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Sara J. Gourley


SARA J. GOURLEY is a litigation partner in the Chicago office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Sara has substantial experience in pharmaceutical, medical device, and blood products liability litigation. Her practice is concentrated in the areas of pharmaceutical and medical device defense, especially multi-jurisdictional coordination and defense of class actions. Sara is currently lead counsel for Takeda Pharmaceuticals in the on-going MDL and related state court litigation regarding ACTOS including serving as trial counsel in the first related case to go to trial in state court. She has served in leading defense roles for clients in many of the pharmaceutical industry’s most significant litigation. She is also national counsel for a producer of blood products in AIDS and Hepatitis C litigation.

Sara is consistently recognized for her products liability work by the industry’s leading ranking publications including Chambers USA, LMG Life Sciences, Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation, The International Who’s Who of Life Sciences Lawyers, and The Best Lawyers in America among others. Chambers USA has quoted industry insiders who have lauded Sara as a “strategic thinker” and “extremely knowledgeable.” Benchmark Litigation also recognizes Sara as one of the Top 250 Women in Litigation.

Sara speaks frequently on topics relating to the defense of product liability claims. Recent presentations include: “Approaches to Causation in Mass Torts,” “Transnational Product Liability Problems” and “The Role of Litigation in Regulating Drug Safety.” Sara also presented a paper to the Shanghai FDA on “Adverse Drug Reactions: A Discussion of United States and International Compensation Schemes,” published a 2012 update on U.S. product liability law and a chapter on “Emerging Issues for Products Manufactured Overseas” which was published in the fall of 2009.

Sara is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois Bar Association, The International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Defense Research Institute, and a Member of DRI’s Drug and Medical Device Steering Committee.

Sara received her J.D. (Law Review) from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1980 and her A.B. (cum laude, with honors in English) from Ripon College in 1977. Admissions include: Illinois; various U.S. Court of Appeals and U.S. District Courts.

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