Lorraine Donnelly, a partner at Kline & Specter, is a trial attorney who has spent her career fighting for victims of crime and neglect, first as a criminal prosecutor and now as a civil plaintiffs’ attorney. She focuses on medical malpractice, nursing home neglect and other catastrophic injury cases.
In 2023, Donnelly was co-lead counsel in a case that concluded with a $19 million verdict – with $15 million in punitive damages -- against a Delaware County, Pa., nursing home and its management companies for the family of a woman who died due to neglect. Donnelly told the news media the verdict would “achieve accountability and deter similar conduct in the future.” (The Legal Intelligencer, Law360)
Later in the same year, she was co-counsel in litigation that resulted in a $3.5 million settlement with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia over the alleged sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy by the late Pastor John Close. The child had attended religious classes at St. Katherine’s of Sienna, in Wayne, Pa., when the assault occurred in 2006. (Media coverage)
Before joining Kline & Specter, Donnelly worked as a prosecutor at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office for more than a decade, assigned to the homicide unit her last four years. During her tenure there, Donnelly tried 91 jury trials that resulted in guilty verdicts in major felony and homicide cases. In that capacity, she gained experience in all phases of criminal prosecutions, from advising police regarding their investigations, understanding forensic science evidence, questioning hostile witnesses at trial and handling issues of witness intimidation and attempted jury tampering.
In March 2015, Donnelly accepted a position at a national plaintiffs’ law firm, where she continued to fight for victims of neglect on the civil side. During her four-year tenure, she managed a large inventory of nursing home abuse and neglect cases throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Donnelly was co-counsel in a Lancaster, Pa., jury trial that resulted in a $7.5 million verdict against a nursing home and its corporate owner for failing to protect a nursing home resident from sexual assault by another resident.
Donnelly earned her undergraduate degree from La Salle University, graduating maxima cum laude. She earned her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law, where she graduated cum laude and was a staff member and then article editor for Temple Law Review. Donnelly is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the Eastern and Middle U.S. District Courts of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the American Association for Justice, Pennsylvania Association for Justice and the Temple Law Alumni Association.