On July 5, John Edwards slipped into a high-rise at One Boston Place to greet some of his and John Kerry's top contributors among plaintiffs' attorneys. At the offices of Robinson & Cole, Edwards shook hands with Alex MacDonald, a partner there who had helped raise $600,000 for the campaign. Much of the crowd was in Boston for the annual convention of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA). Edwards told his choir that plaintiffs' lawyers were on the front lines of a war, defending everyday Americans from corporate fraud, dangerous drugs, deadly doctors, and toxic waste in school kids' drinking water. Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts, standing in the invitation-only crowd, cheered.