Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris, L.L.P.

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris, L.L.P.

Firm Overview

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris is the continuation of a legal practice founded by Arthur Schechter in 1964, and continued by partners Dennis McElwee and Matt Shaffer when Mr. Schechter left to become a United States Ambassador in 1998. Jonathan Harris joined the firm in 1999 and later became a partner. When Arthur Schechter returned as Senior Counsel in 2006, the firm came full circle, while also expanding its capabilities.

With over 100 years of combined experienced our team of lawyers carries the knowledge you need on your side. We have successfully handled thousands of cases. Though Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P. is based in Texas we handle personal injury cases throughout the United States.

Example cases

Matt Shaffer represented a Plaintiff who was injured on or about October 13, 2006 while employed as a tankerman aboard a vessel. Plaintiff sustained injuries to his right hip, right leg and right foot, among other parts of his body due to the negligence of Defendant. Mr. Shaffer obtained a settlement of $579,376.83 for the injured seaman, who took home $332,986.19. In March 2008, Mr. Shaffer represented a client who was employed by as a deckhand for in a shipyard. He suffered a head injury resulting in severe brain damage. The total settlement was $17,570,000 with the client and his family netting $13,148,914 for a special needs trust, annuity purchase, trust for minor child, and cash to family.

Main Office

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris, L.L.P.
3200 Travis St. #300
Houston TX 77006


(713) 364-0723


Free Initial Consultation?

It is our policy to meet and personally interview prospective clients before we take on a case to make sure the professional relationship is a good fit for all parties.

Usually, the interview takes place at our office, the client's home, and/or in a hospital setting. We work hard to make travel arrangements to bring out-of-town clients to our office as quickly as possible.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

No, we operate solely on a contingency fee basis.

Hourly Rates

Not applicable.

Office Information

Office Hours

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris maintain offices in Houston and in Galveston, where meetings are by appointment only. Phones are answered 24/7.

Emergency After Hours


Languages Spoken

We offer services in Spanish (Espanol).

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

To assist the working men and women of this great country who become injured on the job or through other terrible tragic accidents.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

While having a basic understanding of the legal issues surrounding your case can be helpful, it is crucial to at least speak with, if not hire, an experienced attorney who routinely practices in the area of law of your case.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

We are unwilling to do so.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

We are unwilling to do so.

Matthew Shaffer

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris, L.L.P.

Matthew D. Shaffer

Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris, L.L.P.

Matt became a lawyer over 20 years ago, and first represented the other side of the docket for large corporate clients. When he came to SMSH, over 15 years ago, he transferred his passion for excellence to the representation of working men and women. Matt is one of a small percentage of Texas lawyers who is a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer through the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is past chairman of The Texas State Bar's Grievance Committee for District 4C. He is licensed to practice in Texas and Colorado. In 2006 and 2007 he was named a Texas Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly Magazine, an honor shared by only 5% those practicing law in Texas.

Matt's long career in litigation makes him uniquely qualified to better represent clients in their lawsuits. Also, having served as the chair of a grievance committee, Matt understands and appreciates the ethics required of his profession and requires everyone who works for him to adhere to very strict, ethical practices with our clients.

Matt is the type of lawyer who thoroughly prepares cases and follows up on details. His is also the type of man who strives to return phone calls to prospective clients as soon as possible, carries his Blackberry on weekends and makes it a point to be there for his clients when it counts. Many of his clients express surprise when he returns phone calls and e-mails well past normal working hours.

Personal interests:

Matt is a dedicated family man to his wife and twin daughters. Matt also enjoys working out, watching television and playing golf.


Bar Number: 18085600
Texas, 1987


University of Houston Law Center
J.D., 1987

Southwest Texas State University
Bachelor of Business Administration, 1984

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.