John L. McDonnell, Jr. Updated:12/2015

John's practice includes all aspects of the planning and administration of trusts and decedents' estates, fiduciary asset management and litigation related to trusts and estates. John frequently acts as a mediator, consultant, or expert witness in estate-related litigation. He is certified as a specialist in Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

John has spoken and written frequently on subjects connected with his professional specialty. He served as consultant to California Continuing Education of the Bar for California Will Drafting and California Decedent Estate Practice.

He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America. He has testified before various committees of the California Assembly and Senate and worked with various Assembly Members, Senators and staff in regard to legislation affecting the legal profession.

Honors & Awards

  • Listed, Super Lawyers of Northern California (2005 - Present)
  • Listed, Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates (1983 - Present)

Professional Affiliations

  • Chaired the Alameda County Bar Association Probate Committee
  • Chaired the Section on Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
  • Served on the Association's Drug Advisory Task Force Board of Governors of the State Bar of California
  • Served as Vice President of the State Bar
  • Chaired the State Bar Section on Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, the Committee on Legal Services, the Committee on Professional Standards and Admissions and the Consortium on Competence
  • Served on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association from 2000 to 2003
  • Advisor to the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyer Competence
  • Represented the State Bar of California in the ABA House of Delegates
  • Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • California State Chair for ACTEC; Currently serves on its Board of Regents
  • Academician of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law


  • University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D.
  • St. Patrick's College, A.B.

Professional Admissions/Qualifications

  • California

Contact John L. McDonnell, Jr.


Contact John L. McDonnell, Jr.

Reed Smith LLP
101 Second Street
Suite 1800
San Francisco, CA  94105
Phone: 415-659-4904
Fax: 415-391-8269

Service Area

Statewide service provider in:
  • California