Of Counsel

Richard H. Donohue



Richard H. Donohue concentrates his practice in the defense of professional negligence, product liability and general liability cases. He specializes in handling catastrophic injury claims against hospitals, physicians, attorneys and other professionals. He also has frequently served as a mediator in alternative dispute resolution proceedings involving professional negligence, insurance coverage and commercial claims.

One of the city’s most sought-after defense lawyers, Chicago Lawyer magazine rated Mr. Donohue as one of the top 20 tort defense lawyers in Chicago. He has also been recognized by his peers as an elected Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has served on the Board of Directors for the Society of Trial Lawyers. He is a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers.

Mr. Donohue has been named a Leading Lawyer in the areas of Class Action/Mass Tort Defense Law, Medical Malpractice Defense Law, Products Liability Defense Law, Professional Malpractice Defense Law: Including Legal/Technical/Financial, and ADR Law: Personal Injury. Since 2005, Mr. Donohue has been included in the list of the top 100 Super Lawyers in Illinois in the area of Insurance Defense: Personal Injury. In 2021 he was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of medical malpractice law.

Mr. Donohue joined the firm as a founding partner in 1995. He was previously a partner at Baker & McKenzie. He graduated from Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude, where he was a Notes and Comments Editor of the Northwestern University Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, cum laude, in 1972.

Between college and law school, Mr. Donohue served on active duty as a naval aviator stationed at the Naval Air Station, Point Mugu, California. He served three six-month deployments to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze. From 1976-1993, he served in the Naval Air Reserves flying out of the Glenview, Illinois Naval Air Station.



J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, cum laude, 1979
B.A., Dartmouth College, cum laude, 1972


  • Named the “Top Medical Malpractice Defense Lawyer in Chicago” by the U.S. News publication “Best Lawyers in America” (2015)
  • Named one of the “Ten Best Defense Trial Lawyers in Illinois” by the U.S. News publication “Best Lawyers in America” (2015)
  • Leading Lawyer (2020)
  • Illinois Top 100 Super Lawyers® in Insurance Defense: Personal Injury (2005)
  • Illinois Top 10 Super Lawyers® in Medical Malpractice: Defense (2006)
  • “Top 20 Tort Defense Lawyers,” Chicago Lawyer Magazine
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Society of Barristers
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (Medical Malpractice Law-Defendants)(2011 to present)


Illinois, 1979


Plaintiff v. Defendant Neurosurgeon

06/21/2019 Client:

Defendant Neurosurgeon


Appellate court affirmed judgment entered on jury verdict..

The appellate court affirmed judgment on a jury verdict in a medical negligence action handled on appeal by Karen Kies DeGrand, Richard H. Donohue, James D. Sloan and Ashley E. ...


Plaintiff v. Defendant Neurosurgeon

06/16/2017 Client:

Defendant Neurosurgeon


Verdict for the defense.

DBMS attorneys Jim Sloan, Richard Donohue and Ashley Dus successfully defended a neurosurgeon in a medical negligence trial in which the plaintiff asked the jury to award more than $11 ...

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In the news

Nine DBMS Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022    

Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth is proud to announce that nine of the firm’s attorneys have been selected by their ...

12 DBMS attorneys named to 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list

Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC is pleased to announce that 12 attorneys have been recognized in the most recent ...