perfect 10 – “Superb” – AVVO Attorney Rating, Franchise and Distribution Law

“What Is ‘Unfair’ Conduct In A Franchise Case Under California’s Unfair Competition Law?,” Franchise Law Journal, American Bar Association (Fall 2020)

“Overcoming a Witness with Selective Memory,” GPSolo eReport, American Bar Association, Vol. 8, No. 6 (January 2019)

“Overcoming a Witness with Selective Memory,” Litigation Journal, The Journal of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Fall 2018)

“Enforcement of Noncompetition, Confidentiality and Related Agreements in California,” Co-Presenter, The State Bar of California, Business Law Section Webinar (May 18, 2017)

 “Does Arbitration Make Sense for Franchisors? A Litigator’s Perspective,” Business Law News, A publication of the State Bar of California, Issue 3 (2017)

 “Selected Developments in Franchise Law,” Business Law News Annual Review, a publication of the State Bar of California (2015)

Franchise

Represent franchisors in the restaurant, pet grooming, exercise and fitness, medical weight loss, gaming, real estate, automotive, education, cleaning, home services, and other industries.

Advise and represent franchisor clients with respect to the California Franchise Investment Law, California Franchise Relationship Act, and California’s other state-specific laws affecting franchise systems, including California Business & Professions Code § 16600 (affecting the enforceability of non-compete provisions) and California Business & Professions Code § 17200 et al. (California’s unfair competition law). 

Counsel franchisors seeking to enforce changes in their franchise system standards/requirements.

Represent franchisors against enforcement actions and stop orders initiated by the California Department of Business Oversight and other state agencies.

Defend franchisors against state franchise law claims (based on disclosure and relationship statutes), state unfair competition law claims, tort claims (including fraud), breach of contract claims, and breach of implied covenant claims.

Protect and enforce intellectual property rights, including know-how, trademarks, trade dress, trade secrets, and other proprietary and confidential information. 

Advise franchisors, licensors and other companies on franchise regulatory and compliance matters.

Represent franchisor in actions against current and former franchisees for monies owned, enforcing post-termination obligations, and other breaches of the franchise agreements.

Protect and enforce franchisor lease assignment rights following dissolution of franchise relationships. 

Represent and advise franchisors in the enforcement of the post-termination obligations in their franchise agreements.  

Employment Litigation

Represented manufacturers, distributors, franchisors and other employers against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation (whistle blower), wrongful termination, and workplace violence, as well as complex wage and hour matters.

Represented employer-clients in class action wage and hour lawsuits and lawsuits asserting claims under California’s Private Attorney General Act (PAGA). 

Obtained full defense verdict on behalf of employer-client following trial on claims of sexual harassment, disability discrimination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Represented employer-clients against claims of current and former employees in arbitration before the American Arbitration Association and Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services.

Secured dismissal of claims against employer-client and a management-level employee for harassment, failure to provide reasonable accommodations in violation of Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), failure to engage in a good faith interactive process in violation of FEHA, and violation of California Family Rights Act.

Counseled clients on hiring and firing issues, reductions in force, compensation and benefits, and development and implementation of employee handbooks and policies.

Represented clients against claims filed before the California Labor Board.

Intellectual Property

Pursue injunctive relief actions in court and arbitration to protect clients’ trademarks and brands against unauthorized use by former franchisees and other infringing parties.

Enforce franchisors’ intellectual property rights in ICANN proceedings.

Pursue claims under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

Prosecute Uniform Domain Name Dispute Proceedings to protect clients’ trade names and marks.

Kevin Adams is a trial attorney and Certified Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization. He represents and counsels franchisors, licensors, manufacturers, and distributors on their business litigation needs, including state and federal franchise laws, intellectual property rights, California employment laws, unfair competition, and related antitrust and trade regulation matters.

Kevin is Co-Chair of the Mortenson Taggart Adams LLP Franchise and Distribution practice group and is recognized as a leader in the franchise legal community. He is an active member and former Co-Chair of the California Lawyers Association Franchise Law Committee and a regular author and speaker on franchise, distribution and competition issues, including authoring articles for the Franchise Law Journal, the American Bar Association Litigation Journal, and the State Bar of California’s Business Law News. Kevin also is a recipient of the Franchise Times “Legal Eagle” award and has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in the areas of Franchise and Dealership law. 

First and foremost, however, Kevin is an experienced commercial litigator with a simple and straightforward objective: advance the interests and goals of the client while helping to evaluate the costs, benefits and risks associated with litigation, arbitration and alternative courses of action. 

Other Professional Experience 

Prior to the commencement of his legal career, Kevin worked as a legislative aid in both houses of the California Legislature. 

Mortenson Taggart Adams has proven their ability time and time again to achieve exceptional outcomes in complex matters.  Their approach is bespoke to each matter, but always effective, efficient and client-focused.  They are a strategic business partner that we rely on constantly to achieve our short and long-term goals.

Andrew Gahan, General Counsel, Valta Energy

Mortenson Taggart Adams’ legal expertise has helped us successfully navigate a high-profile lawsuit in federal court and perhaps most importantly, helped a fledgling startup get on sturdy ground.  Regardless of the curveballs that may be thrown at us, we know that Mortenson Taggart Adams has the experience and expertise to successfully handle it.

Sean Lake, Co-Founder, Bubs Naturals