John M. McGarry
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John M. McGarry


John M. McGarry
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John M. McGarry concentrates his practice in representing physicians and hospitals in actions alleging medical negligence. He has first-chaired over 35 jury trial victories in his distinguished career and successfully concluded hundreds of other cases short of trial. He has also assisted physicians before the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and at hearings before hospital review boards.

In 2017, the American Institute for Personal Injury Attorneys selected Mr. McGarry “for membership as one of the ‘10 Best Attorneys’ for Illinois” for “an impeccable client satisfaction rating.”  Since 2016, Best Lawyers Illinois has named him one of the top 10 medical malpractice law defense counsel in the state. In 2012, he was selected as among The Top 1% Trial Counsel for medical malpractice in Illinois. Since 2013, Chicago’s Best Lawyers has annually named him and his partner, Richard H. Donohue, two of the top eight medical malpractice defense attorneys in the city.

After receiving his law degree from Washington & Lee University in 1983, Mr. McGarry worked at Baker & McKenzie on anti-trust and defamation matters before serving as a captain in the United States Marine Corps. He received the "Superior Physical Performance" award at Officer Candidate School and was a honor graduate of the Naval Justice School. As a judge advocate, he served as Chief Trial Counsel and then Chief Defense Counsel at his base and was awarded the Navy Commendation medal for "sustained superior performance."*

In 1988, he returned to Baker & McKenzie for 11 years. In addition to representing physicians and hospitals, Mr. McGarry oversaw litigation in 30 states for an international medical device manufacturer, represented pharmaceutical companies, and participated in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation in Greece.

Mr. McGarry is a member of the trial bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern and Central Districts of Illinois and certified by the Illinois Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He has been a member of the faculty for the Federal Trial Bar Training Course and the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, as well as the director of associate training for 17 years at his law firms. Published in The CBA Record, the Illinois Bar Journal, and Mutual Interests, he has given numerous speeches to various hospital staffs and medical societies, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, and the Illinois Association for Bariatric Surgery.

Mr. McGarry has been named an Illinois Super Lawyer (top 5%) consistently in the area of professional liability defense.  He achieved the AV Preeminent peer review rating, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. In addition he was peer-selected as a "Leading Lawyer in medical malpractice defense law (top 5%)" and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the specialty of medical malpractice law since 2013.

The full citation reads: “For meritorious service while serving as Judge Advocate, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, from January 1985 to November 1988. During this period, Captain McGarry consistently performed his duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner. Through his exceptional legal acumen and trial skills, Captain McGarry acted as trial and defense counsel in 263 courts-martial, including 48 general courts-martial. Representing the Government in the most complex cases, he set the highest standards by which other lawyers are judged. Additionally, giving selflessly of his personal time, he immeasurably assisted less experienced attorneys and provided sagacious advice to commanders. Because of his energetic efforts, he was respected and admired by all who observed him. Captain McGarry’s sustained superior performance, initiative, and total dedication to duty reflected great credit upon himself and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.” Signed by Gen. Alfred Gray, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

  • Leading Lawyer (2020)
  • Illinois Super Lawyer (2020)
Leading Lawyer (2020)
Illinois Super Lawyer (2020)

DBMS attorneys continue to work remotely in compliance with the Governor's ongoing shelter in place order and to ensure the safety of our clients, employees and colleagues. In addition to focusing on the work entrusted to us by our clients before the Covid-19 pandemic, we are assisting our clients in protecting medical caregivers from being compelled to turn away from their patients to participate in litigation activities that can wait until the virus is under control.

We salute the medical providers who are valiantly risking their personal safety for the benefit of all of us. Thank you. You are heroes.