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Donna W. Low

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Medical Malpractice Attorney in Sacramento, CA

Low McKinley & Salenko, LLP
2150 River Plaza Drive, Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: 916-231-2400
Fax: 916-231-2399
Email: Donna W. Low
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2022
Licensed in California Since: 1990
Practice Areas: Personal Injury - Medical Malpractice: Defense, Civil Litigation: Defense
Attorney Profile

Donna is the founder and a Managing Partner of Low McKinley Baleria & Salenko LLP, a Sacramento based litigation firm. Since the firm's inception in 2004, half of the firm's eight attorneys have attained an AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell. The firm defends physicians, acute and long term care hospitals and other health care providers in Northern and Central California.

Donna has been AV rated since 2005 and is an invited member of the California Medical Legal Committee. In 2015, she was ranked among the Top 50 women lawyers in Northern California by SuperLawyers. Donna is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and has been listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers since 2009.

Donna has successfully tried approximately 25 professional liability cases to verdict as well as administrative licensing matters. Many of these cases have involved catastrophic losses or claims of elder abuse and neglect.

Donna is board certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys and is a Fellow of the Litigation Council of America. In 2013, Ms. Low was recognized by the National Association of Professional Women as Woman of the Year in California for the practice of Law. In 2013 and 2014, Donna  was selected by The Recorder as a Top Rated Lawyer in Healthcare Law. From 2014 to 2018, she has been recognized in Northern California SuperLawyers and was listed in the SuperLawyers Business Edition. She was appointed to the State Bar Executive Committee on Law Practice Management and Technology for the 2014-2017 term and has lectured and published on behalf of the Committee. In 2015, Ms. Low became a Fellow of the American Bar Association Foundation.

Donna has lectured and published on a broad range of subjects including law firm management, civil procedure, trial practice and medical malpractice litigation. This includes lectures to physicians on behalf of the Accreditation Counsel for Continuing Medical Education and  lectures to attorneys on behalf of Continuing Education of the State Bar. Donna regularly consults with acute and long term care facilities and physician groups on risk management strategies,effective communication techniques and documentation.

Donna is a member of the American Bar Association, California Bar Association, Defense Counsel of Northern California  and the Sacramento Bar Association.

White Papers

  • Regular Associate Evaluations Promote Professional Development (2016) - This article was published in The Bottom Line, the official publication of the State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Commitee. It included a discussion of increasing associate retention and efficiency through implementation of a formal evaluation process. Subjective and objective indicators of optimum associate were identified and discussed.
  • Protect Your Firm From Disqualification: Screen Emplyees (2014) - Co- authored with John Sager, Esq. The article was published in January 2015 in  The Bottom Line , the electronic journal produced by the California State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Executive Committee . It discusses various ethical obligations when a hiring attorney interviews or hires an attorney or nonlawyer who was previously employed by a firm which represents an adverse party in a current matter.

About Donna W. Low

First Admitted: 1990, California

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

  • In 2018 Ms. Low became a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Eastern Kentucky University Juris Doctorate, University of the Pacific School of Law, 1978

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys, 2013

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • A structured associate program should serve as the basis for making informed compensation, promotion and termination decisions. Recommendations for the development of an evaluation tool for associate attorneys and methods to implement a systematic evaluation program were discussed., Author, Regular Associate Evaluations Promote Professional Development, The Bottom Line : Official Publication of State Bar Law Practice Management and Technology Committee, Law Firm Management, 2016
  • “Hand Offs:  A Critical Communication Process, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education for Physicians, Sponsored by The Doctors Company, August 26, 2012   “Civil Court Judicial Forum,” Continuing Education of the State Bar, Sponsored by The National Business Institute, November 4, 2011  “Professional Liability Claims Against Nurses and Hospitals,” Catholic Healthcare West, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, November 20, 2009   “Strategies to Reduce Juror Sympathy in Catastrophic Cases,” CNA Healthpro, Panel Counsel, March 11, 2009   “Effective Physician Communication”, Catholic Healthcare West, St. Joseph’s Medical Center, July 22, 2008  “Long Term Care Liability & Risk Management Strategies”, Eskaton Properties, Inc., February 13, 2008 “Indicators of Life Expectancy of Children With Functional and Cognitive Impairments,” CNA Healthpro, Panel Counsel, March 7, 2007  “Liability Issues for Long Term Care”, Eskaton Properties, Inc., October 12, 2005. “Medical-Legal Aspects of Long Term Care”, Eskaton Properties, Inc., April 21, 2004, Sacramento, California. “What Happens When My Injured Patient Contacts a Lawyer?” American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting, October 11-15, 2003, San Francisco, California  “Care of the Surgical Patient:  Informed Consent”, Kaiser Permanente, May 2002  “Medical Legal Risks and Experiences in Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery”, Kaiser Permanente Annual Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Meeting, October 2000 “Evaluation of Insurance Claims Involving Ischemic Heart Disease”, Program Beta, August 1999 “Evaluation of Insurance Claims Involving Ischemic Heart Disease”, The Doctors Company, May 1999 “How to Present and Attack Documentary and Demonstrative Evidence”, Continuing Education of the State Bar, April 1996; October 1998; and February 1999 Faculty Member, “Norcal Defense Counsel Seminar”, 1998  Consultant to McGeorge School of Law, Trial Advocacy Team, 1998 (National Finalists – Washington D.C.)  “Fundamentals of Civil Procedure Before Trial”, Continuing Education of the State Bar, February 1997  “Evaluation of Insurance Claims Involving Ischemic Heart Disease”, Norcal Mutual Insurance Company, December 1995  “Evaluation of the Plaintiff with Heart Disease”, United Services Automobile Association, October 1995LEGAL PUBLICATIONS  Low, Donna W., “What Civil Court Judges Want You To Know,” National Business Institute, Copyright  2011.  Low, D.; Weber, J., “Case By Case”, Medigram, The SCPIE Companies, Second Quarter, 2004.  Carlucci, C.; Fitzsimmons, M.; Galloway, P.; Low, D., et al., “Failure to Diagnose Acute Myocardial Infarction – Uncovering Clinical Issues and Malpractice Risks,”  CD-ROM Program, Copyright 2000. MEDIA PRESENTATIONS  “Special Tribute to Today’s Successful Women in Government, Technology, Business, law and Education,” American Airlines Business Program, February 2005.  “America’s Most Influential Women,” SkyRadio Network,, 2005.  
  • The presentation included a discussion of three closed cases which occurred in longterm care settings which involved possible patient neglect or physical abuse. Recommendations regarding improvements in patient care and documentation were discussed., Speaker, Decreasing the Risks of Long Term Care Services, Acute Care And Long Term Care Provders And Insurer, 2013
  • The two presentations included a general overview of legal principles related to medical malpractice claims, including: informed consent; informed refusal; curbside consultations; hand off communications; documentation and defense of actions filed against physicians on behalf of the California Medical Board., Speaker, Hot Topics in Healthcare Today, Physicians;Large Multi-specialty Medical Group, 2014
  • The lecture included  a discussion of Joint Commission recommendations regarding handoff communications and common problems which adversely affect patient safety and quality of care in acute care hospitals., Speaker, Decreasing Risks: Handoff Communications, Certified Legal Nurse Consultants, 2014
  • Current recommendations concerning oral and written communications between allied health professionals during patient hand offs and/ or transitions in care were discussed for in patient and out patient settings., Speaker, Improving Hand Off Communications: Increasing Safety and Decreasing Risks, Management Representatives Of Long Term Care Communities, 2015
  • The presentation focused on law firm hiring practices, mentorship, performance evaluations and retention strategies, Speaker, Management Tools to Create Effective Law Office Employees, CEB, Annual Meeting Of California State Bar, 2015

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • Appointed to California State Bar Executive Commitee on Law Practice Management and Technology for 2014 - 2017 term., 2014
  • recognized as Super Lawyer in Northern California selected among top 50 female attorneys in Northern California, 2015

Industry Groups

  • Acute Care Hospitals
  • Long Term Care
  • Multi- Speciality Medical Groups
  • Physicians
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Office Location for Donna W. Low

2150 River Plaza Drive
Suite 250
Sacramento, CA 95833

Last Updated: 5/15/2022

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