Tess M. Godhardt



Tess Godhardt is a passionate litigator with a relentless work ethic who defends clients against high-stakes products liability litigation. She consistently searches for ways to creatively attack old and new legal issues in the products liability field. Regardless of what type of case she is handling, however, she approaches each one with a collaborative and tenacious attitude. Her determination and zealous advocacy for her clients led to her being a member of two trial teams within her first two years of practice. Both trials ended with a complete defense verdict for the client.  As a result of her trial experience, she is now known as a go-to trial associate.

Tess knows what it takes to not only prepare a case for trial, but also all the nuances of successfully bringing that case through to a favorable verdict. As a former collegiate basketball player, Tess thrives—and welcomes—the immense pressure and strict deadlines involved with high-stakes mass tort litigation. Her dedication, use of creative problem solving and overall love for her job makes her an invaluable member of any case team.

Prior Experience

Before joining the firm, Tess served as a law clerk at Levin & Perconti, where she drafted complaints, health professional reports and discovery requests for cases involving pressure ulcers, medical malpractice, slips and falls, and other tort-based actions. Tess also gained further experience with tort-based lawsuits through her time as a law clerk with Chilton Yambert Porter, where she drafted multiple motions and discovery requests that were filed within the surrounding circuit courts.

Personal Interests

As a former member of North Central College’s women’s basketball team, Tess spends a lot of her free time on the basketball court. She also enjoys running with her two dogs, reading and watching football.


Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois


The John Marshall Law School
J.D. magna cum laude, The John Marshall Law Review (editor-in-chief) (2018)

North Central College
B.A. in Political Science (2015)

Insights & Events

Other Perspectives
  • Reconciling the History of the Hangman’s Noose and Its Severity Within Hostile Work Environment Claims
    Author, 51 J. Marshall L. Rev., May, 2018

Firm Blog Contributions

  • Faegre Drinker on Products – a blog addressing all things product liability that covers legal issues and developments of interest to product manufacturers and their employers


  • Great North Innocence Project — Pro Bono Champions of the Year, 2023
  • Faegre Drinker — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2020-22 
  • Faegre Baker Daniels — Pro Bono Honor Roll, 2019
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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