RJR minnesota personal injury attorney by jennyyingdi

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									                 From: Petree, Vickie M .
                 To: David Powers ; Donald Foreman ; Frank Lester ; Henry Stokes ; Jim Ellis ; John Fish;
                 John Singleton ; Judy Albert ; Karl Gallant; M . Hurst Marshall; Mike Phillips ; Murray
                 Jones ; Randy Tompson ; Roger Mozingo ; Steve Strawsburg ; Tommy Payne
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                 Primary Date : 7/13/1999 11 :23 :44 AM
                 Last Modified Date : 1999-Ju1-13 11 :31 :02
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                 Sent Date : l 999-Jul-13 11 :23 :44
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                 Subject : TMA 7/13/99

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                 990713us .doc




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            TMA NEWS : 13-Jul-99, us

             [1] Miami, Florida : Penalty Phase Next In Tobacco Liability Trial
             [2] Baton Rouge, Louisiana : R .J . Reynolds, British American Win
                   Louisiana Lawsuit
             [3] Miami, Florida : Class-Action Status Poses Challenge At Damages
                  Phase Of Florida Tobacco Trial
             [4] Helena, Montana : 8 Montana Law Firms Get $3 Million For
                  Representing State
             [5] New York, New York : NAACP To Sue Gun Makers
             [6] Miami, Florida : Husband, Wife Team Win Two Against Big Tobacco
             [7] Concord, New Hampshire : Convicts Want To Keep Smoking
             [8] Madison, Wisconsin : Wis . Records Opened in Tobacco Case
             [9] Miami, Florida : Florida Tobacco Verdict Could Be Costliest Yet
             [10J Miami, Florida : Engle Reviewed
             [11] Washington, DC : Tobacco Suit Deadline Near?
             [121 Madison, Wisconsin : State's Private Tobacco Attorneys Say They
                   Worked Nearly 25, 000 Hours
             [13] Miami, Florida : Verdict Not Final Word in Smoking Suit
             [14] New York, New York : Film Drama Shines a Harsh Light on '60
                   Minutes' and CBS
             [15] Washington, DC : IRS Helps Smokers Kick the Habit
             [16] Miami, Florida : Tobacco Trial Moves to Second Phase
             [17] Salt Lake City, Utah : Tobacco Tax Hypocrisy
             [16] Los Angeles, California : L .A . Times Argues Settlement Fund
                   Priority Should Be Healthcare
             [19] Bridgeport, Connecticut : Tobacco Ruling Relights Debate




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            [1] ----------- ------------------------
            Date : 12-Jul-99
            Source : ??? Cable News Network - CNN
            Title : Penalty Phase Next In Tobacco Liability Trial
            Location : Miami, Florida

            Lawyers who won a landmark liability decision against the tobacco
            industry last week plan to show tobacco's human toll to a Florida jury
            during the upcoming penalty phase of the civil trial .

            A judge in Miami must decide when to begin that second stage, which will
            determine how much should be awarded in damages .

            Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Robert Kaye postponed Monday's planned court
            session indefintely . No reason was given .

            The legal battle could potentially force cigarette companies to pay
            billions of dollars in damages to an estimated 500,000 sick Florida
            smokers and their heirs .

            Plaintiffs set to tell their stories

            The nine named plaintiffs in the class-action suit -- all victims of a
            variety of cancers and other smoking-related diseases -- seek $200
            billion .

            None of them took the stand during the first phase of the trial .

            But at least one -- Mary Farnan -- is expected to tell her story to the
            jury in phase two .

            <Picture>A Florida jury will hear the personal stories of several smokers
            during the penalty phase of the trial

            Farnan, 43, began smoking at age 11 . Diagnosed with lung cancer three
            years ago, the registered nurse still could not break the habit .

            She tried to quit using hypnosis, nicotine gum, and patches but smoked
            through her first course of radiation and chemotherapy . And the cancer
            spread .

            "Mary Farnan has lung cancer, her lung cancer has metastasized to her
            brain," plaintiffs attorney Susan Rosenblatt said in court last week .
            "She's had brain surgery . She unfortunately has a limited life
            expectancy ."

            The other plaintiffs are :

            Frank Amodeo . The 60-year-old Orlando man hasn't eaten since the 1980s .
            Throat cancer robbed him of the ability to swallow ; he now takes
            nourishment directly into his stomach .

            Howard Engle . The Miami Beach pediatrician, suffers from emphysema and
            has trouble breathing . The lawsuit says he started smoking while in
            medical school to mask the smell of cadavers .

            Raymond Lacey . He has Buerger's disease, a circulatory disorder which
            almost exclusively strikes young men who smoke . Both of his legs have
            been amputated .

            Robert Angell . The Miami-Dade County man couldn't stop smoking despite




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            repeated attempts, even after being diagnosed with throat cancer .

            Loren Lowery . The Hillsborough County man, who started smoking at 15,
            lost most of his lower jaw and part of his tongue to cancer .

            Michael Matyi of Pinellas County . He began smoking at age 11, developed a
            tumor and had a vocal cord removed .

            Frosene Steevens of Miami-Dade County . She developed congestive heart
            failure, resulting in a quadruple bypass 10 years ago . Afterward she
            still couldn't stop smoking, according to the lawsuit .

            Angie Della Vecchio . She has lung cancer .


            Other smokers await judge's decision

            In its July 7 verdict, jurors said five tobacco companies were
            responsible for deaths and injuries suffered by Floridians addicted to
            the nicotine in cigarettes .

            It was the first verdict in a class-action lawsuit against the tobacco
            companies, whose marketing practices were condemned by the six-member
             jury .

            The same panel -- four women and two men -- will return once the penalty
            phase begins .

            Kaye must rule on whether the trial resumes in 30 days -- the time frame
            favored by the smokers' attorneys -- or in 60 days as requested by the
            tobacco companies .

            Once that's concluded, the 500,000 other members of the class-action suit
            will be free to file their own damage claims .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



             [2] ------------------------------------------------------------
             Date : 09-Jul-99
             Source : Bloomberg News
             Title :   R .J . Reynolds, British American Win Louisiana Lawsuit
             Location : Baton Rouge, Louisiana


             R .J . Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc . and British American Tobacco Plc were
             cleared of blame for a Louisiana smoker's cancer, two days after another
             jury dealt the tobacco industry a landmark defeat .

             The family and health insurer of Robert Gilboy, who died in 1993, sought
             more than $1 million in damages . Analysts expected the companies to win
             the 12-year-old suit .

             The ruling shows the companies' traditional court defenses remain potent
             when they're allowed to use them, analysts said . The industry on
             Wednesday lost the first phase of a class-action trial in Miami, in which
             it wasn't permitted to address an individual's health records or
             awareness of the risks involved with smoking . ''This suggests whenever
             there is a reasonably level playing field and a weak plaintiffs' case,
             the outlook for the industry's defenses remains good, " said Martin
             Feldman, tobacco industry analyst with Salomon Smith Barney .

             Shares of R .J . Reynolds fell 1 1/8 to 29 . British American Tobacco's
             American depositary receipts rose 1/4 to 18 . Industry leader Philip
             Morris Cos . rose 5/8 to 38 7/8 .




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            U .S . tobacco stocks have lagged the broader market because of the rising
            tide of litigation and a threatened federal lawsuit . In the past year,
            the Standard & Poor's tobacco stock index has risen about 7 percent,
            compared with the 22 percent rise in the S&P 500 stock index .

            In January, President Bill Clinton said the federal government would seek
            reimbursement from cigarette makers for money spent treating sick
            smokers . That came as news to the tobacco industry, which was counting on
            November's $206 billion settlement with 46 states to rid it of its
            largest legal threat .

            Gilboy


            Gilboy, who died at age 64, smoked Lucky Strike, Salem and More
            cigarettes . His family and insurer claimed that smoking caused Gilboy's
            cancer and sought damages for injuries suffered during his lifetime . The
            Community Health Network of Louisiana intervened in the case to claim
            recovery of medical expenses .

            The plaintiffs didn't claim smoking caused Gilboy's death . He also had
            Parkinson's disease, and an autopsy didn't indicate cancer as a cause of
            his death .

            The tobacco industry claimed Gilboy's lung cancer wasn't caused by
            smoking but by a pre-existing scar that was likely caused by another
            disease, such as tuberculosis, and that his main health problem was
            Parkinson's .

            Those arguments won over the jurors, said foreman Albert Taylor, of Baton
            Rouge . Eleven of the 12 jurors ruled in favor of the tobacco companies .
            Only nine were needed to render a verdict . " We all know that cigarettes
            cause problems, " Taylor said in an interview after the verdict . But,
            " The plaintiffs never proved with a preponderance of the evidence that
            cigarettes caused (Gilboy's) cancer . "

            The jury was also swayed to the defense's side by evidence that Gilboy
            led a sedentary lifestyle that involved heavy drinking of alcoholic
            beverages and coffee, poor eating habits and a lack of exercise . " The
            jury never got past the medical evidence, " said Ted Grossman, R .J .
            Reynolds' lead attorney . " This verdict confirms our belief that the
            tobacco industry's ability to defend itself in individual smoking and
            health suits remains strong and intact . "

            Other Suits

            The industry would have liked to have used those defenses in the first
            phase of the Miami suit, the first such case to go to trial brought by a
            class of individual smokers or their families .

            Instead, the jurors Wednesday found that smoking cigarettes causes a wide
            range of illnesses, and that each of the five companies had produced a
            defective product .

            In the second phase of that trial, jurors will be asked to review the
            cases of each of the named individual smokers, including health records,
            and decide whether they were aware of the health risks involved and how
            much blame should be placed on the cigarette makers .

            In other cases this year, Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboro, was hit
            with an $81 million verdict in Multnomah County, Oregon, in March and a
            $51 .5 million award in San Francisco in February . Both verdicts have
            since been sharply reduced .




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            Since then, the tobacco industry has won cases in Memphis, Tennessee ;
            Kansas City, Missouri ; and Ellisville, Mississippi .

            The number of pending smoking-related lawsuits against U .S . tobacco
            companies is rising .

            R .J . Reynolds, for instance, faced 664 active cases as of the end of
            1998, according to its annual report . That compares with 516 at the end
            of 1997, 234 in 1996, and 134 in 1995 . " There's a snowball rolling, "
            said Richard Daynard, a Northeastern University law professor and head of
            the Tobacco Products Liability Project .

            While the tobacco industry had seemed invincible outside the West Coast,
            he said, " There's no magic bullet for the industry . "



             (Reprinted with permission .)



            [3] --------------------- ----------------------------
            Date : 09-Jul-99
            Source : ?' .? Court TV
            Title : Class-Action Status Poses Challenge At Damages Phase Of Florida
                       Tobacco Trial
            Location : Miami, Florida


            Despite their victory over Big Tobacco, the nine lead Florida plaintiffs
            in the first smoking class-action suit to go to trial may face their
            greatest challenge in the damages phase of the case : possible
            decertification of their class-action status .

            On Wednesday, a Florida jury found several tobacco companies liable for
            the illnesses for thousands of sick smokers and agreed that the industry
            knowingly produced and marketed a defective product that causes
            emphysema, lung cancer and other illnesses . Howard Engle and eight other
            lead plaintiffs brought the suit on behalf of approximately 500,000 sick
            smokers and heirs of those who died .

            The plaintiffs are seeking $200 billion from the industry . Now that Engle
            and the the other plaintiffs have won, the Florida jury must decide their
            monetary awards in the damages phase of the trial - and that will present
            a daunting challenge to the panel . There is no such thing as a
            prototypical plaintiff in the Engle class action . Each of the smokers
            suffer from different illnesses, have various medical expenses and
            contracted their diseases under different circumstances . Engle, whose
            father also smoked, is a pediatrician who suffers from severe asthma ; his
            co-plaintiff, Raymond Lacey, had both of his legs removed because of an
            alleged smoking-related circulatory illness, Buerger's Disease . Another
            co-plaintiff, Robert Angell, had cancer of the oral pharynx and had to
            have his voice box removed .

            None of the plaintiffs smoked for the same amount of time but all claim
            that they were (or still are) hopelessly addicted to nicotine . Engle and
            his fellow plaintiffs, the industry argues, are just too dissimilar to
            represent an entire group of sick smokers . Since every plaintiff has a
            specific illness, individual health background and experiences with
            smoking, determining the amount of damages for an entire class of smokers
            will be difficult for jurors .

            Because of these factors, attorneys representing the tobacco companies -
            R .J . Reynolds, Philip Morris, Lorillard Tobacco Co ., Liggett Group Inc
            and Brown & Williamson - protested the class-action status of the suit
            before the trial and are expected to ask presiding Judge Robert Kaye to
            dismiss the verdict on those same grounds . Edward Moss, one of the




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             industry's attorneys in the case, said before the trial began last year
            the plaintiffs' individual circumstances nullify the suit's class-action
             status .


            "What we have here are several individuals who suffer from a whole bunch
            of diseases that are allegedly tied to smoking," Moss said . "But there
            are a whole bunch of other things that could have caused these individual
            illnesses . These people have smoked different amounts of cigarettes, have
            different genetic factors, have worked in different places, been exposed
            to different substances and have had varying health histories, all of
            which may have contributed to their different diseases . These are
            individual issues that should be treated as individual cases, not as a
            class action ."

            Still, it seems unlikely that Judge Kaye will throw out the jury's
            verdict when industry attorneys file an expected motion for dismissal
            July 19 . The Engle case withstood several previous challenges to its
            class-action status in the Florida courts . However, last year a judge
            threw out a New York class-action tobacco case partially because he felt
            issues presented by the individual plaintiffs were more appropriate as
            individual suits .

            Even if the compensatory and punitive phases of the Engle case are fully
            carried out, Big Tobacco attorneys are likely to appeal the verdict and
            challenge the class-action status to state Supreme Court and perhaps the
            U .S . Supreme Court . If Engle is decertified, then the Florida court could
            become flooded with thousands of individual suits against the tobacco
            industry .

            It is uncertain how or when the damages phase of the trial will begin . On
            Monday, attorneys from both sides will meet with Judge Kaye to discuss a
            start date for the damages phase . Attorneys for the tobacco companies say
            they need two months to prepare ; plaintiffs' attorneys Stanley and Susan
            Rosenblatt want the next part of the trial to begin within a few weeks .
            During the damages phase, the tobacco companies are expected to focus on
            the circumstances under which each of the nine lead plaintiffs contracted
            their alleged smoking-related illnesses . Industry attorneys are expected
            to argue that the plaintiffs knew about the risks of smoking and could
            have stopped whenever they wanted . They are also expected to argue that
            other factors, such as genetics and work environment, contributed to
            their diseases .

             The verdict in the Engle case was the first of its kind . But like so many
             other verdicts against the tobacco industry, the challenge lies in its
             aftermath - the appeals process . All of the verdicts and monetary damages
             against the industry have either been overturned or are currently under
             appeal . Even if the plaintiffs in the Engle case are awarded damages,
             they may not see any money for years because of the lengthy appeals
             process - and by then, they may have succumbed to their illnesses .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



             ( 4 ) ---------------------------------------------------------------------
             Date : 11-Jul-99
             Source : ??? Billings Gazette
             Title : 8 Montana Law Firms Get $3 Million For Representing State
             Location : Helena, Montana


             Next month,   eight Montana law firms are set to collect their first half
             of their $3   million attorney fees, while a Seattle law firm will collect
             part of its   $7 million, for representing Montana in its lawsuit against
             the tobacco   industry .




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            The $10 million in total legal fees will be paid by the tobacco industry
            and won't come out of the state's $920 million settlement the state
            reached in December as part of the $206 billion settlement with 46 states .

            Montana's $920 million settlement - $832 million offered originally and
            an $88 million bonus awarded later for the state's "level of effort" - is
            the largest in state history, Attorney General Joe Mazurek said .

            The Seattle firm of Hagens Berman, a national law firm that    Mazurek hired
            as lead counsel in this lawsuit, will collect 70 percent of    the attorney
            fees under its agreement with eight Montana lawyers and law    firms serving
            as local counsel agreeing to take 30 percent . Hagens Berman    had filed
            similar tobacco lawsuits in a number of other states .

            When the fees are finally paid, these Montana trial lawyers will each
            bring home $333,333 to their law firms : Monte Beck, of Bozeman ; Joe
            Bottomly, of Kalispell ; Karl Englund, of Missoula ; Tom Lewis, of Great
            Falls ; Jim Molloy, of Helena ; Greg Munro, a University of Montana law
            professor, of Missoula ; and Dave Paoli of Missoula .

            These seven lawyers voted to give a double share or $666,667 to John
            Morrison of Helena, the private attorney who spearheaded their effort in
            Montana, beginning in 1994, and recruited the other attorneys to
            participate .

            Morrison, a Democrat running for state auditor, said the Montana lawyers
            intend to set up a permanent endowment fund of at least $100,000 .
            Possibly for public health projects .

            While these attorneys fees are high, they are significantly less than
            they could have been and what some of the fees have been in other states .

            "We got a good bargain," said Mazurek, a Democrat running for governor .
            "Clearly, it's a lot of money, but relatively speaking, the state got a
            good bang for its buck, and it didn't come out of the state's pocket ."

            Mazurek acknowledged that $10 million is large but said it is certainly
            much less than what would be paid under normal contingent-fee
            arraignments under which a lawyer agrees to represent a client for no
            cost but, if successful in court, would collect a percentage of money
            awarded to his client as a fee . These contingent fee deals can run from
            25 to 50 percent, often 33 percent, he said .

            The Seattle and Montana lawyers got 1 .09 percent of the state's total
            award, and it didn't come out of the settlement . The Montana lawyers got
            0 .33 percent of the settlement as their combined share of the fees .

            Morrison, interviewed last week, said that under their contract with the
            state, the Seattle and Montana attorneys could have collected 12 percent
            of the settlement or $110 million as a fee, which would have been
            deducted from Montana's settlement amount . Or they could have taken the
            matter to a three-judge panel to decide the level of fees, he said . .

            Instead, they agreed to a third option - to take the amount of fees
            unilaterally offered by the tobacco industry - or $10 million .

            So, why did they take a fee that was a fraction of what they could have
            collected?

            "Because we were well paid for what we did," Morrison said . "It was a
            joint decision with the Seattle law firm . If there was a way to get the
            tobacco industry to pay us for the case over and above what they paid to
            the state, that was what we wanted to do ."




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            He said Montana got an extra $88 million for two reasons : the state won a
            strong order from District Judge Thomas Honzel who rejected nearly all of
            the tobacco companies' motions to dismiss the case on various grounds,
            and the state got an early date for the tobacco trial of February 2000
            and was gearing up for it .

            Mazurek said the effort that the national law firm, his office and the
            Montana lawyers put in was rewarded with the $88 million bonus . Although
            Montana ranked 46th nationally in the statistics for damages, it was 35th
            in effort expended because of Honzel's strong order .

            It's also important to note the gamble these attorneys were willing to
            take, Mazurek said .

            "These lawyers assumed an incredible personal financial risk when they
            took this on," Mazurek said . "No one knew whether this case would settle
            or not . They agreed to advance all the costs . The state didn't have any
            money at risk here, so all the costs of deposition, discovery, the hiring
            of witnesses would be assumed by them . We were not willing to go to the
            Legislature to do that ."

            Morrison said at the time that he began investigating the possibility of
            working with the state to file a lawsuit, no state or individual had ever
            recovered a dime from the tobacco industry in such a lawsuit, and the
            industry had never settled .

            "So this was seen as a highly risky proposition, and the tobacco industry
            had a reputation for scorched-earth defense," Morrison said . "Everybody
            who considered this case knew that the likelihood was it would require
            thousands and thousands of hours of time and millions of dollars in
            costs ."

            He said the Montana lawyers had attended parts of some of the tobacco
            trials in Minnesota and Washington, conducted research, met with tobacco
            litigators in other states, were planning to rent a building to warehouse
            boxes of thousands of tobacco company documents as evidence,and were
            meeting with state officials .

            "All of the counsel worked very hard on this case, and I worked four
            years on the case," Morrison said . "A11 of the counsel involved on the
            case made substantial contributions from taking Montana from being 25th
            state to file to being one of the leading states in the litigation . All
            of the counsel involved put their practices and their futures on line for
            this case and fully expected to try the case to its conclusion ."

             "When you take all those things into consideration, along with the fact
            that percentage of the fee was very low and Montana paid zero, I don't
            think any of us feel the fee was inappropriate ."

            Morrison said he's pleased that the attorneys recovered nearly $1 billion
            for Montana to help uninsured children get health care, help more people
            be insured under then Montana Comprehensive Health Association, provide
            significant tax relief to Montanans for the next 25 years and help fund
            efforts to educate people about the dangers of tobacco .

            The Montanans' fees paled in comparison with what some of the national
            firms are set to collect for the tobacco lawsuits, according to George
            magazine . It cited a Florida firm making $325 million in fees, a
            Minneapolis firm collecting $440 million, a South Carolina firm
            collecting from $1 billion up to $10 billion, another Florida firm
            winning $678 million and a Mississippi firm collecting more than $1
            billion . The Seattle firm of Hagens Berman, which represented Montana and
            other states, expects to make $2 billion in total fees from tobacco cases .




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            Here is a timeline provided by Helena lawyer John Morrison of what
            Montana attorneys did to prepare for a lawsuit filed by the state against
            the tobacco companies :

            Summer 1994 . Morrison learned of the lawsuit Mississippi filed against
            tobacco companies and opened discussions with the staff of Mississippi's
            attorney general and the private attorney there who filed it . Morrison
            obtained the Mississippi complaint and began to do research and prepared
            manuals for eight to 10 Montana law firms to consider forming a coalition
            to meet with Attorney General Joe Mazurek about filing a Medicaid
            reimbursement lawsuit against tobacco companies . Morrison also spoke with
            economists at University of California at Berkeley were working on
            project for Centers for Disease Control were developing "smoking
            attributable factors" of state spending .

            Late summer 1994 . Morrison meets with Mazurek to discuss Montana filing
            tobacco lawsuit . Mazurek also had talked to Mississippi attorney general
            about his lawsuit . One concern expressed by Morrison is that no group of
            Montana attorneys could afford to finance the case, and the state wasn't
            going to put up money to finance a lawsuit . Decision made to seek a
            national law firm for Montana law firms to associate with .

            Spring 1995 . Morrison and Missoula attorney Bill Rossbach travel to
            Minneapolis to meet with lawyer from firm that represented Minnesota in
            its lawsuit against the tobacco industry to see if that firm would
            represent Montana . It was busy with Minnesota case .

            November 1995 . Morrison trave'-ed to Boston to attend state tobacco
            litigation meeting and met with Mississippi attorney general,
            Mississippi's attorney, and member of South Carolina firm involved in
            lawsuits in a number of states . Later, Morrison worked with Rossbach to
            identify a national firm and they began discussions with a San Diego firm
            that Rossbach had worked with in the Exxon-Valdez litigation . Spring
            1996 . Morrison, Rossbach, Bozeman lawyer Monte Beck and Greg Munro, a
            former trial lawyer and now a law professor at the University of Montana,
            meet with Mazurek and his staff to discuss associating with the San Diego
            firm .

            Late 1996 . Morrison and Rossbach organized a meeting with Mazurek and his
            staff that was attended by a representative of the San Diego firm . They
            proposed the San Diego firm and some eight Montana law firms represent
            Montana on a one-third contingency fee basis, paying for all costs .
            Ma_urek asked for a written proposal, which they submitted .

            Early 1997 . The Montana lawyers and the San Diego firm submitted to
            Mazurek a 54-page complaint that the state could use to file its lawsuit .

            May 1997 . Mazurek told Morrison and the other Montana lawyers he had
            decided to retain the Seattle law firm of Hagens Berman instead of the
            San Diego firm in part because the Seattle firm offered a more favorable
            fee deal that was less than the one-third contingency fee deal proposed
            by the San Diego firm . A University of Denver law school classmate of
            Morrison's, Rob Carey, who had been an assistant attorney general in
            Arizona, joined the Seattle firm and asked Morrison's group of lawyers to
            be its Montana counsel .

            June 1997, Mazurek files Montana's lawsuit against tobacco industry, wit-z
            lawsuit prepared by the Berman law firm . Later, talk emerges of a
            "global" settlement between the tobacco industries and the states'
            attorneys general to resolve litigation filed across the country .

            Fall 1997 . The national settlement appears unlikely in part because
            Congress wants to amend it, with no consensus emerging . Mazurek asks




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            Morrison he would like Montana counsel to begin associating with Berman
            on the case and prosecuting it in earnest . Rossbach leaves team because
            he wanted state to affiliate with San Diego firm . Morrison assembles team
            of seven other lawyers .

            Early 1998 . Morrison and Mazurek arrange for Mississippi attorney general
            to speak at Montana Trial Lawyers Association convention that summer and
            meet with Mazurek and local counsel .

            September 1998 . In victory for Montana, District Judge Thomas Hon_el of
            Helena rejects nearly all of tobacco companies' motions to dismiss the
            case . Meantime, the Montana lawyers have divvied up the tasks, with some
            going to Minnesota to inspect documents, others tracing the leci .slative
            history of all-tobacco related bills introduced in Montana Legislature
            since the early 1950s

            November 1998 . MMa :urek, Berman and Montana lawyers get scheduling order
            from Honzel setting a trial date of February 2000, which put Montana
            among the earliest of the states that hadn't settled .

            Later November 1998 . Proposed $206 billion national tobacco settlement
            agreement is announced by 46 states and tobacco industry . Montana's share
            is $832 million over 27 years and state later gets $88 million incentive
            bonus for its "level of effort ."



             (Reprinted with permission .)



             [5] -----------------------------------------------------------------------
            Date : 12-Jul-99
            Source : ??? Cable News Network - CNN
            Title : NAACP To Sue Gun Makers
            Location : New York, New York

            Hoping to keep guns from criminals, the NAACP said Monday it will sue
            handgun manufacturers, distributors and importers, seeking restrictions
            on the marketing and sale of firearms .

            The move would put the nation's largest civil rights group in league with
            cities like New Orleans, Chicago, Cleveland and Boston which have sued
            the firearms industry in hopes of curbing street and schoolyard violence .

            "They can't scare us," President Kweisi Mfume said in New York at the
            90th annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement o'
            Colored People . "They will now have to deal with us ."


            He said the lawsuit would be filed this week in Brooklyn Federal Court
            and will seek no monetary damages .

            Suit seeks change in manufacturing, distribution

            Instead, he said, the aim is to force gun manufacturers to better monito-
            where guns are distributed and to limit multiple purchases by individuals .

            "We will seek to implement specific changes in the manufacturing and
            distribution practices to promote more responsibility and accountability"
            in the gun industry, Mfume said .

            The changes being sought include mandatory safety enhancements like
            trigger locks and industry support of a ban on secondary firearms sales
            at gun shows .

            The NAACP leader called the lawsuit "an effort to break the backs of




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 70D36 1957
            those who perpetuate the sale of guns in our community ."

            More than 100 companies named

            He did not cite any gun manufacturers by name . But NAACP attorney Denise
            Dunleavey said more than 100 companies will be named as defendants .

            The NAACP suit takes an approach similar to a case decided earlier this
            year, also in Brooklyn Federal Court .

            A jury returned a $4 million verdict based upon a new strategy by
            plaintiffs -- that the gun industry's negligence in marketing and
            distribution allowed weapons to flow illegally to states with strict
            anti-gun laws .

            After Mfume's speech, he and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond both said they
            were motivated to file the suit by Congress' failure to pass gun safety
            legislation and efforts by state lawmakers in Georgia, Louisiana and
            Illinois to prevent cities from suing gunmakers .

            Bond said African-Americans ages 15-24 were five times as likely as
            whites of the same age group to be injured by firearms .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



             [6] ---------------------------------------------------------------------
            Date : 12-Jul-99
            Source : Associated Press - AP
            Title : Husband, Wife Team Win Two Against Big Tobacco
            Location : Miami, Florida


            Stanley Rosenblatt stumbled into the horrific results of cigarette
            smoking during a rare foray into criminal law, successfully defending a
            pathologist in the mercy killing of his wife .

            The misery suffered by Patricia Rosier, a 43-year-old smoker with lung
            cancer, left the millionaire personal-injury lawyer with a ghastly
            impression of tobacco .

            A few years later, flight attendants came to him as a last resort,
            blaming cigarette smoke in jet cabins for their illnesses and asking him
            to go out on a long legal limb by suing the tobacco industry .

            Next he and his lawyer-wife Susan sued cigarette makers on behalf of an
            estimated 500,000 sick Florida smokers .

            Eight years later, the Rosenblatts have won both class-action tobacco
            cases, the first of their kind to get to trial nationally .

            " He has my vote for trial lawyer of the decade . I just cannot conceive
            anybody taking the gamble that he took, " said Fred Levin, a Pensacola
            lawyer on the team that won an $11 billion tobacco settlement for the
            state of Florida .

            A jury sided with Rosenblatt last week by concluding the nation's tobacco
            industry made deadly, defective products . The next phase of the trial
            will determine how much tobacco will pay .

            In October 1997, the industry settled the flight attendants' secondhand
            smoke case for $349 million while presenting its own case at trial . The
            Rosenblatts received $49 million for fees and costs and $300 million went
            for the creation of a medical research foundation




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            While large groups of veteran lawyers and big-name firms pursued the
            state lawsuits that produced $206 billion in tobacco settlements, the
            Rosenblatts are legal loners .

            " it was Stanley and Susan and a couple people back at the office, " said
            Northeastern University professor and anti-smoking activist Richard
            Daynard . " That was sort of it . "

            And that's the way they like it .

            Rosenblatt is blunt, quick-witted, abrasive, melodramatic and obviously
            persuasive with juries . Mrs . Rosenblatt is genteel, obsessive, given to
            critical self-examination and a behind-the-scenes force in legal research .

            The two natives of New York's borough of Brooklyn spread themselves thin
            as tenacious workaholics and parents of nine school-age children who
            don't rely on outside help .

            Without conceit, Rosenblatt considers himself one of the nation's best
            trial lawyers, and others in his field agree . The couple are praised for
            their courage, dedication, perseverance and courtroom credibility .

            Bob Montgomery, a colleague for 30 years, had more faith in Rosenblatt
            than the seemingly invincible tobacco industry .

            " When I found out that he had taken on this case, all I said was tobacco
            better duck, " said Montgomery, a Palm Beach lawyer who also represented
            Florida in its suit against tobacco .

            Rosenblatt made his reputation in medical malpractice and personal injury
            cases, winning multimillion-dollar verdicts before they were common .

            He came to national prominence in 1988 with the acquittal of Dr . Peter
            Rosier in his wife's death . Her stepfather offered blockbuster testimony
            that he smothered her when she lingered hours after Rosier administered
            what should have been a fatal overdose .

            Why take on tobacco?

            The conventional wisdom was that the cases were " hopeless against nearly
            impossible odds, " said Kenneth McClain, an Independence, Mo ., lawyer
            pursuing other smokers' lawsuits .

            " The more I got to know them, the more I think that their religion and
            what their religion meant to them had a lot to do with it, " Daynard said .

            He pointed to a Jewish belief in an obligation to fix the world .

            But not everyone was happy with the secondhand smoke settlement . Some
            flight attendants objected to the deal because it paid them nothing .

            The agreement gives the industry " an enormous get-out-of-jail-free
            card " and a foundation is hardly a meaningful settlement, Alan Morrison,
            an attorney for Ralph Nader's Public Citizen law group, said at a hearing
            last year to try to get the deal changed .

            " This foundation is being trumpeted as an enormous benefit, " Morrison
            said .• " To society, perhaps, but not the flight attendants . "

            Rosenblatt, in his characteristically feisty manner, shot back, calling
            objectors opportunists who misrepresented the settlement . " In six years,
            not one of them ever showed their face, never offered any help to one
            flight attendant, " he said at the time .




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            Some objectors have asked the Florida Supreme Court to review the deal .

            Barred by a gag order in the smokers' case from talking to reporters, the
            Rosenblatts said earlier that they took the tobacco cases as a matter of
            principle .

            Judges rejected both cases as class actions, but Mrs . Rosenblatt got them
            reinstated on appeal . Rosenblatt went on to get the first depositions
            with tobacco CEOs, and their words would become an embarrassment for the
            industry .

            Rosenblatt " expended millions of dollars of his own money to pursue both
            cases, " McClain said . " When you're dealing with that kind of money on
            the basis of a potential victory in a case that's never been won, it's a
            tremendously courageous step . "



             (Reprinted with permission .)


             [ 7 ] --------------------------------------------------        -------
            Date : 09-Jul-99
            Source : Associated Press - AP
            Title : Convicts Want To Keep Smoking
            Location : Concord, New Hampshire

            New Hampshire State Prison inmates say they have a right to smoke .

            Forcing them to give up tobacco violates their rights, according to
            inmates who have filed a petition in Merrimack County Superior Court to
            stop a smoking ban set to begin Sept . 1 .

            Steven Nowaczyk and 21 other inmates want a ]udge to issue a temporary
            restraining order against the prison to allow tobacco use in the "outside
            public air spaces' within the walls and on the grounds .

            They also want the prison to keep offering tobacco in the canteen, where
            inmates order food and other items .

            On Sept . 1 the prison is to become tobacco-free to create a healthier
            environment, according to officials . Corrections officers also will fall
            under the ban .

            The state readied to argue at a hearing today that inmates have no legal
            right to smoke and corrections officials have the power to issue the ban,
            said Senior Assistant Attorney General Daniel Mullen .

            While tobacco use is not a specific guaranteed right under the
            Constitution, the prison has created the right for inmates to smoke by
            encouraging the habit, the inmates say . To remove it now is to deprive
            them of one of the few remaining freedoms of choice they retain while
            imprisoned, their petition reads .

            In a document filed June 28, the inmates declare smoking is an addiction
            the jails and prisons in New Hampshire have fed by supplying cigarettes,
            often for free .

            The inmates' petition names Gov . Jeanne Shaheen, Corrections Department
            Commissioner Henry Risley and John Martin, manager of the prison's North
            Unit .

            The 22 inmates, representing themselves, say they speak for all prisoners
            who smoke and smokers who will be imprisoned in Concord in the future .




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            The tobacco ban is "purely a punishment," they charge .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



             [81 ----------- ------------------------------------------------
            Date : 13-Jul-99
            Source : Associated Press - AP
            Title : Wis . Records Opened in Tobacco Case
            Location : Madison, Wisconsin

            Three law firms that represented Wisconsin in its lawsuit against the
            tobacco industry charged $3,032 an hour for each of the 24,733 hours they
            spent on the phone, in meetings and sifting through papers, documents
            released Monday show .

            The state attorney general's office released the information in an
            attempt to end an open records lawsuit filed by three newspapers seeking
            to learn details on work the firms performed in winning the state a $5 .9
            billion settlement with cigarette makers .

            The tobacco lawsuit was settled in November as part of a multistate
            agreement that would give Wisconsin $5 .9 billion over 25 years .

            The attorneys had resisted releasing their records, citing " ethical
            issues, " but agreed to release them to Attorney General James Doyle, who
            then gave them to reporters .

            The hundreds of pages detail how the law firms spent their time working
            on the case .

            Between Oct . 23, 1998, and Jan . 25, for example, two of the firms - Whyte
            Hirschboeck Dudek of Milwaukee and Brennan, Steil, Basting & MacDougall
            of Janesville - spent more than 1,820 hours reviewing 39,000 previously
            secret tobacco documents .

            Robert Scott, an attorney at Whyte, declined to comment, except to say
            " I considered the final chapter when we settled the case . "

            The documents also provide details about $2 million that the law firms
            spent on the case . Robert L . Habush of the Milwaukee firm Habush, Habush,
            Davis & Rottier, frequently traveled in style, including limousine trips
            and a $7,818 chartered flight to Washington, D .C ., that would have cost
            $906 if he had flown coach, the records said .

            The firms said the tobacco industry would pay them $75 million over five
            years . Based on 24,733 hours of work, that equals about $3,032 an hour .

            The Wisconsin State Journal of Madison, The Capital Times of Madison and
            the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sued the state in May for the records .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



            [91 -----------
            Date : 08-Jul-99
            Source : Patriot Ledger
            Title : Florida Tobacco Verdict Could Be Costliest Yet
            Location : Miami, Florida

            A landmark lawsuit by smokers yielded a verdict yesterday that could cost




4;.FtJ R0000001499082911
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            the tobacco industry billions in damages, as a jury held the companies
            liable for making a defective product that causes emphysema, lung cancer
            and other illnesses .

            The jury, which deliberated over a complicated 10-question verdict form
            for seven days, will return in the next phase to determine damages .

            Their decision could prove to be the industry's most dire courtroom loss
            yet, since the plaintiffs are seeking at least $200 billion .

            Juries have awarded damages in smoking liability cases only five times --
            three were overturned on appeal and the two others are being appealed .

            This case, the first class-action lawsuit by smokers to go to trial, was
            filed in 1994 on behalf of as many as 500,000 sick Florida smokers and
            the heirs of those who died .

            Plaintiffs and family members wept and hugged each other as the verdict
            was read . "The Marlboro Man just fell off his high horse into quicksand
            and it will be years until the tobacco industry even gets him halfway
            out," said Ahron Leichtman, executive director of Citizens for a
            Tobacco-Free Society .

            Philip Morris Inc ., the nation's largest cigarette maker, said it
            remained under a court-imposed gag order and could not comment .

            The industry claimed there is no scientific proof that smoking causes any
            illness and that the public is well aware that smoking is risky .

            But the jury agreed with the smokers on all counts, including their
            claims that the industry deceived them about the dangers of smoking, hid
            research results, stopped scientific work that promised to produce safer
            cigarettes and advertised to children . The jury also found that the
            industry "engaged in extreme and outrageous conduct . . . with the inten-
            to inflict severe emotional distress ."

            The $206 billion national settlement reached with the tobacco industry in
            November bars states from suing to recoup the costs of treating sick
            smokers, but it does not bar suits by individuals such as this one .

            Now that the industry has been found liable, the jury will decide what
            damages should be awarded to the lawsuit's nine plaintiffs . Once their
            cases are concluded, the half-million other members of the class will be
            free to file their claims .

            Jurors heard eight months of testimony and were exposed to thousands of
            documents from decades of tobacco litigation . Former surgeons general,
            ex-tobacco industry scientists and doctors testified .

            The defendants were the nation's five biggest cigarette makers and two
            industry groups : Philip Morris , R .J . Reynolds Tobacco Co ., Brown &
            Williamson Tobacco Corp ., Lorillard Tobacco Co ., Liggett Group Inc ., the
            Council for Tobacco Research and the Tobacco Institute .

            Two of the five smoking-liability cases in which juries have awarded
            damages have come this year . In March, a jury in Portland, Ore ., awarded
            $81 million to the family of a smoker who died of lung cancer . The month
            before, a woman with inoperable lung cancer won $51 million in San
            Francisco . Both awards were reduced by judges and are being appealed .

            But the industry has had other recent victories -- it won another Oregon
            case as well as lawsuits on behalf of trade unions in Ohio, three dead
            smokers in Tennessee and one in Missouri .




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            Tobacco stock prices fell after the verdict .

            Even so, some tobacco analysts said the news wasn't all bad for the
            industry . David Adelman, a tobacco analyst for Morgan Stanley Dean
            Witter, said he expects that the case will be decertified as a class
            action on appeal, greatly reducing the potential damage award .

            He also pointed out that the industry will also be allowed to use
            defenses in the next phase of the case that it wasn't able to raise in
            this one, such as the claim that smokers should bear responsibility for
            their decision to smoke .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



             [10] -------------------------------------------------------
            Date : 12-Jul-99
            Source : ??? Abstract
            Title : Engle Reviewed
            Location : Miami, Florida

            In reviewing the outcome of the Engle trial in Florida, Columbia
            University law professor John Coffee said he believes it is unlikely that
            the verdict will stand upon appeal . "This is a sprawling class with all
            kinds of claimants," said Coffee . "This class would not be certified in
            any federal court ." Stanford University law professor Robert Rabin
            disagreed and stated, "I think the certification looks pretty strong at
            this point in Florida ." Rabin, who has closely followed tobacco
            litigation for years, believes that the second phase of the Engle trial
            could result in large damages being awarded . Particularly because the
            same jury will hear the cases "and that jury has just found this industry
            responsible for a whole range of reprehensible conduct," said Rabin [Los
            Angeles Times 7/8] .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



             [11]                  ------------------------------------------------------
            Date :       11-Jul-99
            Source :     ??? Media General News Service
            Title :      Tobacco Suit Deadline Near?
            Location :   Washington, DC


            The Department of Justice is running out of time to file its lawsuit
            against the tobacco industry, according to a group of lawyers and legal
            scholars that includes two of the nation's best known law professors .

            'The longer the United States delays in filing suit, the greater the risk
            that the tobacco industry would prevail on an argument that the claims
            for past damages are time-barred," the legal group wrote in an April memo
            to Justice's tobacco task force . "This could result in the loss to
            taxpayers of tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars -- simply as a
            by-product of delay in filing a lawsuit . "

            The group says that the Justice Department has until Aug . 10 to file suit
            or risk having a judge throw out the case .

            Justice Department lawyers disagree .

            "We've looked at the issue . We do not believe that (the Aug . 10 deadline)
            has legal significance for the tobacco lawsuit," said Chris J . Watney, a
            Justice Department spokeswoman .




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            Even if they agreed, department officials are not in a strong position to
            meet such a close deadline . They are still assembling a 20-lawyer team to
            handle the litigation and have only begun to sift through boxes of
            documents .

            The federal litigation began with the State of the Union address in
            January, when President Clinton said he wanted to recoup Medicare
            expenses for treating smoking-related ailments over the years . That
            announcement followed a more than $200 billion settlement by the tobacco
            industry with 46 states who sued to recover Medicaid expenses . While
            Medicaid is paid largely by the states to provide health care for the
            poor,

            Medicare is a federal program providing health insurance to elderly
            Americans .

            The Justice Department already has hired a Minnesota law firm that
            handled that state's groundbreaking tobacco lawsuit as consultants on the
            federal case .

            The legal group, which includes Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe and
            Notre Dame law professor Robert Blakey, argue in the memo that the
            Justice Department is allowing some important statutes of limitations --
            the time period after an injury during which someone can be sued -- to
            expire . The group said time limits for suing cigarette makers for
            antitrust violations, such as collusion among the companies, or
            racketeering were about to expire or have expired .

            Justice lawyers say they are likely to sue under the Medicare Recovery
            Act and not those other laws . But the statute of limitations on that act
            expired last year, according to the memo .

            The legal group uses several events to establish the starting point for
            the various statutes of limitations, from a February 1994 letter by
            then-Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler to new FDA
            regulations in August 1995 that declared nicotine a drug . The memo
            emphasizes several times that the clock starts ticking, not necessarily
            when the tobacco companies have injured someone, but when the government
            should have known "through due diligence .''

            Some Justice officials questioned the motivations for the memo, given
            that Blakey helped represent Florida and Texas in their tobacco lawsuits
            and Richard Scruggs, another author, helped represent most of the states
            that sued . Scruggs, though, has said he would take on the federal case
            for free, and Blakey was a Justice Department lawyer in the 1960's and
            wrote the nation's RICO, or racketeering, law .

            The deadline debate, however, has slipped to a secondary issue since the
            Senate has begun haggling over whether it'll even give Justice the money
            to finance the lawsuit .



             (Reprinted with permission .)


             (12] ----------------------------------------------------- ---------------
            Date : 11-Jul-99
             Source : Associated Press - AP
            Title : State's Private Tobacco Attorneys Say They Worked Nearly 25, 000
                       Hours
            Location : Madison, Wisconsin


            Attorneys who represented Wisconsin in its lawsuit against the tobacco




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            industry said they worked 24, 733 hours on the case -- amounting to a fee
            of about $3, 032 an hour, according to documents released today .

            The Wisconsin State Journal of Madison, The Capital Times of Madison and
            the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sued the state in May, seeking the records
            to determine how much and what kind of work the law firms performed .

            Attorneys from the three firms had resisted releasing their records,
            citing " ethical problems, " but later agreed to released them to
            Attorney General James Doyle .

            Doyle said he considered the records public documents and decided to
            release them to the public today .

            The hundreds of pages of documents include details on how the law firms
            spent their time working on the case, ranging from a 12 minute telephone
            call with the American Cancer Institute in August 1997 to hours of
            research and meetings in the case .

            The tobacco lawsuit was settled in November as part of a multi-state
            agreement that could give Wisconsin $5 .9 billion over 25 years .

            The newspapers' lawsuit came after law firms requested $175 million from
            the tobacco companies over 30 to 40 years for their work on the case,
            which could have reached $847 million after adjusting for inflation .

            The three law firms said last month the tobacco industry would pay them
            $75 million over five years . Based on 24, 733 hours of work, that works
            out to about $3, 032 an hour .

            " If those hours included secretarial time, investigators' time,
            paralegal time, I still think that the figure is excessive, " said Senate
            President Fred Risser, a Madison Democrat and one of three state
            lawmakers who sued to block the original fee agreement, saying the firms
            would get too much money .

            The lawmakers want the state to collect the legal fees, pay the lawyers
            on an hourly basis and put the remaining money into the state treasury .

            Robert Dreps, an attorney for the newspapers, said the documents were not
            as clear as they need to be .

            " The records are not broken down to summarize which individuals worked
            the hours, and whether it' s an attorney or a paralegal, " he said . "
            Everybody recognizes the significance . Hours spent by a paralegal are not
            counted the same as hours spent by an attorney because they' re not as
            valuable ."

            Dreps said the newspapers still want the firms to disclose the
            information . " The open records law may nor may not compel them to
            produce this information, but it would be better if they would just
            volunteer it, " he said .

            Dan Rottier, an attorney who has been a spokesman for the three firms,
            did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment .

            The newspapers had said the public deserved to know how much the lawyers
            would be paid hourly . They argued the firms would not be receiving their
            millions if they had not been retained by the governor and the attorney
            general in a contract governed by the state' s Open Records Law .

            That contract was voided by a circuit court judge in Madison last month .

            The law firms are Habush, Habush, Davis and Rottier of Milwaukee ;




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            Brennan, Steil, Basting and MacDougall of Janesville ; and Whyte
            Hirschboeck Dudek of Milwaukee .

            According to a summary sheet, the Brennan firm spent 7, 620 .4 hours on
            the case, the Whyte firm spent 9, 119 .2 hours, and the Habush firm spent
            an estimated $7, 993 hours on the case . Some of Habush' s time was
            estimated because it does not normally track time as do the other firms .

            The fees for Wisconsin' s private attorneys will come directly from the
            tobacco companies and will not affect the state' s settlement money .

            Wisconsin is not the only state to be mired in controversy over
            attorneys' fees stemming from the multi-state settlement .

            In Mississippi, where lawyers were awarded $1 .4 billion, a candidate for
            attorney general filed an open records lawsuit to force the state to make
            more records in the case public . Five private attorneys who helped
            represent Texas were awarded $3 .3 billion in fees -- an amount that was
            criticized by Gov . George W . Bush and state lawmakers as unreasonably
            high .



             (Reprinted with permission .)


            [13] ----------- --------
            Date : 13-Jul-99
            Source : Legal Intelligencer
            Title : Verdict Not Final Word in Smoking Suit
            Location : Miami, Florida

            Minutes after a Miami jury delivered a sweeping indictment of the tobacco
            industry deciding that industry executives had conspired to conceal the
            truth about the dangers of cigarette smoking dozens of the plaintiffs in
            the class- action suit swarmed forward, hugging their lawyers and each
            other . As they did so, the team of somber-faced lawyers who had defended
            the industry pushed through the crowd, moving toward the courtroom exit .

            But for a few moments, the double doors to the lobby beyond were blocked,
            and the well-heeled tobacco lawyers and the shopworn plaintiffs that they
            had worked for years to defeat were jammed together in an uncomfortable
            clinch . For the lawyers who had just suffered a stinging loss, the
            seconds had to feel like an eternity . For the plaintiffs, eternity is
            just beginning . Wednesday's verdict may have felt like a win for the
            plaintiffs . It had all the earmarks . Tears . Hugs . Handclaps . But, after
            nine months of trial in a Miami-Dade circuit court in the only
            class-action suit against the tobacco industry ever to go to a jury
            verdict, the road ahead for the litigants is longer than the one behind .
            The plaintiffs have to survive what are likely to be lengthy appellate
            challenges over the jury's verdict, the case's class-action status and
            the way the trial was split, in which the issue of culpability and the
            amount of damages were decided separately instead of at one time . Right
            now, the best that can be said is that the plaintiffs and their lawyers,
            Stanley and Susan Rosenblatt, delivered a brutal blow in the first round
            of a brawl that promises to go the full 12 . The primary defendants in the
            suit, Philip Morris Cos ., R .J . Reynolds Tobacco Co . and Brown &
            Williamson Tobacco Corp ., or their lawyers, aren't known for surrendering
            ever . "Everywhere I've seen them, they've appealed, and they have
            appealed things that most don't," said Kathleen E . Scheg, legislative
            counsel for Action on Smoking and Health, an anti-smoking advocacy group
            in Washington, D .C . That will be the situation in this case known as the
            Engle class action . Already Thursday, the day after the jury's decision,
            the industry was promising appeals and requests for a new trial . And this
i,          trial isn't even over yet . In two months or less, the same jury that last




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V   r
            week found that the industry had committed a fraud on the public by
            concealing smoking's health risks and addictive nature and had knowingly
            pushed a da ngerous product into the marketplace, will return to
            determine the damage

            SEEKING A REMATCH

            Even if such awards occur, however, they simply become some of the
            hundreds of aspects of the case that will be attacked on appeals to the
            3rd District Court of Appeal and the Florida Supreme Court . Simply put :
            No one will be seeing any money soon ."This is a long way from ending,"
            said Joel Perwin, an appellate lawyer with Podhurst Orseck Josefsberg
            Eaton Meadow Olin & Perwin in Miami who is not involved in the case . "It
            could be two to three years before you get a final determination ." The
            first assault comes next week, when lawyers for the industry, who include
            Miami attorneys Edward Moss, R . Benjamine Reid, David Ross and Stephen N .
            Zack, as well as Robert C . Heim of Philadelphia's Dechert Price & Rhoads,
            will seek a new trial based on the multitude of evidentiary decisions
            made by Circuit Judge Robert P . Kaye during the trial . The industry will
            also push to have several counts on which the jury found for the
            plaintiffs thrown out, including intentional infliction of emotional
            distress and consumer breach-of-warranty claims, the tobacco lawyers have
            said . After that, the industry may decide to appeal the jury's verdict
            and the entire case to date to the 3rd District before the next phase of
            the trial begins . That could postpone the start of the second phase .In
            court Thursday, Susan Rosenblatt argued that the industry couldn't appeal
            until the end of the second phase when damages will be assessed .But
            Perwin said it's possible . The industry, Perwin said, could argue "that
            all of the liability claims have been determined one way or the other"
            already, making the case ripe for appellate review . If the industry waits
            until the end of the second phase to appeal, however, it won't speed the
            process up for potential plaintiffs . Years of briefing and arguing in the
            appellate courts will follow . An appellate court will have a lot to chew
            over . Kaye made hundreds of rulings during the course of the trial about
            admitting certain documents and testimony as evidence, all of wh ich can
            be challenged . And it seemed at times the judge was denyin ney from
            Cincinnati who has been extensively involved in other attempted tobacco
            class actions across the country, said the high court now has no reason
            to find the class action unworkable . The jury's verdict, he said, is
            proof that a large-scale suit "can be managed ." Chesley said other
            jurisdictions across the country may now see a class action is a viable
            option for tobacco claims . "It's a sea change," Chesley said .

            SPLIT DECISION


            Adelman and other analysts predicted that the high court would eventually
            find fault with Kaye's unusual trial plan, in which the legal issues
            common to all plaintiffs were tried first and the liability for damages
            would wait until the second phase . The industry believes that's unfair .
            Under the plan, if damages are awarded to just one of the nine
            plaintiffs, the findings used in making that award could be applied to
            thousands of future individual tobacco suits . That blanket application
            could deny the industry what has been historically its most successful
            defense arguing, on a case-by-case basis, that each smoker knew the
            dangers of smoking but decided to smoke anyway .But Perwin said an
            appellate court won't second-guess Kaye on the trial plan . "These kinds
            of decisions are so within the discretion of the trial court that
            appellate courts tend to leave them alone," Perwin said . Myers said that
            even if the plaintiffs are years from being compensated or even if they
            never are awarded any money last week's verdict will remain monumental .
            "It's the most widespread condemnation of tobacco company behavior in
            history," Myers said . "The verdict itself will lead to more and more
            lawsuits ."This story originally appeared in the Florida Daily Business
            Reviews .




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             (Reprinted with permission .)



            [191 ---------------------------------------------------------------------
            Date : 13-Jul-99
            Source : New York Times - NYT
            Title : Film Drama Shines a Harsh Light on '60 Minutes' and CBS
            Location : New York, New York

            Four years after one of the low points in the history of CBS News, its
            decision not to broadcast an exclusive " 60 Minutes " interview with a
            tobacco industry whistle-blower, a furious battle of egos and spin is
            unfolding over a film drama about the episode being prepared for release
            this fall .

            At issue, to some extent, are the characterizations of media titans like
            Mike Wallace and CBS News's performance under fire . Mr . Wallace angrily
            says that the film distorts his role in the decision not to run the
            interview . The film's director, Michael Mann, says it is an accurate look
            at Mr . Wallace's actions and, more important, the plight of a man,
            Jeffrey Wigand, caught between a tobacco giant determined to smear him
            and a media giant unwilling to tell his story .

            Also in play are the dynamics of television news, in which the reporting
            attributed to stars like Mr . Wallace has often been done by others, and
            the famously thin skins of people in the news media, who often seem the
            least able to accept the scrutiny they routinely give to others .

            But the overriding issue, perhaps, is an increasingly familiar one : the
            treatment of real events and real people in dramatized films .

            In this case Mr . Wigand's story is being brought to the screen by Mr .
            Mann, a master of atmospherics best known for creating the television
            series " Miami vice " and directing the film " The Last of the
            Mohicans, " and the screenwriter Eric Roth, who won an Oscar for
            " Forrest Gump . '

            Mr . Mann accumulated reams of documentation, from legal depositions to
            news reports to " 60 Minutes " transcripts, for the film, which centers
            on Mr . Wigand's decision to go public with damning information about his
            former employer, the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, and CBS's
            initial decision not to broadcast the report . The director says the film
            accurately conveys the larger truths of the story .

             " There's very little in this film that's not substantiated, " he said .

            To tell that story, however, the film makes use of numerous dramatic
            devices that differ markedly from the facts of the case, including
            putting words in the mouth of Mr . Wallace that he never said and giving
            his producer, Lowell Bergman, credit for things he did not do .

            " In the realm of drama, you change everything, " Mr . Mann said . " You
            change everything to have it mean exactly the same thing it meant before .
            You do all the typical things . You collapse time, you combine characters,
            you overlay dramatic events . Nobody ever said in 'All The President's
            Men,' 'Follow the money .' The only guy who said that is Bill Goldman, the
            screenwriter . "

            The new film, " The Insider, " revolves around the relationship between
            Mr . Wigand and Mr . Bergman, who, as Mr . Wallace's longtime producer, had
            done much of the reporting for many of Mr . Wallace's most important
            pieces . The film tells of the decision by Mr . Wigand, vice president for




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            research and development at Brown & Williamson until 1993, to go public
            with revelations about his years with the company, including evidence
            that its chief executive, Thomas E . Sandefur Jr ., who died in 1966, had
            lied to Congress about what the company knew about tobacco's addictive
            properties .

            Mr . Bergman obtained an exclusive interview for Mr . Wallace with Mr .
            Wigand, and Mr . Bergman and Mr . Wallace were preparing a" 60 Minutes "
            segment around it when CBS lawyers said that the interview would have to
            be shelved . The lawyers said that because Mr . Wigand had signed an
            agreement with Brown & Williamson not to reveal company information,
            broadcasting the report would open CBS up to a claim of " tortious
            interference " that could lead to a multibillion-dollar judgment .

            At the time no news organization had successfully been sued over such a
            claim, and most First Amendment lawyers found it a baffling basis on
            which to kill a report . The decision came at a time when ABC had agreed
            to a $16 million settlement with Philip Morris over an investigative
            report and when CBS was in the middle of negotiations that led to its
            sale to Westinghouse, leading to widespread speculation that the legal
            decision reflected a desire to ward off any conceivable trouble while the
            sale was pending .

            The Plight Of an Individual

            Mr . Bergman, who has since left CBS, said that the film was not primarily
            about " 60 Minutes " or Mr . Wallace . This view was echoed by Mr . Mann and
            Marie Brenner, who wrote the article in Vanity Fair on which the movie
            was based . They said the film was essentially about Mr . Wigand and the
            plight of an individual trying to take on huge corporate interests .

            " Mike should understand that what's important here are the issues and
            not whether his image is exactly what he wants it to be, " said Mr .
            Bergman, who said he sold the story to Mr . Mann but did not write the
            screenplay or determine the nuances of how his character or Mr . Wallace's
            were portrayed . " I know Mike is frustrated . But Mike is going to have to
            argue with the public record, and I can't help him with that . "

            Mr . Bergman now teaches at the University of California at Berkeley and
            does freelance reporting, including some assignments on contract with The
            New York Times .

            Even before the film was completed, Mr . Wallace began mounting an
            aggressive public effort to dispel any notion that he ever acquiesced    to
            management's decision to kill the interview . In the finished film, as   in
            the early drafts, he is portrayed as reluctantly going along with the
            decision of CBS lawyers and then changing course and fighting to have    it
            shown . Don Hewitt, executive producer of " 60 Minutes, " is portrayed   as
            acquiescing throughout .

            'Movies Need Heroes and Villains'

            Mr . Hewitt said the network did the right thing in the end by eventually
            broadcasting its information, albeit after much of that information had
            already come out . And he said he saw no reason to lose sleep over the
            film .

             " Like I told Mike, 'It's a movie, O .K .?' " Mr . Hewitt said . " I went to
            see 'Gone with the Wind,' but did I really believe there was a guy named
            Rhett Butler who said, 'Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn'? No .
            Movies need heroes and villains, and real life doesn't usually have
            heroes and villains . Real life has a lot of shades of gray, and movies
            have black and white even when they're in color . "




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            But Mr . Wallace has been incensed about the film since he saw an early
            script, which began with a scene in which Mr . Bergman, played by Al
            Pacino, lines up an interview with the Lebanese Shiite Muslim leader
            Sheik Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah for Mr . Wallace, played by Christopher
            Plummer . In the scene, the blindfolded Mr . Bergman, having set up the
            interview at great peril, picks up his cell phone and assures Mr . Wallace
            that he can get him a hotel with a Jacuzzi and room service .

            Mr . Wallace whipped off a series of letters to Mr . Mann protesting the
            characterization and other issues in the script . Mr . Mann agreed to
            change some elements, including the Jacuzzi line, which he said Mr .
            Bergman also objected to .

            But Mr . Wallace, determined that the screenplay show him and Mr . Bergman
            to be, as he wrote in one letter, " two peas in a pod, shoulder to
            shoulder throughout the entire exercise, " remained unsatisfied . His
            letters ranged from thanking Mr . Mann for addressing his concerns to
            railing about the unfairness of being depicted as a" soulless and
            cowardly laggard who lost his moral compass until Lowell set me back on
            the straight path . "

            In a telephone interview, Mr . Wallace said : " If this is entertainment,
            why does he use my name and have words come out of my mouth that I never
            would have said? There was never any doubt in anyone's mind at CBS on
            where I stood on this . And to be portrayed as having lost my moral
            compass, caved in . To whom? For what? This is important to me, or I
            wouldn't go on like this . "

            Mr . Wallace is depicted in the movie as a volatile and complicated
            character, and the precise nature of his behavior could probably be
            viewed in different ways .

            To Mr . Hewitt and many associates inside and outside CBS, Mr . Wallace
            never acquiesced in the decision, and pushed to broadcast the report,
            which eventually got on the air . In the first segment, which ran on Nov .
            12, 1995, he concludes by speaking of the pride that people at " 60
            Minutes'' took in their work and how dismayed they were that " the
            management at CBS had seen fit to give in to perceived threats of legal
            action against us by a tobacco industry giant . "

             But Mr . Bergman and Ms . Brenner said Mr . Wallace could and should have
             used his enormous clout earlier to fight for the report . Mr . Bergman and
             Mr . Mann said that his comments in publications like The New York Times,
             The New York Post and Newsday defending CBS's decision once it became
             public indicate that on this one, Mr . Wallace's knees temporarily
             buckled, however much he wanted to think otherwise .

             In a television interview with Charlie Rose on Nov . 13, 1995, Mr . Wallace
             seemed to reflect the film's view that for a time he reluctantly went
             along with the decision and then changed course . It soon became apparent
             " we were simply dead wrong, that we were caving in, " he told Mr . Rose .
             " And I quickly backed off that, if you will . "

             Difficult Time For '60 Minutes'


             Ms . Brenner said the film accurately reflected not so much a lapse on Mr .
             Wallace's part but a profoundly disordered time at " 60 Minutes . "

             " It was like a Joseph Conrad novel, men under tremendous pressure,
             trying to deal with the larger chill put upon them by big tobacco, " she
             said .

             As Mr . Mann said of Mr . Wallace and, to a lesser extent, Mr . Hewitt :
             " Only in their imagination are they pilloried as villains . The film




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            shows them as passengers in a train wreck not of their making, and
            everyone reacts in a different way and often without elegance . But that's
            what happens in life .''

            Mr . Wallace's anger is particularly directed at Mr . Bergman and reflects
            one of the enduring tensions in broadcast news : on-air personalities get
            nearly all the credit for reporting that is often done largely by
            anonymous producers . In that sense both Mr . Hewitt and Mr . Wallace see
            the film as Mr . Bergman's revenge, a case of the underling's grabbing his
            share of glory . That perception is reinforced by the long association
            between Mr . Bergman and Mr . Mann, whose film gives Mr . Bergman an
            unqualifiedly heroic aura .

            Mr . Wallace said the movie deals that Mr . Bergman had secured in this
            case and in other instances undercut his credibility as a selfless
            journalistic hero .

            " Lowell always had an inclination to blow his part up a little more than
            it actually was, " Mr . Hewitt said .

            At 81 Mr . Wallace has a reputation as a major figure in broadcast
            journalism that will hardly depend on how he is dramatized by Mr . Mann .
            Still, the squabbling reflects two acknowledged truths about life in the
            media .

            The first is that the negative images tend to last the longest, whether
            they are disseminated in movie dramas or hard-hitting news-maga-ine
            programs . " Fame has a 15-minute half-life, " the Wallace character muses
            in the movie, adding, " Infamy lasts a little longer . "

            The second is that few people are more sensitive to how they are depicted
            than those who are usually on the other side of the camera .

             " We don't have thin skins, " said Mr . Bergman . " We have no skin . "



             (Reprinted with permission .)




             [151 Date : 13-Jul-99
            Source : Legal Intelligencer
            Title : IRS Helps Smokers Kick the Habit
            Location : Washington, DC
            Author : Mark L . Silow

            Smoke-Cessation Prgorams Are Now Deductible Medical Expenses

            I recently issued Revenue Ruling 99-28, the Internal Revenue Service has
            reversed its earlier position by holding that amounts paid by individuals
            for participation in smoking-cessation programs or for prescribed drugs
            designed to alleviate nicotine withdrawal constitute expenses for medical
            care that are deductible under the Internal Revenue Code .

            This awakening comes almost 40 years after the Surgeon General reported
            on the harmful health consequences of smoking and more than 10 years
            after the Surgeon General concluded that nicotine is an addictive
            drug .Under Code Section 213(a), a deduction is allowed for expenses
            incurred for medical care of an individual, the individual's spouse or a
            dependent, if uncompensated by insurance, to the extent the expenses
            exceed 7 .5 percent of the individual's adjusted gross income . Moreover,
            Code Section 105(b) excludes from gross income amounts paid to an
            employee to reimburse him or her for the cost of medical care for the
            employee or the employee's spouse or dependents .




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            For purposes of the exclusion under Code Section 105(b), the definition
            of "medical care" is the definition contained in Code Section 213 .Code
            Section 213(d)(1) defines medical care as the diagnosis, cure,
            mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease . A deduction is also
            allowed for any amounts paid for medicine or a drug, but only if the
            medicine or drug is a prescribed drug or insulin .

            The regulations promulgated under Code Section 213 caution that an
            expense that is merely beneficial to the general health of an individual
            is not deductible as an expense for medical care . Similarly, Code Section
            262 provides that, generally, no deduction is allowed for "personal"
            expenses, which have been held to include health club dues and the cost
            of fitness equipment not required to cure a specific injury or
            ailment .The IRS first addressed the issue of the deductibility of
            expenses associated with programs to stop smoking in Revenue Ruling
            79-162 . In that ruling, the IRS held that the cost of an individual's
            participation in a program to stop smoking is not deductible under Code
            Section 213 on the basis that a program to stop smoking is not intended
            to cure any specific ailment or disease, but is intended only for the
            purpose of improving the individual's general health and sense of well
            being .In reaching this conclusion, the IRS compared the benefits of a
            smoking-cessation program to the fees paid to a health club "where the
            taxpayer takes exercise, rubdowns, etc ." Based on this comparison, the
            IRS' decision held that the cost of a smoking-cessation program was
            personal, not medical, and therefore deductibility was precluded under
            Code Section 262 .Over the years, the IRS has been more enlightened with
            respect to other forms of addiction . In Revenue Ruling 72-226, the IRS
            ruled that amounts paid by a taxpayer to maintain a dependent in a
            therapeutic center for drug addicts, including the costs of the
            dependent's meals and lodging, were deductible medical expenses under
            Code Section 213 .

            Revenue Ruling 72-226 cited the case of C .O . Linder v . United States, 268
            U .S . 5 (1925), in which the Supreme Court held that persons addicted to
            narcotics "are diseased and proper subjects for medical treatment     . . .
            "Similarly, in Revenue Ruling 73-325, the IRS ruled that amounts paid fo-
            in-patient treatment at a therapeutic center for alcoholism, including
            expenses for meals and lodging, are deductible as medical expenses under
            Code Section 213 . This ruling recognized alcoholism as a disease and
            cited Revenue Ruling 63-273, in which the IRS ruled that the costs of
            transportation to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous were deductible
            expenses "primarily for and essential to medical care ."What appears to
            have persuaded the IRS to move from its original position concerning
            smoking, as expressed in Revenue Ruling 79-162, is the overwhelming body
            of scientific evidence that nicotine is an addictive drug .

            Revenue Ruling 99-28 specifically cites the report of the Surgeon
            General, The Health Consequences of Smoking : Nicotine Addiction (1988),
            which concluded that nicotine, a substance found in all forms of tobacco,
            is a powerfully addictive drug .Once persuaded of the addictiveness of
            nicotine and the adverse health consequences from smoking, the IRS was
            able to extend to smokers the same tax benefits afforded individuals
            suffering from other forms of addiction .Revenue Ruling 99-28 does,
            however, draw the line with respect to the deductibility of costs
            associated with the purchase of non-prescription smoking cures .

            The ruling denies the deductibility of the cost of nicotine gum and
            transdermal patches which are available without a prescription .A cynic
            might argue that because medical expenses are deductible only to the
            extent they exceed 7 .5 percent of adjusted gross income and the cost of
            smoke cessation programs are unlikely to exceed such amount for most
            individuals, no tax benefit will be derived from Revenue Ruling 99-28,
            and only those catastrophic medical expenses which are the consequence of




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            smoking will result in meaningful deductions . However, the recognition of
            smoke-ending programs and treatments as elements of medical care will
            make such expenses eligible for reimbursement under most medical-expense
            reimbursement plans, and this could assist in the current national
            campaign to curtail smoking .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



            [16] ---------------------------------- -----------------
            Date : 11-Jul-99
            Source : Associated Press - AP
            Title : Tobacco Trial Moves to Second Phase
            Location : Miami, Florida

            Mary Farnan began smoking at age 11 .

            Diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago, the 43-year-old registered
            nurse still could not break the habit .

            She tried to quit using hypnosis, nicotine gum, and patches but smoked
            through her first course of radiation and chemotherapy .

            And the cancer spread .

            Now Farnan's story is at the center of a legal battle to force cigarette
            companies to pay potentially billions of dollars in damages to an
            estimated 500,000 sick Florida smokers and their heirs .

            Lawyers who won a landmark liability decision against the tobacco
            industry last week plan to use Farnan's story to show tobacco's human
            toll to the Florida jury hearing the case as the trial enters its second
            stage -- the award of damages .

            The first phase of the Florida smokers' class-action lawsuit dealt
            primarily with the deeds of faceless corporations . The second phase will
            be much more human, dealing with the lives of the Farnan and eight other
            sick smokers who represent the class of half a million .

            Circuit Judge Robert Kaye may set the start date for the second phase
            this afternoon . The judge has issued a gag order preventing parties to
            the case from discussing it with reporters .

            Plaintiffs attorneys Susan and Stanley Rosenblatt have said they plan to
            open with Farnan's story .

            " Mary Farnan has lung cancer, her lung cancer has metastasized to her
            brain, " Susan Rosenblatt said in court last week . ' She's had brain
            surgery . She unfortunately has a limited life expectancy . "

            Jurors will also hear about Frank Amodeo . The 60-year-old Orlando man
            hasn't eaten since the 1980s . Throat cancer robbed him of the ability to
            swallow ; he now takes nourishment directly into his stomach .

            Howard Engle, the Miami Beach pediatrician for whom the case is named,
            suffers from emphysema and has trouble breathing . The lawsuit says he
            started smoking while in medical school to mask the smell of cadavers .

            Raymond Lacey has Buerger's disease, a circulatory disorder which almost
            exclusively strikes young men who smoke .

            " Mr . Lacey's addiction to nicotine resulted in the loss of part of one
            leg ; he was told to stop smoking or he could lose the entire leg . Mr .




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            Lacey devoutly wished to end the addiction which was causing the loss of
            his limb but he was unable to do so, " the lawsuit states .

            Lacey came to court in a wheelchair ; both of his legs have been amputated .

            Despite repeated attempts, Robert Angell of Miami-Dade County couldn't
            stop smoking even after being diagnosed with throat cancer .

            ''Due to his addiction, Mr . Angell had a cigarette on the way to the
            operating room, 'the lawsuit says .

            His was one of the electronic voice boxes jurors heard in the courtroom .

            Loren Lowery of Hillsborough County, who started smoking at 15, lost most
            of his lower jaw and part of his tongue to cancer . Michael Matyi of
            Pinellas County began smoking at age 11, developed a tumor and had a
            vocal cord removed .

            And Frosene Steevens of Miami-Dade County developed congestive heart
            failure, resulting in a quadruple bypass 10 years ago . Afterward she
            still couldn't stop smoking, according to the lawsuit .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



            [17]                   -------------------------------------------------------
            Date :       10-Jul-99
            Source :     Salt Lake City Tribune
            Title :      Tobacco Tax Hypocrisy
            Location :   Salt Lake City, Utah

            The hypocrisy of the state and federal governments in pressing and then
            settling lawsuits against big tobacco companies easily is demonstrated in
            a study by Utah and Massachusetts researchers : They found that even
            though smoking by Americans less than 18 years of age is prohibited by
            all-the states, 3 .76 million minors smoked $1 .86 billion worth of
            cigarettes in 1997 .

            Where there's smoke, there's fire .

            The smoking by minors produced $293 million in state tax revenues in 1997
            and $222 million in federal tax revenues in 1997 .

            Quite simply, the states and the federal government have money riding on
            decisions about enforcing existing smoking laws .

            Listen carefully and you can hear state legislators and U .S .
            congresspersons screaming their responses now : "You can't legislate
            morality ."

            That's true . But you can enforce laws prohibiting teen smoking . It takes
            will and it takes dollars . Perhaps some of those cigarette tax dollars
            would allow Utah legislators to beef up enforcement . And if those tax
            dollars are not enough, they could spend some of the multimillion dollar
            settlement Utah will get from the lawsuit against big tobacco companies .

            If legislators are unsure what to do about this problem, here is a
            primer : Provide the dollars so that local law enforcement can afford to
            target and close down convenience store and grocery store sales of
            tobacco to teens .

            Provide dollars for programs in elementary schools to educate children
            about the health dangers and addictive nature of smoking tobacco .




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            Take a good, hard look at the way legislators have spent tobacco taxes in
            a state that purports to value and nurture its many children .

            Utah legislators should have fair warning : This report on the failure to
            enforce laws banning the use of tobacco products by minors is not amusing
            -- nor is their use of tobacco taxes as part of the general revenue funds
            in the past . It will be even less amusing in the future .



             (Reprinted with permission .)


            [18] ------------------               ---   ---   ------------
            Date : 12-Jul-99
            Source : ??? Abstract
            Title ; L .A . Times Argues Settlement Fund Priority Should Be Healthcare
            Location : Los Angeles, California

            Likening Orange County's tobacco settlement windfall to winning the
            lottery, the Los Angeles Times argues that "the first priority of the
             (funds] should be health care ." The paper notes that other proposals for
            use of the money, perhaps $30 million per year for 25 years, include
            paying off the county's debt incurred during the struggle to emerge from
            the December 1994 bankruptcy . This proposal is propounded by county
            Chief Executive Officer Jan Mittermeier and Chief financial Officer Gary
            Burton who also believe the money can back a bond issue that would build
            a jail and other facilities .

            Though their plan has received support, the paper calls it "flawed ." As
            a wealthy county, residents may lose sight of the fact that healthcare is
            a problem for those less fortunate . The United Way reported that about
            150,000 children under 18 live in poverty, many without insurance .
            Furthermore, many fall into the category of the "working poor" who make
            too much money to qualify for the county's version of Medicaid, but not
            enough to pay their own insurance . The county Healthcare Agency was
            particularly had hit by the 1994 bankruptcy, and it is hard pressed to
            support the doctors and private hospitals that treat the poor .
            Bolstering its funding is the most appropriate use of tobacco settlement
            funds, argues the Times, because "the States, including California, sued
            the tobacco companies to get recompense for the costs incurred treating
            those with smoking-caused illnesses . . . .[F]airness dictates that
            health issues be at the top of the list" [Los Angeles Times 7/11j .



             (Reprinted with permission .)



             [19] ---------------------------------------------------------------------
            Date : 09-Jul-99
            Source : ??? Connect'.cut Post
            Title : Tobacco Ruling Relights Debate
            Location : Bridgeport, Connecticut

            Should smokers be held responsible for their risky habit?

            That was the topic of debate for many people interviewed across the
            region following a jury ruling that holds the nation's five largest
            tobacco companies liable for making a defective product .

            "Smokers shouldn't be smoking," said Tiffany Williams of Bridgeport .
            "Nobody makes them smoke and they should know there is a warning label on
            the back ."




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            That's what a non-smoker thinks . But some people have a different opinion .

            "They are no better than the drug dealers on the corner," Ed Rabbitt from
            Fairfield, a sales manager for a local fuel company, said of the big
            tobacco firms . "They sell some, get you hooked and do anything to get you
            to stay hooked . I really wish I could quit . I have bronchial asthma, and
            it is bXought on by cigarette smoking, but it is the addiction that keeps
            it up . If I don't smoke, I get a short temper . The nicotine gets me
            normal ."

            The debate, taking place across the nation as well as in our region, is
            over a ruling Wednesday in the first class-action lawsuit by smokers ever
            to go to trial .

            The jury found that the industry "engaged in extreme and outrageous
            conduct . . . with the intent to inflict severe emotional distress," which
            could support an award of punitive damages in the trial's next phase . The
            plaintiffs are seeking at least $200 billion .

            The lawsuit was filed in 1994 on behalf of as many as 500,000 sick
            Florida smokers and the heirs of those who died . Once the jury decides
            what, if any, damages should be awarded to the lawsuit's nine
            representative class members, then the half-million other members will be
            free to seek recovery .

            The industry will be allowed to raise defenses   in the    next phase of the
            case that it wasn't able to raise in the first   phase,    such as whether the
            individual smokers assumed the risk of smoking   knowing    it was unhealthy,
            said David Adelman, tobacco analyst for Morgan   Stanley    Dean Witter .

            Many people interviewed on Thursday say the risks are evident .

            "They [the tobacco industry] shouldn't be held responsible because the
            warnings are right on the pack that if you smoke those things will happen
            to you," said Midge Marrone, a waitress from Naugatuck and a smoker for
            25 years .

            "If you are of age and you end up getting something from choosing to
            smoke, it is your own fault . If you are of age you know what you are
            getting into . Children, on the other hand, don't," said Mike Gansak, a
            student at Johns Hopkins University from Fairfield . He also said, "I'm
            planning on quitting . It is my own fault for starting to smoke ."

            "If you want to give up smoking, you can give it up and if your health is
            on the line I think you probably would," said Roger Conroy, a painter
            from Norwalk, who smokes .

            But others still say big tobacco is to blame for making people sick and
            enticing them to smoke .

            "I first started smoking when I was 19 in 1979, and I was not aware it
            had addictive qualities," Rabbitt said . "Both my parents smoked and they
            were unaware of the addictive qualities as well 3/4 and the tobacco
            companies were aware [that cigarettes are addictive] .

             "The tobacco companies played upon the romantic qualities - how it made
             kids feel older, how to be one of the crowd - be a cowboy, a rough rider
             like the Marlboro man," Rabbitt said .

             "The verdict will almost certainly be regarded as a landmark in finally
             holding the tobacco industry accountable for the damage it does in
             addicting children and in causing tobacco-related disease," said Bill
             Novelli, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids .




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            But other verdicts against the industry have been reversed, and some
            analysts predict the cigarette companies may be able to dismantle the
            class action - have it "decertified" on appeal - in order to fight
            individual claims .

            "If the industry does not get the case decertified, then this would be a
            stepping stone to a very large number of awards against the industry,"
            said Martin Feldman of Salomon Smith Barney .

            A class action typically is created to avoid wasting time litigating
            similar claims by numerous plaintiffs . Cigarette makers have argued the
            technique isn't appropriate in smoker cases because there are too many
            issues unique to each plaintiff .

            Adelman said he expects the class will be decertified and that the case
            "is going to die ."

            Juries have awarded damages in smoking liability cases only five times -
            three were overturned on appeal and the two others are being appealed .

            The defendants were the nation's five biggest cigarette makers and two
            industry groups : Philip Morris, R .J . Reynolds Tobacco Co ., Brown &
            Williamson Tobacco Corp ., Lorillard Tobacco Co ., Liggett Group Inc ., the
            Council for Tobacco Research and the Tobacco Institute .

             (Reprinted with permission .)




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