Christopher J. Donnelly is the head of the firm’s Family Law Practice Group. He is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Family Law Specialist. Chris devotes his practice exclusively to family law at all levels, from premarital and post-marital agreements to complex settlement negotiations, financial analysis, and pretrial, trial, and post-judgment representation.
Chris has been rated AV by Martindale Hubble since his first rating. He has been honored as one of Ten Leaders in Matrimonial and Divorce Law in San Francisco, California. He has been distinguished as a Northern California Super Lawyer in family law every year since that program’s inception in 2004.
Chris graduated from San Francisco State University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1981) and the University of California, Berkeley Law (J.D., 1990), where he served as co-editor-in-chief of the Industrial Relations Law Journal, 1989-1990. He is the author of Broadening the Definition of Income in the Context of Spousal Support Litigation, 15 Family Law News, No. 4., and In re Marriage of Ilas (Appropriate Economic Analysis) , California Family Law Monthly (April 1993), and with co-author Carroll J. Collins, Esq., Witnesses Tell the Story, 21 ABA Family Advocate 22. He has presented accredited Continuing Legal Education programs for family law attorneys on the subjects of business valuation, discovery, substantive California family law, trial practice, and motion practice.
Chris served as the legislative liaison for the State Bar of California Family Law Section Standing Committee on Property, North, which he chaired from 1994 to 1996. In 1997 he was appointed to the California State Bar’s Family Law Section Executive Committee by the State Bar’s Board of Governors. In 1999 he served as the editor of The Family Law News. In 2003 and 2004 Chris served as Chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Family Law Section.
Chris provides pro bono services as a family law attorney mentor and MCLE presenter for the Justice and Diversity Center of the Bar Association of San Francisco. He has been trained as and serves as a California Business and Professions Code attorney fee dispute arbitrator, in conjunction with the Bar Association of San Francisco. He has provided private mediation services dealing with complex family law matters, and serves regularly as a settlement master for the Superior Courts of San Francisco and Marin counties.
50% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certified Specialist in Family Law, Certified by The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization in Family Law
University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, California, 1990
Industrial Relations Law Journal, Co-Editor-in-Chief, 1989 – 1990
San Francisco State University, 1981
Honors: Magna Cum Laude
Honors and Awards
“AV” Rated by Martindale Hubble
One of Ten Leaders in Matrimonial and Divorce Law in San Francisco, California
Northern California Super Lawyer, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
Professional Associations and Memberships
State Bar of California, Family Law Section, 1994 – 1996
Chair, Legislative Liaison, Standing Committee
California State Bar’s Family Law Section
Executive Committee, 1997-2000
San Francisco Bar Association, Family Law Section
Pro Bono Activities
Family Law Attorney Mentor, Volunteer Legal Services Program in San Francisco
Arbitrator, Bar Association of San Francisco
Settlement Master, San Francisco Superior Court, Unified Family Court
Bench/Bar Panelist, Marin Superior Court
Select direct representations of indigent family law clients.
Broadening the Definition of Income in the Context of Spousal Support Litigation, 15 Family Law News, No. 4.
In re Marriage of Ilas (Appropriate Economic Analysis), California Family Law Monthly, April, 1993
Witnesses Tell the Story, (Co-Author with Carroll J. Collins, Esq.), 21 ABA Family Advocate 22
Editor, Family Law News, 1999