Former Senator John Edwards is going back the career he had before watching his promising political life wash away during a scandalous sex and campaign finance trial. Edwards has announced his plan to reboot his life as a trial lawyer through a coordinated PR campaign, giving interviews to the Raleigh News Observer and The New York Times. In short, he plans to open a new practice based in his home state of North Carolina.
But is this really just a calculated early move to eventually re-enter politics? "No," Edwards flatly told the News Observer. His daughter, Cate, told CNN's Raleigh affiliate that "I would be very surprised" if that happened.
Edwards is keeping only his closest, most loyal allies involved with his new venture. The firm, dubbed Edwards Kirby, reunites Edwards with David Kirby, the same person he started his successful law career with back in 1993. Also on the roster: his Harvard-educated daughter who stood by her father through his long, embarrassing, and personally painful trial:
It has helped his public image to have the staunch support of his daughter Cate Edwards. Armed with a law degree from Harvard, Ms. Edwards was a major player in her father’s criminal trial, sitting behind him every day of the proceedings and offering legal strategy. In 2011, she married Trevor Upham, an oncologist, and eventually moved with him to Washington and opened a legal practice with Sharon Eubanks specializing in civil rights cases.
Edwards Kirby will form through the combination of two smaller law firms — Edwards & Eubanks, his daughter's old firm, and Kirby & Holt, his partner's old firm. The two have amalgamated into one beast, with offices in Raleigh and Washington, D.C. It's John Edwards' famous name that's first on the door, though.
The firm will handle plaintiff lawsuits, the kind that Edwards founded his lucrative early career on. "It’s really a big thing for us to level the playing field, to give regular people who have been treated unfairly a chance against really powerful opponents and well-funded opponents," John Edwards told the News Observer. The pitch Edwards gave The New York Times was slightly more made-for-daytime-TV. "If you’ve been treated unfairly and you believe you have a legal case, all of us at Edwards Kirby are available to help you," he said.