Photo of Larry A. Schechtman

Larry A. Schechtman



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

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



Larry Schechtman has more than 30 years of experience litigating complex commercial issues in Illinois courts. He has tried in excess of 50 cases to jury verdict over the course of his career; his success rate is exceptional. Plaintiff’s attorneys do not look forward to meeting Larry in the courtroom. His reputation has been shaped by many significant victories; including the time a plaintiff rejected a $1 million offer at the start of a trial, only to be awarded absolutely nothing by the jury later. As SmithAmundsen’s managing partner, Larry is tasked with ensuring the firm’s mission and goals are carried out strategically and effectively. He is highly respected by his peers, his clients and his staff.

Larry defends clients in cases involving catastrophic injuries, wrongful death claims, discrimination claims brought under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act, premises liability, defense of franchisors for claims brought by franchisees, third party criminal attacks, and the defense of parents for the crimes of their children. Additionally, Larry devotes a portion of his practice to areas governed by the First Amendment including defamation, invasion of privacy, civil conspiracy and false light claims.


  • 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


  • 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.