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Former Senator John Edwards launches new law firm with daughter Cate

Former U.S. Senator John Edwards makes a statement with his daughter, Cate Edwards (R) after the jury reached a verdict at the federal court
Former U.S. Senator John Edwards makes a statement with his daughter, Cate Edwards (R) after the jury reached a verdict at the federal court

WINSTON-SALEM, North Carolina (Reuters) - Former U.S. Senator John Edwards is opening a new law firm with his eldest daughter, he said on Tuesday, shedding the low profile he has kept since standing trial last year on campaign finance fraud charges that arose from a failed 2008 White House bid.

The firm, billed as a national plaintiffs' practice with offices in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C., marks a return to the career where Edwards made his fortune by winning multimillion-dollar verdicts in personal injury and product liability cases before entering politics.

"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.

Edwards served one term as a senator from North Carolina before becoming the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee. A federal jury acquitted him in 2012 of accepting illegal political contributions and deadlocked on five other campaign finance charges, allowing him to retain his law license.

The trial made embarrassing national headlines for the once-rising Democratic star, who was accused of seeking more than $900,000 from two wealthy supporters to conceal his pregnant mistress, Rielle Hunter, from voters during his unsuccessful run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.

Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, was fighting cancer at the time. She died in 2010.

Their daughter, Cate, a Harvard-educated lawyer, stood by her father throughout his legal proceedings and is joining his new firm in its Washington office.

The firm, Edwards Kirby, reunites John Edwards with his former law partner, David Kirby. Its six lawyers will represent plaintiffs in civil rights, discrimination, public safety and product safety, consumer protection, healthcare and medical liability cases, the firm said in a statement.

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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