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We are experienced, determined and committed. We work together to prove our value every day to our clients and to each other.

Practice Areas

  • Complex Litigation
  • Insurance
  • Life Sciences
  • Pay Equity
  • Employment


  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1985

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1978

  • M.A., Stanford University

  • B.A., Rutgers University

  • Advanced Training in Clinical Trials Management, University of Chicago

Admissions and Qualifications

  • Illinois
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of Illinois, N.D. Indiana, W.D. Michigan

Prior Experience

  • Kirkland & Ellis, LLP - Associate, Partner (1985-1995)
  • Jenner & Block, LLP - Partner (1995-2007)
  • Schoeman, Updike, Kaufman & Scharf - Partner (2007-2012)

Stephanie A. Scharf


Attorney Tabs

Publishing & Speaking

Publications: Legal Issues

  • "Product Liability Litigation: Current Law, Strategies and Best Practices." Practising Law Institute (PLI). Lead Editor.  Original publication 2009, and updated annually through 2015.  
  • "Expert Evidence - Law, Strategies and Best Practices." Co-author.  Published in  Product Liability Litigation: Current Law Strategies and Best Practices. Practicing Law Institute, 2015.
  • "Update on the Law: Illinois Imposes Strict Liability for Sexual Harassment by Any Supervisor," S. Scharf,  Client Alert, April 2009.
  • "FDA Proposes Revised CBE Rules and Reiterates Preemptive Authority," FDLI's UPDATE, Issue 2, March/April 2008.
  • "Punitive Damages in the Supreme Court: How Much is Too Much?"  FDLI's UPDATE, Issue 3, May/June 2007.
  • "Foreign Plaintiffs Battle to Keep Class Claims in U.S. Courts," Co-Author,  FDLI's UPDATE, Issue 1, January/February 2007.
  • "New Rulings in Drug Cases Highlight Debate Over Preemption," Law.com, October 2006.
  • "FDA's Comments Herald New Strength for Preemption Defense in Drug Product Litigation," Co-Author,  FDLI's UPDATE, Issue 5, September/October 2006.
  • "The Use of Toxicology in Tort Litigation: A Survey of Federal and State Jurisdictions," Co-Author, American Bar Association, May 2005.
  • "FDA Issues Final Guidances for Pharmaceutical Risk Assessment and Risk Management," Jenner & Block Client Alert, March 2005.
  • "A Business Approach to Minimizing Product Liability Litigation," Minimizing Product Liability Litigation (Aspatore Books), 2005.
  • "Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices," presented at TechLaw Group, Inc. International CLE Session, April 2004.
  • "The Evidentiary Impact of Regulatory Action on Product Litigation in the United States," Product Liability Advisory Council, March 2004
  • "The Use of Epidemiology in Tort Litigation: A Survey of Federal and State Jurisdictions,"  American Bar Association, July 2003.
  • "Secondary Evidence Need Not Recreate Language of Missing Insurance Policy, California Supreme Court Rules," Jenner & Block Insurance Newsletter, 2003.
  • "Marketing Pharmaceutical Products on the Internet: Managing Risks and Limiting Liabilities in the World of E-Commerce," Products Liability, American Bar Association, Vol. 12, No.2, 2001.
  • "Communications Specialists Help With Damage Control," U.S. Business Litigation Magazine, February 1997.

Speaking Engagements: Legal Issues

  • "Sexual Harassment in the Legal Profession" (Moderator), ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, Chicago, IL, May 2018.
  • "Religious Liberty in the United States and Israel" (Moderator), Jewish Lawyers Conference, Chicago, Illinois, May 2016. 
  • "GC's Question If Partners Are Worth The Cost, " LAW360, New York, New York, May 28, 2014. 
  • "Jury Selection: How to Find the Needle in the Haystack," DRI Women in the Law Seminar, Miami, Florida, March 2013.
  • "Update on the Law of Expert Evidence," Practicing Law Institute's Federal Civil Update, Chicago, Illinois, October 2012.
  • "Unconscious Bias in Jury Selection," Product Liability Advisory Council 2012 Spring Conference, Asheville, North Carolina, April 2012.
  • "Update on the Law of Expert Evidence," Practicing Law Institute's Federal Civil Update, Chicago, Illinois, October 2011.
  • "Changing Demographics of Jury Pools", Product Liability Advisory Council Fall Conference, October 2009.
  • "Best Practices for Managing the Risks of Nanotech Medical Products," Food and Drug Law Institute's First Annual Conference on Nanotechnology Law, Regulation and Policy, February 2008.
  • "Risk Management Strategies for Prescription Medical Products," Central Business Intelligence, December 2007.
  • "Post Sale Duty to Warn, Recall, and Retrofit: Prescription Devices and Pharmaceuticals," American Bar Association, August 2007.
  • "Appellate Advocacy in Illinois: Best Practices for Written and Oral Argument," National Association of Women Lawyers, July 2007.
  • "Drug/Device Co-Development: Litigation Risk Management Strategies," 50th Annual FDLI and FDA Conference, April 2007.
  • "Hone Your Skills: Negotiate!" University of Chicago Women's Business Group, October 2006
  • "Post-Marketing Event Reports and Clinical Trial Data: Potential Uses and Abuses in Litigation," American Conference Institute, June 2006.
  • "Psychology of Expert Testimony," Product Liability Advisory Council, April 2006.
  • "Assess the Current Regulatory Environment for Risk/Benefit Communication," The Center for Business Intelligence, November 2005.
  • "Damage Control: Corporate Counsel's Role in Containing and Resolving Corporate Crises," Lexis/Nexis Counsel to Counsel Seminar, May 2005.
  • "Risk Assessment and Risk Management Before the Product Launch," Food and Drug Law Institute, January 2005.
  • "Consumer Fraud Litigation in Illinois," Product Liability Advisory Council, October 2004.
  • "Consumer Fraud Litigation: Law and Defenses in Illinois," Product Liability Advisory Council, September 2004.
  • "Risk Analysis and Resource Allocation: The Art of Managing Costs," Corporate Legal Times Super Conference, June 2004.
  • "Post Sale Responsibilities: Impact of Agency Activities on Product Litigation," Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), April 2004.
  • "Our Federalism: Court Problems and Potential Solutions in Multi-District Litigation," Class Actions and Consolidated Mass Tort Litigation, American Bar Association Joint Seminar of the Environmental Products Liability & Mass Torts Litigation Committees, March 2004.
  • "Mealey's Fundamentals of Insurance Coverage Law Conference,"  October 2003.
  • "Mealey's Trial Preparation Skills for Paralegals," April 2003.
  • "Evolving Asbestos Coverage Issues in an Era of Exponential Growth in the Number of Defendants," Mealey's Advanced Insurance Coverage Conference: Top 10 Issues for Practitioners, January 2003.
  • "Class Action Defense, Chicago Bar Association Class Litigation Committee," October 2002.
  • "Post-Sale Duties to Warn, Recall and Retrofit: A Midwest Survey: Manufacturers Face Differing Duties in the Midwest," American Bar Association, March 2002.
  • "Use of Foreign Experts and Foreign Studies," American Bar Association Products Liability Committee Annual Meeting, March 2002.
  • "Marketing Products on the Internet: Managing Risks, Limiting Liabilities and Litigating Disputes," Co-Chair, American Bar Association National Institute, September 2000.
  • "Identifying and Managing Risks of Product Liability Litigation from Internet Sales," Hackers-Spammers-Cyber-Squatters-Business Torts on the Electronic Frontier, American Bar Association Annual Meeting, July 2000.
  •  "Product Liability.com-New Issues and New Solutions," American Bar Association Section of Litigation/Products Liability Committee Midyear Meeting, February 2000.
  • "After Kumho Tire: The Court as the Gatekeeper of Expert Testimony," Deloitte & Touche Annual Meeting, September 1999.
  • "After Kumho Tire: The Court as the Gatekeeper of Expert Testimony," Deloitte & Touche National Consulting Conference, Chicago, Illinois, August 26, 1999.
  • "Crisis Management," Joint ACCA/Chicago Bar Association Seminar, April 1999.
  • "The Court as the Gatekeeper of Expert Evidence," Chair, American Bar Association Regional Institute, May 1999.
  • "The Media and Products Litigation," For The Defense Magazine, Defense Research Institute, October 1996.
  • "Immigration Reform and the Federal Law of Employment Discrimination," The New Simpson-Rodino Immigration Law of 1986 (S. Mailman, ed.), pp.202-223, Prentice Hall, New York, 1986.

Recent Publications: Diversity Issues 

  • "The Power of Partnering" Authors: Stephanie Scharf, N. Nate Saint Victor and Antonio C. Castro, December 2016. 

  • "First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table," Authors: Stephanie Scharf and Roberta D. Liebenberg, American Bar Foundation July 2015. 

  • "The Strategy, Structure and Scope of Women's Initiatives in Law Firms," NAWL Foundation, Chicago, Illinois 2012.

  • "How General Counsel Can Impact Pay Equity for Women Lawyers," Authors: Lauren Rikleen, Roberta Liebenberg and Stephanie Scharf, American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois 2012.

  • "NAWL Annual Survey of Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms," Authored or co-authored each annual report from 2006-2014. NAWL Foundation and NAWLChicago, Illinois 2006-2014.

Speaking Engagements: Diversity Issues 

  • "My Start Story," Start TV, November 2018.
  • "May It Please the Court," Symposium at the U. S. Distric Court for the Northern District of Illinois, April 2018. 
  • "ABA National Summit on Achieving Long-Term Careers for Women in the Law," ABA, Cambridge, MA, November 8, 2017.
  • "Women, Influence and Power in the Law Conference," Panelist, Washington, D.C., October 10-12, 2017.
  • “Women Lawyers in the Courtroom,” Empirical Data on Women Lawyers as Lead Counsel, Women Lawyers Leading Cases in the Courtroom, Boston, MA, June 7, 2017.
  • “The Certification Question,” Chicago Lawyer, Chicago, IL, June 2017.
  • "Addressing Gender Bias and Advancement and Retention of Women in Law Firms, the Profession, and the Courts,” New Jersey State Bar Association, Atlantic City, NJ, May 17, 2017.
  • “Surveys on Women Lawyers as Lead Counsel and Trial Counsel in Complex Litigation,” Center for Women in Law, Houston, TX, February 23, 2017.
  • “What Every In-house Lawyer Needs to Know About Compliance,” Walmart, Bentonville, AR, January 31, 2017.
  • “Current Issues,” ABA WIPL Regional CLE Joint Networking ABA. Association, Philadelphia, PA, November 3, 2016.
  • "First Chairs at Trial: More Women Need Seats at the Table," Stephanie Scharf with Co-Panelist Roberta D. Liebenberg, American Bar Association Webinar, November 2016.
  • “Session an Alternative Fee Arrangements,” NAMWOLF 2016 Annual Meeting, Houston, TX, September 14-17, 2016. 
  • “How I Got My First Big Break!” Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law, Chicago, IL, September 2016.
  • “First Chair at Trial,” National Associating of Women Lawyers, New York, NY, July 12, 2016.
  • "Rainmakers: Born or Bred?" Women Legal 2016, Chicago, Illinois, June 2016.
  • “Rainmakers: Born or Bred?,” Women Legal 2016, Chicago, IL, May 19, 2016.
  • “Religious Liberty in the United States and Israel,” Moderator, Jewish Lawyers Conference, Chicago, IL, May 18, 2016.
  • “Women Lawyers in the Courtroom,” The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Chicago Bar Association, Chicago, IL, April 21, 2016.
  • "Women's Mentoring Program," University of Chicago Law School, Chicago, Illinois, April 7, 2016.
  • "You Hit Like a Girl: Overcoming the Challenge of Unconscious Bias." American Bar Association/Section of Litigation, Chicago, Illinois, November 2015. 
  • "Breaking into the Boardroom: The Pathways and The Process," DirectWomen, Chicago, Illinois, November 17, 2015..
  • “Hit Like a Girl,” ABA Women of the Section of Litigation Meeting, American Bar Association, Chicago, IL, November 11-13, 2015.
  • “First Chairs at Trial More Women Need Seating at the Table,” Chicago Bar Foundation, Chicago, IL, October 8, 2015.
  • “Women as Leaders in Law: Where Are We Now,“ Phillip Corboy Law Center, Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, IL, September 25, 2015.
  • "The Minority/Majority Partnership Report," NAMWOLF, Hollywood, CA, September 18, 2015. 
  • “Women as Lead Counsel at Trial: What You Can Do to Take the Lead,” American Bar Association, Chicago, IL, August 1, 2015.
  • “Negotiating Scenarios for Women Lawyers,” Thompson Reuters Confererence, Chicago, IL, May 28, 2015.
  • "Solutions and Best Practices for Diversity in the Legal Profession," Diversity Summit, St. Louis, Missouri, May 20, 2015.
  • “Problems, Solutions and Best Practices: Roundtable on Diversity in the Legal Profession,” Missouri Bar Diversity Summit, St Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, MO, May 20, 2015.
  • “Defining a Successful Women’s initiative,” National Association of Women Lawyers, West Point, NY, May 1, 2015.
  • “Negotiating Your Own Compensation: It’s Not About the Money,” American Bar Association, Chicago, IL, February 17, 2015.
  • "The Diversity Discussion," Chicago Lawyer Magazine, Chicago, IL, July 2014. 
  • "Female Lawyers Still Battle Gender Bias," The Wall Street Journal, May 4,2014.
  • “30 Women Blackstones,” ISBA seminar, Chicago, Illinois, August 22, 2013. 
  • "The Role of Women's Initiatives in Advancing Women Lawyers," National Association of Women Lawyers National Webinar, April 2013.
  • "Capture Your Power: Your Role in Advancing Yourself and Other Women in the Legal Profession," American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois, March 2013.
  • "Breaking the Class Ceiling," New York University School of Law Symposium, March 2013.
  • "Results of the First National Survey of Women's Initiatives," National Association of Women Lawyers Annual Meeting, New York, New York, July 2012.
  • "Women and Minorities: Willing Partners or Reluctant Allies?" NAWL Annual Meeting, New York, New York, July 2012.
  • “Women in Law: The Path to Partner," Today's Chicago Woman Magazine, Chicago, Illnois, May 2012.
  • "Flex Time Work Policies, Walmart Conference," Bentonville, Arkansas, June 2010.
  • "What Am I Worth? Attorney Compensation and Law Firm Billing in the New World Order," Duff & Phelps CLE seminar, Chicago, Illinois, June 2010.
  • "What Should You Do? Lessons Learned and Lessons to Be Learned About Business Development," Women Lawyers Alliance Inaugural Member Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, May 2010.
  • "Women in the Profession: Where We Were, Where We Are, Where We Should Be," Ohio Women Bar Association's Annual Meeting, Dayton, Ohio, May 2010.
  • "National Association of Women Lawyers Annual Survey on the Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms," American Bar Association on Women in the Profession, July 2009.
  • "Managing Diversity Expectations Between In-House and Outside Counsel," Martindale-Hubbell and Lexis Nexis, Washington, District of Columbia, April 2009.
  • "Managing and Developing Your Legal Career," ABA Women in Products Liability Ninth Annual Regional CLE Workshop, New York, New York, November 2008.
  • "Increasing the Use of Diverse Suppliers," Westchester and Fairfield County ACCA Diversity Summit Conference, October 2008.
  • "Impact of Attrition on Women in Large Firms on Judicial Diversity and Judicial Independence," National Association of Women Judges Mid-West Regional Conference, August 2008.
  • "Bridging the Gap: Disparity in Compensation and the Gender Equation," Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association, March 2008.
  • "Negotiating Your Compensation and Severance," Minority Corporate Council Association's 7th Annual CLE Expo, March 2008.
  • "2007 National Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms," National Conference of Women's Bar Association, February 2008.