FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Christopher J. Donnelly

Christopher J. Donnelly

Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick, LLP
San Francisco, CA, USA

Christopher J. Donnelly heads the Family Law group at Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick, LLP, San Francisco. He is certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Family Law Specialist.

From the commencement of his legal practice in 1990, Chris has devoted his practice exclusively to family law at all levels, from premarital and post-marital agreements to complex settlement negotiations, financial analysis, and pretrial, trial, post-judgment, and appellate 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, Boalt Hall (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, 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 for the Bar Association of San Francisco's Justice and Diversity Center legal services program in San Francisco. He has been trained as and serves as an arbitrator for 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.

Professional Associations Office Service

  • State Bar of California, Family Law Section, 1994 – 1996
  • Chair, Legislative Liaison, Standing Committee
  • Executive Committee, 1997-2000
  • San Francisco Bar Association, Family Law Section
  • Chair, 2004-2006

Pro Bono Activities

  • Family Law Attorney Mentor, Justice and Diversity Center legal services program, 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.

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