Tamar B. Kelber

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Tamar B. Kelber

With deep experience in a wide range of civil litigation, including 20 years at Sidley Austin in Chicago (13 as a partner), Tamar offers knowledge and strategy across industries to every client. She understands the big picture, leveraging her litigation proficiency, responsiveness and earned trust to her client’s advantage.

Tamar’s practice focuses on product liability, commercial litigation and mass tort litigation, including cases in multiple jurisdictions across the country. In commercial matters, she represents clients in a range of industries including pharmaceuticals, health insurance, financial services, and construction. 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, leading all aspects of litigation from pretrial discovery through fact and expert witness development, trial, and appeal in both state and federal courts.

Tamar also counsels clients on the prevention and reduction of risks before litigation, and has served on an independent monitor team overseeing a major manufacturer’s compliance with its Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the Department of Justice.

  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law, 1994; Northwestern University Law Review, associate articles editor
  • B.A. in Sociology and Psychology, with honors, University of Wisconsin, 1991
  • Honorable James B. Loken, US Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
  • Managing member, Gass Turek, 2018-2019
  • Chair, ABA Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Biotech Product Liability Subcommittee, 2013-2015
  • Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Member, Defense Research Institute
  • Member, ABA Women in Product Liability Committee
  • Liaison, Product Liability ABA Section of Litigation
  • Beyond the Doctor’s Office: When Technology Expands the Reach of Patient Care, Panel Presentation, DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar 2021
  • FDA Oversight of Digital Health and Mobile Medical Applications, DRI Drug and Medical Device Seminar 2021
  • Civil Unrest and Civil Litigation: Risks, Claims and Strategies, Milwaukee Bar Association 2021
  • FDA Regulation and Litigation Regarding Mobile Medical Applications, DRI Defense of Government Actions CLE, 2019
  • New Technology, New Liability: Product Liability Risks in the Digital Age, ABA Section of Litigation CLE Conference, 2019
  • Chapter 3: Pharmaceutical Product Liability Litigation, in An Introduction to Tort-Based Healthcare Litigation, 2018.
  • Today’s FDA Panel Presentation: Plaintiff, Defense and In-House Perspectives, 2015
  • Chair, ABA Current Issues in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation Seminar, 2012 and 2013


  • Prevailed 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. 
  • Obtained 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

  • Coordinated the defense of a pharmaceutical product liability defendant in multi-year federal multi-district litigation and related litigation in extra US jurisdictions. 
  • Implemented the settlement of claims of 2,600 product liability plaintiffs from 30 countries. 


  • Cross examined pharmaceutical plaintiffs’ FDA expert and represented AstraZeneca at an evidentiary hearing and summary judgment hearing, which resulted in summary judgment for AstraZeneca on the adequacy of the defendants’ labeling, and in a holding that plaintiff’s expert testimony on medical matters was unreliable and not admissible.
  • Challenged plaintiffs’ expert evidence and obtained summary judgment in several pharmaceutical product liability cases.
  • Obtained 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. 
  • Defeated worldwide class certification motion in federal MDL litigation. 
  • Member, Board of Visitors for the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Congregation Emanu-El B’ne Jeshurun
  • More than ten years as Secretary of the Board of Directors of Onward Neighborhood House, a nonprofit human services and resource center in Chicago, focusing on counseling, governance, employment, and fundraising issues

“Kelber is commercially-minded, strategically astute and hugely knowledgeable in her field. She is collaborative and makes the effort to have face-to-face meetings. She has a huge knowledge base and can retain detailed and complex info – she’s a real goldmine. She is very strategic, so in difficult situations, I’m always impressed with her way of thinking about things and her input is extremely valuable. She’s very good at communicating. She is almost like the client: she likes to push the boundaries.”

“Turek, Kelber and Trigg are all smart, strategic, excellent writers and exceptional lawyers.”

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