Jessica Dayton, a founding partner of ADZ Law, LLP, is an experienced family law attorney who dedicates much of her practice to representing victims of domestic violence with their civil legal needs in restraining order, custody and dissolution hearings, as well as advising and advocating for victim’s rights in criminal cases.
Ms. Dayton was the Manager of Legal Services at Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) for 10 years. 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. During law school, she published a legal article titled "The Silencing of a Woman's Choice: Mandatory Arrest and No Drop Prosecution Policies in Domestic Violence Cases," which explores whether mandatory arrest and no drop policies are respectful of survivors' choices and their empowerment. More recently, Ms. Dayton published "Bridging the Gap Between the Civil and Criminal Legal Systems for Domestic Violence Survivors," which details the importance understanding and pursuing justice for victims in both the civil and criminal court systems.
Ms. Dayton currently serves on the advisory board of the Family Violence Appellate Project and the 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 research and advocacy and has worked on many legislative campaigns regarding domestic violence, sexual assault and and victims' rights.
Ms. Dayton also mentors and trains pro bono attorneys through a collaborative domestic violence pro bono project. She has been invited to present regarding her practice areas locally and nationally, including to the National Center for Victims of Crime, the National Crime Victim Bar Association, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, and the San Mateo County Bar Association.