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Trial Lawyers Shift from Edwards to Obama

Posted Sep 2, 2008 9:48 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Many trial lawyers who once supported Sen. John Edwards for the Democratic presidential nomination have shifted allegiance to Barack Obama.

Jay Urban, a Milwaukee trial lawyer, has raised at least $100,000 for Obama, Roll Call reports. “I think it’s safe to say, trial lawyers are a little bit like the Clintons,” Urban told the publication. “It is one thing to back another candidate in the beginning, but at the end of the day we are very pro the platform that Obama is running compared to McCain.”

The choice of Sen. Joseph Biden as Obama’s running mate has also shored up trial lawyer support. Biden has opposed legislation to limit asbestos and health-care lawsuits and is considered an ally of trial lawyers.

Obama is not accepting donations from political action committees, and that includes money from the PAC of the American Association for Justice, the group formerly known as the American Trial Lawyers Association. But several lawyers say they will be making personal donations to help the candidate.

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