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Jillian Donovan

Jillian Somers Donovan

(415) 995-5101


Jillian co-leads the firm’s Health Section, while focusing on civil and regulatory litigation for health care industry clients and providers of long-term care services. Her representation encompasses skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, medical staffs, assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, independent living communities, and intermediate care facilities for the developmentally disabled. She represents clients in litigation and administrative proceedings. She handles all phases of litigation: discovery, law and motion practice, mediation, arbitration, administrative hearings, trials, writs, and appeals.

Jillian guides clients through issues involving multiple government agencies, including the California Department of Public Health, California Department of Social Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She handles advice and counsel for disputes with government agencies and manages the response to investigations conducted by the same.

Jillian also defends hospitals, medical staff, and medical staff leaders in civil litigation arising from peer review activities. She has participated in the representation of medical staff in formal hearings involving peer review actions. She has also acted as a trial attorney representing hospitals in multiple lawsuits involving peer review and physician contracting issues. As part of her work with hospital clients, Jillian also provides advice and representation to clients with regard to Probate Code capacity and medical judgment petitions and related questions.

Jillian's prior experience includes representing companies in large-scale breach of contract actions, state and federal class actions, and state attorney general actions. Her representation has involved pharmaceutical and health care litigation, as well as consumer fraud actions.

Pro Bono

Jillian strongly supports pro bono representation and has successfully obtained Domestic Violence Restraining Orders for numerous pro bono clients over the years. During that representation she has attained no-contact orders, modified visitation schedules, emergency orders, and orders for sole custody and visitation. She also works on pro bono matters for military veterans.


J.D. magna cum laude UC Law San Francisco (Formerly UC Hastings) ( 2009 )
B.A. magna cum laude California Polytechnic State University ( 2004 )

Academic Distinction

Hastings Law Journal, Writer

Thurston Society, Member

Admissions and Courts

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida


Health Care Section Leader

Represents skilled nursing facilities in actions challenging regulatory citations, staffing audits, discharge decisions, and federal deficiencies.

Assists medical staffs in peer review proceedings.

Advises and counsels skilled nursing facilities regarding federal and state regulatory compliance, including areas such as section 1418.8 (Epple) and abuse.  

Represents hospitals on issues related to advance health care directives, medically ineffective care, and in petitions to determine capacity to make health care decisions under the Probate Code. 

Successfully obtained tentative ruling granting hospital's motion for preliminary injunction to discharge patient. 

Represented hospital as trial counsel in a lawsuit that raised issues of statewide importance for hospital and medical staff peer review activities. Economy v. Sutter East Bay Hospitals (2019) 31 Cal. App. 5th 1147. 

Trial counsel for a hospital in a month-long jury trial in California Superior Court related to physician peer review and section 1278.5 retaliation.

Trial counsel for multiple skilled nursing clients in cases where successfully obtained dismissal of the citations. 

Counseled hospital in litigation related to its residency program.

Trial counsel for skilled nursing facility in multiple cases related to a disruptive resident

Successfully obtained summary judgment dismissing a AA citation for a skilled nursing client. 

California Society for Healthcare Attorneys, Member

American Health Lawyers Association, Member

California Association Medical Staff Services, Member

LeadingAge California, Member

California Association of Health Facilities, GR Legal Subcommittee, Member

Bar Association of San Francisco, Member