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Sherry A. Knutson

Chicago, IL | D 312.624.6322 | F 312.624.6309 | M 773.454.7269

Sherry Knutson is a trial lawyer with 20 years of experience in product liability and toxic tort cases, with an emphasis on defending pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

She has tried cases to verdict in Illinois, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

Sherry’s practice ranges from multi-plaintiff, multi-jurisdiction litigations to single plaintiff cases. She has served as national coordinating counsel in one of the largest pharmaceutical mass torts. She also has served as lead counsel in multiple coordinated proceedings involving pharmaceuticals in Chicago.

Clients describe Sherry as “an exceptional attorney” with “a knack for understanding very complex scientific and medical issues and making them easy to understand to both clients and a layperson on the jury.” Ranked in Chambers USA 2017, clients and peers “think very, very highly” of Sherry and her work in defending pharmaceutical clients in mass torts.

Sherry is committed to providing excellent client service through the unique Tucker Ellis culture that promotes teamwork, value, and predictability. Selected for Who’s Who Legal in the areas of Product Liability Defence and Life Sciences, Sherry is described as “superbly qualified, knowledgeable,” with “a keen ability to develop sophisticated strategies which bring excellent results on a consistent basis and in an efficient and cost effective manner.”

Early in her career, Sherry clerked for the Honorable N. Patrick Crooks of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, who reinforced integrity and civility in the law – values Sherry has carried with her throughout her career.

Sherry, her husband, twin boys, and dog split their time between Chicago and a log cabin in Indiana, enjoying all the best of the city and country. They are avid sports fans, and often can be found cheering at Blackhawks games or for their favorite football teams, including the Packers.

education & admissions


  • Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology (J.D., with high honors, 1996); Chicago-Kent Law Review, Notes and Comments Editor
  • Marquette University (B.A., magna cum laude, 1993); Phi Beta Kappa

state admissions

  • Illinois, 2002
  • Wisconsin, 1996

federal admissions

  • United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • United States District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
services & industries

service areas

industries represented

  • Athletic Equipment Manufacturers
  • Chemical
  • Clinical Trials
  • Hospitals
  • Medical Devices
  • Pharmaceutical & Medicine

Representative Cases

  • Served as co-lead trial counsel in a case involving a diabetes drug in West Virginia, securing a defense verdict on three of four claims; jury awarded only $155,000 in compensatory damages and no punitive damages on remaining claim
  • Served as co-lead trial counsel in the first bellwether case involving a diabetes drug in Chicago, obtaining a defense verdict in less than two hours following a trial lasting longer than three weeks in which plaintiff requested over $10 million in damages
  • Obtained summary judgment in a product liability case involving ski bindings as to all of plaintiff’s claims against client and excluding testimony from plaintiff’s only expert witness against client
  • Successfully argued appeal to Seventh Circuit (Judge Posner presiding) on behalf of a major pharmaceutical company with regard to removal and fraudulent joinder
  • As part of trial team in a case alleging nuisance due to hydrogen sulfide exposure, successfully limited jury award to only $17,500 despite plaintiff’s counsel’s request for over $1.2 million in closing argument; preclusion of plaintiffs’ expert toxicologist from testifying on medical causation affirmed
  • Obtained defense verdict as part of trial team in a latex glove allergy case
publications & events

Speaking Engagements

  • "The Current Legal Landscape for 'Discovery on Discovery,'" Moderator and materials prepared for "Preparing Corporate Witnesses for Discovery about Discovery and Preservation; Collection and Production Issues," Environmental & Energy, Mass Torts and Products Liability Litigation Committees' Joint CLE Seminar, American Bar Association, Squaw Valley, California (January 2017)
  • "Working with Experts: Best Practices," IADC Webinar (January 2017)
  • "Be Prepared: Best Practices, Tips and Strategies for Trial Preparation," Drug & Device Forum 2016, HB Litigation Conferences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (December 2016)
  • "Developing a Game Plan for a Successful MDL Practice," IADC Annual Meeting, Southampton, Bermuda (July 2016)
  • "Trying the Products Liability Case: Tips and Strategies from Pros," IADC Webinar (January 2016)
  • "Trying a Products Liability Case: Best Practices, Tips and Strategies," Moderator, ABA Women of the Section of Litigation Conference, Chicago, Illinois (November 2015)
  • "Lessons Learned from E-Discovery Sanctions in Mass Tort Litigation: Where Do We Go from Here?", DRI Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. (October 2015)
  • "Hot Topics," DRI Drug and Medical Device Conference, San Francisco, California (May 2015)
  • "Trials: A Multi-Chair Perspective," ABA Section of Litigation, Women in Product Liability Roundtable (July 2014)
  • "E-Discovery: Predictive Coding—Friend or Foe?", DRI Product Liability Conference, Specialized Litigation Workshop: Mass Tort and Class Actions, National Harbor, Maryland (April 2013) 



Awards & Professional Recognition

  • Chambers USA
    • Product Liability & Mass Torts (Nationwide) (2016, 2017)
    • "Up and Coming," Product Liability & Mass Torts (Nationwide) (2015)
  • International Society of Barristers, Fellow (2016)
  • Who's Who Legal
    • Product Liability Defence (2012-2017)
    • Life Sciences: Product Liability (2016, 2017)
    • Illinois – Product Liability (2006-2008)
  • Law360
    • Product Liability MVP (2014)
  • The Legal 500
    • Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense: Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices
  • LMG Life Sciences
    • Life Sciences Star (2013, 2014)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers® (2013-2016)
  • Illinois Super Lawyers Rising Stars® (2011, 2012)

in the community

Civic & Professional Involvement

  • International Association of Defense Counsel
    • 2017 Trial Academy Faculty
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Philanthropic Activities Committee (2017)
    • Steering and Planning Committees for Drug and Medical Device Substantive Law Committee (2015-present)
      • Drug and Medical Device Substantive Law Committee, Chair of Marketing (2017-present)
      • Drug and Medical Device Substantive Law Committee, Vice Chair of Marketing (2015-2017)
  • American Bar Association
    • Section of Litigation, Women in Product Liability Subcommittee, Co-Chair (2014-2015)
    • Section of Litigation, Women in Product Liability Workshop, Co-Chair (2012, 2013)
  • Chicago Bar Association
    • Alliance for Women Executive Committee, Girl Scouts Legal Track, Co-Chair (2016-present)
  • Ronald McDonald House, Volunteer