Photo of Larry A. Schechtman

Larry A. Schechtman

Managing Partner

Education

IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law, J.D., 1983, high honors

Illinois State University, B.A., 1980, cum laude

Admissions

Illinois

As SmithAmundsen’s managing partner, Larry leads a collaborative team of attorneys and staff to deliver bottom line results and exceptional client service. As a founding member of the firm, Larry opened the firm’s doors in 1997 and has continued to play a key role in its growth from 20 lawyers to now more than 180. This broad institutional knowledge provides the critical foundation needed to lead the firm to future growth and continued evolution.

Larry has been instrumental in supporting the development of our diversity committee and the firm’s women’s initiative whose missions are to recruit, mentor and retain a culturally rich, collaborative and inclusive working environment. As the leader of the firm’s executive committee, Larry ensures that the firm carries out its strategic vision to earn the trust of our growing client base, to attract new legal talent and to become trusted advisors for business leaders.

Larry’s has more than 30 years of experience litigating complex commercial issues in state and federal courts. He has an exceptional success rate in the courtroom, trying in excess of 100 cases to jury verdict in a wide variety of areas over the course of his career. Plaintiff’s attorneys have never been happy to meet Larry in the courtroom. Larry’s reputation has been shaped by many significant victories and he is well respected by his peers, staff and clients.

Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rated
  • Selected by the Leading Lawyers Network as a "Leading Lawyer" in personal injury defense law
  • Selected to the Illinois Super Lawyers List: 2014, 2015, 2019
  • Received O'Hagan Award: 2015

Memberships & Involvement

  • USLAW: Board of Directors (2018); Co-Chair, Managing Partners Subcommittee (2009-2016)
  • Firm Managing Partner

  • Member: SmithAmundsen Executive Committee; Defense Research Institute (DRI); Illinois Defense Counsel

  • Certified Mediator: Extensive training in mediation techniques and negotiation strategies at the Center for Conflict Resolution

  • Committee Member: Preparing Lawyers Subcommittee of IIT/Chicago-Kent College of Law Strategic Planning Committee

  • Executive Committee and Board of Directors: Ravinia Green Country Club

Experience

  • Successfully defended a national restaurant chain in a discrimination lawsuit after the plaintiff alleged that the franchise location he was operating was treated differently and that he was denied the opportunity to expand to his preferred locations because of his race. After a three week trial, the jury returned a not guilty verdict after deliberating for only 40 minutes. 
  • Successfully defended an insurance company in an underinsured motorist lawsuit, where the plaintiff asked the jury for $3.9 million. The plaintiff had prior traumatic injuries, pre-existing conditions, and was in a severe accident subsequent to the auto accident. After a ten day trial, the jury awarded $180,000 to the plaintiff, which was approximately half the cost of her past medical bills. The amount awarded by the jury was subject to a $100,000 setoff, reducing the plaintiff’s award to approximately $80,000. 
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a four-day retrial of a gender discrimination case where the plaintiff alleged she was passed up for a promotion at a large shipping company because of her gender. The first trial ended in a partial mistrial with the jury finding in favor of the company on a national origin discrimination claim, but deadlocked on the gender discrimination claim.

Publications