Nathan Adams IV

Nathan Adams IV

Partner, Holland & Knight

Nathan “Nate” A. Adams IV is a partner practicing in complex commercial and appellate litigation with a special emphasis on hospitality, healthcare, educational, nonprofit and religious organizations. Dr. Adams conducts employment, healthcare, educational and nonprofit regulatory and constitutional litigation. He has argued appeals in federal courts nationwide, litigated in state courts in Florida, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, and appeared before administrative courts and arbitral panels. In addition, Dr. Adams has served as outside general counsel for several organizations. Before joining Holland & Knight, Dr. Adams worked for the Florida Executive Office of the Governor and the Florida Department of Education, including the Division of Florida Colleges and Board of Governors. His extensive experience includes the following:


  • Structuring, licensing and accrediting post-secondary institutions and defending adverse licensure actions against them
  • Advising educational institutions on compliance with Titles IV, VI, VII and IX, including diversity in admissions and hiring and false claims act exposure
  • Assisting with financing public-private projects, including research, student housing and other facilities
  • Consulting on procurement laws and litigating procurement matters
  • Representing secondary and post-secondary institutions with respect to investigations and at all levels of litigation in state and federal courts against false claim and deceptive trade practice allegations
  • Assisting educational institutions with hiring, advancement, adverse employment decisions and academic freedom questions
  • Consulting on distance learning licensure, accreditation and state and federal regulatory issues
  • Consulting on FERPA compliance, public records and ethics, records management and Sunshine law
  • Advising on campus security plans and emergency protocols
  • Lobbying the executive and legislative branch for public educational reform
  • Preparing state and federal appeals and amicus briefs on diverse educational matters

Honors & Awards

  • Florida Bar Education Law Committee recognition for Outstanding Leadership as the 2012-2013, Committee Chair
  • Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend Magazine, 2011
  • Florida Bar Board Certified Education Lawyer


  • Florida Bar, Education Law Committee, Past Chair
  • Florida Education Foundation, Treasurer
  • Emergency Care and Help Organization (ECHO), President
  • Federalist Society
  • Leadership Florida, Class XXIX
  • Florida Tax Watch, Inc., Center for Smart Justice, Advisory Board Member
  • The Journal of College and University Law, Editorial Board

Concurrent Keynote Presentation IV – Academic Freedom

Ballroom A

This session will investigate the development of academic freedom in American law.  We will consider both faculty and institutional academic freedom and the tension between them.  We will also examine the intersection of academic freedom with curricular or school-sponsored speech doctrine, First Amendment retaliation law, and anti-discrimination and harassment law and policy.