Tamara B. Packard brings over 25 years of experience to her civil litigation and appeals practice, emphasizing employee rights and civil rights law. She is rated "AV Preeminent®" by Martindale-Hubbell and is a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. In 2019 Tamara received the Marygold Melli Achievement Award from the Legal Association for Women, in recognition of a career of paving the way for women in the legal profession, advocating for social justice, and serving as a mentor to other women. Wisconsin Super Lawyers ranked Tamara in the "Top 25" women lawyers in the state, as well as in the "Top 25" Madison area attorneys, for 2017.
In addition to her litigation practice, Tamara negotiates employment contracts, separation agreements, and covenants not to compete (also called "non-competes" or "restrictive covenants") on behalf of employees, including corporate executives, medical care providers and biotech professionals. When negotiation over a previously entered into covenant not to compete is no longer an option, she litigates on behalf of her clients to void or limit the covenant with the goal of enabling them to pursue their chosen careers without interference.
Tamara represents licensed health care professionals in misconduct investigations and proceedings before Wisconsin's licensing boards, including the Nursing, Veterinary Examining and Medical Examining Boards. She also assists recent law graduates and out-of-state attorneys who are having difficulty securing admission to the Wisconsin Bar.
An advocate for employees, Tamara handles sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability discrimination claims, as well as claims under the Federal and State wage and hours laws and Family Medical Leave Acts. She works with University of Wisconsin, State civil service, City of Madison, and other public sector employees who are under investigation, or have been disciplined or terminated. She also assists State employees to appeal discipline imposed without just cause through the grievance process and before the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC).
Tamara was part of the legal team that represented the Governor of the State of Wisconsin in two challenges to the "lame duck" legislation enacted in late 2018, including by securing a victory in 2020 for the Governor in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which held that the Legislature violated separation of power principles when it attempted to legislate how the Executive Branch educated citizens about their rights and obligations under the law. She also practices voting rights (elections) law and helped secure the rights of nearly 80,000 voters to have their ballots counted in the April 2020 election, held in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Civil Litigation and Appeals
- Civil Rights
- Wisconsin, 1994
- Michigan, 1995
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Wisconsin, 2001
- U.S. District Court Western District of Wisconsin, 1994
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan, 1996
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 2000
- University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, Wisconsin
- J.D. - 1994
- Honors: National Assn. of Women Lawyers Outstanding Woman Law Graduate
- Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio
- B.A. - 1990
- Major: English
Honors and Awards
- Law and Politics “Rising Star” 2006-2007
- Wisconsin Law Journal “Outstanding Woman in the Law” 2010
- Wisconsin “Super Lawyer” 2010-2020 (Employment & Labor category)
- Best Lawyers in America 2011-2020 (Appellate Practice, Employment Law-Individuals, Litigation-Labor & Employment categories)
- Best Lawyers in America 2017 Lawyer of the Year, Madison, Appellate Practice
- Best Lawyers in America 2016 Lawyer of the Year, Madison, Employment Law - Individuals
- Wisconsin Law Journal “Leader in the Law” 2017
- Wisconsin “Super Lawyer” “Top 25” Women Lawyers, “Top 25” Madison area attorneys, 2017
- Marygold Melli Achievement Award, Legal Association for Women, 2019
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Litigation Counsel of America, Senior Fellow
- Wisconsin Association for Justice
- American Inns of Court, Master, James E. Doyle Chapter
- Legal Association for Women
- Dane County Bar Association
- State Bar of Wisconsin, Labor and Employment Section
- State Bar of Wisconsin, Litigation Section
- State Bar of Wisconsin, Appellate Section
- Wisconsin Employment Lawyers Association
- National Employment Lawyers Association
- Licensed Professionals
- University and Other Public Sector Employees
- Hourly Workers
Classes and Seminars
- Prep. a Case for Civil Trial, Lawyering Skills, University of Wisconsin Law School, 2008
- Sexual Orientation and the Law, University of Wisconsin Law School, 2009 to 2013
- Adjunct Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School , 2008 to 2013
- Donohoo v. Action Wisconsin, 2008 WI 56, 309 Wis. 2d 704, 750 N.W.2d 739, 2008, Wis. S.Ct.
- In re Bar Admission of Vanderperren, 2003 WI 37, 261 Wis. 2d 150, 661 N.W.2d 27, 2003, Wis. S.Ct.
- Pritchard v. MMSD and MTI, 2001 WI App 62, 242 Wis. 2d 301, 625 N.W.2d 613, 2001, Wis. Ct. App.
Pro Bono Activities
- Fair Wisconsin
- AIDS Network
- ACLU of Wisconsin Foundation
- Fair Wisconsin Education Fund, Founding Board Member
- Fair Wisconsin Education Fund, President, 2006 to 2007
- Lambda Legal Defense Fund
- National Center for Lesbian Rights
- Alternative Dispute Resolution in a New Health Care System, Ohio St. J. on Disp. Resol., 10, 1994