Drawing on her extensive experience in complex litigation, technology, and business, Tara helps her clients leverage and defend their intellectual property inside and outside the courtroom. Ranking Tara among Minnesota’s top IP attorneys, Chambers USA 2022 states, “Tara is a fierce and highly skilled advocate.”
Tara focuses on high-stakes patent, trade secret, trademark and business litigation with a keen strategic view and relentless attention to details that matter. She has secured victories in district and appellate courts and arbitrations across the country, and negotiated licenses and multimillion-dollar agreements in matters involving a wide spectrum of technologies, including medical devices, financial systems, radiation therapy systems, dental treatments, glass coatings, and consumer goods, among others.
In addition to her IP practice, Tara routinely serves as an appointee of the Federal Court in various capacities. She served as general counsel for the Receiver in the $190 million Trevor Cook Ponzi scheme, the second-largest fraud in Minnesota history, where she led the effort to repatriate assets from around the globe that were stolen under the guise of an international investment program. She also served as general counsel in the Inter-Mark receivership, where she oversaw the return of $26 million to individuals around the world. Her work on behalf of the Court and with the SEC, CFTC, and U.S. Department of Justice has earned her high regard around the country in sophisticated fraud and financial matters. She also has been appointed as a Rule 54 Special Master in the Baycol qui tam action pending in the District of Minnesota.
Tara brings first-hand business experience to every matter she handles, having worked for a global consulting firm before becoming a lawyer. Prior to joining Carlson Caspers, Tara clerked for the Honorable Donald P. Lay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and practiced with Sidley, an international law firm headquartered in Chicago.
Tara is a member of the firm’s Management Committee. She also is the firm’s chief marketing partner and co-founder and co-chair of its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, which leads the firm’s actions in fulfillment of its commitment to ensuring that all people, regardless of color, creed, sexual orientation, disability, or other unique human characteristic, can excel and thrive in the firm, the profession, and the community.
Beyond the firm, Tara is a widely recognized national leader advancing DE&I in the legal profession and is a frequent speaker on these topics. She served as President of the Federal Bar Association’s Minnesota Chapter in 2016-17 and has led numerous initiatives with the Chapter and the District Court during over a decade of service on the Board. At the national level, she founded and chairs the FBA’s DE&I Committee, which developed and is now implementing a multi-year DE&I Action Plan for the organization and its 100+ chapters around the nation.
In 2022 Tara was honored with the prestigious Earl W. Kintner Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession by the national FBA. She is routinely named among the top IP lawyers in Minnesota and has been honored twice as an Attorney of the Year by Minnesota Lawyer. She also was featured on the cover of the Women in Law 2017 Minnesota Edition, Attorney at Law Magazine, celebrating women attorneys who exemplify excellence in the Minnesota legal profession. Tara has also chaired and served on several Merit Selection Panels for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota and the Court’s Markman Study Group.
Outside of her law practice, Tara works with Friends of FANA, Minnesota, a non-profit organization established to unite Colombian children of all ages with adoptive families. She also has served on the Board of Trustees for Sunny Hollow Montessori.
University of Minnesota Law School
J.D., magna cum laude
Order of the Coif
Articles Editor, Minnesota Law Review
B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude
Phi Beta Kappa
Minnesota Supreme Court
Illinois Supreme Court
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
Qualified Neutral on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Statewide Roster
Fellow of the Academy of Court-Appointed Neutrals
EVENTS & PUBLICATIONS
|Speaking Engagements, Webinars, and Presentations|
“NFTs and Digital Assets, Beyond Bored Apes,” 4th Annual Association of Corporate Counsel, Minnesota Chapter, Oktoberfest CLE, Hot Topics in IP Law, October 2023 (co-presenter)
“NFTs Are on Your Doorstep: Are You Ready? IP Considerations, Pitfalls, and Best Practices,” ACC-MN CLE, April 20, 2023
The Intersection of Trade Secrets and Data Privacy in the Digital Age
“Trade Secret Secrets for Corporate Counsel,” ACC-MN CLE, April 26, 2022
“Staying in the Game: Women’s Path to Leadership,” FBA Leadership Institute, April 28–30, 2022
“Creative Approaches to Litigation: Intellectual Property,” National Association of Federal Equity
“Our Founding Sisters,” Federal Bar Association Annual Convention, September 8, 2021
“Celebrating Trailblazing Women Attorneys,” Minnesota State Bar Association, Minnesota
“Racism and Social Justice in the Legal Profession,” Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
“Voting Rights of Individuals with Disabilities,” 10th Annual Disability Justice Seminar,
“The Demand for Diversity in Federal Practice,” Federal Bar Association Annual Convention, September 6, 2019
“Justice for People with Disabilities: Access to the Courts,” Minnesota CLE, August 31, 2015
“An In-House Perspective on IP Best Practices for Due Diligence, Mergers, and Enforcement, Minnesota Intellectual Property Lawyers Association,” May 18, 2015
Articles & Publications
“The Intersection of Trade Secrets and Data Privacy in the Digital Age,” The Federal Lawyer, Spring 2023, by Tara C. Norgard and Harpreet S. Mahal
“Diversity & Inclusion” An Imperative for the FBA,” The Federal Lawyer, January 2020
“Attorney of the Year: Hispanic Legal Experience Team,” Minnesota Lawyer, October 2016