Janet Li Associate (510) 451-3300 jli@donahue.com Download vCard

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Janet Li devotes her practice to wills and estates litigation and civil litigation. Her broad range of experience, solid writing and analytical skills, and keen attention to detail make her particularly resourceful and effective in reaching amicable settlements or handling contentious litigation. Janet counsels clients ranging from individuals and small business owners to high net worth individuals who own multiple corporations and real estate empires.

She has won multiple dispositive motions in civil litigation cases, including successfully opposing a Motion for Issue, Evidence, and Terminating Sanctions (right after substituting into the case) and a Motion for Summary Judgment against a giant Southern California real estate developer; obtaining a favorable result for a leading car rental company by winning a Motion for Summary Judgment; and vacating a Motion for Summary Judgment in a contract litigation case on an ex parte basis. She has successfully overseen a $600,000 trust litigation matter from complaint through mediated settlement and administered a million-dollar probate estate with multiple beneficiaries, among other lawsuits and settlements.

Janet earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley and her Juris Doctorate degree from University of California College of the Law, San Francisco where she was awarded Witkin and CALI Excellence Awards in Trial Advocacy. She has had the privilege to serve at California Superior Courts as a staff attorney at Probate Departments, where she performed research and analysis and made recommendations to Judges to assist them with rendering objective and just decisions.

Janet supported research to find a cure for cancer by fundraising and running with Orange County Bar Association’s “Raising the Bar” Team at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. As a dedicated runner with a tenacious and winning spirit, she has won top three place medals in her age/gender divisions at 5K races in Northern and Southern California.

Professional & Community Affiliations

  • Member, Trusts and Estates Section, California Lawyers Association
  • Member, Trusts and Estates Section, Alameda County Bar Association
  • Member, East Bay Trusts and Estates Lawyers
  • Member, Trusts and Estates Section, Orange County Bar Association
  • Member, Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
  • Member, Orange County Asian American Bar Association
  • Member, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association

Past Articles/News

  • Contra Costa Lawyer- Estate Planning and Probate Edition: Capacity and Undue Influence, Volume 27, Number 4, July 2014, Co-Author.
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area Newsletter: Interview with California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, November 2011, Author.
  • China Guiding Cases Project of Stanford Law School, Contributor.


  • “Procedural Issues,” Chapter 9, California Trust and Probate Litigation, 2023, CEB, update coauthor.

  • Black’s Law Dictionary (9th Edition), Practitioner Contributor.

Recent Speaking Engagements

September 23, 2021 | Virtual
Trust Administration Boot Camp
East Bay Trusts & Estates Lawyers

Past Speaking Engagements

  • Contra Costa County Bar Association’s Probate Department Update, 2013, Co-Presenter.