Research shows the average person changes jobs eleven times over the course of a career. So far, Matt has had only one: working for Quinn Johnston.
Matt grew up in central Illinois, so coming back to Peoria in 1993 after law school was a natural fit. Before long Matt found himself drawn to the defense of medical professional liability cases, working alongside of Murv Pretorius, one of the firm’s senior partners. “For his entire career, Murv was the gold standard for medical malpractice defense lawyers in Illinois,” recalls Matt. “His preparedness, his standing in the medical community, his presence in the courtroom and reputation with the judiciary were always unsurpassed. I was given a rare opportunity to learn from him as a young lawyer.”
Currently, Matt devotes all of his professional time defending doctors and healthcare providers against medical malpractice claims. Ask him what it’s like to be “the doctor’s lawyer” throughout central Illinois, and he’ll quickly tell you, “I enjoy serving a professional client. While the courtroom may be foreign to a physician, the risk of resolving a case by trial is not ultimately that much different than facing the risk of a complicated surgery. Doctors are in a unique position to evaluate those risks.”
Matt includes among his professional accomplishments:
- A not-guilty jury verdict for a surgeon following a three-week jury trial. The patient had suffered significant complications from surgery (a bowel leak leading to a permanent colostomy, pain pump, need for central line feeds) and asked for $22.5 million from the jury. The jury deliberated only 90 minutes.
- Representing doctors covering the full spectrum of medicine: from primary care physicians to surgeons to the sub-specialties of internal medicine.
- A not-guilty verdict following a two-week jury trial for an emergency department physician accused of failing to diagnose a myocardial infarction.
- A not-guilty jury verdict for a nurse following a 2-week jury trial. The patient died of complications following an arteriogram procedure. The defendant nurse was accused of injecting an improper medication beforehand. The plaintiff asked the jury for for $4 million. The jury deliberated 27 minutes before retiring a verdict in favor of the nurse and co-defendant doctor.
- A not-guilty jury verdict for a surgeon following a three-week jury trial. The patient suffered significant nerve injuries to her digestive tract following surgery to correct GERD. She asked the jury for for $12 million. The jury deliberated 3 hours before retiring a verdict in favor of the doctor.
- A directed verdict for a hospital after 6 days of trial. The patient alleged that the hospital failed to timely communicate a radiology report to a treating gynecologist , resulting in significant permanent injuries to the patient’s urinary tract. The court directed a verdict in favor of the hospital at the conclusion of the plaintiff’s case.
- J.D., University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, Illinois, 1993
- Honors: Chicago Moot Court Team
- Law Review: University of Illinois Law Review, staff
- B.S., Architecture, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois, 1990
- Honors: Dean’s List
- U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Peoria County Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
- Illinois Association of Hospital Attorneys
- Martindale-Hubbell rating of AV® Preeminent
- Illinois Super Lawyers List, 2012-2022
- Illinois Leading Lawyers List, 2009-2022
Defining Property in the Post Lucas World, University of Illinois Law Review 443, 1994
St. Jude Midwest Affiliate Board Member (2012 – present)
News & Events
Smith and Keeton Obtain Defense Verdict for Surgical Group in Peoria County
Quinn Johnston attorneys Matthew Smith and Ryan Keeton obtained a not guilty verdict for a surgical group and three of its employed physicians in a recent medical malpractice case in Peoria County.
Smith and VanRheeden Obtain Directed Verdict for General Surgeon in Peoria County
Quinn Johnston attorneys Matthew Smith and JD VanRheeden obtained a directed verdict for an attending general surgeon and his practice group in a recent medical malpractice case in Peoria County.
Smith and Keeton Obtain Defense Verdict for General Surgeon in Peoria County
Quinn Johnston attorneys Matthew Smith and Ryan Keeton obtained a not guilty verdict for a Defendant surgeon and his practice group in a recent medical malpractice case in Peoria County.
Smith Earns Not Guilty Verdict for General Surgeon in Grundy County
Defendant surgeon was accused of negligently perforating Plaintiff‘s bowel during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy resulting in three additional surgeries for bowel repair, bowel resection and hernia. Jury returned a verdict in Defendant‘s favor after approximately 45 minutes of deliberations.
Smith and Chaddock obtain defense verdict for surgeon
Quinn Johnston attorneys Matt Smith and Adam Chaddock obtained a defense verdict for a surgeon following an eight day trial.
Quinn Johnston’s Entire Partnership Named as 2018 Leading Lawyers in Their Respective Practice Areas
Leading Lawyers has announced that 18 attorneys from the Peoria law firm of Quinn, Johnston, Henderson, Pretorius & Cerulo were named by their peers to the list of the top lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois. Sixteen of the lawyers were named Leading Lawyers, a distinction earned by fewer than five percent of all lawyers registered to practice in Illinois and two were named Emerging Lawyers, a distinction earned by fewer than two percent. Significantly, every firm partner was named a leading lawyer in their designated areas of practice.
2018 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
Eight Quinn Johnston attorneys in Central Illinois were named to the 2018 Illinois Super Lawyers / Rising Stars lists.
Smith and Chaddock obtain defense verdict for healthcare professionals
Matthew Smith and Adam Chaddock obtained a defense verdict for healthcare professionals at the conclusion of a two-week trial.
Smith and Chaddock obtain directed verdict for hospital
Matthew Smith and Adam Chaddock obtained directed verdict for their client in a recent medical malpractice case in Peoria County.
Quinn Johnston Attorneys Named as 2016 Leading Lawyers
Law Bulletin Publishing Company and its Leading Lawyers division has announced that 15 attorneys from the Peoria law firm of Quinn, Johnston, Henderson, Pretorius & Cerulo were named by their peers to the list of the top lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois.
Nine Quinn Johnston Attorneys Recognized for Professional Achievement
Nine attorneys from Quinn Johnston have been named to prestigious lists by two prominent ratings services: Illinois Super Lawyers and Illinois Rising Stars. Quinn Johnston is honored that all nine of the attorneys recognized this year have also been recognized for their professional achievement in past years.
Ten Attorneys Recognized for Professional Achievement
Ten attorneys from Quinn Johnston have been named to prestigious lists by two prominent ratings services: Illinois Super Lawyers and Illinois Rising Stars. Each year, only five percent of the total lawyers in the state are selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding lawyers.
Attorneys Named to 2014 Illinois Super Lawyers and Rising Stars Lists
Thirteen attorneys from our Peoria law firm have been recognized for outstanding achievements by two prominent ratings services.
News from the Firm – Fall 2012
Quinn Johnston was recently awarded a contract to provide legal services to the Greater Peoria Mass Transit District (GPMTD), effective October 1, 2012. Our attorneys have also recently obtained summary judgment for multiple clients in municipal law and premises liability cases, and the Fourth District Appellate Court recently upheld summary judgment for an insurance company client.