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John Edwards returns to law practice, says it’s ‘what I was born to do’

Posted Nov 19, 2013 8:36 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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John Edwards is returning to law practice after his political career ended with a sex scandal and campaign finance charges.

Edwards, 60, says he’s not worried that his past will hamper his law practice because he has faith in juries, report the National Law Journal, the New York Times DealBook blog, the Charlotte Observer and WRAL. Last year jurors acquitted Edwards of one campaign fraud charge and deadlocked on five others. He had been accused of misusing campaign donations to hide an affair.

“I trust juries,” Edwards told DealBook. “They closely listen to the evidence that’s presented to them. They listen to the law and, they collectively do what they believe is right. My years in courtrooms, both as a lawyer and in what I just went through, lead me to that same conclusion.”

Edwards’ new firm is Edwards Kirby—the Kirby is Edwards’ former law partner David Kirby. The firm will be located in Raleigh, N.C., and will have a Washington, D.C., office staffed by Edwards’ daughter, Cate Edwards, and her current law partner there. Two lawyers from Kirby’s now dissolving law firm will also join Edwards Kirby.

Edwards had practiced law for 20 years before joining the Senate. He says he has no plans to return to politics.

Edwards’ first partnership with Kirby focused on personal injury cases. The new firm will have a broader reach, taking on consumer and civil rights cases as well as personal injury cases involving medical malpractice and product liability.

The aim, Edwards told the National Law Journal, is to use the law "as a tool to right social inequities, to level the playing field."

Practicing law, Edwards told the NLJ, is "what I was born to do."

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