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Edwards teaming up again with former law partner

Posted November 18, 2013
Updated November 20, 2013

— Two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards will soon begin practicing law again with his former law partner, David Kirby, and his daughter Cate.

The Edwards Kirby law firm will have offices in Raleigh and Washington, D.C.

“It is a privilege to practice again, and we want to take on cases that, through litigation, change social inequalities in favor of the greater good,” Edwards said in a statement. “In building Edwards Kirby, we sought a team that has championed the causes of economic and social equality in court and in hundreds of communities across the country.”

Kirby is senior partner for the Kirby & Holt law firm in Raleigh, but his current partner, Mark Holt, and attorney Dave Sherlin opened their own law firm last week, according to filings with the Secretary of State's Office.

Their departure paved the way for Edwards to step in as Kirby's new partner, and Cate Edwards and her law partner, Sharon Eubanks, also will join the new firm.

"His life's mission, I think, has been to help people," Cate Edwards said of her father in an interview Monday with WRAL News. "Edwards Kirby is founded for that purpose – to give people a voice, to give the disenfranchised a voice."

The move is John Edwards' first foray back into the public eye following his acquittal last year on campaign finance fraud charges.

Federal authorities accused him of funneling campaign money to an aide to keep Rielle Hunter, his pregnant mistress, in hiding during the 2008 presidential campaign. Following a high-profile, month-long trial in Greensboro, a jury cleared him on one charge and couldn't reach a verdict on five other charges. Prosecutors decided not to retry him.

Since then, John Edwards has kept a low profile while living in Chapel Hill, but he has maintained an active law license, according to the North Carolina State Bar.

Officials with Raleigh-based public relations firm French West Vaughn confirmed he recently hired the firm to represent him.

Edwards and Kirby have known each other since they and Edwards' late wife, Elizabeth, attended law school together at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the 1970s.

Elizabeth Edwards, who died of cancer in December 2010, cited Kirby in her memoir as standing by the couple through the 1996 death of their son, Wade, John Edwards’ criminal investigation and her illness. Kirby is the registered agent for the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation.

"I think my mom would be really proud of what we're doing (with the new firm)," Cate Edwards said

John Edwards and Kirby focused their earlier practice on personal injury law. One of their most well-known cases involved winning a multimillion-dollar judgment for a girl who was seriously injured by the suction of a pool drain.

“As someone who worked alongside John inside the courtroom for many years, I know that he is undoubtedly one of the best and most committed plaintiff lawyers in the country,” Kirby said in a statement. “We see this as an opportunity to help those people who need it most and intend to uphold their basic rights in the courts.”

Cate Edwards said the new law firm will also handle discrimination, consumer fraud and other cases that "impact on the broader social fabric."

John Edwards was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998, and after serving one term, he ran for president in 2004 and eventually became Democratic nominee John Kerry's vice presidential candidate. He ran again in 2008 but dropped out of the race after trailing in early primaries.

Edwards Kirby "is not a platform" for John Edwards to launch another campaign, his daughter said.


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  • nailman5204 Nov 20, 2013

    How does this Guy even have his license ? Should have been dis-barred a long time ago.

  • flyfishNC Nov 20, 2013


  • AX MAN Nov 20, 2013

    John Edwards shouldn't even be allowed to live in North Carolina. can't believe that some people feel sorry for him and think he should be Govenor!Are you kidding me. This guy is a lier, a cheater, and denied that the little girl he had with his girl fiend (while still married)was his just to save his own skin. He is a poor excuse for a man.

  • mpphilli01 Nov 20, 2013

    I suppose daughter Cate almost has to 'forgive' her philandering father but that doesn't mean we have to.

  • Wake1 Nov 20, 2013

    It's all about the money - they could care less about anything else!!!

  • outhousecat Nov 20, 2013

    Just no. I wouldn't go to Breck Boy to borrow a cup of sugar, much less to represent me in court. He doesn't represent anything I believe in. He's a liar, a thief and a cheater, and I'm only referring to what he tried to do this country. What he did to his family is between them.

    And Cate? Apparently she has no more integrity than her father, or she'd be working somewhere else. But like they say, it's all about the Benjamins.

  • nerdlywehunt Nov 20, 2013

    "His life's mission, I think, has been to help people," Cate Edwards said of her father in an interview Monday wi

    No sweetheart, his life's mission is to help himself. An excellent example of the "me" generation....

  • wildpig777 Nov 20, 2013

    YALL TUFF on ole john--he pledged how he was working for all the poor people and the under priviledged- don't yall remember. he was awarded the north Carolina long leaf order o the pine and 4 months before the system persecuted him he was virtually knighted and deified means [practically worshipped] by the nc democratic party.
    don't yall believe in john no more? don't yall believe in his dream? don't yall believe in reaping what you sow? I think maybe yall are just a mean spirited bunch o repubs out to destroy the man and the state. I am sure john has gone to Washington to add INTEGRITY, HONESTY, MORALS AND FAMILY VALUES to that crowd in Washington dc. I mean john has great company -- mike Easley, jim black, meg scott Phipps, a virtual who's who of high level nc politcans-- what in the world-- you tarheels want to sink to the level of Mississippi, as bev perdue said.

  • wasone Nov 20, 2013

    HOW CAN HE SHOW HIS SHAMELESS FACE IN PUBLIC....... Because HE and his family are lawyers, they have no shame!

  • 1cent+1cent Nov 19, 2013

    Please, no "news"? concerning John Edwards. How can he show his shameless face in public?