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Lawrence Egerton
Lawrence Egerton
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What made John Edwards smile?

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What does John Edwards know that we don’t know?

He has been indicted on charges of misusing nearly $1 million in political donations to hide his affair with mistress Rielle Hunter and cover up her pregnancy. So why is he wearing this grin in his mugshot?

Rehearsals at mock trials (focus groups) have all found him not guilty.

Because, given his vast experience as a lawyer, Edwards knows the value of focus groups. Attorneys use focus groups to predict the outcome of a case. They gather small groups of people to serve as a jury, and put on a moot court trial before them. The focus groups’ verdict is strong indication of the real verdict. When several focus groups make the same decision it is a very strong indicator of a real jury’s verdict.

The most important case of Edwards’ life will be his trial on the six charges of campaign finance fraud. He has likely considered plea deals that would result in nominal punishment. And if he loses, he’s looking at 30 years in a federal prison.

He is smiling because he does not expect to lose.

If you look back at Edwards’ highly successful career trying cases, you can figure out why he has such confidence. Focus groups have paid off for Edwards before – big time. His is highly skilled at using them and interpreting their results. Now the payoff will be his freedom.

There is no doubt that Edwards has tried and retried this case a number of times before focus groups. These focus groups clearly signaled him a not guilty verdict. Edwards has been quoted on several occasions that he has great faith in the jury system. We might add that he also has great faith in the focus jury system.

No wonder he’s smiling.