Prior to joining Edwards Kirby, attorney Sharon Eubanks was a partner with Edwards & Eubanks, the Washington, D.C.-based public interest law firm she co-founded with Cate Edwards.
Sharon is one of the nation’s leading trial lawyers, with over 30 years of experience. She began her legal career in 1980 with the Federal Trade Commission, litigating antitrust cases. In 1983, she joined the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, where she did both trial and appellate work in federal court. As Deputy Director in the Commercial Litigation Branch of the Division from 1992-1999, she handled cases of exceptional importance and high visibility. From 2000 to 2005, Sharon served as lead counsel on behalf of the United States in the largest civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) enforcement action ever filed, United States v. Philip Morris USA, et al., the federal tobacco litigation. Following a nine-month trial, the federal district court found that the major U.S. cigarette companies violated the civil provisions of RICO and committed fraud on a massive scale. They were ordered to change the way they do business, particularly in marketing and advertising, and the trial court’s decision was affirmed on appeal to the D.C. Circuit.
Sharon is co-author of “Bad Acts: The Racketeering Case Against the Tobacco Industry,” an insider’s account of the federal tobacco litigation that led to the landmark decision. Sharon has received numerous awards and commendations for her work. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious Daynard Public Interest Fellowship from Northeastern University, as well as the Distinguished Jurist Award from Mississippi State University, both in recognition of her civil rights work and strategic use of law to promote public interest. While at the Department of Justice, Sharon received numerous awards, including the U.S. Attorney General’s John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement, as well as the Stanley D. Rose Memorial award, the Civil Division’s highest and most prestigious award.
From 2007 until 2009, Sharon worked exclusively on pro bono matters at the D.C. law firm of Holland & Knight. During that time, she worked on prison litigation reform issues and on a federal class action suit filed in New Orleans, representing detained children who were denied basic constitutional and civil rights during their imprisonment, a case that was settled after the court certified the class. For her work on the case, Sharon received the Justice for Youth Award from the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana.
In 2009, Sharon joined a civil rights litigation boutique firm in Washington, representing plaintiffs in employment discrimination, lead poisoning, medical malpractice, and wage and hour cases. She worked with a team of attorneys representing over 6,000 women alleging gender and pregnancy discrimination in Velez v. Novartis. Following a seven-week trial, Sharon’s trial team secured a $253 million judgment for the plaintiffs, the largest employment verdict in a gender discrimination case in U.S. history; the trial judge remarked that the case had been “brilliantly tried” by Sharon’s team.
Sharon is a frequent speaker on litigation topics, civil rights, and public health issues. Sharon has taught Trial Advocacy at George Washington University School of Law as an adjunct professor, and has served as an instructor for NITA, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. She is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, and serves as a member of the board and an officer of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.
Sharon has appeared and discussed her work on several national television programs, including Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News Sunday, The CBS Evening News, and Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, as well as on radio programs such as The Rachel Maddow Show on Air America and several National Public Radio programs. She is also featured in the 2011 documentary film, “Addiction Incorporated.”
Sharon is a graduate of Mississippi State University (B.A., cum laude, ’76) and Georgetown University Law Center (J.D. ’80).