John A. Adams

john a. adams


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Mr. Adams is the former Managing Director of Ray Quinney & Nebeker (2007-2015) and the former President, ex officio, of the firm.  He is a member of the Firm’s litigation section whose practice focuses on prosecuting and defending commercial litigation matters, particularly complex business disputes. Mr. Adams has experience in a wide variety of litigation fields including contracts and business torts, bank litigation, healthcare False Claim Act defense, Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement issues, nursing home payment issues, trust and estate litigation, insurance fraud and insurance coverage disputes.

Mr. Adams is also co-Chair of RQN’s Cybersecurity and Privacy practice group.  He assists clients in all aspects of legal compliance with data security laws, including helping companies minimize their risks by preparing Information Security Policies, including Data Breach Response Plans and Employee Data Security Policies.  In the event of a breach, he will also assist with managing a company’s compliance with breach notification laws.

Mr. Adams has significant trial experience, including having tried five jury cases in federal and state courts. He also has argued appeals in both federal and state courts.

Mr. Adams’ legal career has been marked by continual service to and leadership roles in local bars and the Utah State Bar. He has served on the executive committee and as President of the Utah State Bar (2002-2003), the Salt Lake County Bar (1994-1995) and the Young Lawyers Division of Utah State Bar (1985-86).

Mr. Adams is a trained mediator and conducts mediations through the American Arbitration Association as well as privately. He has extensive experience representing clients in mediation and arbitration. He is also on the American Arbitration Association’s commercial arbitration panel.

Mr. Adams has been recognized in Chambers USA in Litigation: General Commercial (Band 4, 2014-2016; Band 3, 2011-2013), and has been included on the list of The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 in Commercial Litigation. He maintains an AV Preeminent (5.0) rating with Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating awarded to attorneys for professional competence and ethics. Mr. Adams has also been selected for inclusion in Mountain States Super Lawyers (2007-2020) in the categories of Business Litigation and Estate & Trust Litigation and has been voted by his peers throughout the state as one of Utah’s “Legal Elite,” as published in Utah Business Magazine (2005-2020).

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Practice Areas


Brigham Young University, J.D., 1981

  • BYU LAW REVIEW, 1979-81
  • Editor-in-Chief, 1980-81

Brigham Young University, B.A., Economics

  • summa cum laude
  • Phi Kappa Phi, University Scholar

Affiliations / Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Salt Lake County Bar Association
  • Utah State Bar, ADR, Health Law, Cyber Law, Litigation and Probate/Estate Planning Sections

Prior Professional Experience

  • Law Clerk to Honorable George E. MacKinnon, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1981-82

Professional and Civic Activity

  • Member, Utah Appellate Court Nominating Commission, 2005-2009
  • Chair, Committee on Conduct of Attorneys, U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, 2009 to present
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2004 to present
  • Master of the Bench, Aldon J. Anderson American Inn of Court, 2005 to present
  • President of the Utah State Bar, 2002-2003
  • Member, Board of Commissioners of the Utah State Bar, 1998-2004
  • Past President of the Salt Lake County Bar Association, 1994-1995
  • Past President, Young Lawyers Division of the Utah State Bar, 1985-1986
  • Member, Board of Governors, Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, 2008 to present
  • Member of Executive Committee (and past Board Chair), Friends for Sight, 2001 to present
  • Member, Rotary International, Salt Lake City Club 24
  • Member, Racial and Ethnic Fairness Commission, 2001-2003

Publications / Presentations

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Admitted to Practice -  

Utah State Bar, 1981
United States Supreme Court, 1984
United States Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1981
Federal Circuit, 1984 and Tenth Circuit, 1990
United States District Court for the District of Utah, 1982