Thomas Cole Edwards: A Career Journey from the Courtroom to the Caribbean

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                           Thomas Cole Edwards: A Career Journey from the Courtroom
                           to the Caribbean
                           [By Mary Waldron]
                           Having a law degree does not mean you are doomed to a career trapped behind the doors of a treacherous courtroom—
                           though some may fantasize about that. Just ask Thomas Cole Edwards. He is an attorney turned mayor turned fiction author,
                           and he is not looking to slow down anytime soon. Owning and running his own law firm in Orange County, CA, since
                           1977, Edwards has expanded his career by exploring and building onto some of his favorite pastimes: politics, travel, and
                           writing. Volunteering in his community for years, leading the City of Newport Beach, CA, as Mayor in 1997, and authoring
                           a Caribbean adventure novel last year, Edwards has had the type of career that most people aspire to. He has both diversified
                           his career and increased his flexibility as a professional and an individual.



Following his graduation from the University       Once he had conquered this chapter in his               it demonstrated and strengthened Edwards’
of California, Los Angeles, in 968, Edwards       life, Edwards decided to venture further and            drive and dedication to improve and keep
prepared to attend law school. He craved           open his own firm, Thomas Cole Edwards,                 up the conditions of his city. “It’s quite
an education immersed in the rich political        Inc., which he still practices at today. Now            time-consuming; it just kills you. When I
soil of Washington, DC, and he found one           specializing in real estate and business                was mayor, I was spending 40 hours a week
at The George Washington University Law            law exclusively, Edwards used to do a lot               working and at the same time spending
School. The osmosis, as Edwards called             of litigating, as well, which he discontinued           another 40 hours doing city business, and
it, of attending law school in the middle          because “[l]itigation is a young person’s game,         unless you’re independently wealthy, it takes
of the nation’s center for government and          and it just wears on you and wears on you               a toll,” he advised.
law introduced him to and engaged him in           and wears on you. And I’ve slowly but surely
many active political issues and interests.        weaned my clients, [telling them] that I’m not          Edwards has continually outdone himself
He developed friendships with those who            going to do litigation for them anymore, other          over the years fighting for the good of his
worked and lobbied on Capitol Hill, as well        than very particularized things.”                       community, as well as individuals’ rights.
as with those who worked for the Nixon                                                                     One of his most ambitious and beneficial
administration, specifically Henry Kissinger.      During his years at his firm, Edwards has               contributions was creating, drafting,
“You just got all types of exposure, and you       made it a paramount priority to remain active           and negotiating the John Wayne Airport
felt like you could change the world, and          in his community and its affairs. Serving               settlement agreement that arose in 985.
that’s the kind of feeling I like,” Edwards        in various leadership positions, including              This agreement remained in place for some
said.                                              City Councilman, Mayor Pro-Tem, and,                    time, putting specific restrictions on the
                                                   finally, Mayor of Newport Beach in 997,                airport, which is centrally located near
After serving a clerkship and basking in the       Edwards has never questioned whether or                 many homes in Orange County. Edwards’
vivacity of Washington, DC, Edwards passed         not he would make the time to give back                 contract negotiation experience also includes
the DC bar exam and traveled the world             to his community. “I don’t care who you                 his work on a labor contract against the
until he settled into the beautiful Newport        are; everybody has an obligation to the                 Teamsters Union. While serving as Mayor
Beach community in Southern California.            community that they live in. We live in a great         Pro-Tem, he helped protect the multibillion-
After practicing law there for several years,      country, state, and city, and I think you owe           dollar tourism industry of California when
Edwards ended up becoming an expert in             something back. People before you have                  he teamed up with the cities of Huntington
real estate and corporate law, something           fought in one way or another to preserve                Beach and Laguna Beach to prevent oil
that had seemed inconceivable and foreign          all these things. I just think that everybody           drilling at nearby offshore locations. Taking
to him at one time. “I remember the days of        owes it to themselves and their children                the issue to Congress, Edwards eventually
sitting in law school and opening this thick       to continue to fight that good fight,” he               testified before a House committee on the
book on real property and trying to figure out     explained.                                              issue. Edwards was also very involved in
what the heck a contingent remainderman                                                                    Measure A, drafting legislation and testifying
was, but the practice of real estate is very       Running his own firm and the City of Newport            before a joint House/Senate committee.
different from that,” he said.                     Beach simultaneously was a challenge, but               Measure A dealt with the conversion of an




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El Toro Marine base. Its closure and zoning       setting is impeccable in this novel, as he        never been, pleased with their jobs, which
needed to make it compatible as an aviation       integrates his personal experience in the         is a very disappointing reality for some in
facility. Additionally, Edwards’ law career       Caribbean throughout his story. Vivid and         the field of law—and many others, for that
has carried him through to the San Francisco      colorful verbal illustrations of the location     matter. Edwards elaborated, saying, “Look,
Superior Court, where he successfully             and weather create an escape for readers of       folks, this isn’t a dress rehearsal; you might
resolved a class action litigation case on        the book. One reader commented, “I felt like      as well enjoy life. As you get older like me,
behalf of one of his clients.                     I was actually sitting on the porch in the hot,   life’s too short, so I just think you’ve got to
                                                  humid night, sipping a beer, and sitting on       find something enjoyable. You’ve got the
As the current President of the Newport           the porch rocking in the chair.”                  education, and people are going to hire
Beach Public Library Foundation, Edwards                                                            people who are educated—you can start
sees community libraries as invaluable            Edwards’ passions for exploring and               a business, or you can get involved in a
assets to cities. Drafting state legislation      traveling come across loud and clear              number of things.”
for library funding and constantly fighting       throughout his novel, but he is also an avid
for the advancement of the organization,          sportsman. He can be found participating          From Washington, DC, to Orange County,
Edwards has helped to shape and maintain          in various rigorous sports, from basketball       CA, Edwards has pursued his path to career
the country’s number-two-ranked public            in his local community to kayaking and            diversity and personal satisfaction by pulling
library. With the aid of the organization’s two   white water rafting in the wild. Having just      out all of the stops. His ever-changing and
million-dollar endowment, he and his team         returned from another journey through the         growing impulses and ambitions have driven
are continually working to raise even more        Caribbean, Edwards also enjoys trekking all       him in so many positive directions over the
money to ensure that this organization stays      over Central America, as well as Europe.          years, making him a respected role model in
as strong as it can be.                           He has done quite a bit of biking throughout      the legal community, as well as in his home
                                                  European regions, as well. Always looking         community of Newport Beach.
Last year, Edwards had another career             for new opportunities and experiences to
idea: to write an exciting novel. And that        learn from, Edwards loves embracing the           ON THE NET
is just what he did. Gin Clear Water, which       languages of all of the countries he visits
was published by BookLocker.com, is an            and exposing himself to all elements of           BookLocker
exotic adventure that takes place in the          international cultures and customs.               www.booklocker.com/books/7.html
Caribbean, one of Edwards’ favorite vacation
destinations. The story follows marine            Realizing that the most important component       Newport Beach Public Library Foundation
biologist Philip Grady, who is originally sent    of his professional life has been to              www.nbplfoundation.org
to the Caribbean islands to investigate a         continually follow his interests and passions,
mysterious decline in the dolphin population.     Edwards has pieced together a very diverse        John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement
As his case unfolds, Grady learns that there      and personally satisfying career. His advice      www.ocair.com/aboutJWA/settlement_
is something much more fishy going on—no          is simple: the key to having a happy and          agreement.htm
pun intended. The vibrant and action-filled       long-lived career is finding and embracing a
novel handles controversial issues such as        career that makes one happy. “Find an area
international politics, political corruption,     in law that you’re going to be happy to go to
and the preservation of dolphins and              every morning,” he said. In Edwards’ more
other marine species. Edwards’ talent for         than 30 years of experience, he has seen
capturing the essence of the Caribbean            a variety of people who are not, and have




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Description: All About Thomas Cole Edwards And His Career Journey From The Courtroom To The Caribbean And Information About Real Estate Law, Business Law, Corporate Law, Drafting State Legislation, Law Degree, Law Firm Attorneys, Law Schools, International Politics, Political Corruption And More.
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