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About me

My practice primarily emphasizes transactions, litigation, arbitration and mediation on behalf of companies and individuals involved in the construction and real estate industries. I represent general contractors, subcontractors, engineers, and design professionals in a wide range of matters relating to mechanic's liens, stop notices, construction failures, latent defects, general contract and bidding disputes and professional liability.

Prior to becoming an attorney, I was a general contractor in Missouri for over twenty years.  My extensive construction background is a great advantage when assessing a client's case, and during mediation, arbitration and trial. Clients do not have to spend time and money educating me on the construction aspects of their case.

I hold the following California construction licenses: A - General Engineering Contractor, B - General Building Contractor, C-8 - Concrete, C-10 - Electrical, C-20 - Warm Air Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning, and C-36 - Plumbing. 

I was a Missouri real estate broker for seventeen years, and I have been a California real estate broker since 1995. I represent real estate agents and real estate brokers in various matters.

I am an avid outdoorsman and photographer.  I graduated from the Clearwater Guide School and have been a licensed fly fishing guide since 1995.  I guide in Northern California on Lewiston Lake and the Trinity River.

In 2008, I was appointed to the Trinity Adaptive Management Working Group by Dirk Kempthorne, the Secretary of the Interior.


Photos and videos

1844693 1282690670

Practice areas


  1. Construction: 80%
    23 years
  2. Real Estate: 20%
    23 years



Retainer (always), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

10 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Jordan B. Dorrestein

    I endorse this lawyer.


    Jordan Dorrestein Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Other

  • Michael P Quinlivan

    I endorse this lawyer. Mr. McCarthy's construction background has made him a particularly capable litigator and mediator, based on my experience on the other side of a case and representing a party in a mediator he handled.


    Michael Quinlivan Construction and development Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

Contact info

Joseph W. McCarthy, a Law Corporation

400 Reed Street
Santa Clara, CA, 95050

Joseph W. McCarthy, a Law Corporation

11 Via Las Encinas
Carmel Valley, CA, 93924



We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Law school scholarship for academic excellence and promiseGolden Gate University1992
Honorarium for appellate argumentGolden Gate University1992
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
AttorneyJoseph W. McCarthy, A Law Corporation2003 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
Associated Builders and ContractorsMember2008 - Present
Trinity Adaptive Management Working GroupAppointee2008 - Present
International Code CouncilMember2001 - Present
American Institute of ArchitectsOfficer2000 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMember1993 - Present
Santa Clara Builders' ExchangeBoard of Directors2001 - 2004
Santa Cruz Builders' ExchangeBoard of Directors1995 - 2002
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Nicholas Damer v. Edward D. Hume, et al.Awarded over half a million dollars.
Salinas Income Fund One, LLC v. Eitel-Wade, Inc., et al.Awarded mid-six figures.
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
The Contractor's Survival GuideThe Contractor's Survival Guide1995
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Golden Gate University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1992
University of Missouri, ColumbiaBusiness / EconomicsN/AN/A
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Shasta Builders' ExchangeConstruction Litigation SeminarN/A
Santa Cruz County Builders' ExchangeConstruction Litigation SeminarN/A
Builders' Exchange of Santa Clara CountyConstruction Litigation SeminarN/A