Private Practice

Partner, Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP

Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP

Associate, Mayer, Brown & Platt

Judicial Clerkship

The Honorable James B. Moran, District Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


University of Illinois College of Law (J.D., summa cum laude)

Carleton College (B.A., Economics)


Bar & Court Admissions

State of Illinois

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (including Trial Bar)

Photo of Tarek  Ismail

Tarek Ismail

Partner / Chicago

“Praised for his well-rounded skill set. Clients agree that he is ‘both a talented trial lawyer and a great strategist’.” Chambers USA 2010

Tarek Ismail specializes in handling complex and high stakes litigation for major U.S. corporations.  Most recently, he has achieved several key trial victories for Fortune 100 companies in significant mass tort litigation.  As reported in the American Lawyer, clients have praised Tarek for his “stiletto-sharp cross examinations of plaintiffs’ experts and other witnesses,” “his encyclopedic knowledge of the facts,” and his ability to sort through complex facts and data to identify the key arguments and winning strategies for trial.  Tarek also has developed a reputation for resolving large scale litigation through negotiation on extremely favorable terms for our clients.

Tarek is widely recognized as a leader among first chair trial lawyers who can handle a bet-the-company case. In 2007, The American Lawyer named him one of the “Fab Fifty Young Litigators.” The Legal 500 2010 reports that clients recommend Tarek as “a very hardworking, very skilled trial lawyer,” and Chambers USA 2008 quoted clients who observed that Tarek combines “a brilliant intellect with sound common sense.” Clients commented in Chambers USA 2009 that “it’s tremendous how much he’s achieved—he knows exactly how to conduct cases and is well positioned for success.”

Of Note

Representative Litigation

In re K-Dur Antitrust Litigation

Lead trial counsel for Merck in the class action and consolidated opt-out antitrust lawsuits brought by wholesalers and major pharmacy retail chains that directly purchased K-Dur® 20, an extended-release potassium chloride supplement. Plaintiffs claim that a June 1997 patent settlement with a generic maker of K-Dur® 20 was anticompetitive.

Fosamax® Litigation

Represent Merck Sharp & Dohme, Corp. in product liability litigation concerning Fosamax®, a prescription drug used for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and other bone disorders. In March 2013, co-tried Su v. Merck Sharp & Dohme, Corp.(Atlantic County, N.J.), the first product liability claim based on an alleged atypical femur fracture. A mistrial was declared midway through the trial. Continues to serve as trial counsel on behalf of Merck in New Jersey and California Fosamax cases.

Galper v. Merck Sharp & Dohme, Corp.

Lead trial counsel on behalf of Merck in a bellwether trial involving the medicine Fosamax.  After a six-week trial in California state court, the jury returned a complete defense verdict for Merck.

Angela Lyles et al. v. McNeil-PPC, Inc. et al

Lead trial counsel on behalf of McNeil and Johnson and Johnson in a death case allegedly caused by Tylenol. The matter settled for a nominal sum on the first day of trial.

In re Ethicon Inc., Pelvic Repair System Products Liability Litigation

Trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon, Inc. in cases alleging personal injuries from the use of pelvic mesh products for the treatment of pelvic organ prolapse and stress incontinence.  Lead trial counsel in the case of Hammons v. Ethicon, tried in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas.

Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 572 Health and Welfare Fund v. Merck & Co., Inc.

Successfully represented Merck as trial counsel in a putative class action brought by health benefit providers under civil RICO and federal antitrust statutes relating to alleged co-pay subsidy programs. The action was voluntarily dismissed after Merck filed a dispositive motion.

In re Hormone Therapy Litigation  

Serves as trial counsel on behalf of Wyeth in product liability litigation involving Premarin and Prempro products. 

Vioxx® Litigation

Defended Merck & Co., Inc. against allegations that its anti-inflammatory medication Vioxx® caused heart attacks.

CEATS, Inc. v. Continental Airlines, Inc. et. al. (E.D. TX)

Won summary judgment of non-infringement on behalf of defendant in a patent infringement suit before Judge Leonard Davis. Plaintiff CEATS sued over 30 defendants relating to online ticketing patents. was the only defendant to win summary judgment of non-infringement.

Forrest Laboratories v. Abbott Laboratories

Co-tried on behalf of Abbott a patent case relating to neonatal surfactant. After an eight-week jury trial in Buffalo, the jury returned a unanimous verdict for Abbott on all issues, which later was overturned by the district court.

Engel v. Refco, Inc.

Co-tried National Futures Association arbitration claims brought by commodity futures investors against futures commission merchant, Refco.

Rosen v. Refco, Inc.

Co-tried AAA arbitration claims brought by commodity futures investors against futures commission merchant, Refco.

Gould v. FX Concepts, Inc.

Co-tried bench trial in Maryland state court involving claim brought by speculative foreign exchange investors against investment advisory firm.