Tamar Kelber has been a member of the firm since July 2015. Before joining the firm, Ms. Kelber was a partner at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago, Illinois for 13 years, and an associate at Sidley for seven years. Her practice focuses on commercial litigation and mass tort litigation, including individual cases in multiple jurisdictions across the country. She represents a wide range of clients, including health insurance, financial services and construction companies, in commercial matters. Her product liability experience spans a variety of areas including consumer products, pharmaceuticals and biologics. She has substantial experience coordinating multi-jurisdictional multi-plaintiff litigation and defense of individual single-plaintiff cases and leads all aspects of litigation from pretrial discovery through fact and expert witness development, trial and appeal in both state and federal courts. She also counsels clients on the prevention and reduction of risks before litigation, and has worked on an independent monitor team overseeing a major manufacturer’s compliance with its Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the Department of Justice.
Tamar graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin in 1991 and received her Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1994, where she was Associate Articles Editor of the Northwestern Law Review. After graduating law school, she clerked for the Honorable James B. Loken, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Tamar served a two-year term as Managing Member of Gass Weber Mullins from 2018 through 2019. She has chaired the ABA Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Biotech Product Liability Subcommittee, and the ABA Current Issues in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation Seminar in 2013 and 2014 and currently serves as the product liability liaison for the ABA Section of Litigation. She is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, the Defense Research Institute, and the ABA Women in Product Liability Committee.
Tamar’s pro bono work includes over 10 years on the Board of Directors and Secretary of the Board for Onward Neighborhood House, a nonprofit human services and resource center in Chicago, where she worked on counseling, governance, employment, and fundraising issues. She currently serves on the Board of Visitors for the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun.
- Trial counsel in multi-week bench trial involving claims brought by hepatitis C-infected plaintiffs against biologics manufacturers, which resulted in judgment for the defendants.
- Trial counsel in six bench trials that were tried simultaneously in state court in Louisiana. The cases involved claims brought by or on behalf of HIV-infected hemophiliacs. The evidence was heard over the course of several months, and the court ultimately ruled that all six cases were barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
- Representing Armour Pharmaceutical Company in a bellwether jury trial that involved claims brought by the parents of a deceased hemophiliac who was infected with the AIDS virus allegedly as a result of his use of an anti-hemophilic factor concentrate processed by various pharmaceutical companies, including Armour. The trial lasted nearly four months, and the jury returned a verdict in favor of Armour.
- Prevailing in the Northern District of Illinois and in the Seventh Circuit on forum non conveniens motions to dismiss claims of plaintiffs from Argentina, England and Israel.
- Obtaining dismissal and affirmance on appeal of medical malpractice action against Loyola University Health Systems in Illinois state court, arguing the case before the Illinois Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court.
Multi-District Case Management
- Coordination of the defense of a pharmaceutical product liability defendant in multi-year federal multi-district litigation and related litigation in extra-US jurisdictions.
- Implementing the settlement of claims of 2,600 product liability plaintiff from 30 different countries.
- Cross examining pharmaceutical plaintiffs’ FDA expert and representing AstraZeneca at an evidentiary and summary judgment hearing which resulted in summary judgment for AstraZeneca on the adequacy of the defendants’ labeling, and a holding that plaintiff’s expert’s testimony on medical matters was unreliable and not admissible.
- Challenging plaintiffs’ expert evidence and obtaining summary judgment in several pharmaceutical product liability cases.
- Obtaining Summary Judgment for Schering Corporation in a case brought on behalf of the estate of a deceased plaintiff who was administered anti-platelet aggregation agents prior to his death.
- Defeating worldwide class certification motion in federal MDL litigation.