CAR_Public/000322.MBX                  C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

                 Wednesday, March 22, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 57

                              Headlines

ADAM'S MARK: Settles Race Discrimination Suits by DOJ, FL and Guests
AMFM INC: Intends to Defend Lawsuit over Capstar Merger Filed in DE
AVIATION SALES: Reviews Accounts, Faces Securities Suit & Stock Tumble
CAPSTEAD MORTGAGE: Faces 24 Securities Lawsuits in Texas
CARNIVAL CORP: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in Florida

CINAR CORP: Sues to Recover Investment Improperly Made by Executives
CSK AUTO: Lawsuits in CA by Store Managers Re OT Pay Coordinated
CUMULUS MEDIA: Milberg Weiss Announces Securities Suit in Wisconsin
CUMULUS MEDIA: Pomerantz Haudek Files Securities Suit in Wisconsin
CUMULUS MEDIA: Savett Frutkin Files Securities Suit in Wisconsin

DIGITAL LIGHTWAVE: Settlement for Secrurities Suit Finalized
ECONNECT INC: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in California
ECONNECT INC: Finkelstein & Krinsk Files Securities Lawsuit
ECONNECT INC: Seeger Weiss Files Securities Suit in California
ECONNECT INC: Shalov Stone Files Securities Lawsuit in California

FREEMARKETS INC: 10 PA Suits Allege Hiding Termination of GM Contract
HASTINGS ENTERTAINMENT: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Investors Suit in TX
LOEWEN GROUP: LA Cir Courts Reject Claim to Class Re Insurance Policies
LOEWEN GROUP: Securities Suits Stayed in PA Pending Chapter 11 Case
MICROSTRATEGY INC: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Lawsuit

MICROSTRATEGY INC: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in Virginia
MICROSTRATEGY INC: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in VA
MICROSTRATEGY INC: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
MICROSTRATEGY: Cauley & Geller Files Securities Suit in Virginia
NABI: Denies Claims of Liability over HIV-Contaminated Products

PEAPOD INC: Faruqi & Faruqi Files Securities Lawsuit in Illinois
RSA SECURITY: Contests Securities Suit Filed in MA Re '97-98
SAFETY-KLEEN CORP: Shapiro Haber Files Securities Suit in SC
SECRET SERVICE: Responds to Black Agents' Allegations of Discrimination
SOTHEBY'S INC: Weitman Takes New Role as Chairman

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Ex-Smoker Awarded $1.7M; Ruling on FL Case Upcoming
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Industry Looks Warily at Upcoming FL Jury Decision
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Possible Loss of Funds from FL Case Concerns CA
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Senators Pledge Swift Bill For FDA Jurisdiction
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Supreme Court Rules That FDA Lacks Jurisdiction

VANTAGEMED CORP: Dreier, Baritz Files Securites Lawsuit

                              *********

ADAM'S MARK: Settles Race Discrimination Suits by DOJ, FL and Guests
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Adam's Mark luxury hotel chain has agreed to pay $8 million, revise
its policies and seek minority customers in settlements of race
discrimination lawsuits by the Justice Department, the state of Florida
and a group of black guests. The settlement includes $1.5 million for
Florida to distribute to the four historically black colleges in the
state Florida A&M University, Bethune-Cookman College, Edward Waters
College and Florida Memorial College for scholarships and internships in
hotel management.

Attorney General Janet Reno told a news conference that the agreements
also will ''ensure that every guest is treated equally and fairly.''
Joining her, Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth said, ''Adam's
Mark chose to do the right thing.''

Last December, the Justice Department charged that the chain, which owns
21 large, full-service hotels in 13 states, charged black customers
higher prices than whites and segregated them in less desirable rooms as
part of a corporate pattern of discrimination. Florida alleged the chain
violated state consumer protection laws.

Earlier last year, five black vacationers brought a class action suit
against the chain over the treatment of guest's at last April's Black
College Reunion weekend. They alleged the Adam's Mark in Daytona Beach,
Fla., singled them out as security risks and made them, but not white
guests, wear bright orange wristbands to get into the hotel.

Under the agreement to settle the lawsuits, the chain will provide $4.4
million for black guests and visitors to the hotel during that weekend.
Their attorney estimated that there were 1,200 guests and an
undetermined numbers of their visitors. The five original plaintiffs
will each get $25,000. In addition, the chain agreed to pay $112,000 to
the four black Florida colleges to coordinate and promote the annual
Black College Reunion over the next three years. The remainder of the
settlement will pay attorney fees and the costs of administering the
payments to members of the class.

Although the hotel chain did not admit wrongdoing, its president, Fred
Kummer, said in St. Louis, ''We are willing to take these extra steps to
demonstrate ... that we are absolutely committed to diversity and
equality.'' ''While Adam's Mark ... has never intentionally done
anything wrong, we apologize for any actions that may have made any of
our guests feel uncomfortable or unwelcome.''

Adam's Mark also agreed to hire an outside monitor, Project Equality of
Kansas City, Mo., to investigate any complaints by guests, to design
nondiscrimination training for all hotel employees, to test the hotels'
compliance annually and to design a marketing plan to attract black
guests to the chain. (AP Online, March 21, 2000)


AMFM INC: Intends to Defend Lawsuit over Capstar Merger Filed in DE
-------------------------------------------------------------------
On November 19, 1999, Capstar Broadcasting merged into Chancellor
Mezzanine Holdings Corporation and the surviving corporation was renamed
AMFM Holdings Inc.

AMFM's filing with the SEC says that in September 1998, a stockholder
class action complaint was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery by a
stockholder purporting to act individually and on behalf of all other
persons, other than defendants, who own securities of AMFM and are
similarly situated. The defendants named in the case are AMFM, Hicks
Muse, Thomas O. Hicks, Jeffrey A. Marcus, James E. de Castro, Eric C.
Neuman, Lawrence D. Stuart, Jr., Steven Dinetz, Thomas J. Hodson, Perry
Lewis, John H. Massey and Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. The plaintiff alleges
breach of fiduciary duties, gross mismanagement, gross negligence or
recklessness, and other matters relating to the defendants' actions in
connection with the Capstar merger. The plaintiff sought to certify the
complaint as a class action, enjoin consummation of the Capstar merger,
order defendants to account to plaintiff and other alleged class members
for damages, and award attorneys' fees and other costs. AMFM believes
that the lawsuit is without merit and intends to vigorously defend the
action.


AVIATION SALES: Reviews Accounts, Faces Securities Suit & Stock Tumble
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Aviation Sales, whose shares have tumbled during the past six months,
warned investors on March 20 that it would take a $ 72 million
fourth-quarter 1999 charge while it reviews its accounting practices and
tries to sell off assets.
After the news, the Miami aviation services company's stock fell $ 1.63,
or 19 percent, to close at $ 6.88.

Because of the charges, Aviation Sales said it is in default on its
loan, and is negotiating with its lenders. Meanwhile, the company said
it will try to reduce its debt by selling assets, including its four
A-300 aircraft, and possibly its manufacturing operations.

Aviation Sales also said it faces a class-action lawsuit that alleges
the company's reported financial results were misleading and that the
company violated generally accepted accounting principles. Aviation
Sales said it intends to "vigorously defend" the suit. Securities
litigation against the Company has been reported in the CAR.

Aviation Sales also said on March 20 it reached an agreement with 14
percent shareholder Lacy J. Harber of Dennison, Tex., to limit the
shares he and his company can acquire in the next five years to 25
percent of Aviation Sales' shares. Harber agreed not to take any actions
without the approval of the majority of the board. In exchange, Aviation
Sales, which implemented a shareholder rights plan in November to
prevent a potential buyer from purchasing the company at a price its
board considers too low, agreed to not allow Harber's ownership to
trigger that plan. Roy Rimmer, Harber's proxy on the board, said a few
weeks ago that Harber's intention was simply to be a long-term investor.

Industry sources have said for months that Aviation Sales is a takeover
target, and said the company, which had planned to move to Miramar, may
now seek a quick sale.

In March 20's announcement, Aviation Sales said it would reduce its
inventory mostly from its parts-distribution operations -- by $ 26.1
million or 8 percent, write down the value of the four A-300 aircraft by
$ 9.8 million; and write down $ 8.6 million in capitalized costs on a
new software system that was never implemented. It is also adding $ 6.7
million to reserves for doubtful accounts receivable.

Aviation Sales said its outside auditors have found nine 1999 sales
transactions totaling $ 30 million, and one 1998 transaction for $ 12
million, that should have not been reflected as sales under generally
accepted accounting principles. The company is deciding whether it will
have to restate prior financial statements as a result.

The announcement -- which essentially wipes out more than two years'
earnings, was the third time in six months that Aviation Sales has said
its profits would fall far short of expectations.

In January, the company lowered its fourth quarter earnings estimate to
5-15 cents per share, compared with analysts' estimates of 52 cents a
share. The company said then that its earnings were hurt by
higher-than-anticipated costs associated with Y2K fixes, a one-time
charge of nearly $ 3 million for a change in health care plans,
unexpected delays in receipt of aircraft from customers and overall
lower gross margins in its parts sales operation. Aviation Sales also
lowered its third-quarter profit projections in September, citing order
cancellations, delayed delivery dates and higher expenses.

Aviation Sales, which provides aviation maintenance and inventory
services, component repair and overhaul and leasing, reported $ 24.8
million in earnings on $ 526.5 million in revenue in the first three
quarters of 1999. The company earned $ 25.5 million on $ 500.8 million
in revenue in 1998. (The Miami Herald, March 21, 2000)


CAPSTEAD MORTGAGE: Faces 24 Securities Lawsuits in Texas
--------------------------------------------------------
Between July 23, 1998 and November 11, 1998, twenty-four purported class
action lawsuits were filed against Capstead Mortgage Corp. and certain
of its senior officers which allege, among other things, that the
defendants violated federal securities laws by publicly issuing false
and misleading statements and omitting disclosure of material adverse
information regarding the Company's business during various periods
between January 28, 1997 and July 24, 1998. The complaints claim that as
a result of such alleged improper actions, the market price of the
Company's equity securities were artificially inflated during that time
period. The complaints seek monetary damages in an undetermined amount.
In March 1999 these actions were consolidated. The time by which the
Company is to respond has not yet run. The Company believes it has
meritorious defenses to the claims and intends to vigorously defend the
actions.

All of the lawsuits are pending in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Texas. In 23 of the lawsuits, the individual
defendants were Ronn K. Lytle, Christopher T. Gilson, Julie A. Moore,
Andrew F. Jacobs and William H. Rudluff. In one of the lawsuits, the
individual defendants included only Messrs. Lytle and Jacobs and Ms.
Moore.


CARNIVAL CORP: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in Florida
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP gives notice that a class
action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Florida on behalf of all purchasers of the common
stock of Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) from February 25, 1999 through
February 16, 2000 inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Carnival Corp. and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning the
Company's business, financial condition, earnings and prospects. In
particular, the complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose the
severe operational problems plaguing the Carnival Cruise Fleet.

As a result of these misstatements, the price of Carnival common stock
was artificially inflated during the Class Period.

Contact: Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, Bala Cynwyd Marc A. Topaz, Esq.
Robert B. Weiser, Esq. 888/299-7706 (toll free) or 610/667-7706 e-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


CINAR CORP: Sues to Recover Investment Improperly Made by Executives
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Cinar Corp. is suing a Bahamas investment firm to get back $76 million
(U.S.) that it alleges was improperly invested by company executives.

''These proceedings were commenced after a thorough and lengthy
investigation, and in consultation with the company's external counsel,"
Barrie Usher, newly appointed president and CEO of Cinar, said in a
statement issued on March 20.  ''We wish to reaffirm to our
shareholders, employees and other stakeholders that we will vigorously
pursue the allegations made in the claim and that we are determined to
see that full recovery is made."

Norshield International Ltd., Globe-X Management Ltd., Globe-X Canadiana
Ltd. and Robert Daviault, an officer of the two latter companies, are
named in the Cinar lawsuit, which was filed yesterday in the common law
side of the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

The company's release outlined a bizarre series of events that
apparently began last month when Cinar auditors told the company's board
of directors that about $122 million had been transferred to the
Nassau-based investment manager, Norshield International.

Norshield International is a unit of Montreal-based Norshield Financial
Group, which specializes in merchant banking and asset management.

The board, which was told the funds were in investment grade securities,
ordered the money to be returned, only to find out the funds were not
held in the name of the company, but under Globe-X Management, Cinar
said in its statement. Globe-X Management used $86 million to buy
commercial paper - short-term debt securities - of its affiliate,
Globe-X Canadiana. The documents were apparently signed by senior
corporate officers, Cinar spokesperson Suzan Ayscough said.

The company has recovered $46 million of the missing funds, leaving $76
million in Globe-X commercial paper, which matures in stages from May to
November.

Cinar has been negotiating for the return of the money and to find out
the value of the remaining investment, ''but management of Globe-X
Management and Globe-X Canadiana have consistently refused to provide
any substantive information with respect to the nature or the value of
the assets and liabilities of Globe-X Canadiana," it said.

Federal funding agencies Telefilm Canada and Canadian Television Fund
have halted their funding to the company, Cinar also confirmed
yesterday.

The Montreal-based film company has seen its finances - and possibly its
future - thrown into turmoil in light of millions of dollars in missing
investments and allegations of tax fraud. It said it plans to use
''existing cash resources" to continue operations. ''The company
believes it has, on a consolidated basis, sufficient cash and liquid
assets on hand to meet all of its existing production commitments,"
Cinar said in its statement.

It's difficult to say how much longer Cinar, producer of popular
children's shows and once considered a Canadian success story, will be
able to stay afloat, industry watchers say. ''We're at a stage where
we're moving towards either a miraculous resolution, the sale of the
company or, ultimately, liquidation," said an industry watcher who asked
to remain anonymous. ''It's looking increasingly like (the) Cinar
Entertainment (division) as a going concern may cease to exist, sooner
than later, if the situation doesn't improve. That inevitably will take
the rest of the company with it."

March 20's announcement came amid new revelations that Telefilm Canada,
a Montreal-based federal funding agency for movies, was warned as early
as 1993 that Cinar was passing off scripts written by Americans as
having been written by Canadians to qualify for government tax credits.
RCMP and Quebec police are investigating the allegations, which surfaced
last fall. No charges have been laid.

At least for the time being, the future seems secure for Cinar's hit
children's series Arthur, which is produced in conjunction with PBS
station WGBH in Boston. The animated show, which chronicles the
escapades of Arthur the aardvark and his cartoon friends, is estimated
to be the top-rated television show among two- to 11-year-olds in the
United States, capturing nearly 17 million viewers a week. Cinar is
continuing work on Arthur, including 10 new episodes for the fall
season, its fifth on PBS, and a prime-time Christmas special, said WGBH
publicist Elizabeth Cote. ''Those productions are still going on, per
usual. As far as we know, everything's on track."

With trading in its shares halted, the company faces investigation by
securities regulators, as well as mounting class-action lawsuits by
disgruntled shareholders. The industry is anxiously awaiting any word on
the finances of the company, which plans to restate its earnings going
back to 1997. Ronald Weinberg and Micheline Charest, the husband and
wife team who founded Cinar, have left their executive positions pending
investigations but remain on the board of directors. (The Toronto Star,
March 21, 2000)


CSK AUTO: Lawsuits in CA by Store Managers Re OT Pay Coordinated
----------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit that was filed against CSK Auto Corp. in the Superior Court in
San Diego, California on May 4, 1998. The case is brought by two former
store managers and a former assistant manager. It purports to be a class
action for all present and former California store managers and senior
assistant managers and seeks overtime pay for a period beginning in May
1995 as well as injunctive relief requiring overtime pay in the future.
This case is in the early stages of discovery.

The Company was recently served with two other lawsuits purporting to be
class actions filed in California state courts in Orange and Fresno
Counties by thirteen other former and current employees. These lawsuits
include similar claims to the San Diego lawsuit, except that they also
include claims for unfair business practices which seek overtime from
October 1994. The Orange County lawsuit initially included a claim for
punitive damages based on an unlawful conversion theory.

On March 9, 1999, the Orange County court dismissed the conversion
theory and claim for punitive damages but gave the plaintiff 30 days to
refile an amended claim. These plaintiffs have since filed an amended
complaint which also includes a claim for conversion and asks for
punitive damages. The Company has again requested the court to eliminate
these items from the case. The three cases have recently been
"coordinated" before one judge in San Diego County who will be selected
shortly.


CUMULUS MEDIA: Milberg Weiss Announces Securities Suit in Wisconsin
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach announces that a class action
lawsuit was filed on March 20, 2000, in the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, on behalf of all persons who
purchased the stock of Cumulus Media Inc. (NASDAQ:CMLS) between May 11,
1999, and March 16, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Cumulus Media and certain of its officers and
directors with violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The
complaint alleges that defendants issued materially false and misleading
statements concerning the Company's financial statements, revenues and
earnings. In particular, the complaint alleges that Cumulus reported
"continued growth" throughout the Class Period with favorable but false
revenues, earnings and Broadcast Cash Flow ("BCF"). These announcements,
as alleged in the complaint, caused Cumulus Media's stock price to
increase dramatically to as high as $55 7/16 per share. These false
financial results, as alleged in the complaint, were also included in
the offering documents of two secondary offerings which Cumulus Media
used to raise $370 million. Then, on March 16, 2000, Cumulus Media
admitted that its first, second and third quarter 1999 results had been
false with BCF overstated by$1.2 million and that Cumulus Media had
incurred a huge loss in the fourth quarter of 1999 and a large decrease
in BCF from the third quarter of 1999.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, New York Shareholder
Relations Dept., 800/320-5081 E-Mail: endfraud@mwbhlny.com


CUMULUS MEDIA: Pomerantz Haudek Files Securities Suit in Wisconsin
------------------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP (http://www.pomerantzlaw.com
) has filed a class action suit against Cumulus Media, Inc. (Nasdaq:
CMLS) and five of the Company's senior executives. The case was filed in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
on behalf of all those who purchased the common stock of Cumulus during
the period between May 11, 1999 and March 14, 2000, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The Complaint charges that Cumulus and its executives violated Sections
10(b) and 20 (a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing a
series of materially false and misleading statements during the Class
Period concerning the Company's revenues, earnings and financial results
for the first three quarters of fiscal year 1999 in violation of
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"). As a result of these
false and misleading statements, the market price of the Company's
common stock was artificially inflated during the Class Period.

On March 15, 2000, the Company stunned the market when it announced that
its auditors had refused to sign-off on the Company's fourth quarter
earnings, and announced that the Company's Chief Financial Officer had
resigned in February After the market had closed on March 16, 2000, the
Company further disclosed that its financial statements were overstated,
and that it would restate its financials for the first three quarters of
fiscal 1999. On March 17, 2000, the price of Cumulus stock fell 35% from
the closing average on March 15, 2000, on trading volume of over 13.49
million shares.

Contact: Andrew G. Tolan, Esq. of the Pomerantz firm at 888-476-6529 (or
888-4-POMLAW), toll free, or at agtolan@pomlaw.com by e-mail. Those who
inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include their mailing address and
telephone number.


CUMULUS MEDIA: Savett Frutkin Files Securities Suit in Wisconsin
----------------------------------------------------------------
Savett Frutkin Podell & Ryan, P.C. gives notice that a class action
complaint has been filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Wisconsin on behalf of a Class of persons who
purchased the common stock of Cumulus Media Inc. (NASDAQ:CMLS) in a
secondary offering at $24.125 per share pursuant to a Registration
Statement and Prospectus dated July 21, 1999.

The complaint charges Cumulus and certain of its officers and/or
directors with violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of
1933. The complaint alleges that the Prospectus contained materially
false and misleading financial results for the quarter ending March 31,
1999, which results had to be restated as a result of defendants'
misallocation of revenues and expenses. Following the announcement of
the restatement on March 16, 2000, the price of Cumulus common stock
fell as low as $10-1/4 on March 17, 2000.

Contact: Savett Frutkin Podell & Ryan, P.C. Robert P. Frutkin, Esquire
Barbara A. Podell, Esquire 215/923-5400 or 800/993-3233 E-mail:
sfprpc@op.net


DIGITAL LIGHTWAVE: Settlement for Secrurities Suit Finalized
------------------------------------------------------------
Digital Lightwave(R), Inc. (Nasdaq:DIGL) announced on March 20 that the
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has dismissed
all parts of the pending appeal of the securities class action
settlement which pertain to the company. As a result, the district
court's April 30, 1999 judgment approving the settlement of the class
action is final. Distribution of the settlement fund, which consists of
1.8 million shares of Digital Lightwave common stock and $4.25 million
cash, is expected to commence following the district court's approval of
a distribution plan submitted by the court-appointed claims
administrator.

The Company says that the remaining portion of the appeal pertain to the
award of attorneys' fees and costs to counsel for the class plaintiffs.

Class members should access information regarding the distribution of
the settlement fund at http://www.bermanesq.com


ECONNECT INC: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in California
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP gives notice that a class
action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California on behalf of all purchasers of the common
stock of eConnect, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ECNC ) from November 23,
1999 through March 13, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period"), including
those individuals who acquired their eConnect securities in exchange for
shares, ADRs or options in other companies which were acquired by the
Compa

The complaint charges eConnect and certain of its officers and directors
with issuing false and misleading statements and/or omissions concerning
the financial condition and business prospects of the Company.

Conatct: Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, Bala Cynwyd Marc A. Topaz, Esq.
Robert B. Weiser, Esq. 888/299-7706 (toll free) or 610/667-7706 e-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


ECONNECT INC: Finkelstein & Krinsk Files Securities Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------
eConnect, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ECNC) is accused in a class action
lawsuit filed by Finkelstein & Krinsk of violating the federal
securities laws by misrepresenting the Company's true business and
financial condition in order to artificially inflate the price of the
Company's stock.

According to the Complaint, the Company and its controlling insiders
issued a series of false and misleading statements to the market
regarding, amongst other things, a purported Palm Pilot licensing
arrangement, a strategic alliance with the brokerage firm Empire
Financial Group to distribute certain of eConnect's products, and the
amount of revenues generated by eConnect's websites. The Class Action
alleges that defendants' statements were false or omitted to state
material adverse facts and caused ECNC stock to trade at artificially
inflated levels during the Class Period of November 19, 1999 through
March 13, 2000.

For any inquiries or to discuss this lawsuit and alternatives, contact:
Jeffrey R. Krinsk at Finkelstein & Krinsk, the Koll Center, 501 West
Broadway, Suite 1250, San Diego, CA 92101, by calling toll free
877-493-5366, E-Mail - fk@ class-action-law.com or fax 619-238-5425.


ECONNECT INC: Seeger Weiss Files Securities Suit in California
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 78u-4(a)(3)(A)(i), Seeger Weiss LLP gives notice
that on March 17, 2000, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United
States District Court for the Central District of California on behalf
of all persons who purchased the publicly traded securities of eConnect,
Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ECNC), from November 19, 1999, through March
13, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period"), and who were damaged thereby.

eConnect purportedly develops proprietary hardware, software, and
transaction processing services, and owns and operates Internet sites in
connection with several e-commerce initiatives, such as powerclick.com.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants made
false and misleading statements and/or omissions concerning the
financial condition and business prospects of the Company, as well as
the financial benefits that would inure to eConnect and its
shareholders, while disregarding information that would have been of
material importance to any reasonable investor. As alleged in the
complaint, since disclosure of the true facts would have caused a severe
decline in the price of eConnect's stock, defendants set out to conceal
the truth and artificially inflate eConnect's stock price.

The complaint alleges that, as a result of defendants' false and
misleading statements, the Company's common stock traded as high
as$21.87 on up from a January 2000 price of 45 cents per share. On March
13, 2000, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission suspended
trading in eConnect's common stock based upon questions concerning the
accuracy of eConnect's publicly released information. Specifically, the
SEC suspended trading in the Company's stock because of questions
concerning (i) eConnect's purported licensing agreement with Palm
Computing, Inc., (ii) eConnect's relationship with Empire Financial
Group, and (iii) the amount of revenue purportedly generated by one of
the Company's web sites. As alleged in the complaint, eConnect is
subject to a consent decree between the Company and the SEC due to its
failure to file required SEC documents in 1997 and 1998, and has
violated the consent decree by failing to timely file certain SEC
required documents.

Contact: Seeger Weiss LLP, New York David R. Buchanan, Esq.,
dbuchanan@seegerweiss.com or Seth A. Katz, Esq., skatz@seegerweiss.com
One William Street, New York, New York 10004 Tel.: 212/584-0700


ECONNECT INC: Shalov Stone Files Securities Lawsuit in California
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Shalov Stone & Bonner gives notice that a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock
of eConnect, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: ECNC) from November 23, 1999
through March 13, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period"), including those
individuals who acquired their eConnect securities in exchange for
shares, ADRs or options in other companies which were acquired by the
Company.

Contact: Lee S. Shalov of Shalov Stone & Bonner, 212-686-8004, ext. 13,
LShalov@AOL.com


FREEMARKETS INC: 10 PA Suits Allege Hiding Termination of GM Contract
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Freemarkets Inc. reveals in its file with the SEC that ten securities
fraud class action complaints have been filed against the Company and
three executive officers in the federal court in Pittsburgh. The
complaints allege that Freemarkets and the other defendants violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 because
the Company and they allegedly knew that General Motors would terminate
its contract by the first quarter of 2000 and allegedly concealed this
information.

By order dated February 29, 2000, the court consolidated all of the
cases into a single proceeding. That order also established a timetable
for the filing of: motions to appoint lead plaintiffs and lead counsel,
an amended consolidated complaint and our response to the amended
consolidated complaint.

Freemarkets and the individual defendants assert that the claims
misstate the facts and are completely without merit, and intend to
vigorously defend the litigation.


HASTINGS ENTERTAINMENT: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Investors Suit in TX
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP gives notice that a class
action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas on behalf of all purchasers of the common
stock of Hastings Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: HAST) from June 12, 1998
through March 7, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Hastings and certain of its officers and directors
with issuing false and misleading statements concerning the Company's
financial condition. On March 7, 2000, Hastings revealed that it would
restate its financial results for all prior periods of the Company's
public existence and that it would fall short of meeting its forecasted
earnings for the fourth quarter of 1999.

Contact: Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP (Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Robert B.
Weiser, Esq.) toll free at 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706, or via
e-mail at info@sbclasslaw.com


LOEWEN GROUP: LA Cir Courts Reject Claim to Class Re Insurance Policies
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two complaints were filed in 1997 on behalf of individuals who claim
damages in connection with funeral insurance policies allegedly issued
to them by insurance companies owned, directly or indirectly, by S.I.
Acquisition Associates, L.P. ("S.I."). Feldheim Et Al. V. Si-Sifh Corp.
Et Al. And Duffy Et Al. V. Si-Sifh Corp Et Al.

Loewen acquired the assets but not the stock of S.I. in March 1996. In
January 1997, Elmer C. Feldheim and four other individuals filed a
lawsuit seeking a class action on behalf of themselves and a class of
similarly situated individuals and/or entities against SI-SIFH Corp.,
SI-SI Insurance Company, Inc., Loewen Louisiana Holdings, Inc., and LGII
in the Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana. Plaintiffs seek a class
action. SI-SIFH Corp. and SI-SI Insurance Company, Inc. are affiliates
of S.I.

In June 1997, Lloyd Duffy, Sr. and four other individuals filed a
lawsuit seeking a class action on behalf of themselves and a class of
similarly situated individuals and/or entities against SI-SIFH Corp.,
SI-SI Insurance Company, Inc., Loewen Louisiana Holdings, Inc., and LGII
in the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana. The DUFFY complaint was
filed by the same lawyers who filed the complaint in the FELDHEIM case,
and is a virtually identical copy of the FELDHEIM complaint. The DUFFY
case is pending in the trial court and no discovery has taken place.

The FELDHEIM and DUFFY plaintiffs allegedly hold or held funeral
insurance policies issued by insurance companies owned, directly or
indirectly, by the defendants. The plaintiffs allege that (i) the
defendants failed to provide the funeral services purchased with the
policies by, among other things, offering a casket of inferior quality
upon presentation of a policy, and (ii) in connection with the sale of
the insurance policy, the insurance companies negligently or
fraudulently represented and interpreted the scope and terms of the
policies and omitted to provide material information regarding the
policy benefits and limitations. Plaintiffs also alleged unfair trade
practices in violation of Louisiana's trade practices laws.

Plaintiffs' petitions seek damages, penalties and attorney's fees.
Louisiana law prohibits plaintiffs from alleging specific amounts of
damages. Plaintiffs also seek a declaratory judgment compelling
defendants to honor the policies.

On June 13, 1997, the district court in Jefferson Parish dismissed the
FELDHEIM plaintiffs' claim to a class action, and the plaintiffs
appealed. On June 30, 1998, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal
affirmed the dismissal of the FELDHEIM plaintiffs' class-action claims.

Following various rulings on the DUFFY lawsuit in the trial court, on
January 6, 1999, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal dismissed the
action. On February 5, 1999, the DUFFY plaintiffs filed an application
for writ of certiorari with the Louisiana Supreme Court. On April 30,
1999, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied the writ application and
thereby declined to review the Court of Appeal's dismissal of
plaintiffs' class action allegations.

The Company has determined that it is not possible at this time to
predict the final outcome of these legal proceedings, and that it is not
possible to establish a reasonable estimate of possible damages, if any,
or reasonably to estimate the range of possible damages that may be
awarded to plaintiffs.

              LUENING, ET AL. V. SI-SIFH CORP., ET AL.

In June 1998, Warren S. Luening and four other individuals filed a
lawsuit seeking a class action on behalf of themselves and a class of
similarly situated individuals and/or entities against SI-SIFH Corp,
SI-SI Insurance Company, Inc., Loewen Louisiana Holdings, Inc., and LGII
in the Parish of St. Bernard, State of Louisiana. Defendants in this
case are the same entities against whom complaints were filed in
Jefferson Parish, Louisiana (the FELDHEIM case) and in Orleans Parish,
Louisiana (the DUFFY case), and, aside from the addition of local
counsel in St. Bernard Parish, the same lawyers who filed the FELDHEIM
and DUFFY complaints filed the LUENING complaint.

Plaintiffs allegedly hold and held funeral insurance policies issued by
insurance companies owned, directly or indirectly, by the defendants.
Plaintiffs allege that the defendants failed to provide the funeral
services purchased with policies by, among other things, (i) charging
them for certain funeral services, including the services of a funeral
director and staff, a funeral ceremony, care of the deceased, automotive
services and a casket, even though these services were allegedly covered
by their policies, and (ii) unjustly enriching themselves through the
payment of services allegedly covered under the plaintiffs' policies,
and the plaintiffs are therefore entitled to restitution of those
payments. Plaintiffs' complaint seeks compensatory and nonpecuniary
damages and attorneys' fees. Louisiana law prohibits plaintiffs from
alleging specific amounts of damages in their complaint.

On February 3, 1999, the state court ruled that the dismissal of the
class action claims in the FELDHEIM and DUFFY cases did not operate to
bar the particular sub-class of potential plaintiffs identified in
LUENING. On March 25, 1999, the Fourth Circuit reversed the trial court,
while recognizing that individual plaintiffs' claims could proceed in
St. Bernard Parish. On March 29, 1999 the LUENING plaintiffs filed an
application for writ of certiorari with the Louisiana Supreme Court. On
April 30, 1999, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied the writ application
and thereby declined to review the Court of Appeal's dismissal of
plaintiffs' class action allegations.

The Company has determined that it is not possible to predict the final
outcome of this legal proceeding, and it is not possible to establish a
reasonable estimate of possible damages, if any, or reasonably to
estimate the range of possible damages that may be awarded to
plaintiffs.


LOEWEN GROUP: Securities Suits Stayed in PA Pending Chapter 11 Case
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Since December 1998, the Company has been served with various related
lawsuits filed in the United States District Courts for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania and for the Eastern District of New York.
Raymond L. Loewen, the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and
certain current and former officers and directors have been named as
defendants in some of the suits. All but one of these lawsuits were
filed as purported class actions on behalf of persons or entities that
purchased Company Common shares during five different time periods
ranging from November 3, 1996 through January 14, 1999. LGII and Loewen
Group Capital, L.P. ("LGC") are named as defendants in two suits. The
plaintiffs in these two lawsuits purport to sue on behalf of a class of
purchasers of Monthly Income Preferred Securities ("MIPS") from March 5,
1997 through January 14, 1999. The MIPS were issued by LGC.

The complaints generally make allegations concerning, among other
things, the Company's internal controls, accounting practices, financial
disclosures and acquisition practices.

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted the Loewen
Defendants' motion to consolidate all of the actions for pre-trial
coordination in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania. On April 15, 1999, Judge Thomas O'Neill of the
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered an order
consolidating in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, all of the cases
then filed, as well as any related cases thereafter transferred to that
District. The April 15 Order appointed the City of Philadelphia Board of
Pensions and Retirement as lead plaintiff. Subsequent to the Company's
bankruptcy filings, Judge O'Neill entered an order staying all of the
cases and placing them on the suspense docket.

The Company has determined that it is not possible at this time to
predict the final outcome of these proceedings or to establish a
reasonable estimate of possible damages, if any, or to reasonably
estimate the range of possible damages that may be awarded to the
plaintiffs.

Please note that LOEWEN BANKRUPTCY NEWS is published by Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., 24 Perdicaris Place, Trenton, New Jersey
08618, on an ad hoc basis (generally every 10 to 20 days) as significant
activity occurs in the Debtors' cases. Contact: Bankruptcy Creditors'
Service, Inc. Phone 609-392-0900 FAX 609-392-0040 E-mail
peter@bankrupt.com


MICROSTRATEGY INC: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
MicroStrategy Inc received a securities class action lawsuit filed on
behalf of purchasers of common stock of the company between June 11,
1998 and March 20, 2000, according to the filing law firm, Bernstein
Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP.

The complaint alleges that MicroStrategy issued materially false and
misleading financial statements that materially overstated the company's
revenue, earnings and income.

MicroStrategy's stock fell on March 20 by $140, or 62 pct, after the
company said it would restate its financial results for 1998 and 1999.
(AFX European Focus, March 21, 2000)


MICROSTRATEGY INC: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in Virginia
------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP announces that
a class action lawsuit was filed on March 21, 2000, in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, on behalf of all
persons who purchased the stock of MicroStrategy Incorporated. (NASDAQ:
MSTR) between December 6, 1999, and March 17, 2000, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The complaint charges MicroStrategy and certain of its officers and
directors with violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The
complaint alleges that defendants issued materially false and misleading
statements concerning the Company's financial statements, revenues and
earnings per share.

On March 20, 2000, MicroStrategy shocked the market by announcing that
it is "revising its 1999 and 1998 revenues and operating results" and
"that certain of its software sales that include service relationships
will be accounted for using contract accounting, which spreads the
recognition of revenues over the entire contract period as opposed to
separating it between the software and service components." The Company
further revealed that it would be reducing 1999 reported revenue from
$205.3 million to between $150.0 million and $155.0 million, and its
results of operations from diluted net income per share of $ 0.15 to a
diluted loss per share of between approximately$(0.43) and $(0.51) and
that it would also reduce its reported revenues for 1998 from $106.4
million to between approximately $95.9 million and $100.9 million, and
its results of operations from diluted net income per share of $0.08 to
diluted net income per share of between approximately $0.04 and $0.01.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP Shareholder Relations
Dept. E-Mail: endfraud@mwbhlny.com 1-800/320-5081


MICROSTRATEGY INC: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in VA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP announces that a class action
lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Virginia on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock of
MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR) from June 11, 1998 through
March 17, 2000, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges MicroStrategy and certain of its officers and
directors with reporting materially false and misleading financial
results throughout the Class Period. During 1998 and 1999, defendants
significantly overstated MicroStrategy's revenues and earnings per share
by improperly recognizing revenue in connection with software
sales/service contracts.

Contact: Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, Bala Cynwyd Marc A. Topaz, Esq.
Robert B. Weiser, Esq. 888/299-7706 (toll free) or 610/667-7706 e-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


MICROSTRATEGY INC: Wolf Haldenstein Files Securities Lawsuit in NY
------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP announces that it is filing a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York on behalf of investors who bought
MicroStrategy Incorporated (Nasdaq: MSTR) securities between June 11,
1998 and March 17, 2000 (the "Class Period").

The lawsuit charges MicroStrategy and certain officers of the Company,
with violations of the securities laws and regulations of the United
States. The lawsuit alleges that defendants issued a series of false and
misleading financial statements during the Class Period that materially
overstated the Company's revenues, earnings and income. The complaint
alleges that defendants' false and misleading statements artificially
inflated the price of the Company's stock during the Class Period.

The lawsuit also charges MicroStrategy's auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP with participating and acquiescing in the presentation by its audit
client of false and misleading financial information to the investing
public which inadequately and improperly accounted for the Company's
revenues

On March 20, 2000, defendants stunned the investment community by
announcing that MicroStrategy would have to restate its financial
results for 1998 and Upon the release of this announcement the Company's
stock price sank 62% or $140.00 to a close of $86.75 per share.

Contact: Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP at 270 Madison
Avenue, New York, New York 10016, by telephone at 800-575-0735 (Michael
Miske, George Peters, Gregory Nespole, Esq., Fred Taylor Isquith, Esq.
or Shane T. Rowley, Esq.), via e-mail at classmember@whafh.com making
reference to MicroStrategy or visit the firm's website at
http://www.whafh.com


MICROSTRATEGY: Cauley & Geller Files Securities Suit in Virginia
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Firm of Cauley & Geller, LLP announced that it has filed a class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Virginia on behalf of all individuals and institutional investors that
purchased the common stock of MicroStrategy Incorporated (Nasdaq:MSTR)
between June 11, 1998 and March 17, 2000, inclusive (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors violated the federal securities laws by providing materially
false and misleading information about the Company's financial
condition. The complaint further alleges that during 1998 and 1999, the
defendants significantly overstated the Company's revenues and earnings
per share by improperly recognizing revenue in connection with software
sales and service contracts. As a result of these false and misleading
statements the Company's stock traded at artificially inflated prices
during the class period. When the truth about the Company was revealed,
the price of the stock dropped significantly.

Contact: Cauley & Geller, LLP, Boca Raton Jonathan M. Stein,
561/750-3000 Toll Free: 1-888-262-3131 E-mail: Cauleypa@aol.com


NABI: Denies Claims of Liability over HIV-Contaminated Products
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nabi, which says in its report to the SEC that it is nearing completion
of a multi-year transition from being a leading provider of antibody
products (plasma) to other pharmaceutical manufacturers to becoming a
fully-integrated biopharmaceutical company developing, manufacturing and
marketing its own products for the prevention and treatment of
infectious diseases and immunological disorders, is a co-defendant with
various other parties in one suit filed in the U.S. by, or on behalf of,
individuals who claim to have been infected with HIV as a result of
either using HIV-contaminated products made by the defendants other than
Nabi or having familial relations with those so infected.

The claims against Nabi are based on negligence and strict liability.
Several similar suits previously pending against Nabi, including a
purported class action, have been dismissed.

Nabi denies all claims against it in these suits and intends to defend
these cases vigorously.


PEAPOD INC: Faruqi & Faruqi Files Securities Lawsuit in Illinois
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP. announces that a class action
lawsuit was commenced in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois on behalf of all purchasers of Peapod Inc.
(NASDAQ: PPOD) common stock between November 8, 1999, and March 16,
2000, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charged Peapod and certain of its executive officers with
violations of the federal securities laws, including Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5. Among other
things, plaintiff claims that defendants issued a series of materially
false and misleading statements in press releases and SEC filings
concerning Peapod's cash funding needs. As a result, the price of
Peapod's common stock was inflated throughout the Class Period.

Contact: ANTHONY VOZZOLO, ESQ. FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP 320 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016 Telephone: (877) 247-4292 or (212) 983-9330 Fax:
(212) 983-9331 e-mail at FaruqiLawAV@aol.com


RSA SECURITY: Contests Securities Suit Filed in MA Re '97-98
------------------------------------------------------------
On or about December 11, 1998, a class action was filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of all
purchasers of RSA Security Inc.'s Common Stock during the period from
and including September 30, 1997 through July 15, 1998. (Fitzer v.
Security Dynamics Technologies, Inc., Charles R. Stuckey, Jr., D. James
Bidzos, Arthur W. Coviello, Jr., John Adams, Marian G. O'Leary and Linda
B. Saris, Civil Action No. 98-CV-12496-WGY.)

The plaintiffs subsequently dismissed without prejudice the claims
against Ms. Saris. The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on May 4,
1999, which asserts that the defendants misled the investing public
concerning demand for the Company's products, the strengths of its
technologies, and certain trends in the Company's business. Plaintiffs
seek unspecified damages, interest, costs and fees of their attorneys,
accountants and experts. The Company is seeking to dismiss the
plaintiffs' complaint and intends to defend the lawsuit vigorously.
Although the amounts claimed may be substantial, the Company cannot
predict the ultimate outcome or estimate the potential loss, if any,
related to the lawsuit.


SAFETY-KLEEN CORP: Shapiro Haber Files Securities Suit in SC
------------------------------------------------------------
A class action suit alleging securities fraud has been filed in the
United States District Court for the District of South Carolina,
Columbia Division against Safety-Kleen Corp. (NYSE: SK) and certain of
its officers and directors, by the law firm Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP.
The case was filed on behalf of all persons who purchased Safety-Kleen
common stock during the period July 9, 1997 through March 6, 2000,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Safety-Kleen and certain of its directors and
executive officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The complaint alleges that
the defendants issued false and misleading financial statements that
materially overstated the Company's revenues and earnings during 1997,
1998, and 1999. On March 6, 2000, Safety-Kleen shocked the market by
announcing that it "has initiated an internal investigation of its prior
reported financial results and certain of its accounting policies and
practices following receipt by the Company's Board of Directors of
information alleging possible accounting irregularities that may have
affected the previously reported financial results of the Company since
fiscal year l998." On March 8th the Company's independent auditors
notified the Company that they were withdrawing their audit opinions for
the years ended August 31, 1997, 1998, and 1999.

Contact: Thomas Shapiro, Esq. or Lisa Palin, paralegal, Shapiro Haber &
Urmy LLP, 75 State Street, Boston, MA 02109, (800) 287-8119, fax at
(617) 439-0134, or e-mail at cases@shulaw.com


SECRET SERVICE: Responds to Black Agents' Allegations of Discrimination
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Secret Service finds it "surprising" that its highest-ranking black
agents have initiated a class action suit against the agency.

The black agents allege in a complaint filed with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission that the Secret Service has a promotion system
that is "excessively subjective" and that it has been implemented
through a "good old boys network."

John Tomlinson, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, flatly denied the
charges, saying the agency is "confident" in the fairness of its
personnel policies and programs. "In order to get promoted here, you
have to have a combination of training, experience and seniority," he
said. "As you reach certain plateaus, then you become competitive for
promotion."

Of 11 major field offices in the country, seven are run by minorities,
Tomlinson said. Of seven individuals who report to the head of the
agency, two are black males. Though one black assistant director was
recently appointed, Tomlinson said it would be "disingenuous" to say it
was because of the pending class complaint.

David Shaffer, an attorney for the black agents, said the Secret Service
"could not possibly be surprised" by the suit. "The black agents have
been complaining for 20 years," he said. "We have documentation going
back to 1987."

Black agents have repeatedly raised the issue with the head of the
agency, Shaffer said. In response, there have only been a few promotions
of "highly visible" black agents. "It's not solely about numbers," he
said.

                     White House Assignments

The complaint, which has been reported in the CAR, was filed with the
EEOC on Feb. 23, and announced at a Washington press conference the next
day. Reginald Moore, the agency's highest-ranking black agent, said he
has been unable to secure a supervisory job, despite key White House
assignments and 16 years of experience with the agency. Yet, he has
refused two outside job offers that would have paid him more money. "I
decided to stay and fight from within so I could make the Secret Service
the agency that it should be," Moore said.

Secret Service agents are ranked on a scoring system with a maximum of
100 points. Moore has a job evaluation score of almost 99 out of 100. He
says he has worked in the agency's presidential protection division, for
which he received awards, from 1997-1999. His most recent performance
award said he "completes each and every assignment with the tact,
diplomacy and professionalism consistent with the highest traditions of
the Secret Service." Moore says he was at one time responsible for all
White House security and that he has also served as an acting
supervisor. Yet, in 1999, he was turned down for promotions four times.

John Turner has worked with the agency for nearly two decades and has
protected Vice President Al Gore and his predecessor, Dan Quayle. He
claims he was twice an acting supervisor, but has been denied management
positions. Turner's job evaluation score is the second-highest among
black agents.

Yvette Summerour, who plans to join the class complaint, says she was
the lead agent for protecting President Clinton during the recent NATO
summit. "I did an outstanding job as far as I know," Summerour said. "I
got an award for it."

Summerour has also accompanied the first lady to Africa and was
responsible for "getting (presidential daughter) Chelsea from high
school to college." She is the highest-ranking black female and has been
with the Secret Service for 13 years. She, like Moore and Turner, has
been unable to get beyond the GS-13 level.

All three agents said they are committed to the agency, and they are
coming forward only as a last resort.

John Relman, another attorney for the agents, urged President Clinton to
"get involved" in the case. "We call for the direct intervention of the
president and vice president to make sure that these practices are
investigated, that they are stopped and that they are remedied," Relman
said.

                         'Superb Organization'

In response to a question about the suit, Clinton said during a White
House press conference that it was "better not to comment on the merits
of the case." But he added that the Secret Service is a "superb
organization" and that it does a "wonderful job."

"We have been - my family and I - very well served by men and women in
the Secret Service of all racial and ethnic backgrounds," Clinton said.
"I think, beyond that, I shouldn't comment because it's in litigation
and there are very specific facts that are alleged that it would be
wrong to comment on."

In their complaint, the black agents allege that, at least from 1987,
the Secret Service has discriminated against black agents through its
personnel policies, practices and procedures.

                           Glass Ceiling

They also claim that white special agents with relatives or friends in
the agency are able to advance "quickly through the ranks." "You have to
be a super-minority to break through to the GS-14 level, which is the
first management position," Relman said.

Blacks are underrepresented at the GS-14 level by 61 percent, say the
attorneys in the case. Besides discrimination in promotions, the lawsuit
alleges a list of civil rights abuses, including that black agents in
Washington are subjected to discriminatory transfers to field offices
throughout the country. The attorneys say they have spoken to more than
50 agents who confirm the existence of discriminatory practices. There
are about 200 black agents who work for the agency. If approved by the
EEOC, the class suit could ultimately go to federal court. It could
potentially involve all blacks currently working for the Secret Service,
plus any who retired after 1987.

"It's up to [the agency]," Shaffer said. "If they force us to, we'll
take it to court. If they want to talk, we're ready." Shaffer
successfully represented employees in cases against the FBI and the
Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Fire Arms.

The Secret Service agents are asking for back pay, compensatory damages
and a complete overhaul of the personnel system.


SOTHEBY'S INC: Weitman Takes New Role as Chairman
-------------------------------------------------
Sotheby's, one of the world's two leading auction houses, has named
Warren Weitman as its new chairman for North and South America.

He assumes his new post at a time of turmoil for Sotheby's and its main
rival, Christie's. Both are being investigated by US authorities on
suspicion that they colluded to fix prices. The charges have led to more
than three dozen class action law suits from their former clients. They
have also forced major personnel changes. Alfred Taubman and Diana
Brooks stepped down from their posts as Sotheby's chairman and chief
executive officer respectively last month. Michael Sovern, the former
dean of Columbia University, replaced Taubman, while William Ruprecht, a
long-serving Sotheby's executive, has taken on Brooks' post.

Weitman has spent most of his career at Sotheby's. Those who know him
say he will make a fine addition to the management team. "He's a very
good choice," a former colleague said. "He's very correct, and he's
squeaky clean."

He joined the auction world in 1976 after teaching literature at a
preparatory school. During his 20 years at Sotheby's, he has served as
director of Trusts and Estates, head of Business Development, and
recently worked on the sale of the Reader's Digest Collection.
(Financial Times (London), March 21, 2000)


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Ex-Smoker Awarded $1.7M; Ruling on FL Case Upcoming
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jurors are expected to consider in the next few weeks in a Florida
class-action case, whether to award punitive damages to an immense class
of current and former smokers that may number in the hundreds of
thousands. Some observers are predicting a punitive damages award in the
tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars, which could force tobacco
companies to file for bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, the once-invincible tobacco industry on March 20 suffered its
third consecutive defeat in a West Coast smoking and health case when a
San Francisco jury ordered Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds to pay
compensatory damages of $ 1.72 million to a lung cancer patient and
voted to consider adding punitive damages.

The two leading U.S. cigarette makers were found guilty of negligence
and fraud in the case of Leslie J. Whiteley, 40, an Ojai mother of four
who is ill with cancer. Jurors are scheduled to reassemble in San
Francisco Superior Court to consider Whiteley's claim for punitive
damages.

"We're disappointed by the verdict," said Seth Moskowitz of R.J.
Reynolds, who declined to comment further. The companies are likely to
appeal. The verdict after seven days of deliberations was a major loss
for the industry, signaling a growing willingness by juries to base
verdicts on the behavior of tobacco companies rather than on the
weakness or bad judgment of their customers.

Indeed Whiteley's background appeared conducive to an industry victory.
She was the first plaintiff to go to trial who began smoking after
warning labels began appearing on cigarette packs. That element of her
smoking history--along with evidence about her alcohol abuse and use of
marijuana--appeared very favorable to the defense. "Look at what hot
water the industry must be in now," said Richard Daynard, a law
professor at Northeastern University and head of the Tobacco Products
Liability Project, an anti-smoking group. "If the companies couldn't win
this case, it's hard to imagine what case they could win."

Wall Street analysts had described the case as a test of recent
refinements in tobacco defense strategy after major losses by Philip
Morris in a pair of cases last year. In the first case, in February
1999, a San Francisco jury awarded $ 51.5 million in damages to
plaintiff Patricia Henley. In the other case, a Portland, Ore., jury
awarded $ 80 million to the family of Jesse D. Williams, a deceased
former Marlboro smoker. Judges in both cases later cut the awards
roughly in half, and both cases are on appeal.

After those defeats, analysts said tobacco lawyers would revise their
trial strategy--for example, by not challenging the plaintiffs'
diagnoses, which may have antagonized juries. "It's bad news" for the
industry, said Bonnie Herzog, a vice president at Credit Suisse First
Boston. But she noted that cigarette makers had won several cases that
were not tried on the West Coast. "The problem is, we're dealing with a
pocket of the U.S. San Francisco is just definitely not a city that is
pro-tobacco."

Whiteley started smoking at age 13 in 1972, several years after the
first surgeon general's warnings appeared on cigarette packs. She quit
in February 1998, but four months later was diagnosed with cancer.

After more than two months of testimony and arguments, jurors ruled 9-3,
10-2 or 12-0 on a series of questions on the verdict form, awarding $
1.472 million in compensatory damages to Whiteley and $ 250,000 to her
husband, Leonard. Philip Morris and Reynolds, whose brands Whiteley
smoked, were ordered to split the damages.

A third defendant, Metalclad Insulation Corp., an asbestos firm, was
found not liable. Whiteley's lawyers had claimed that exposure to
asbestos dust on the work clothing of Whiteley's father and first
husband had contributed to her illness.

For lead plaintiff's lawyer Madelyn Chaber of San Francisco, the verdict
was her third courtroom victory without a loss against tobacco
defendants. Chaber handled the Henley case last year, and in 1995 won a
$ 2-million verdict against Lorillard Tobacco in a case involving the
use of asbestos in the original version of Kent cigarettes. Chaber was
not available for comment.

For four decades, anti-tobacco suits by individual smokers failed, as
cigarette makers managed to focus the spotlight on the plaintiffs'
disregard of health warnings.

Indeed, the recent emergence of massive anti-tobacco class actions and
state suits reflected a view that individual claims against the powerful
industry were doomed to fail.

But verdicts such as Monday's suggest that juror attitudes are hardening
in the face of internal documents contradicting the industry's public
stands on the risks and addictiveness of smoking. (Los Angeles Times,
March 21, 2000)


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Industry Looks Warily at Upcoming FL Jury Decision
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cigarette manufacturers are looking warily at a class-action case
against them in Miami, where a jury last year found that the defendants
had illegally concealed information about the potential danger of their
product. That case is approaching a critical point: The jury must decide
whether to award punitive damages to the plaintiffs.

If it does, the judgment could be a whopper. Up to 30,000 Florida
residents could qualify for the class action, which could easily bump
the verdict into the tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars. The
tobacco companies would have the right to appeal a verdict on damages,
of course, but Florida law would require them to post a bond of 120
percent of the damages award. For example, the companies would need to
put up $120 billion on a $100 billion judgment.

As usual, the cigarette makers are using their political clout -- at
least where it remains -- to play hardball. Four home states of the
tobacco companies have either passed or are contemplating
industry-pushed legislation that would limit the amount of bond that a
company would need to post while appealing punitive damages in an
out-of-state court. While such legislation probably would not survive a
constitutional challenge, it shows the depths of the industry's
desperation.

Thus, attorneys general from around the country are wise to be plotting
strategies in preparation for the possibility that the cigarette makers
might try seeking bankruptcy protection to wriggle out of their $246
billion obligation from the 1998 tobacco settlement. Many state and
local governments are counting on that money -- including San Francisco,
which intends to use much of its share to help pay for the rebuilding of
Laguna Honda Hospital. As City Attorney Louise Renne put it: "This is
something the gun manufacturers have tried. We even obtained a ruling
that you cannot avoid your legal responsibilities by trying to seek
bankruptcy protection." (The San Francisco Chronicle, March 21, 2000)


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Possible Loss of Funds from FL Case Concerns CA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Top state officials on March 20 said they are troubled at the prospect
that a Florida lawsuit might cause the eventual unraveling of the
massive tobacco litigation settlement and cost California billions of
dollars, a report on Los Angeles Times says.

The Times says that the officials were reacting to a report in paper
that a huge damage award in the Florida class-action suit could prompt
tobacco industry bankruptcies and cut the flow of settlement payouts to
states like California and local governments. "I'll be aggressive about
defending state and local interests," said state Atty. Gen. Bill
Lockyer. The possibility that the settlement could be undone is
"worrisome," but it is too early to know for sure, Lockyer said.

Michael Bustamante, Gov. Gray Davis' press secretary, voiced a similar
sentiment. "There is certainly reason for concern, but whether it comes
to pass is another matter," Bustamante said. Bustamante said he thinks
it farfetched to believe that tobacco companies will go into bankruptcy.

California has received $ 294 million and is expecting another $ 210
million next month. The state is projected to receive $ 25 billion over
25 years, the report says.

The intent of the litigation that forced the settlement was to reimburse
state and local governments for billions in health care costs resulting
from smoking hazards.

At issue now is whether the Florida case will cut the flow of $ 246
billion in settlements reached in 1998 with the states. If the case goes
against the industry, it could force one or more companies to file for
bankruptcy. That, in turn, could reduce the money going to public
agencies.

In Sacramento, the Davis administration has funneled settlement proceeds
into the general fund. Critics have argued that the money should go into
new spending for health care. Davis has resisted those efforts.
Bustamante said the threat posed by the Florida case shows the wisdom of
the administration's approach. "Until you have the funds in your hand .
. . you shouldn't count on it," he said.

While the companies have not said that they would seek bankruptcy
protection, the threat of a massive judgment in the Dade County Circuit
Court case could mean that punitive damages would reach into the
hundreds of billions of dollars.

Some health care advocates questioned whether the threat of bankruptcy
is real or merely a ploy. Steve Thompson, a California Medical Assn.
lobbyist, doubted that the companies would really go out of business.
But, he said: "If the tobacco industry goes bankrupt and no longer
produces cigarettes . . . that would be one of the best and most blessed
events in America."

Half the settlement money due to go to California would be funneled to
counties and four cities that filed their own lawsuits.

Daniel Wall, a lobbyist for Los Angeles County, said the county is
examining what might happen if tobacco companies seek protection under
the bankruptcy laws. He cautioned: "It may be too early for us to know
that." (Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2000)


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Senators Pledge Swift Bill For FDA Jurisdiction
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Leading Senate Democratic opponents of the tobacco industry pledged to
move swiftly to propose legislation granting the FDA jurisdiction over
cigarettes. Senator Edward Kennedy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate
Health Committee, said supporters of FDA jurisdiction "are in a strong
position" in the Senate. He noted that 57 Senators voted in favor of
granting the FDA power to regulate cigarettes when the Senate
unsuccessfully attempted to pass a national tobacco settlement of state
class action lawsuits in 1998.

The Senate Democrats want to keep any bill narrowly crafted to address
youth smoking. "We've got to do something -- we've got to do it fast,"
said Sen Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa.

Sen Bill Frist, the Republican chairman of the Senate Public Health
subcommittee, helped negotiate the bipartisan tobacco bill that included
FDA jurisdiction. (AFX - Asia, March 21, 2000)


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Supreme Court Rules That FDA Lacks Jurisdiction
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court ruled on March 21 that the government lacks authority
to regulate tobacco as an addictive drug, rejecting the Clinton
administration's main anti-smoking initiative, news from AP Online says.

Ruling 5-4, the justices said the Food and Drug Administration
overreached when it reversed a decades-old policy in 1996 and sought to
crack down on cigarette sales to minors. ''We believe that Congress has
clearly precluded the FDA from asserting jurisdiction to regulate
tobacco products,'' Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote for the court.
''By no means do we question the seriousness of the problem that the FDA
has sought to address,'' O'Connor said. ''The agency has amply
demonstrated that tobacco use, particularly among children and
adolescents, poses perhaps the single most significant threat to public
health in the United States.'' However, she added, ''It is plain that
Congress has not given the FDA the authority that it seeks to exercise
here.''

President Clinton, traveling in India, issued a statement that said,
''If we are to protect our children from the harms of tobacco, Congress
must now enact the provisions of the FDA rule,'' The report says.

O'Connor's opinion was joined by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and
Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Clarence Thomas.

Dissenting were Justices Stephen G. Breyer, John Paul Stevens, David H.
Souter and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Writing for the four, Breyer said the
federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act allows the FDA to regulate tobacco.
''Far more than most, this particular drug and device risks the
life-threatening harms that administrative regulation seeks to
rectify,'' he added.

Mark Smith, spokesman for Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., said,
''Business and industry throughout the nation ought to breathe a sigh of
relief. The highest court in the land has confirmed that a federal
agency cannot on its own go beyond its limits of authority set by
Congress.''

The Justice Department had no immediate reaction to the ruling.

John F. Banzhaf of Action on Smoking and Health, which supported the
government's appeal, said he was disappointed but not surprised and said
the ruling ''will put tremendous pressure on Congress, especially during
an election year, to ensure that nicotine does not remain the only
totally unregulated drug.''

On Wall Street, most tobacco stocks gained ground after the ruling.
Philip Morris was up 933/4 cents at $20.871/2 at late morning on the New
York Stock Exchange, where R.J. Reynolds Tobacco was up 433/4 cents at
$16.933/4, and Loews, which owns Lorillard, was up $2.121/2 at $47.25.
But the U.S. shares of British American Tobacco, which owns Brown &
Williamson, were down 371/2 cents at $$9.871/2.

The Clinton administration called the 1996 initiative the FDA's most
important public health and safety effort in the past 50 years. The best
way to cut down on smoking is to reduce the number of teen-agers who
start, officials contended.

The tobacco industry has been under increasing pressure for selling a
product the American Cancer Society calls the leading cause of cancer.
The Justice Department is suing the industry, which already has agreed
to pay the states $246 billion for the cost of treating smoking-related
illnesses.

The nation's largest cigarette maker, Philip Morris Co., acknowledged
last October that smoking is addictive and causes cancer. The
third-biggest company, Brown & Williamson Tobacco, said in April 1999
that smokers ''are taking significant health risks.'' In February, a
Philip Morris Co. executive said the company was willing to discuss some
government regulation of the tobacco industry, but that the company
still opposed the FDA's effort to regulate tobacco as a drug.

The FDA said for decades that it lacked authority under a 1938 law to
regulate tobacco so long as cigarette makers did not claim that smoking
provided health benefits. But it reversed itself in 1996, saying it
could regulate tobacco because of new evidence that the industry
intended its products to feed consumers' nicotine habits.

All 50 states already ban tobacco sales to anyone under 18. In addition
to adopting that as a federal rule, the FDA required stores to demand
photo I.D. from all tobacco purchasers under age 27 and limited
vending-machine cigarette sales to adults-only locations, such as bars.

Tobacco companies sued, and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled
in 1998 that the FDA could not regulate tobacco. The court said that
decision is up to Congress, which previously has banned broadcast
advertising of tobacco, prohibited smoking on airlines and required
warning labels on cigarette packages.

During arguments before the Supreme Court last December, Solicitor
General Seth Waxman said the FDA can regulate tobacco as a drug because
nicotine is ''highly addictive'' and acts as a stimulant, a sedative and
an appetite suppressant, and also feeds smokers' addictions.

Forty states backed the government's appeal. But the tobacco industry's
lawyer argued that if FDA regulation were allowed, the government would
be forced to ban tobacco products because they have not been shown to be
safe.

O'Connor's opinion noted that the FDA has concluded that cigarettes are
unsafe and dangerous. As a result, she said, federal law ''would require
the FDA to remove them from the market entirely.'' ''The inescapable
conclusion is that there is no room for tobacco products within the
(federal law's) regulatory scheme,'' she wrote. ''If they cannot be used
safely for any therapeutic purpose, and yet they cannot be banned, they
simply do not fit.''

Breyer said he did not believe the law would require a ban on
cigarettes. He also said the fact that only 2.5 percent of smokers
manage to quit each year ''illustrates a certain reality the reality
that the nicotine in cigarettes creates a powerful physiological
addiction flowing from chemically induced changes in the brain.''

All 50 states have reached settlements in which tobacco companies will
pay them $246 billion for the cost of treating smoking-related
illnesses. Cigarette billboards around the country were taken down last
year as part of that agreement.

The Justice Department also sued the industry last September, seeking
additional billions of dollars to repay federal health-insurance costs.

A Florida jury ruled in a class-action lawsuit last July that the five
largest cigarette-makers produced a defective and deadly product. A jury
is considering damages that industry lawyers say could exceed $300
billion.

Among the Supreme Court's nine justices, Rehnquist and Scalia are
smokers, while Thomas used to smoke cigars. The case is FDA vs. Brown &
Williamson Tobacco Corp., 98-1152. (AP Online, March 21, 2000)


VANTAGEMED CORP: Dreier, Baritz Files Securites Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------
Dreier, Baritz & Federman announced that it filed a securities class
action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of VantageMed Corporation
(Nasdaq: VMDC) common stock.

The lawsuit charges VantageMed and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Act of 1933. VantageMed provides
healthcare information system and service to automate administrative,
financial, clinical and management functions for physicians, dentists,
and other healthcare providers and provider organizations. On February
15, 2000, VantageMed completed an IPO of 3,000,000 shares of stock at
$12 per share pursuant to a Registration Statement/Prospectus. The
offering provided that VantageMed would receive $33.48 million in net
proceeds and the underwriters would receive $2.52 million. The complaint
alleges that the Company had been delayed in introducing a new version
of its most important product, Rideway medical management, which delayed
would adversely affect the Company's future results.

On March 9, 2000, VantageMed revealed information showed that the
positive statements in the Registration Statement/Prospectus were false
when made. On March 9, 2000, VantageMed issued a press release which
disclosed that 1st Q 2000 results would be below forecasts due to a
delay in the market introduction of the new version of its Ridgemark
product, a medical management system. The supplement corrected the
Prospectus it did not do so until after public shareholders had paid
millions for VantageMed stock based on a defective Prospectus.
VantageMed's stock price reacted swiftly and negatively to these
revelations, falling to as low as $4-1/2 on huge volume of 3 million
shares, $ 7-1/2 below the offering price just three and a half weeks
earlier. Public investors who purchased shares in the IPO based on
VantageMed's representations, paying $12 per share for VantageMed stock,
have suffered tens of millions of dollars in damages.

Contact: William B. Federman of Dreier, Baritz & Federman, 405-235-1560,
or email, WFederman@dreierbaritz.com


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Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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