Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award | The American Association For Justice Archive

Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award

The Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award recognizes plaintiffs and the attorneys of plaintiffs whose cases help tell the story of the American civil justice system.

This award is named for Steven J. Sharp of Richland, Oregon, a brave man who lost both arms at the age of 17 because of a defective tractor hay baler. The tractor manufacturer knew one person had been mangled, and another decapitated, by this defectively designed product. Yet, company executives did nothing, even though a small seventy cent part would have fixed the problem.

At the time of Steven’s case, legislation was pending that would have barred him from taking his case against the manufacturer to court. He spoke out to show lawmakers how legislation to limit access to the courts would deprive people like him of justice.

Steven’s case had a positive effect on Capitol Hill and ultimately helped convince President Clinton to veto this unfair legislation. What happened to Steven shouldn’t happen to anyone else. But if it does, they should have a chance to seek justice too.

The American Association for Justice proudly announces the 2018 recipients for this award:

John C. Manly, Jeanette Antolin, Jamie Dantzscher, Mattie Larson, Kaylee Lorincz, Sterling Riethman, and Jordyn Wieber


*Click here to watch John's, Sterling's, and Jordyn's acceptance speeches at the AAJ 2018 Annual Convention in Denver. 

Nominate a Case

If you have an outstanding case to nominate for the Steven J. Sharp Public Service Award, please either:

By fax, e-mail, or post, send us any relevant photographs and/or video and a detailed description of the case, its status, and how it tells the story of our civil justice system.

Fax: 202.342.5484
Address: American Association for Justice, Attn: AAJ Public Affairs, 777 6th Street, NW, Suite 200,
Washington, DC 20001

Questions? Contact AAJ Communications at 800.424.2725, ext. 2806

Past Recipients

2017: Gretchen Carlson and Nancy Erika Smith
2016: Susan Vento
2015: C. Richard Newsome, Corey Burdick, Kaylee Burdick
2014: Lance Cooper, Ken Melton, Beth Melton
2013: Benjamin Crump and Daryl D. Parks
2012: Michael Johnson and Gladys Mensing
2010: Jeremy Warriner, Atty Larry Coben; Keith D. Jones
2009: Diana Levine, Attys Richard Rubin, David Frederick
2008: Manny Vega, Attys Jeff Anderson, Ray Boucher
2007: Brent Coon and Eva Rowe
2006: Louise Bell, Carol Ernst, Attorney Carlene Rhodes Lewis
2005: Brandon Maxfield, Attorney Richard Ruggieri
2004: Kay Bergonzi, Attorneys Mike Abourezk, Richard Friedman, Peter Kahana, Michael White
2003: Shawna & Vernon Gardner, Attys Gregory Eisland, Glenn Johnson
2002: Laura Rose
2001: Ford/Firestone Attorneys
2000: Robyn Santitoro
2000: Elizabeth Kuniholm
1998: Linda McCathern, Attorney Jeff Foote
1998: Thomas Self, Attys Brian Monaghan, Sherry Bahrambeygui