The Trial Lawyer: Court and Spark: Edwards' Legal Career

On the day in 1997 that John Edwards delivered the closing argument in the biggest case of his career, the courtroom in Raleigh, N.C., was packed with young lawyers who had come to hear the master speak. The plaintiff, Valerie Lakey, 8, had been hideously injured three years earlier when she was caught in the suction drain of a wading pool. Most of her intestines had been ripped from her body. For the rest of her life, she will need to be hooked up to feeding tubes 12 hours a day.

During the trial, Edwards discovered through cross-examination that the...

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