robert l. smith, partner
(e) email@example.com • (p) 312.346.7855 • (f) 312.346.8317
Robert Smith graduated from Beloit College in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Business Administration. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Northern Illinois University College of Law in 1989, graduating cum laude. Following law school, Robert went on to the law firm of Wiedner & McAuliffe, where he became a partner in 2002. He has practiced workers' compensation defense for over 22 years. Robert joined Gaido & Fintzen in December 2011 to develop and lead its workers' compensation defense practice. Robert specializes in problem-solving on medically and factually complex and high exposure cases in Illinois and Wisconsin. He successfully tried several of the first Utilization Review cases in Illinois, and he continues to advocate for the application of evidence-based medicine in workers' compensation.
Robert's experience, combined with his personal commitment to creative and aggressive defense, allows him to consistently achieve practical and efficient case resolutions. As a testament to his professional achievements, Robert received the highest Martindale-Hubbell Peer, and Judicial Review, Rating of AV Preeminent for professional ability and legal ethics.
Robert has been named among Illinois Super Lawyers®. In addition, he has been named an Illinois Top Lawyer in the workers' compensation practice area.
Robert serves on the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness.
Robert is Medicare Compliance counsel to a number of small and large companies. He has been selected by the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission to provide legal training to Commissioners and Arbitrators on the practical application of Utilization Review, and works closely with multiple medical providers on this issue.
Robert serves as a distinguished faculty member of the Annual Chicago Trauma Symposium, counseling on the interplay of medical and legal issues. In addition, Robert serves on the Board of RISCA (Risk Insurance Strategic Claims Association). Robert presents an annual seminar on "Recent Developments in Illinois Workers' Compensation," and provides numerous presentations to employers, employer trade groups, insurance carriers, and medical groups on creative cost containment measures. Robert authored the article, Notice Under the Illinois Workers' Compensation Act. He is Medicare Set-Aside Consultant Certified (MSCC) and is a member of the National Alliance of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals (NAMSAP). Robert is also a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association, and Wisconsin Bar Association.
Robert serves as Judge for the American Association for Justice Mock Trial Competition. He also volunteers as a Fly Fishing Guide for cancer survivors through a charitable foundation.
Robert is admitted to practice in Illinois and Wisconsin.Email Robert Learn About Our Workers' Compensation Department
Romero v. Wright Business, 07 L 51230: In this case involving successful use of Utilization Review, issues included a second surgery (lumbar fusion), extensive temporary total disability benefits, and a likely permanent inability to return to the pre-injury job. Independent Medical Examination evidence, witness testimony, and Utilization Review were woven together in favor of the employer. The Commission affirmed:
Fields v. Rossi, 05 L 50931: The petitioner, a semi dump truck driver, was involved in a vehicle accident. The petitioner tested positive for marijuana and was subsequently terminated. Two significant aspects of this case established Commission precedent:
O'Toole v. United, 06 IWCC 460: In this high exposure wage differential claim, Robert helped establish that speculation about what "might" be earned in the future cannot serve as the basis for a wage loss. As a result, the employer's liability was significantly limited.
Vargas v. Manuel Contractors, 09 IWCC 1079: In this precedent-setting work rule violation case, multiple witnesses testified for the parties. The petitioner went back to a locked jobsite after the day's work had been completed to retrieve a tool. He stacked two ladders and broke his arm in a fall. The Commission denied compensation.
Tallon v. INR, 08 WC 25290: Evidence from Twitter and Facebook was used at trial to defeat a 19(b)/8(a)/penalty claim. Issues involved evidentiary use of electronic media.
Woods v. Macy's, 08 WC 2426: The Commission found that a fall on an escalator is not compensable. The petitioner turned when she thought she heard a door open behind her and fell down an escalator, necessitating knee surgery.
Donahue v. Village of Rosemont, 11 IWCC 718: This is an exceptionally high exposure wage differential claim focusing on medical, factual, and economic factors. The successful defense for the employer showed that the petitioner made voluntary choices to limit his post-injury earnings. The trial result was an 8(d)2 award commensurate with the back surgery, along with a substantial credit for benefits paid prior to trial. Affirmed by Commission.
Sitkiewicz v. Delta Air Lines, 10 WC 46461: Issue of hip replacement successfully defended in complex fact case with degenerative conditions and conflicting medical evidence.Additional tried cases involving successful implementation of Utilization Review for the employer include: Barbour v. United (leg lengthening surgery denied), Satkevicious v. O'Hare (extensive chiropractic care denied), Garnreiter v. United (psychiatric care denied), and Cantua v. United (discogram denied).
PETER A. GAIDO • SCOTT S. FINTZEN • RONALD L. SANDACK • ROBERT L. SMITH • PAUL H. SCHEUERLEIN • JUSTIN C. KANTER • LUKE S. BEHNKE • DANIEL J. BECKA • PETER B. CANALIA • DAVID G. CLARK • CHARLES A. RADOVICHClick here to close this window