CAR_Public/000808.MBX               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Tuesday, August 8, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 153

                            Headlines

CANADA: Criticized of Discrimination in School Funding
CONVENTION PROTES: Last protesters arraigned; Judge Hears Bail Reduction
CROSSROADS SYSTEMS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in Texas
DAIMLERCHRYSLER: Ct OKs Charging of Transfer Fee from Subsequent Buyer
FORD MOTOR: Highway Authority Investigates More Fatalities over Tires

FRONTIER INSURANCE: Cauley & Geller Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
FRONTIER INSURANCE: Rabin & Peckel Files Securities Suit in New York
G. PIERCE: Trial on Mental Facililty Focuses on Patients
HAWAII: Held in Contempt in Suit over Failure to Fix Special Education
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Swiss Banks Formally Endorse $1.25 Bil Settlement

KINNARD: Former Vice President Alleges Pervasive Sex Discrimination
KISHON RIVER: Cancer-Stricken Israeli Commandos Fight a New Battle
MAX INTERNET: Rabin & Peckel Files Securities Suit in Texas
NCS: Parents Sue Basic Skills Test Scoring Company
NORTHERN COLORADO: Homeowners Sue Builder over Fraud in Road Conditions

NY CITY: Slim Progress Seen at Preventing Slip through Safety Net
SOUTHBURY: Plaintiffs Say CT Stops Talks with Mental Training School
SOUTHWALL TECHNOLOGIES: Berman, DeValerio Files Securities Suit in CA
SOUTHWALL TECHNOLOGIES: Charles J. Piven Announces Securities Suit in CA
SOUTHWALL TECHNOLOGIES: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Suit in CA

STYLING TECHNOLOGY: Ct OKs Minority Shareholders' Complaint over Sale
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Industry Response Criticized at World Conference
ZILOG INC: Investors' Complaint Dismissed in CA and Argued in 9th Cir

                             *********

CANADA: Criticized of Discrimination in School Funding
------------------------------------------------------
According to the Toronto Sun, the image of Canada purporting to be a
tolerant and evenhanded nation is unfortunately tainted by the ongoing and
blatant discrimination perpetrated by our government against the people of
this province.

The article says that apparently, the bureaucrats at Queen's Park feel
perfectly justified in continuing to fund only one religious school system
while denying funding to all others, but it's blatant discrimination and
the United Nations agrees.

The provincial government is criticized of higing behind the Constitution
in order to defend the funding of Catholic schools. That law needed to be
changed, as does this one, the article says. It is both ignorant and
arrogant to use legislation that is so obviously outdated and prejudicial
in order to allow for something that is clearly wrong. Improper laws must
be amended, the article goes on.

The Toronto Star article also points out that Ontario's Education Minister,
Janet Ecker, refuses to comply with the recommendations made by the United
Nations. Ecker has made it abundantly clear there are no plans to extend
funding to private religious schools or to cease the funding of Catholic
schools.

That probably doesn't sit too well with parents like Arieh Waldman, a
Toronto resident, who is forced to shell out about $ 14,000 a year so that
his two children may attend a Jewish day school. Granted, Waldman could
send his children to a public school - free of charge - but why should his
children be treated differently than those belonging to the Catholic faith?

Catholic parents have a choice. They may enrol their children in the public
school system or in the Catholic school system, without any added expense.
While other parents may still have that choice, the fact that they must pay
high tuition costs should they choose to enroll their children in a
religious school ultimately renders that option null and void for a lot of
parents who simply cannot afford the yearly fees.

Sadly, it appears the government will not do what is right without some
real encouragement. What we need is a class action lawsuit filed by every
parent who has had to pay for religious schooling. (The Toronto Sun, August
7, 2000)


CONVENTION PROTES: Last protesters arraigned; Judge Hears Bail Reduction
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The last of the 391 protesters arrested during last week's Republican
National Convention were arraigned, nearly five full days after the first
were taken off city streets and placed in crowded holding cells on mostly
minor criminal charges, authorities said.

A total of 155 protesters - 91 "John Does" and 64 "Jane Does" - remained
behind bars at the city's prison complex in Northeast Philadelphia on
Sunday night, apparently unable to post bails ranging from $10,000 to $1
million, police and prison officials said.

The Public Defender's Office said it would ask for lower bail during a
class-action bail-reduction hearing Monday August 7 before Common Pleas
Judge Lisa A. Richette, said Cathie Abookire, spokeswoman for the District
Attorney's Office.

Preliminary hearings were scheduled Tuesday for protesters Camill Viveiros,
Eric Steinberg and Darby Landy, accused of assaulting Police Commissioner
John F. Timoney and officers during a clash near Rittenhouse Square.

A fourth protester, Kate Sorenson, detained during a police raid of a
puppet-making warehouse in West Philadelphia, also is scheduled to go
before a judge, Abookire said.

Supporters of those still in detention criticized Timoney and Mayor John F.
Street on Sunday for treating the activists harshly, by keeping them in
cold, dirty holding cells for days before arraigning them, and by setting
very high bails. "Ax murderers don't get this," said Carolyn
McGuckin-Robinson, 39, of Willow Grove, holding a picture of her son,
Terrence, during a vigil Sunday in Franklin Square Park, across from Police
Headquarters.

Terrence McGuckin, 19, of West Philadelphia, is being held on misdemeanor
charges with bail set at $500,000. McGuckin, a freshman graphic arts major
at Temple University, was arrested and charged with possession of an
instrument of crime. His mother said that instrument of crime was a cell
phone.

According to police, he is among a core group of activists who have helped
orchestrate illegal protests that shut down busy intersections across
Center City and resulted in sometimes violent confrontations with police on
bicycles, motorcycles and horses.

It is McGuckin's second time in jail. In September 1999, the food-bank
volunteer and AIDS activist chained himself to the desk of U.S. Trade
Representative Charlene Barshefsky in Washington, D.C.

Police have denied mistreating the protesters. They have accused them of
delaying their own processing by refusing to identify themselves - and in
some cases stripping naked to hinder their identification from film footage
of the demonstrations.

Several raucous contingents of anarchist activists clad in mostly black
moved through Center City vandalizing police cars, slashing tires, painting
graffiti and, in at least one case, throwing a rock through a limousine
windshield. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, August 7, 2000)


CROSSROADS SYSTEMS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------------- A
class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Texas on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock
of Crossroads Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDS) from July 13, 2000 through July
26, 2000 inclusive.

The complaint charges Crossroads and certain of its officers and directors
with issuing false and misleading statements concerning the Company's
operations and financial results for its fiscal third quarter ending July
31, 2000.

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


DAIMLERCHRYSLER: Ct OKs Charging of Transfer Fee from Subsequent Buyer
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The requirement that a subsequent buyer of a car pay a 150 transfer fee for
the remaining warranty coverage is a clearly stated limited warranty and
does not violate either the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or the Uniform
Commercial Code, held the Minnesota Court of Appeals (Haas v.
DaimlerChrysler Corp., et al., No. C7-99-1921 (Minn. Ct. App. 6/13/00).)

Janine K. Haas bought a used car from Bloomington Chrysler Plymouth Jeep
Eagle Inc. The dealership charged Haas 150 to transfer the remainder of the
factory warranty on the car to her. Haas brought a class action suit
against the dealership and DaimlerChrysler alleging that the fee violated
both the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and Section 2-318 of the UCC. Chrysler
moved to dismiss the lawsuit for failure to state a claim and the Hennepin
County District Court granted the motion.

                    Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act claim

Haas argued on appeal that DaimlerChrysler violated the act by placing a
condition on the warranty. The court noted that although the warranty was
extended only to the first buyer/owner of the vehicle, a second buyer could
transfer the warranty coverage into her name. The application had to be
processed by an authorized DaimlerChrysler dealer and the cost for the
service was 150. The fee was paid directly to the dealer. The court noted
that Federal Trade Commission regulations interpreting the act expressly
recognize that a limited warranty may be limited to the initial purchaser
of the item.

Haas maintained that the warranty was not really a limited warranty but a
warranty that conditioned its coverage on the payment of a 150 fee by a
second buyer. The court stated that Haas' argument was too weak to overcome
the clear language of the warranty. The court stated that "despite Haas's
attempts to recast the warranty's limitation as a condition, the warranty
provision is a legitimate limitation on the duration of the warranty as
permitted by both the Magnuson-Moss Act and the regulations interpreting
it."

Haas also argued that the warranty was really a full warranty and that
DaimlerChrysler impermissibly placed upon her the duty to pay 150 to
receive the benefit of the warranty. Haas claimed that the act forbids a
warrantor from imposing "any duty other than notification upon any consumer
as a condition of warranty coverage." The court noted that the phrase
"limited warranty" appeared at least 34 times in the warranty and that,
therefore, "no reasonable consumer could believe the Chrysler warranty here
was a full warranty."

                        UCC Violation Claim

Haas argued that Section 2-318 of the UCC prevented DaimlerChrysler from
charging the transfer fee. The court noted that Minnesota state law
provides that "a seller's warranty whether express or implied extends to
any person who is injured by breach of the warranty. A seller may not
exclude or limit the operation of this section." Haas maintained that the
statute extended the warranty to persons who would reasonably be expected
to use the car, including second buyers. Haas argued that because
DaimlerChrysler could not exclude or limit the operation of that statute,
it could not charge a fee to transfer the warranty. Haas claimed that the
warranty transferred by operation of law.

The Court of Appeals stated that Haas' argument confused the first-party
right to receive services under the warranty with the third-party right to
recover for damages caused by breach of the warranty. The court noted that
Section 2-318 of the UCC deals with persons injured by breach of warranty.
The court went on to state that until Haas is injured by a breach of the
warranty, Section 2-318 of the UCC grants her no third-party beneficiary
rights.

Judge Schumacher concluded that the 150 transfer fee was not a breach of
the warranty because the warranty specifically provided that subsequent
buyers could only assume any remaining warranty coverage on the payment of
the fee. Therefore, the court found that without a breach of the warranty,
Haas could not be a person injured by breach of the warranty.

The court held that DaimlerChrysler conspicuously designated its warranty
as a limited warranty and properly restricted it to the initial owner and,
therefore, the 150 transfer fee did not violate any provisions of the act.
The court further found that Section 2-318 of the UCC did not grant Haas
the right to assume the warranty without paying the 150 transfer fee. The
court ruled that Haas failed to state a claim on which relief could be
granted and affirmed the decision of the District Court. (Consumer
Financial Services Law Report, July 24, 2000)


FORD MOTOR: Highway Authority Investigates More Fatalities over Tires
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now investigating 46
fatalities it believes could be linked to failing Firestone tires, more
than double the number it had tallied last week.

NHTSA spokeswoman Liz Neblett said as of Monday the agency had received
more than 270 complaints about failing Firestone truck tires - the vast
majority of them installed on Ford Explorer sport utility vehicles -
including at least 80 injuries. That's up from last week's total of 193
complaints and 21 fatalities.

The surge in number of reported complaints comes as an attorneys' research
group said it has found at least 50 deaths resulting from failures of
Firestone tires, most of which had been used on Explorers.

Meanwhile, two more major retailers said they had stopped selling the
Firestone ATX, ATX II and Wilderness AT models in question, including
Discount Tire, the nation's third-largest tire chain.

Ford and the Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. contend the
tires are safe. The Dearborn, Mich.-based Ford is doing its own
investigation, while Bridgestone/Firestone has said it would give credit
toward new tires for customers who wanted to exchange their current tires.

NHTSA said the complaints involve reports that the tread on the Firestone
models peels off, sometimes at highway speeds. Neblett said the complaints
have surged with increased media coverage of the problem that started in
February.

The NHTSA investigation is in the preliminary inquiry stage in which the
government and manufacturers exchange paperwork; Ford and
Bridgestone/Firestone, a unit of Japanese tire maker Bridgestone Corp.,
have until mid-August to respond. The Firestone models in question are used
on several trucks, but only Ford has been asked for more data.

Strategic Safety, a Virginia-based research firm for plaintiffs' attorneys,
said in a letter to Ford Motor Co. that it can account for at least 80
injuries and more than 50 deaths resulting from Firestone tire failures.
Researcher Sean Kane said about 80 percent of those cases involved the
Explorer.

In its letter, Strategic Safety repeated a demand that Ford recall the
Explorer and offer replacement tires. Ford has replaced Firestone tires for
free on vehicles sold in Venezuela, Ecuador, Thailand, Malaysia, Colombia
and Saudi Arabia after tires failed in those countries.

Ford spokesman Ken Zino said he had not seen the Strategic Safety letter
and could not respond to it.  Last Friday, Ford chief executive Jac Nasser
released a statement saying the company was "very, very concerned about the
situation."  "We have teams that are working around the clock. Once we know
exactly what the issues are, we will act, because we feel a responsibility
to our customers, for their safety and for the safety of their families,"
Nasser said.

Bridgestone/Firestone and some other suppliers are still selling the tires
and have expressed confidence in their safety. The company said that
customers who want to exchange their tires would be given credit toward new
tires based on the remaining life in their old tires.

A spokeswoman for Bridgestone/Firestone did not immediately return calls
seeking comment.

Discount Tire said it would stop selling the Firestone models in question
at its 450 stores. Montgomery Ward also said that it would stop selling the
Wilderness AT tires in about 230 Wards Auto Centers until the NHTSA
investigation was complete. Wards does not stock the ATX/ATX II.

Concern about the tires prompted Sears Roebuck and Co. to pull them from
its store shelves. Sears is the largest tire seller in the nation, with 780
Sears Auto Centers and 350 National Tire and Battery shops.

In Venezuela, Ford said many of the cases involved trucks that had been
overloaded, long drives on hot or irregular road surfaces and tire
pressures below standards. The company did not accept blame, but swapped
the tires as a "customer satisfaction issue," Ford said.

Most of the accidents reported to NHTSA came from Texas and southern and
southwestern states with warmer climates. Heat can affect tire tread
bonding and may be associated with an increased rate of tread separation.

General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and Subaru also sell the Firestone ATX, ATX
II and Wilderness AT tires as original equipment on SUVs and pickups.

All have said they have received no complaints about the tire, and planned
to continue using them. In fact, the 2002 Ford Explorer unveiled last week
uses a reworked version of the Wilderness as standard equipment. (AP
Online, August 7, 2000)


FRONTIER INSURANCE: Cauley & Geller Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Cauley & Geller, LLP announced on August 4 that a class
action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons who purchased
Frontier Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: FTR) between August 5, 1997 and April
14, 2000 inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Frontier and certain of its officers and directors
with violating federal securities laws by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Frontier common stock. For example, as
alleged in the complaint, on December 4, 1997, Frontier announced that it
expected to boost the scope of its medical malpractice business through the
acquisition of Western Indemnity Insurance Company. In fact, as revealed on
April 14, 2000, the increase in the Company's medical malpractice business
resulted from the Company's relaxation of underwriting standards, loosening
of policy terms and predatory pricing -- not simply by its acquisition of
Western's medical malpractice business. On April 14, 2000, the Company
announced a revision of its previously reported 1999 results, causing its
stock to close at $1 per share, a decline of more than 97% from the Class
Period high of $38.6875 per share.

Contact: Cauley & Geller, LLP, 888-551-9944, or email, CauleyPA@aol.com


FRONTIER INSURANCE: Rabin & Peckel Files Securities Suit in New York
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action complaint has been filed in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons or entities
who purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of Frontier Insurance
Group, Inc. (NYSE:FTR) between August 5, 1997 and April 14, 2000, inclusive
(the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Frontier and certain of its officers and/or
directors violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by making a series
of materially false and misleading statements concerning Frontier's ongoing
activities, central to the Company's business during the Class Period. The
Complaint alleges that as a result of these false and misleading statements
the price of Frontier securities were artificially inflated throughout the
Class Period causing plaintiff and the other members of the Class to suffer
damages.

Contact: RABIN & PECKEL LLP Elana M. Bourkoff Joseph V. McBride
800/497-8076 212/682-1818 email@rabinlaw.com www.rabinlaw.com


G. PIERCE: Trial on Mental Facililty Focuses on Patients
--------------------------------------------------------
The trial that has started recently involves G. Pierce Wood mental facility
focuses on patients, not the hospital's future.

Donald Martin was a "vibrant, outgoing, never-a-dull-moment" son to LaVelle
Noble. He graduated from Pinellas Park High School, got a job in a photo
processing studio and planned to go into management. Then one day, a camera
broke. "That was just the straw that broke the camel's back," Mrs. Noble
said. Martin took off in a car to who knows where, landing in a Georgia
jail two weeks later. He later returned to Florida and eventually was
diagnosed as bipolar, and suffering from another mental illness,
schizoaffective disorder.

On Oct. 1, 1998, he was taken to G. Pierce Wood hospital in Arcadia, the
state mental hospital for the Tampa Bay area and southwest Florida.

Within a day, he was dead.

Mrs. Noble says her 21-year-old son should never have died that day, in the
state's care. His death certificate says her son developed "toxic levels of
fluphenazine (medication) during treatment." The probable manner of death
is listed as "accident."

Cases like Martin's - and there are others - have led critics to demand the
closing of the state hospital. They also led to a legal battle that began
with a lawsuit 15 years ago against the state over treatment of patients at
G. Pierce Wood that goes to trial in U.S. District Court.

But much on the landscape has changed as the suit, originally aimed at
improving inhumane conditions at the hospital, winded its way through the
courts. After years of fighting, those who would shut down the hospital
have won. The state this year announced it would close the hospital within
two years.

But Mrs. Noble is not among those cheering. As shocking as her son's death
was, she strongly believes there needs to be a state hospital, though
hopefully much improved. Otherwise, she's afraid of what will happen to the
mentally ill people who stay there now. "There'll just be a lot of sick
people on the streets, or nine-tenths of the time, they'll be in jail," she
said. "They'll be trying to medicate themselves, and it's just so sad."

Because of the state's decision to close the hospital, the battle in
federal court over what to do with G. Pierce Wood, is becoming a battle of
how to help the people who get out. Jim Green, an American Civil Liberties
Union attorney from West Palm Beach, filed a lawsuit on behalf of patients
nearly 15 years ago, seeking to improve inhumane conditions.

Since then it has become a class action lawsuit. The U.S. Department of
Justice decided to add its formidable might to the case. Its attorneys will
work alongside Green, making him look considerably less like the David
attacking Goliath that he appeared to be at the start. Green said he
intends to show that "the Constitution protects people, not places." Which
is his way of saying that just because you take the people out of an awful
hospital doesn't mean you have treated them well.

Someone needs to make sure the government doesn't simply do what has been
done to other mentally ill people: toss them out of an institution and onto
the street, he says, sounding now like Mrs. Noble. "We have a duty to
ensure that these people are not just dumped on the streets to join the
thousands of homeless and the thousands of people who end up in jail
because there's no place else to go."

Bob Williams, director of programs for the state Department of Children and
Families, said the state's plan for the residents now at G. Pierce Wood is
to:

  * Send some residents, who have committed crimes and thus are under
    supervision of the courts, to a different state hospital.

  * Create programs throughout southwest Florida that will house and
     supervise 100 people on a short-term basis, roughly four months
     apiece.

  * Create 100 "assertive community treatment" teams of doctors, nurses
     and other professionals who will monitor, assist and give medical
     treatment to a total of 1,000 people.

  * Obtain funding for 200 other residences for mentally ill people in
     the region.

Williams said it's important to have these services in the community,
because without them, people with mental conditions will see their diseases
worsen, and they'll end up back in a state hospital.

About 50 percent of the people discharged from the state hospital later
come back, and "that's largely due to the fact that there are no
appropriate services in the community right now," Williams acknowledged.

Except for the people who will move to another state hospital, all this
will cost roughly $ 20-million per year, Williams says, less than the
roughly $ 45-million the state now pays to operate the facility.  Green
scoffs at the idea that the state can do more with less. "They're going to
need $ 40- to $ 50-million just to begin providing constitutionally
mandated care and treatment in the community. At least for the time being,
they're going to need to spend more money, not less." He is pushing for
more treatment teams and other measures to make sure people are properly
cared for in communities throughout southwest Florida.

The trial is expected to last four weeks. (St. Petersburg Times, August 07,
2000)


HAWAII: Held in Contempt in Suit over Failure to Fix Special Education
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a class action spanning most of the past decade, the U.S. District
Court, District of Hawaii held the state of Hawaii in contempt for failing
to bring its special education programs in line with the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act and Section 504. Felix by Servietti-Coleman v.
Cayetano, 32 IDELR 230 (D. Haw. 2000).

The class action was initiated in 1993 by a group of students with mental
health needs. In 1994 the parties entered into a consent decree in which
the state agreed to "implement a seamless system of care."

Following modifications to the decree and the state's subsequent
noncompliance, 141 benchmarks were established to gauge the state's
progress toward compliance in each of its school facilities. The class
charged that the state failed to comply with the decree and asked the court
to find it in contempt.

The court found that the state failed to meet many of the most significant
benchmarks, such as modifying its facilities and updating personnel
procedures. The state also could have offered special incentives, higher
salaries, or better working conditions to attract qualified special
education teachers, but it did not.

The state was unable to satisfactorily explain why it did not meet the
benchmarks, whose deadlines the court termed "firm but manageable." The
court scolded the state for failing to take "every reasonable step" to
comply with the decree. A good faith effort to comply was also irrelevant,
for all that was required to find the state in contempt was noncompliance
with the decree. The court ordered further hearings to determine the
appropriate relief. (The Special Educator, August 1, 2000)


HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Swiss Banks Formally Endorse $1.25 Bil Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Swiss banks have formally endorsed a $ 1.25 billion settlement with Jewish
organizations, Holocaust survivors and heirs.

In a statement issued last Friday in Zurich, UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group
AG said bank lawyers had officially notified US Judge Edward Korman, who
approved the settlement last month, of their acceptance.

Bank lawyers, however, questioned Korman's demand that Swiss companies
which might have used slave labor should come forward within 30 days or
face possible additional lawsuits in US courts. "There is no basis in law
for these conditions," the lawyers said in a letter.

On July 26, Korman approved the $ 1.25 billion settlement, which was
initially reached two years ago as an out-of-court deal between
class-action plaintiffs and the banks. This followed hearings last year at
which lawyers from both sides told the judge that an overwhelming majority
of the plaintiffs supported the 1998 settlement.

Having put the out-of-court settlement on a firm legal footing, Korman must
now sign off on a plan to divide and distribute the money. Nearly 600,000
people have expressed interest in making claims.

Many Jews put money in Switzerland during the Nazi era, confident that
their savings would be safe in the neutral country. But after the war, many
plaintiffs complained, they ran into a stone wall in trying to claim the
assets. In some cases, they lacked detailed account information; some
bankers even demanded death certificates for people killed in Nazi
concentration camps - an impossible request.

Under great pressure, Credit Suisse and UBS reached the out-of-court
settlement in August 1998. This provided for the release of all claims not
only against the two banks but also against the Swiss government, the
central bank, other commercial banks and Swiss industry.

However, the Korman ruling also stated that "those Swiss entities that seek
releases (from slave labor claims) are directed to identify themselves to
the Special Master within 30 days." It said companies failing to do so
would risk facing lawsuits outside the settlement.

The banks and government are anxious to move on to the payment stage and
thus close a painful chapter for Switzerland. (The Jerusalem Post, August
7, 2000)


KINNARD: Former Vice President Alleges Pervasive Sex Discrimination
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Cleo Rasmussen, a former Vice President and Investment Banker and John G.
Kinnard and Co., filed a Complaint in federal court on August 4 in
Minneapolis alleging that her February 22, 1999 termination was due to sex
discrimination. According to the Complaint, Rasmussen was terminated after
enduring two years of sexual harassment and discrimination while working
for Senior Vice President Ralph McGinley in the Kinnard Public Finance
Department.

"The environment that Mr. McGinley created was abusive and left no doubt
that he wanted to drive Ms. Rasmussen from the company because she is a
woman," explained Rasmussen's lawyer Larry Schaefer, a partner in the
Minneapolis office of Sprenger & Lang. "He changed her compensation plan,
refused to support her on-going deals with existing clients, never gave her
business leads which he instead provided to her male co-workers, provided
these male co-workers stock options plans he denied to Rasmussen, and
openly explained to no less than the Kinnard Board of Directors that he
didn't like women in this field." McGinley then fired Rasmussen in the
midst of her most financially successful quarter at Kinnard, explaining to
her that the termination was because she complained about discrimination
and a hostile work environment, according to the Complaint.

"This is unfortunately the worst example of an 'old boys network' run
amok," claimed Schaefer. Rasmussen's damages exceed $2,000,000 as set forth
in the Complaint, as she has been unable to find comparable work since her
termination. She has over twenty years of experience in this field, having
worked at Miller & Schroeder Financial, Inc. for years before she joined
Kinnard in 1996.

The financial industry has been rocked with complaints of pervasive sex
bias as women attempt to integrate and advance at companies like Merrill
Lynch, Smith Barney, Piper Jaffray and American Express. "Unfortunately,
these biased attitudes have extended to the Midwest, and often tarnish our
'Minnesota Nice' image," said Schaefer, whose law firm, Sprenger & Lang, is
representing a potential class of women financial advisors at American
Express in ongoing litigation. "No industry is above the law and women have
to be provided the same support and leads as men in this challenging
field," said Schaefer. Schaefer believes that Ms. Rasmussen's complaint
could eventually extend to more women at Kinnard as the case develops,
given the blatant double standard for compensation and McGinley's brazen
comments about women in this field.

Schaefer is a partner in the Minneapolis office of Sprenger & Lang, which
specializes in national employment class action litigation. Sprenger & Lang
has obtained some of the country's largest gender, age and race
discrimination judgments, including landmarks as Jenson v Eveleth Mines,
the first sexual harassment lawsuit ever certified as a class action. In
addition, Sprenger & Lang have successfully represented classes of
plaintiffs against companies such as Burlington Northern, Cargill,
Northwest Airlines, First Union and Ceridian Corporation.

Any requests for the Complaint should go to Donna Dye at 612-871-8910, or
it is also available at the Sprenger & Lang website --
http://www.sprengerlang.com

Contact: Larry Schaefer of Sprenger & Lang, office 612-871-8910, cell
612-816-5388


KISHON RIVER: Cancer-Stricken Israeli Commandos Fight a New Battle
------------------------------------------------------------------
Navy commando Yuval Tamir was among the best and the brightest of Israel's
warriors. On dangerous military missions from the Suez Canal in 1973 to
Beirut in 1982, his elite unit's commanders always vowed they would bring
him out of harm's way. And Tamir believed that.

But that was before the skin cancer appeared as large sores on his chest,
before a different cancer appeared in tumors in his intestines.

That was before Tamir knew that the mouth of the Kishon River, where it
opens into the Mediterranean and where Israel's elite commando units
trained for 25 years, was contaminated with toxins and carcinogens from
nearby industries. It was before he believed the river caused his cancer,
and before he realized the military would refuse to help pay for his
expensive treatments. "I trusted the Navy. Now they have abandoned us,"
said Tamir, 42, who is dying as the two separate cancers tear away at his
skin and his intestines.

Tamir is among some 40 Israeli Navy combat divers who are part of a
class-action suit against the government and the chemical industry. They
have contracted various cancers after training exercises in what is
regarded as Israel's most polluted waterway, the Kishon. Twelve of them
already have died.

The case, being investigated in hearings by a high-profile commission, has
reverberated not only because of the suffering of some of Israel's bravest
veterans, but because it symbolizes a new threat. This threat does not come
from the hostile Arab countries that surround Israel, but from within, from
what critics say is an irresponsible petrochemical industry and a badly
flawed waste management system.

The Kishon River scandal has awoken Israel to what specialists call an
environmental nightmare. Environmentalists call it the poisoning of the
Promised Land, the destruction of water supplies in a region where water is
a critically limited resource.

"We are talking about an ecological disaster in this country, an
environmental holocaust," said Yehudit Naot, a parliament member and a
former deputy mayor of Haifa who is also a professor at Technion
University's faculty of medicine. "We want the Army to treat them as though
they were casualties of war," he said, referring to the victims. "To us,
the Army holds the responsibility for their health."

The story was uncovered by Israel's leading circulation newspaper, Yediot
Ahronoth, in an investigative series that began in May. In the aftermath,
the military expressed concern, but continued its refusal to cover the
expenses incurred by the victims of cancer.

The victims felt that a new military investigative panel was a whitewash in
the making. So Tamir, two other divers, and the widow of a fourth sued the
government and the military last month in the Israeli Supreme Court,
alleging that authorities were blocking an independent inquiry into Kishon
pollution. They alleged that the government had stacked the board of
inquiry.

Tamir and the other plaintiffs won the case, and a new panel was named,
chaired by former Supreme Court chief justice Meir Shamgar, who led the
government's investigation into the 1994 assassination of Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin.

Last week the commission began work, examining the medical status of
hundreds of naval commandos in various units who dived in the Kishon from
the 1950s through the early 1990s. In addition, the panel will be
investigating industrial pollution and specifically whether there may have
been radioactive material dumped.

Dr. Yonah Amitai, a Health Ministry researcher and president of the Israeli
Society of Toxicology, says no direct link between the Kishon's toxins and
the divers' cancers has been determined. Any link would be determined after
the examination of the individual cases, including family medical histories
and other possible environmental conditions.

Last month, Tamir stood on the banks of the Kishon near Haifa. The river
was a bright green. The banks were set against a backdrop of chrome stacks
and processing tanks at the chemical plant.

A 20-inch-wide pipe was spewing refuse from the chemical industry on one
side, and a 40-inch main was releasing raw sewage on the other side. The
smell was intolerable. "We dove here, just a kilometer downriver in the
bay," he said, describing how, twice a week from 1976 to 1986, he was
assigned to spend up to four hours diving there.

As a disciplinary action, his senior officers sometimes made the divers
fill up their fins and drink the river water. "We knew it was bad, but
orders were orders," he said. "We were in danger all the time. The attitude
was, 'Who's afraid of some chemicals?' "

The Kishon River is a roughly 5-mile-long estuary in northern Israel that
empties into Haifa Bay.

"The only river not polluted in Israel is the Jordan, and that's because it
was closed for military use for decades," parliament member Naot said. "I
would say Israel is 20 years behind America and Europe in environmental
policy."

The pollution levels in the Kishon were well-known. Some naval officials
reported vomiting and diarrhea among sailors training there as early as
1980. The Navy's chief medical officer stopped basic training there after
those complaints.

But the newspaper investigation uncovered evidence and testimony that the
commandos kept training there until the early 1990s.

At this time, environmental activists from Greenpeace began a fight to stop
Haifa Chemicals, the largest corporation dumping toxins, from building an
underground pipeline that would increase dumping into Haifa Bay. In 1995,
Greenpeace succeeded in blocking the pipeline. And the Ministry of the
Environment stepped in to establish a timetable. The factory had five years
to treat its effluents before dumping. Greenpeace says it believes Haifa
Chemicals will stand by its agreement, but for now the dumping continues
unabated and surrounding factories have no environmental enforcement that
stops them from dumping raw chemical effluents into the river.

Tamir's fight against this pollution is not stopping with the demand for an
independent inquiry. Tamir is spearheading what promises to be a long legal
battle against the military establishment, the government, and the chemical
industries that polluted the Kishon.

Environmental and medical experts for the class-action suit are finding
what they believe are cancer clusters in the Israeli Coast Guard and in the
commercial fishing industry that operates out of Haifa Bay.

Irit Levine, 49, knows the dangers of the Kishon. She believes it killed
her husband of nearly 30 years, Rafi. He joined the commandos in 1968 and
was part of the elite "Flotilla 13," the Israeli equivalent to the US Navy
SEALS. In the Levine home in Hertzliya, just north of Tel Aviv, she showed
black-and-white photographs of Rafi in his sleek black wetsuit. He looked
tall and handsome and powerful.

The photos were from 1974, just a year after his unit fought Egypt in the
battle of the Suez Canal. He was a decorated war hero and his life and his
identity were bound in his service as a commando. Even after he retired in
1979, he stayed on active reserve duty. And he worked as a salesman for a
diving equipment contractor with the Israeli Navy. In 1993, he was
diagnosed with a brain tumor. He spent years in chemotherapy and different
courses of radiation.

He fought the battle like any warrior. And like a good commando he even
strategized against his enemy. He kept a log on blue notebook paper that
detailed his symptoms and that tracked this deadly invader. Irit pointed to
a Jan. 5, 1999, entry in Rafi's diary: "Speech is difficult. Tired. Very
tired. Reasons? Kishon River diving."

Just days before his death, his wife says, he had realized what medical
experts for their case say is obvious about the effects of diving in the
Kishon. He left three children. "Rafi was a fighter. I am not a fighter,"
said Irit. "But I feel like he is empowering me."

Irit has testified before parliament and has become a leader in the fight
against the chemical companies, the government, and the Navy. While she
glanced fondly at a 1980s portrait of Rafi looking confidently at the
camera, she could not stand to see the later photos. The chemotherapy made
him bald, and steroid treatments made him bloated. In the end, it was hard
to recognize him. "I just can't look at him like that. I want to remember
him like this," she said, holding up the old photo of him smiling.

Yuval Tamir is still up against the agony. Like Rafi, Tamir's life was the
sea. He named his son Gal, the Hebrew word for "wave." Now Gal is 18 and
has joined the Israeli Navy. It was a dream of Tamir's to see his son join
up. But now it is a nightmare. "I know what they are dumping there," Tamir
said. "And I know I don't want my son in that water, or anyone else I
love." (The Boston Globe, August 7, 2000)


MAX INTERNET: Rabin & Peckel Files Securities Suit in Texas
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action complaint has been filed in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of all persons or entities who
purchased or otherwise acquired common stock of Max Internet Communications
Inc. (NASDAQ: MXIP) between November 15, 1999 and May 12, 2000, inclusive
(the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Max and certain of its officers and directors
violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by making a series of
materially false and misleading statements concerning the Company's
financial results during the Class Period. During the Class Period, the
Company reported financial results which were materially inflated by
inclusion of the financial results for its Brazilian subsidiary which were
materially overstated as a result of fraudulently booked transactions.
Using these false financial statements, Max was able to consummate more
than $9 million worth of stock sales and obtain a listing on NASDAQ. The
Complaint alleges that as a result of these false and misleading statements
the price of Max common stock was artificially inflated throughout the
Class Period causing plaintiff and the other members of the Class to suffer
damages.

Contact: RABIN & PECKEL LLP Mary E. Neu, Esq. 800/497-8076 212/682-1818
Fax: (212) 682-1892 www.rabinlaw.com


NCS: Parents Sue Basic Skills Test Scoring Company
--------------------------------------------------
The parents of a girl who has spent much of her summer tucked away in a
classroom, being tutored in math because of a low basic skills test score,
are suing the company that incorrectly graded hers and thousands of others'
tests. Danielle Kurvers was one of about 8,000 students who were told they
failed the math part of the state's basic skills test when they actually
passed.

Her parents, Greg and Frankie Kurvers of Burnsville, are asking that the
lawsuit filed last Friday in Hennepin County District Court be certified as
a class action, which would mean other students who were affected could
join it. The Kurvers spent about $3,000 for private tutoring at Sylvan
Learning Centers. Danielle will be a junior in high school this year.

"Here's a person who could have been out with her friends," said Shawn
Raiter, one of the attorneys representing the Kurvers. "She could have been
playing the sports she loves so much."

Instead, she was sitting inside, getting help in a subject that she
understood all along, Raiter said. "She missed a lot of opportunities that
you can't make up for," the attorney said.

Danielle is a "B" honor roll student and plays basketball and softball. She
and her parents were shocked when she was told she didn't pass the basic
skills test, Raiter said.

After confirming that Danielle was among the students who actually passed
the test, her mother called National Computer Systems, the private Eden
Prairie- based company hired by the state to score the tests, to ask what
they would do to help defray the costs of her daughter's unneeded tutoring.
"She was told they were not going to do anything for her," Raiter said.
"Her daughter had not missed graduation."

In all, about 47,000 students who took the test in February and April this
year received the wrong scores because of errors made at the Assessments
and Testing Division of NCS in Iowa City, Iowa.

As many as 336 seniors may have been kept from graduating because of the
error and thousands more may have been required to take summer courses.

NCS admitted its mistake and offered $1,000 in tuition reimbursement to
each senior wrongly told that he or she had failed the test. But
underclassmen like Danielle wouldn't qualify for any assistance.

NCS spokeswoman Maggie Knack said it's company policy not to comment on
pending litigation. The company has 20 days to respond to the complaint.
"We have been served and we're evaluating the claim," she said.

The lawsuit seeks compensation for damages suffered by the Kurvers and the
proposed class members; attorneys' fees; an injunction that would keep NCS
from acting similarly in the future; and "other and further relief the
court deems just and equitable."

If certified as a class action, Raiter expects thousands of people to join
the lawsuit. "The evidence certainly is that there was some harm caused.
Students missed high school graduations. How do you ever replace that
experience?" he said. "We really don't want this to happen again." (The
Associated Press State & Local Wire, August 7, 2000)


NORTHERN COLORADO: Homeowners Sue Builder over Fraud in Road Conditions
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Colorado community association sued the developer of its houses Jan. 26
alleging negligence, breach of warranty and other violations related to
street and road maintenance in the development (Cedar Heights Community
Association Inc. v. Northern Colorado Video Inc., No. 97 CV 3360, Colo.
Dist., El Paso Co.).

The Cedar Heights Community Association sued Northern Colorado Video (NCV)
in El Paso County District Court for failing to keep the roads and streets
of the housing development in "good condition" and failing to pay for
repairs and restoration work on the roads.

Specifically, the community association charges negligence, violation of
the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, breach of covenant/express warranty,
violation of Sections 38-33.3-101, et seq., of Colorado's Common Interest
Ownership Act, violation of the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act
and joint venture liability.

                               Allegations

In March 1997, NCV attempted to convey the roads and streets of the Cedar
Heights development to the community association, although the roads and
streets were not in "good repair," or in conformance with other
representations and warranties regarding the roads, the complaint states.

The community association argues that Schuck Inc., the original developer
who sold the rights, duties, titles, interest and obligations to NCV, and
NCV should have known that roads and streets had "significant structural
deficiencies and that the roads and streets were likely to require
significant future preventative and corrective maintenance costs."

Furthermore, the complaint contends that the developers should have known
that the roads were built on "highly unstable soils creating movement which
imperils the integrity and function of the roads and streets."

                             Damages Sought

Individual members of the class seek damages, as well as the class itself.

Spottswood W.H. Williams, David McIntyre, Joel Klein and Steven Fasken seek
to recover for costs of suit, fees of experts, attorneys' fees, interest,
the cost of repairing and/or restoring the roads and streets and costs and
expenses incurred for estimating, investigative, remedial, cleaning and
engineering fees.

Both the class and individual members seek punitive damages for the
"tortious and otherwise wrongful conduct of Schuck Inc., NCV, Steve Schuck
and [Fred] Veitch described herein, and resulting injuries and losses,
[which] was attended by circumstances of fraud, malice or insult and/or
wanton and reckless disregard of the rights and feelings of the plaintiffs,
entitling them to an award of exemplary damages pursuant to Section
13-21-102 [Colorado Revised Statutes]." (Mealey's Litigation Report:
Construction Defects, June, 2000)


NY CITY: Slim Progress Seen at Preventing Slip through Safety Net
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Finding little evidence that New York City has made meaningful progress in
preventing eligible welfare beneficiaries from slipping through cracks in
the safety net, a federal judge has refused to lift an injunction against
the creation of new job centers - the heart of the City's welfare reform
efforts.

Southern District Judge William H. Pauley III said that a City audit
purporting to show that the handling of claims for food stamps, Medicaid
and cash assistance benefits has improved suffered from faulty methodology.
He also said that, in the City's audit, the "deck was stacked" in favor of
the job centers.

Judge Pauley also declined to dismiss claims against New York State
alleging inadequate oversight of the City programs, and certified a class
of plaintiffs in the suit, Reynolds v. Giuliani, 98 Civ. 8877.

After a hearing that concluded in January 1999, Judge Pauley issued an
injunction blocking the creation of new job centers by the New York City
Human Resources Administration (HRA).

The suit, which also named as defendants the New York State Office of
Temporary and Disability Assistance and the New York State Department of
Health, claimed that the City's shift from income support centers to job
centers effectively prevented eligible applicants from applying for and
receiving food stamps, Medicaid and cash benefits in a timely manner.

The shift began in 1998, when HRA began converting some 31 income support
centers to job centers as part of the state's, and the federal
government's, welfare overhaul efforts.

The plaintiffs claimed prospective applicants were prevented from applying
for benefits during their first visit to a job center, were often pressured
to withdraw applications and were routinely denied combined applications
for cash assistance, food stamps and Medicaid when only cash assistance had
been denied. Moreover, the plaintiffs complained that there was often
inadequate or late notice of HRA determinations. In addition to violations
of the federal food stamps and Medicaid statutes and regulations, the
plaintiffs also made claims under 42 U.S.C. @ 1983 and federal due process
rights.

Judge Pauley's injunction allowed people to apply for benefits on the first
day they visited a job center, mandated that applications be processed
within the time frame required by law, insisted that separate eligibility
determinations be made for food stamps, Medicaid and cash benefits, and
ensure that applicants receive adequate notice. He also instructed the City
to come up with a corrective plan with certain minimum requirements,
including better training of job personnel and improved oversight of the
centers.

Judge Pauley wrote at the time that "Because some of the City's neediest
residents continue to fall through the safety net at job centers, this
court is impelled to ensure that remedial steps are taken on a specified
time-line and that the effects of the revisions to job center procedures
are measured to ascertain whether they are working."

The plan submitted by the City was approved by the court in May 1999, when
Judge Pauley modified his order to allow the City to convert three more
income support centers to job centers.

Both sides appeared again before Judge Pauley in December, with the City,
armed with an audit purportedly showing the progress made through
corrective measures, arguing that the injunction should be dissolved.

The City said that improved monitoring and oversight activities, including
the use of "spot checks" by City employees posing as applicants, had made a
real difference.

                       Audit Not Persuasive

But Judge Pauley was unpersuaded by the results of the City's audit. "The
court will not presume that the City's corrective action plan has succeeded
simply because it had all the right ingredients," he said. "The proof of
the pudding is in the eating." Agreeing with the plaintiffs, he said that
"the absence of withdrawn cases from the audit sample significantly
undermines the reliability of the audit results," that the sample was
"statistically unrepresentative" of the computer databases from which it
was drawn, and that in general, the samples "consistently failed"
reliability tests, "often by wide margins." In the end, he said, "the
results of the Reynolds audit are entitled to minimum weight."

The City makes "several resourceful arguments touting the reliability of
the audit results, asserting that job centers perform better than income
support centers, and claiming that job center performance has improved over
time," he said. "While those arguments have some surface appeal, they do
not withstand close scrutiny."

He then rejected the motion of the New York State defendants to dismiss on
several grounds, finding that the State is "responsible when HRA fails to
comply with requirements of the Food Stamp and Medicaid Acts." "In the
context of decentralized administration of welfare programs, such as the
case here, the State defendants can only fulfill their statutory
obligations if they actively oversee local administering agencies (such as
the City defendants) and ensure statutory compliance," he said. "Thus the
duty to comply with federal statutory requirements is shared jointly by the
State and City defendants."

Representing the plaintiffs were Marc Cohen and Rebecca L. Scharf of
Welfare Law Center Inc., Hwan-Hui Helen Lee of The Legal Aid Society, Mary
Ellen Burns of Northern Manhattan Improvement Corp., and Constance P.
Carden and Randal Jeffrey of the New York Legal Assistance Group.

Representing New York City were Charles A. Miller and Caroline M. Brown, of
Covington & Burling, and Assistant Corporation Counsel Jonathan Pines.
Assistant Attorney General James M. Hershler represented New York State.
(New York Law Journal, July 25, 2000)


SOUTHBURY: Plaintiffs Say CT Stops Talks with Mental Training School
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs in a six-year-old class action against Southbury Training
School, a state institution for people with mental retardation, say they
were caught off guard this month when the state unexpectedly broke off
settlement talks in the case. "It seemed like the state pulled out rather
precipitously," said plaintiffs' attorney David C. Shaw. Plaintiff Margaret
Dignoti, executive director of ARC Connecticut, the Association of Retarded
Citizens of Connecticut, said she was puzzled by the state's action because
the parties, meeting without lawyers present, had agreed in May on what the
plaintiffs considered the case's core issue who gets to decide where
Southbury Training School residents live. The issues left on the table,
Shaw said, "were not overwhelming or unresolvable from our point of view."

But Thomas B. York, representing the state, denies an agreement was
reached. York, of the Philadelphia firm of Dilworth, Paxson, declined to
discuss the negotiations, and said the plaintiffs breached confidentiality
by doing so. The case, Messier v. Southbury Training School, now goes back
before U.S. District Judge Ellen Bree Burns, who presided over more than
120 days of trial last year.

The suit was brought in 1994 by eight individual plaintiffs and three
organizations seeking to block the admission of new residents to the
training school, and the development of plans to move the residents from
the institution to the community. Shaw said the Training School is now home
to about 670 people, whose average age is 55. The question of who is to
have final say about where those residents are placed, he said, "has become
a pivotal issue in the case."

The plaintiffs want the final decision made by teams whose members would
include Southbury Training School staff, the resident, the resident's
parents or guardian, and perhaps a psychologist. Such teams are used
routinely elsewhere in the state, Shaw said.

But the state believes that the final word on placement properly belongs to
the residents' parents or guardian, some of whom prefer to have them stay
at Southbury. Shaw said such a situation exists nowhere else in the state.
A small group of parents and guardians, he said, "have absolute control
over where these people live and where they work, regardless of what the
resident says, or what the professional team says." Shaw and Dignoti say
some parents or guardians may be fearful of, or resistant to change. Shaw
said it's not unusual for parents of residents to strongly object to
removing residents from an institution, but that it's just as common for
those parents to strongly support a community placement if good
alternatives are offered. "Most of these people can work and be productive
citizens," he said. Shaw also said it would be cheaper for the state to
move residents into the community. It costs $250,000 a year to house each
resident at Southbury, he said.

York doesn't see why a government-appointed panel should be able to
override a parent or guardian. In any disagreement over placement, he said,
"the loved ones or guardians should be given the most weight, rather than
some group of professionals that may not have the same kind of interaction
as loved ones do." York, retained by the state because he has successfully
handled similar cases around the country, says giving parents or guardians
the last word would be consistent with residents' constitutional rights, as
well as the law in other states. To York, it's a matter of "basic parental
rights." "I don't think any of us would want our children to be placed in a
certain area contrary to our wishes, just because some appointed panel
thought another action was appropriate," he said. In any case, York said, a
system is in place to overrule parents' decisions, if there is sufficient
reason to do so. (The Connecticut Law Tribune, July 24, 2000)


SOUTHWALL TECHNOLOGIES: Berman, DeValerio Files Securities Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Southwall Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: SWTX) was charged in a securities
class action with misleading investors with respect to the financial
condition of the Company. The case, filed by the San Francisco and Boston
based Berman, DeValerio and Pease LLP, www.bermanesq.com, is pending in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of California on
behalf of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired the
common stock of Southwall during the period April 26, 2000 through and
including August 1, 2000 (the "Class Period").

The action charges that Southwall and certain of its officers violated the
securities laws by issuing a series of false and misleading statements
concerning the Company's financial condition during the Class Period. In
particular, the Complaint charges that Southwall improperly valued its
inventory, requiring a restatement of its first quarter results. As a
result of these revelations, NASDAQ halted trading in Southwall common
stock and, as of the date of this release, trading has not resumed.
Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all those who purchased or
otherwise acquired Southwall common stock during the Class Period.

Contact: Jennifer L. Finger, Esq. of Berman, DeValerio & Pease LLP,
800-516-9926, or Jennifer Abrams, Esq. of Berman, DeValerio, Pease &
Tabacco, 415-433-3200


SOUTHWALL TECHNOLOGIES: Charles J. Piven Announces Securities Suit in CA
------------------------------------------------------------------------Southwall
Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: SWTX) was charged in a securities class action
with misleading investors with respect to the financial condition of the
Company. The case, filed by the Law Offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A., is
pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired the common stock of Southwall during the period April 26, 2000
through and including August 1, 2000 (the "Class Period").

The action charges that Southwall and certain of its officers violated the
securities laws by issuing a series of false and misleading statements
concerning the Company's financial condition during the Class Period.
Specifically, the Complaint charges that Southwall improperly valued its
inventory, requiring a restatement of its first quarter results. As a
result of these revelations, NASDAQ halted trading in Southwall common
stock and, as of the date of this release, trading has not resumed.

Contact: Charles J. Piven of Law Offices of Charles J. Piven, 410-332-0030,
Pivenlaw@erols.com


SOUTHWALL TECHNOLOGIES: Kirby McInerney Files Securities Suit in CA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of all purchasers
of Southwall Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SWTX) common stock between April
27, 2000 and August 1, 2000 (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that Southwall and certain of its executives - in
violation of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 - caused materially false and misleading financial statements to be
issued for the company's first quarter (ending April 2, 2000) of its 2001
fiscal year. As the company admitted on August 1, 2000, these results had
been overstated, and the necessary restatement would turn what investors
had believed to be Southwall's best first-quarter profit in years into what
it was in fact - a "material net loss." On August 2, 2000, Southwall
further admitted: (i) that the company's bookkeeping contained "a series of
mistakes and inaccuracies stretching through the first and second quarters"
of fiscal 2001; and that (ii) pending the outcome of an investigation by
the company and its accountants, Southwall's financial statements for the
prior year might require restating as well. Southwall's stock, which had
traded as high as $14 during the class period, declined precipitously
before trading in the stock was halted on August 1, 2000. Trading has yet
to reopen, and will only resume once the company releases financial
information that will allow markets to accurately value it.

Contact: Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP, New York Ira Press, Esq. or
Gretchen Becht, Paralegal 212/317-2300 or Toll Free 888/529-4787
gbecht@kmslaw.com


STYLING TECHNOLOGY: Ct OKs Minority Shareholders' Complaint over Sale
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Pitterich v. Styling Technology Corp., PICS Case No. 00-1362 (C.P.
Allegheny June 27, 2000) Wettick, J.

Although a controlling shareholder generally violates no duties to minority
shareholders by selling its shares at a higher price than had been offered
by a prospective buyer of all shares, a controlling shareholder may not
sell control of the corporation when it is apparent from the circumstances
that the buyer will not protect the interests of the minority shareholders.

Preliminary objections sustained in part, overruled in part.

Plaintiff was a minority shareholder of Fort Pitt Acquisition Inc. (Fort
Pitt), a closely held corporation. Defendants owned or controlled 58.6
percent of Fort Pitt's common stock. Defendants orally agreed, on behalf of
all shareholders, to sell all of the corporation's stock to Graham Webb
International Limited Partnership (Graham Webb) for $ 45 million.
Defendants subsequently repudiated this agreement in favor of a
stock-purchase agreement with Styling Technology Corp. This agreement
benefited only defendants since Styling Technology agreed to purchase only
their stock for $ 30 million. After plaintiff sued defendants, one
defendant filed preliminary objections to counts V and VI of the complaint.

The court first noted that count V included an allegation that defendants,
as officers and managing directors, breached fiduciary duties owed to
minority shareholders. The court stated that 15 Pa.C.S. @ 1717 does not
permit claims against defendants, as officers and directors, to be enforced
by plaintiff in his individual capacity. Count V, however, also alleged
that defendants, as dominant and controlling shareholders, owed fiduciary
duties to the minority shareholders. The only alleged wrongdoing described
in count V was defendants' decision to sell their stock to Styling
Technology rather than to Graham Webb.

Because this alleged wrongdoing did not involve a breach of any duties or
responsibilities that defendants owed the corporation as officers or
directors, the court ruled that plaintiff was not barred from bringing an
action in his own capacity as to this alleged conduct. Moreover, the
minority shareholder was the proper party to bring the suit since it was
the minority shareholder who suffered the loss.

While acknowledging the general rule that controlling shareholders are free
to sell their stock at a premium, the court stated that such a sale is
prohibited where it is apparent from the circumstances that the buyer will
breach the duty of fair dealing and will not protect the interests of the
minority shareholders. Plaintiff alleged such a situation here.

The amended complaint averred that at the time of the stock purchase,
Styling Technology's financial health was rapidly deteriorating, that
circumstances existed that should have alerted defendants to make an
investigation into Styling Technology in order to protect the best
interests of Fort Pitt and its shareholders, and that the shares of the
minority shareholders, including plaintiff, were effectively rendered
worthless by the transaction. Consequently, the court refused to dismiss
count V.

The court, however, sustained defendant's preliminary objection to count
VI, plaintiff's claim for the intentional interference with contractual
relations. Because defendants had no authority to sell the minority shares,
there was never a binding contract between Graham Webb and the minority
shareholders. Therefore, defendants' decision to sell their stock to
Styling Technology did not interfere with an existing contractual
relationship between plaintiff and Graham Webb. (Pennsylvania Law Weekly,
July 24, 2000)


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Industry Response Criticized at World Conference
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The World Conference on Tobacco or Health is a triennial event, last held
in Beijing in 1997, which has attracted 4,000 delegates to Chicago.
Delegates have come from all spheres involved in tobacco control, including
legislators, public health specialists, economists, government
representatives, lawyers and those involved in therapeutics and smoking
cessation.

The Republic is well represented: the Irish Cancer Society and the Irish
Heart Foundation are presenting papers at the conference. Mr Peter
McDonnell, a solicitor prominent in fighting tobacco claims, is attending,
as is respiratory consultant and veteran anti-smoking campaigner Dr Luke
Clancy. Department of Health and Children officials and GPs are also
present.

Dr Fenton Howell, public health specialist with the NorthEastern Health
Board and chairman of ASH, described the conference as an opportunity for
anti-smoking activists to compare notes and to learn from one another's
successes and failures.

He said: "This unique conference will really help to show how badly behaved
the tobacco industry has been in its response to court actions and public
health campaigns. For example, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health &
Children was treated with less than complete candour by the industry
recently."

The tobacco industry's role in promoting smoking as a social phenomenon has
been well and truly laid bare. Research published at the weekend provides
even more damning evidence of an industry determined to protect its
commercial interests at the expense of worldwide public health.

In 1997 seven of the world's major tobacco companies formally conspired to
mount a programme of "smoker reassurance" to counter the increasing social
unacceptability of smoking. The conspiracy, according to Dr Jonathan Klein,
of the University of Rochester's School of Medicine, led to the formation
of the International Tobacco Information Centre to undermine tobacco
control measures throughout the world.

British tobacco companies are actively encouraging smoking in young people
and not just seeking to extend brand share, as they frequently claim. They
aim to enhance the appeal of what they call "rites of passage" behaviour
through pack design and sponsorship deals.

Documents circulated at the conference contain information which has
shocked even hardened anti-tobacco activists.

Smoking is a "paediatric disease": 89 per cent of all people who ever try a
cigarette try one at the age of 18. Very few start smoking during
adulthood. Some 90 per cent of new smokers are children and teenagers.
These new smokers "replace" the smoker who quits or dies prematurely from
smoking-related disease. Young people are encouraged to start smoking by
friends and family who smoke, by tobacco advertising and promotion, and by
the easy availability of tobacco.

Adolescent smoking prevalence declined in the late 1970s and early 1980s,
but has levelled off since then. The latest research, published in a
special edition of the British Medical Journal to mark the tobacco
conference, is more promising. Passive smoking exposure among those between
the ages of 11 and 15 has halved in the last 10 years, according to British
researchers. There is evidence linking childhood exposure to environmental
tobacco smoke with subsequent active teenage smoking, which makes the
latest findings especially relevant.

The World Health Organisation predicts a global annual death rate from
smoking of 10 million by 2030. Currently, in Europe alone, there are 1.2
million tobacco-related deaths annually. Some 38 per cent of these are
attributable to cancers, with lung cancer the most common type; 34 per cent
of deaths are associated with disease of the heart and circulation; and 28
per cent are due to respiratory disease.

In the United States, the direct and indirect medical costs of smoking
amount to approximately $ 100 billion each year. Last month a Florida court
ordered the tobacco industry in the US to pay more than $ 140 billion in
punitive damages to sick smokers. In April the jury in this first smokers'
class-action lawsuit had already ordered the industry to pay $ 12.7 million
in compensatory damages to three smokers representing the class.

The tobacco giants went to great lengths to scupper the first evidence
linking passive smoking with lung cancer. We now know that a non-smoker who
is married to a smoker has a 30 per cent greater risk of developing lung
cancer than the spouse of a non-smoker. (The Irish Times, August 7, 2000)


ZILOG INC: Investors' Complaint Dismissed in CA and Argued in 9th Cir
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Company has been named as a defendant in a purported class action
lawsuit that was filed on January 23, 1998 in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of California. Some of the Company's executive
officers are also named as defendants. The plaintiffs purport to represent
a class of all persons who purchased the company's common stock between
June 30, 1997 and November 20, 1997. The complaint alleges that the Company
and some of the executive officers made false and misleading statements
regarding business that caused the market price of Zilog's common stock to
be artificially inflated during the defined period. The complaint does not
specify the amount of damages sought. On March 24, 1999, the court granted
the Company's motion to dismiss and entered judgment in favor of all
defendants. On April 16, 1999, the plaintiffs filed their notice of appeal
with the Ninth Circuit of Appeals. This appeal was fully briefed and argued
to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 8, 2000.


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