Doug Donnelly is an attorney who practices adoption law statewide throughout California. His practice is limited to adoption law and guardianships. He is a member and past-President of the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers, and is a Fellow and a charter member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. After graduating with honors from Westmont College, Doug attended Loyola University School of Law in Los Angeles, then joined a law firm in Santa Barbara, California. After he and his wife adopted two daughters, he began handling adoption cases and gradually developed one of the largest adoption practices in the state. He is a past-President of the prestigious Academy of California Adoption Lawyers, and a Charter member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. He wrote the Code of Ethics for both of those organizations. He also co-authored the book Chosen Families (Zondervan), and has authored A Guide To Adoption (Focus On The Family, 1987). He also authored the chapter on Adoption Law and Procedure for West’s California Transaction Forms (Family Law). He has twice successfully represented adopting parents in cases before the California Supreme Court, has authored several bills which have become law, and has testified many times on adoption legislation in hearings before the California legislature. He has been peer rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell for 25 consecutive years. The “AV” rating is the highest rating possible, based upon reviews by other attorneys and judges, and this rating is achieved by only 3% of all attorneys at any stage of their careers, as it is awarded only to those attorneys who are considered “preeminent.” He also has earned the “Client Distinction Award” from Lawyers.com for every year since 2013, which is awarded to fewer than 1% of all rated attorneys, based upon client reviews of “Quality of Service, Responsiveness, Communication Ability, and Overall Value.” He has also earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, which is their highest rating. Doug served for years as the Chairman of the Adoption Practice Section of the Christian Legal Society. Most recently, he has been recognized for the past several years as a “SuperLawyer,” which is an award given to less than 3% of all practicing attorneys, and who are believed to be the leaders of the profession.
1 Review on “Douglas R. Donnelly”
Doug is extremely knowledgable, experienced, and (almost as importantly) truly cares about the children at the center of his cases. In the almost 7 years I have been navigating the probate court, I learned just how hard it is to even find a lawyer who is willing to navigate the very particular & complicated nuances of guardianships & adoptions. Probate lawyers would say they only did conservatorships and uncontested guardianships. Family Law lawyers would say they don’t do probate at all. Even the lawyers who were willing just didn’t have much experience in the area to speak of.
Not only is Doug familiar with these cases, he specializes in them. He’s helped to shape the applicable laws & to defend them on appeal. I cannot express the amount of relief retaining Doug brought. I knew from our previous interactions that he genuinely cared & I knew from the word GO that he was worth every penny when he executed & filed a document in less than a week that I had been working for half a year to figure out on my own. Not only that, but when I was overwhelmed, confused, etc by a new development, Doug always had seen it before and was able to confidently navigate it while keeping me feeling informed and involved.
I highly recommend reaching out to Doug for any guardianship or adoption related services, regardless of your beliefs, but I have to say as a believer, I cannot express what it means to have your lawyer be taking your child & the case that affects their life before the throne of God. Doug would often solicit prayers throughout our interactions. During our recent trial, he was exhorting the prayer warriors who came to the courthouse daily & acknowledged the work they were doing alongside us. He even shared that he had invited his small group to pray for us. Having a great lawyer is one kind of comfort, but having a lawyer who turns to the power & mercy of God is a comfort on a much deeper level. Another similarly experienced lawyer might have been able to try the case well, but I’m certain that many things that happened in that courtroom were direct answers to our joined prayers. You won’t go wrong in hiring Doug.