Joseph Shepard Adams started his legal career in Asheville, North Carolina in 1872. In 1904, he was joined by his son, John Sneed Adams (Sneed), and together they formed the firm of Adams & Adams. Three years later another son, Junius G. Adams, Sr. (Junius), joined the firm.
The firm of Adams & Adams represented the estate of George W. Vanderbilt in the formation and operation of the Biltmore Company, the development of the Town of Biltmore Forest and the Biltmore Forest Country Club, and the sale of substantial land holdings to create the Pisgah National Forest. The firm also represented E.W. Grove with his real estate investments and development activities in Asheville, including the establishment of the Grove Park Inn and the Grove Arcade.
In 1920, James G. Merrimon and A. Hall Johnston joined Sneed and Junius, and this larger firm was renamed Merrimon Adams & Johnston. In 1932 Junius G. Adams, Jr. (June) joined the firm. After Hall Johnston left the firm and James Merrimon retired in 1935, the firm again assumed the name of Adams & Adams. Junius and his son June would practice together for the next 30 years, and in 1945 Junius’ other son, Joel Barber Adams (Joel) joined the firm.
During this period, Adams & Adams continued to build on its reputation as one of the preeminent firms in Western North Carolina, representing, among many others, the Biltmore Estate, Biltmore Dairy Farms, E.I. Dupont Nemours, and the Texas Company (later Texaco). The involvement and interest of Junius in the operation of Biltmore Dairy Farms was so keen that in 1952 he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Agriculture by North Carolina State University and was inducted into the American Jersey Cattlemen Hall of Fame.
Junius died in 1962 and his son Joel later died in 1972. In 1973, June Adams merged the firm of Adams & Adams with the law office of George Ward Hendon and Philip G. Carson, with the surviving firm adopting the name of Adams Hendon & Carson, P.A. The firm changed its name in 1985 to the current Adams Hendon Carson Crow & Saenger, P.A.