Partner

Robert W. Smyth, Jr.

Biography
Credentials
Experience

Biography

Robert W. Smyth focuses his practice on professional malpractice defense, products liability defense and mass tort/environmental litigation. Mr. Smyth commenced his career as an associate in the litigation department of Baker & McKenzie, gaining international partnership status in 1989. He left Baker & McKenzie in 1995 to co-found Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth.

Over the course of 30+ years of active litigation practice, Mr. Smyth has represented physicians, hospitals and nursing homes in high exposure malpractice actions, lawyers in legal malpractice actions, large manufacturers in product liability actions and multi-national construction companies in construction disputes.

Mr. Smyth has tried to verdict dozens of high exposure cases. Many of these cases, such as his defense of the St. Charles School District in mass tort mold litigation, have received national attention. His successful defense of a national contractor in Illinois’ first “Sick Building Syndrome” trial (DuPage County Courthouse Litigation) was profiled on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.

He served as managing partner of DBMS from 2002-2007.

Mr. Smyth’s professional excellence has been recognized by peers, dating back to his consistent AV Martindale-Hubbell rating (the highest rating available) annually, since 2001, as well as his annual recognition as an Illinois Leading Lawyer (since 2004) and Illinois Super Lawyer (since 2006).

CORONAVIRUS LIABILITY EXPERTISE

Mr. Smyth’s credentials as a counselor and trial-focused specialist are uniquely matched to the liability challenges Covid-19 presents. Over the course of a career spanning 4 decades, Mr. Smyth has successfully represented Fortune 100 manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, international construction contractors, nationally renowned surgeons and physicians, as well as school districts defending against mass-tort environmental claims. At the age of 36, Mr. Smyth successfully defended Illinois’ first “Sick Building Syndrome” in a publicized trial that lasted 3 months. Mr. Smyth’s far-reaching experience in defending cases involving complex scientific causation issues, mass-tort liability potential and highly emotional as well as catastrophic injury, uniquely qualify him for the role of counselor and prime litigator to defend virtually any case presenting Covid-19 legal exposure.

Credentials

Education

  • J.D., DePaul University College of Law, 1982
  • B.A., University of Michigan, With Distinction, 1979

Awards

  • AV-Rated by Martindale-Hubbell (Since 2001)
  • Illinois Leading Lawyer ( 2004-2020)
  • Illinois Super Lawyer (Since 2006)

Affiliations

  • Illinois State Bar, 1982
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1982

Presentations

Mr. Smyth often speaks to attorneys seeking continuing legal education on subjects of evidence and procedure, as well as to groups of physicians concerning a variety of medical-legal issues.

Experience

Plaintiff v. Defendant Psychiatrist

02/20/2018 Client:

Defendant Psychiatrist

Outcome:

Verdict for the Defense.

DBMS successfully defended a psychiatrist in a case involving a claim of inappropriate precautions for an in-patient psychiatric patient who had unwanted sexual relations with another psychiatric patient during an ...

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Plaintiff v. Defendant Surgeon

01/25/2018 Client:

Defendant Surgeon

Outcome:

Verdict for the Defense.

DBMS successfully defended a cardiovascular surgeon and his surgical group in a case involving aortic valve surgery, which resulted in the patient’s death immediately following the procedure. The decedent was ...

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