Elliot Shields has a diverse experience in trials and appellate litigation practice. He is a leading civil rights and personal injury litigator who has successfully handled many personal injury, police misconduct, prisoners’ rights, wrongful conviction, First Amendment, Freedom of Information Law, and protest-related cases.
Elliot grew up in Rochester, New York and attended public school in the City of Rochester and the University of Rochester. After college, Elliot attended New York Law School and graduated magna cum laude in 2012.
Since law school, Elliot has represented hundreds of clients in New York City and Rochester in civil rights cases involving constitutional claims of false arrest, malicious prosecution, and/or excessive force by police officers.
Elliot has litigated many Freedom of Information Law cases and has won several precedential decisions regarding accessing police officers’ body-worn camera footage and obtaining attorney’s fees. Elliot regularly lectures on various FOIL topics at continuing legal education classes, including obtaining body-worn camera footage and other police records under FOIL.
Elliot currently represents over 100 individuals who were injured by law enforcement at racial justice protests in Rochester in 2020 following the release of the body-worn Camera video of Rochester Police Officers killing Daniel Prude—which Elliot obtained via a FOIL request—and is lead counsel in over thirty cases arising from those protests, which seek money damages and systemic reforms of the Rochester Police Department.
Elliot also has extensive experience in personal injury and has recovered millions of dollars for injured clients, including some notable cases such as a $5,632,962 verdict in a case he tried where he represented a passenger in a vehicle that was rear-ended, causing her to sustain injuries to her right knee and aggravations of prior cervical and lumbar bulges from a prior crash; a $750,000 verdict in a wrongful death case where the decedent was run over by a taxi cab, which compensated the estate for one minute of pre-death conscious pain and suffering. In his first trial, which venued in Nassau County, Elliot obtained a $250,000 verdict ($50,000 over the insurance policy) for a cab driver who sustained a rotator cuff tear and herniated discs in his cervical spine in a car crash.
Elliot is active in the legal community and serves as the co-chair of the Civil Rights and Liberties Committee of the New York County Lawyers Association and on NYCLA’s Justice Advisory Committee and Plea Bargaining Task Force. Elliot is a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice’s Civil Rights Committee, the National Police Accountability Project, and the New York City Bar Association. Elliot is also a board member of For the Struggle, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based non-profit that fights systemic issues of racial and social injustice.