The first witnesses to be called by the defense include former Federal Election Commission chairman Scott Thomas, political pollster Harrison Hickman and ex-Edwards attorney Wade Smith. Edwards' attorneys have not indicated whether he will take the stand.
Edwards has pleaded not guilty to six criminal counts arising from alleged federal campaign-finance violations. He's accused of masterminding a scheme to use nearly $1 million in secret payments from two wealthy donors to help hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
On Friday, the trial judge rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case. If convicted, the former North Carolina senator faces up to 30 years in prison.