Jessica Dayton, a founding partner of ADZ Law, LLP, is a Certified Family Law Specialist who dedicates her practice to representing victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in all aspects of the legal system. Ms. Dayton leads the civil litigation department of the firm, which has the unique focus of pursuing civil tort remedies for survivors against individual perpetrators of abuse and the entities who create and foster an abusive environment. Her survivor-centered practice also includes representation in restraining order and Title IX cases, as well as advising and advocating for victim’s rights in criminal cases.
Domestic violence and sexual assault cases are the most personal of personal injury cases. Ms. Dayton brings a trauma-centered focus to the legal process and pursues strategies and solutions that empower victims and foster healing. Ms. Dayton is skilled in negotiation, discovery, and litigation, and employs creative approaches to hold abusers accountable.
Ms. Dayton currently serves on the advisory boards of the Family Violence Appellate Project and WOMEN-SV and is on the executive board of directors of the San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association. Ms. Dayton has served on the board of directors for the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, and was the co-chairperson of the San Mateo County Legal Process Committee of the Domestic Violence Council. Ms. Dayton is active in local and national public policy and works on legislative campaigns regarding domestic violence, sexual assault and victims’ rights.
Ms. Dayton has been invited to present locally and nationally regarding her practice, including the National Center for Victims of Crime, National Crime Victim Bar Association, Consumer Attorneys of California, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, and San Mateo County Bar Association. She mentors the next generation of domestic violence attorneys through work at local law schools.
Prior to founding ADZ Law, LLP, Ms. Dayton was the Manager of Legal Services at Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) for 10 years where she represented victims of domestic violence in restraining order actions, as well as developed victim-centered processes and protocols throughout the county. Prior to that, she advocated for the rights of persons with disabilities on access issues at a plaintiffs’ litigation firm. Directly after law school Ms. Dayton clerked for Judge Michael Farrell of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Ms. Dayton received her law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in 2003, and her undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont.
The Intersection of Family Law and Torts in Domestic Abuse Cases, ACFLS Family Law Specialist (2021)
Bridging the Gap Between the Civil and Criminal Legal Systems for Domestic Violence Survivors, Practising Law Institute (2015)
The Silencing of a Woman’s Choice: Mandatory Arrest and No Drop Prosecution Policies in Domestic Violence Cases, 9 Cardozo Women’s L.J. 281 (2003)