Accredited Continuing Education Programs

Continuing education has always been the primary focus of the ADC. The Association offers a full slate of state-bar-accredited MCLE seminars which are offered at a reduced rate to members and open to all defense attorneys and their clients. Seminars feature speakers who are well known and widely respected in their fields, structured specifically for those defending civil litigation, and address topics of current interest and impact.

Popular seminar topics in recent years have included recent developments in California law in:

  • Construction Defects
  • Defending Public Entities
  • Toxic Torts
  • Employment Law
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Claims
  • CACI Jury Instructions
  • Damages/Liens

In addition, the ADC sponsors a biennial Law Firm Management Seminar, attended by firm partners and administrators. The focus of the seminar is on small to mid-sized defense firms, which comprise the bulk of our membership. Topics in recent years have included maximizing firm profitability, negotiation of office leases, critiques of various technology available to law firms, and other important issues.

For more information, go to the Calendar of Events.


Legislative Representation

The combined strength of the ADC and the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel (ASCDC), is found the political arena via California Defense Counsel. This jointly supported political action committee is among the largest lobbying organizations in Sacramento and is solely controlled by defense attorneys. CDC provides for a speakers' bureau, candidates' and issues PACs and a political analyst -- all affording the state's defense attorneys a single voice and an opportunity to influence legislation of importance to our profession and our clients.


Other Benefits of Membership

Fellowship, information and a year-round, multifaceted program to enhance the defense attorney’s practice make joining the ADC so worthwhile. Other programs and services for members include:

Annual Meeting: The highlight of each year is the Annual Meeting, held in early December in San Francisco. Combining social activities with two days of engrossing and relevant seminars and panel discussions, the Annual Meeting brings together members and clients from all corners of the Association’s region. Nationally recognized keynote speakers help make this a highly regarded event within our industry.

Publications: The Defense Comment magazine is published three times a year and is sent to all ADC members. Articles enlighten and entertain, highlight recent trends in the law, provide noteworthy insights for the defense practice, and keep readers updated on legislation and activity in the state capital. This valuable resource also contains “Recent Cases,” a special pull-out section offering a compendium of appellate and supreme court case summaries from California and Nevada.

Relationship with the Bench: The ADC maintains a strong dialogue with the region's judiciary, both at the trial and appellate level. The ADC has been asked to participate at bench-bar conferences in the trial courts, as well as to participate on various task forces convened by the Judicial Council to consider changes in civil practice. The presence of the ADC as a "voice for the defense" in these activities is among the most important duties of the organization. In addition, the ADC has maintained for years an active Amicus program, influencing decisions of importance to our members' practices.

Marketing: ADC membership, and participation through being a speaker at educational programs, leadership of substantive law committees, or authoring articles the Defense Comment provides members a platform to demonstrate their knowledge, to the legal community. As such activities are open to clients, and prospective clients, members can become visible, and be perceived as "go to" lawyers on specific legal issues. In addition, ADC membership is promoted through our annual directory, which allows members to identify their expertise in specific areas of practice, as well as geographically.


Membership into the Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California is by application and approval of the Board of Directors and is open to all qualified applicants in good standing with the State Bar of California or Nevada. The focus of the ADC is on California and Nevada law and defense practice. Membership in the ADC serves as a necessary companion to membership in national defense organizations, keeping members informed on matters of importance to defense attorneys in California and Nevada.

Membership Qualifications

Regular Membership ($395 per year)

  • Independent Counsel in Practice for More Than Five Years
  • A significant portion of your practice must be devoted to the defense of civil litigation.
  • You must be an attorney engaged in private practice.

Associate Membership ($325 per year)

  • Staff counsel of government and corporate entities regardless of the number of years in practice

Affiliate Membership ($395 per year)

  • Full-time or part-time mediation or arbitration; no voting; not able to hold office.

Young Lawyer Membership ($225 per year)

  • Fewer than five years in practice

Law Student Membership ($25 per year)

  • Currently enrolled in law school

Dual Member

10% Firm Discount: Firms with 100% participation in ADCNCN from all attorneys who primarily practice civil trial defense will receive a 10% discount off membership dues rates. Contact the ADC office for details.