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John Edwards Seeks Key Position in Volkswagen Suit
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Photo credit: Edwards Kirby Law Firm website

Summary: John Edwards is one of the 140 lawyers who have applied to be on the plaintiff’s steering committee against Volkswagen.

Lawyers are lining up to be on the steering committee against Volkswagen in their emissions cheating scandal, and perhaps the most high-profile lawyer within the crowd is former U.S. Senator and Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards.


“This case has ingredients I’ve spent my life working on,” Edwards told Reuters Monday. He cites his trial expertise, and global perspective.

He wrote a letter to the U.S. District court judge, asking to be appointed to the plaintiff’s steering committee. “My unique qualifications can help in reaching a fair, efficient and meaningful result for the Plaintiffs. I respectfully submit that all my unusual experiences would be invaluable in this unusual case.”

As to how his experience running for president is relevant, he claims that knowing international political figures gives him a global perspective. He did admit to his lack of experience in running enormous class action suits, saying “other applicants have significantly more.”

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Volkswagen faces litigation accusing them of installing software into 580,000 vehicles that allowed them to emit 40 times more pollution than is legally allowed in the U.S. The case is expected to be a goldmine, which is why so many lawyers are eager to get on board, Reuters notes.

Edwards practiced law before turning to politics with a most notable moment of winning $25 million in a settlement for a family whose daughter was disemboweled by a pool drain. It was the largest such settlement in the state, though a tad smaller than what he is applying for now.

Edwards left politics with notoriety, facing charges that he used $1 million in campaign contributions to cover up an extramarital affair during his presidential run in 2008. The federal grand jury indicted him for campaign finance fraud, making false statements and conspiracy. He was accused also of fathering of a child with a campaign filmmaker and asking his right-hand man to claim paternity.

The jury couldn’t reach a verdict in the trial, which could have put him in prison for 30 years, and ultimately the Justice Department dropped the remaining charges against him.

Edwards returned to law practice in 2013. His firm, Edwards Kirby, holds offices in North Carolina, California and Washington D.C. They specialize in wrongful death suits.

Judge Breyer will consider the steering committee applications in a hearing on January 21 and appoint a lead lawyer thereafter.

News Source: Reuters



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