Elaine Whitfield Sharp elected as a trustee of the Civil Justice Foundation

Attorney Elaine Whitfield Sharp has been elected as a trustee of the Civil Justice Foundation.   The CJF provided some of the early sponsorship for documentary film maker Susan Saladoff who made “Hot Coffee,” the movie. The Civil Justice Foundation is a national charitable organization dedicated to safeguarding justice for all Americans by strengthening the alliance between trial attorneys and consumer advocacy groups. The Foundation was founded in 1986 by members of the American Association for Justice (formerly ATLA) and a group of consumer advocates who believed that all Americans – particularly working families, individual workers, and consumers – deserve unobstructed access to the civil justice system. It is the only national foundation devoted solely to protecting the individual rights, health, and well-being of the injured – providing small but significant grants to the tireless organizations fighting for injury prevention and justice preservation across the country. Since its inception, CJF has … Continue reading

Statement of Barry Scheck, Andrew Good, and Harvey Silverglate

Ten years ago, the three of us, attorneys Harvey Silverglate, Andrew Good and Barry Scheck defended Louise Woodward from criminal prosecution in the case of Commonwealth v. Woodward. We were aided in this matter by co-counsel Elaine Whitfield Sharp who played an important role in the discovery of scientific evidence which established the case for Louise Woodward’s innocence. During the trial, Ms. Sharp appeared to be completely committed to Louise’s defense in all the appropriate ways. Louise Woodward was a British national, and Ms. Sharp’s British background made her uniquely qualified to provide us with useful infonnation about cultural differences between British and American people. Ms. Sharp and her husband Daniel Sharp were also very generous in housing members of the Woodward family in their home. On June 1, 1998, the three of us issued a memorandum announcing the dismissal of Elaine Whitfield Sharp from the Woodward case. We now clarify this statement as follows: At the time … Continue reading

Lowell must pay $500G in assault by officer

By Sun Staff REPORT Tuesday, April 02, 2002 LOWELL — The city must pay more than $500,000 in punitive damages to a Lowell man that a police officer handcuffed, punched and kicked in a downtown bar five years ago. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday refused to overturn a 2000 court ruling in which the city was found liable in the beating, in part because the court said Officer Stephen Ciavola had a criminal record before the Police Department hired him. A jury had awarded victim Craig Chestnut $750,000. The city paid Chestnut more than $250,000 in compensatory damages and lawyers’ fees related to the case, but appeals the jury’s ruling of punitive damages of more than $500,000. Ciavola reportedly beat Chestnut at The Usual, a now-defunct bar on Merrimack Street, on Feb. 4, 1997. Chestnut claimed he had retaliated against a man who knocked his wife down … Continue reading

Shaken-baby forum called ‘historic’

Friday, July 13, 2001 By Janice Morse The Cincinnati Enquirer WEST CHESTER TWP. — A seminar here Thursday on shaken-baby syndrome was “historic,” one panelist said, because it marked the first time experts representing prosecution, defense, and medical perspectives participated together. Elaine Whitfield Sharp, a lawyer who has consulted on more than 100 shaken baby cases including that of Louise Woodward, the British au pair who was convicted in the death of a Massachusetts child, said she knew of no other conference that had brought together the often adversarial points of view. “This conference, I believe, is an historic event,” she said. “Just being here creates a dialogue … If we’re friends, we can do a lot more.” Ms. Sharp was part of a panel of national experts, assembled by Butler County’s Human Services Council. The panel appeared before 150 child-care professionals, caseworkers, lawyers, medical personnel and members of the … Continue reading

$750,000 award against Lowell in brutality case

By LISA REDMON, www.lowellsun.com May 25, 2000 BOSTON — The city will appeal a federal jury’s $750,000 award against Lowell and a controversial city police officer in an excessive force lawsuit stemming from a 1997 fight at The Usual Restaurant & Lounge. Lowell police Superintendent Edward F. Davis III confirmed yesterday the city will appeal Tuesday’s verdict involving Officer Stephen Ciavola in a civil lawsuit filed by Craig Chestnut, 32, of Lowell. After a seven-day trial in U.S. District Court, the jury spent just four hours deliberating before awarding Chestnut $500,000 in punitive damages against the city, $210,000 in compensatory damages against the city and Ciavola, and $40,000 in damages to be paid by Ciavola.