John Edwards, a former U.S. senator and presidential candidate laid low by a sex scandal and corruption trial, is reopening the trial-law practice that made him a millionaire before he became a politician.
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Edwards is being joined in the venture with two longtime allies, David F. Kirby, one of the country's leading personal injury attorneys and a friend from law school, and Cate Edwards, the 31-year-old daughter of John and his estranged wife Elizabeth Edwards, who died in 2010.
Cate Edwards, who will run the firm's Washington office, stood by her father when few others would. Nearly every day for six weeks, she sat behind her father during a federal corruption trial that laid bare intimate details about his sex life and the sordid affair in which he cheated on her mother while she was dying of cancer.
The last time Edwards, 60, was in a courtroom, he was the one on trial. In May 2012, a federal jury declared a mistrial on five counts of corruption and acquitted him of a sixth. He was accused of using nearly $1 million in campaign contributions to cover up an affair and subsequent pregnancy with his mistress, 35-year-old videographer Rielle Hunter.
"There's anger but there's still so much love there. We both worked together to work through it and get our relationship to the point that it is today, which is that we have a great relationship," Cate Edwards told ABC News Special Correspondent Katie Couric in October.
"It's not simple... I think it would be easier to have stayed angry. Forgiveness is tough and it takes commitment, and persistence, and a lot of love," she said.
Calls and emails to the spokeswoman representing the new firm requesting an interview with Cate Edwards were not immediately returned.
Since the trial, Edwards has kept a low profile, rearing two teenage children, Jack, 13, and Emma Claire, 15, in the home near Chapel Hill, N.C., where he lived with Elizabeth.
Edwards and Elizabeth were separated at the end of her life, but never divorced.
The couple had a fourth child Wade, who was killed in a car accident when he was 16.
Edwards also has a 5-year-old daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, with his former mistress.
For Edwards, whose rise to national politics was built on the same boyish looks and rags-to-riches charm that swayed juries, returning the courtroom is a homecoming and a shot at redemption.
"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," the former Democratic senator said in a statement.
Edwards and Kirby were previously partners in the 1990s. Together they worked on a series of high-profile and lucrative cases, including winning a $25 million verdict for a 9-year-old girl whose intestines were sucked out by a swimming pool drain.
The firm will have offices in Raleigh, N.C. and Washington, D.C., but plans to represent clients across the country, according to a statement.