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Matthew L. Johnson

Shareholder / Vice President
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+1 312-984-0245
+1 312-372-9818
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Laura Malachowski

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Matthew L. Johnson is a shareholder and one of the vice-presidents of the firm.  During his career, he has been ranked and recognized in Leading Lawyers, Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America for his professional achievements.

Matt has a litigation and trial practice involving representation of insureds including healthcare delivery systems, long-term care facilities, schools and universities, and hospitality chains.  He has been with Johnson & Bell since 1995, and has had an active trial practice in Chicago’s Cook County, and the suburban Chicago and downstate Illinois collar counties since 2006.  He has experience in representing health care providers in investigations and actions brought by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Mr. Johnson is an active member of several legal and health care-oriented organizations. These include the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), Defense Research Institute (DRI), the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel (IADTC), and the Chicago Bar Association (CBA). He is a frequent speaker on medical liability and risk management issues for hospitals and long-term care facilities.

In 2022, Mr. Johnson was elected a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and the Illinois Chapter of ABOTA.


What was your first job?

Cleaning exercise machines at the local racquetball club. (Mid-1980’s).

What's your favorite vacation spot?

Boca Grande, Florida

What was the first album you ever bought?

REO Speedwagon, Hi Infidelity

What is the best compliment you ever received from a client?

“You’re hired.”

What is your favorite quote?

“Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.”  John F. Kennedy

What is the most interesting part of your job?

The most interesting part of the job is picking a jury and then being on trial for days-to-weeks, and doing your best job to advocate for your client’s position, and then, when all is said and done post-verdict, all the years in, seeing how it played out and what the jury thought and why they decided they way they did.

What is your favorite book?

The Lords of Discipline, Pat Conroy

What is your favorite podcast?

Smartless and Armchair Expert

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

“Cool it,” from my father. Any number of times.

What was your first pet?

A grumpy Lhasa Apso named Tibby.

What’s your favorite way to spend your commuting time?

I read Wall St. Journal, New York Times, The Athletic, and binge on Netflix shows on my iPhone. It’s hundreds of train rides, but I got through all of Mad Men, The Crown, and House of Cards, among others.

If you weren’t an attorney, what would you be?

I would have liked to work in television media, reporting and talking about sports, pop culture, and music.

How do you spend your free time?

I enjoy spending my time with my family and friends, watching my kids’ sporting events and performances, going to college and pro sporting events, traveling, and playing sports (poorly) including platform tennis, golf, pickleball.

Admissions & Education


Illinois Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
Federal Trial Bar


The John Marshall Law School, J.D., 1996
Wittenberg University, B.A., 1992


American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA); Associate Member since 2022
Chicago Bar Association
Chicagoland Healthcare Risk Management Society (CHRMS)
Defense Research Institute (DRI)
Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
Illinois Association of Defense Trial Counsel
Have Dreams
Autism Speaks


Illinois Super Lawyers, 2009-2024
Leading Lawyers, 2013-2022
Outstanding Defense Verdict Award-Medical Malpractice, 2012 at the Jury Verdict Reporter Trial Lawyer Excellence Awards
The Best Lawyers in America, 2021-2024

Presentations & Publications


"Physician-Nurse Communication: Seven Ways to Avoid the Pitfalls", Webinar presentation to a local healthcare delivery system, May 2021.

"Anatomy of High Risk - High Stakes Lawsuit: From Incident to 'Not Guilty' Verdict", Johnson & Bell Medical Liability Seminar, May 3, 2012.

"Preventing a Lawsuit When the Inevitable Bad Outcome Occurs," Advocate South Suburban Hospital Physician Practice Improvement, June 16, 2010.

Panelist, "Risk Management Considerations in Radiology," Chicago Hospital Risk Management Society (CHRMS) webinar, Sept. 25, 2009.

"Never Events", presented at the Physician Practice Improvement Seminar, Advocate South Suburban Hospital, Hazel Crest, IL, April 15, 2009.

"Keeping Lawyers at Bay: Transparency and Completeness in Medical Record Keeping and Documentation," presented at the Physician Practice Improvement Conference at Advocate South Suburban Hospital, Hazel Crest, Illinois, Jan. 28, 2009.

"Specific Torts," presented with Michael T. Gill of Pfaff & Gill, P.C., before Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA), June 29, 2007.


"Gov. Quinn Signs Bill for Higher Fees in Med Mal Cases", Johnson & Bell Health Care Newsletter, Winter 2013

"The Successful Defense of an Informed Consent Case", For the Defense, September 2012

"Expert Witness Selection Requires Preparation", Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, October 6, 2011

Co-Author, “10 Years Later, Section 2-622, 90 Day Extension Rule Invalidated & Defendants Stripped of a Valuable Defense,” Johnson & Bell, Ltd. Health Care Newsletter Summer 2008

Defense Verdict for Hospital Reinstated; "Missing Witness" Issue , Illinois Caselaw Update, March 28, 2008

Forum Non Conveniens, Illinois Caselaw Update, June 19, 2008

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