Of Counsel

Donald J. Brown, Jr.



Donald J. Brown, Jr. specializes in the defense of professional negligence and general liability cases. He is an experienced trial attorney in both federal and state courts and has tried a significant number of cases to verdict in over 45 years of litigation practice.

Mr. Brown is also a skilled mediator, drawing on his decades of trial and negotiating experience to help parties achieve mutually agreeable resolutions. His deep trial experience makes him a sought-after neutral for issues of professional negligence, product liability, and general liability matters

Well respected by his peers, Mr. Brown was selected as one of the top 20 Chicago tort defense lawyers by Chicago Lawyer magazine. He has been elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and has been elected as a member of the Society of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates. Mr. Brown recently received the Medal of Excellence Award from the Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Mr. Brown’s legal career experience has spanned a broad spectrum of litigation. His practice evolved from prosecuting street crimes to defending white collar criminal cases and continued to the civil arena. He has defended product liability clients, including medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and other product manufacturers. Mr. Brown now concentrates his practice on the defense of legal and medical professionals, as well as other defendants in catastrophic injury cases.

In 2017 Best Lawyers named Mr. Brown the Illinois Lawyer of the Year for Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants, a distinction awarded to individual attorneys with the highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic region. He has been named a Leading Lawyer in the areas of Professional Malpractice Defense Law: Including Legal/ Technical/ Financial and Medical Malpractice Defense Law. The list of Leading Lawyers is the result of thousands of contacts with Illinois lawyers asking which of their peers comprise the top lawyers in Illinois. Only those lawyers who are most often recommended qualify as Leading Lawyers. In 2005 and 2006, he was also named one of the top 100 Super Lawyers in Illinois in the area of Civil Litigation Defense. Super Lawyers are the top 5 percent of attorneys in each state, as chosen by their peers and through the independent research of Law & Politics.   In 2021, Mr. Brown was recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in the specialty of legal malpractice law.

Mr. Brown joined the firm as a founding partner in 1995. Previously, he was a partner at Baker & McKenzie where he practiced for 20 years. Prior to working in private practice, Mr. Brown served several years as a criminal prosecutor in the Cook County State’s Attorney Office. He received his undergraduate degree from John Carroll University in 1970 and his law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1973, when he was admitted to practice in Illinois.



J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law, 1973
A.B., John Carroll University, 1970
  • Member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honors Society
  • Awarded the Beaudry Senior of the Year Award by his classmates, 1970
  • Elected Chief Judge of John Carroll University Court
  • Member of John Carroll University’s football team, 1966-1970
  • Member of Iota Chi Upsilon Fraternity


  • The Best Lawyers in America® (Legal Malpractice Law- Defendants)(2011 to present)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year 2023 (Legal Malpractice Law – Defendants)
  • Alumni Medal Award (2019) John Carroll University
  • Alumni Medal of Excellence, Loyola University Chicago School of Law (2013)
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • “Top 20 Tort Defense Lawyers,” Chicago Lawyer Magazine
  • Illinois Super Lawyers (2005 – 2021)
  • Who’s Who Legal
  • Member of the Leading Lawyers Network


Illinois, 1973
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 1973
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, 2012


Plaintiff v. Defendant Corporate Attorney and Defendant Law Firm


Defendant Corporate Attorney and Defendant Law Firm


Verdict for the Defendants .

DBMS successfully defended a corporate attorney and his law firm in a bench trial accused of failing to include a restrictive covenant within the plaintiff’s employee’s contract and failing to ...


Plaintiff v. Defendant Law Firm


Defendant Law Firm


Summary Judgement for the Defense.

A steel fabrication company was hired to handle the fabrication and erection of steel at the 6 North Michigan construction project in 2002. When the project encountered financial problems, the ...

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In the news

Karen Kies DeGrand and Donald J. Brown, Jr. Received the Best Lawyers® 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” Award

Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth is proud to announce that Karen Kies DeGrand and Donald J. Brown, Jr. have been ...

Ten DBMS Attorneys Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023

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