Donahue Fitzgerald Attorneys Recognized in the Best Lawyers in America® 2022 Edition

OAKLAND (August 19, 2021) – Donahue Fitzgerald LLP is pleased to announce that five attorneys have been included in the 2022 edition of Best Lawyers in America®:

  • Dawn Newton, Franchise Law
  • Kristin A. Pace, Tax Law
  • Merrill J. Schwartz, Corporate Law
  • Philip M. Jelley, Tax Law
  • Wilfrid F. Roberge, Jr., Trusts and Estates

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. The Best Lawyers in America rankings are based solely on peer-review surveys in which tens of thousands of attorneys confidentially evaluate their colleagues. As lawyers do not pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

About Dawn Newton

Dawn is certified as a legal specialist in the area of Franchise and Distribution Law by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. She co-chairs the firm’s intellectual property practice. She has worked with franchise systems in the fields of seated and fast casual restaurants, real estate, retail, children’s programs, personal services, health care, construction, consulting and hospitality.  She is a frequent speaker and author on the subject of franchise law and is currently a member of the Governing Committee for the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising.

About Kristin A. Pace

Kristin co-chairs the firm’s Estates and Trusts Practice Group and chairs the Tax Practice Group.  She advises clients in sophisticated estate planning matters on strategies for minimizing estate and gift tax liabilities. She represents business and individual clients before the Internal Revenue Service, Franchise Tax Board, State Board of Equalization and other taxing authorities. Ms. Pace also handles a wide variety of probate and trust administration matters. Active in professional and community organizations, she serves on the executive board of the Children’s Health Council at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and on the national board of directors for Girls, Inc.

About Merrill J. Schwartz

With a legal practice spanning almost five decades, Merrill’s business transactional experience includes formation of numerous corporations, limited liability companies and partnerships, and he has structured numerous business acquisitions and dispositions. He has represented numerous commercial lessors and lessees in lease transactions involving office space, industrial and warehouse properties, retail stores and shopping centers. In his spare time, he competes in Ironman triathlons and has qualified for and finished the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kona, Hawaii.

About Philip M. Jelley

Philip M. Jelley is a member of the firm’s Business and Corporate Transactions Group as well as its Nonprofit Practice Group. For more than 60 years, he has focused his practice primarily on general business, tax and real estate issues. He was a California certified specialist in tax law for more than 25 years. Mr. Jelley’s clients have included major retail stores, oil companies, ranching and agricultural operations, automobile dealerships, manufacturers, shopping centers, financial service organizations, cemeteries and mortuaries, and nonprofit and religious organizations.

About Wilfrid F. Roberge, Jr.

Wilfrid F. Roberge, Jr. has over 40 years of experience in the trusts and estate planning field and is a Certified Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning & Trust Law from the California Board of Legal Specialization, State Bar of California. He provides a full range of services related to estate planning, wills and probate, and wealth preservation for the firm’s clientele. His clients include business owners and executives, and employees served by the firm’s business practice, as well as other individuals, executors, and beneficiaries. Mr. Roberge served for two years as an enlisted attorney with the U.S. Army following law school. After returning from service in Vietnam, he joined the firm in 1966 and became a partner in 1971.

About Donahue Fitzgerald LLP

Donahue Fitzgerald LLP is a full-service law firm with more than fifty attorneys with offices in the Bay Area and an office in Los Angeles. The firm provides legal advice and representation in all aspects of business and corporate law, employment, intellectual property, real estate and construction, immigration, nonprofit, franchise, music and entertainment, data privacy and security, and tax, as well as trusts and estates and litigation.