CAR_Public/010208.MBX                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Thursday, February 8, 2001, Vol. 3, No. 28

                             Headlines

CINAR CORP: Couple Founders Blame ex-CFO for Problems in Montreal
CINCINNATI POLICE: ACLU Board Wants Investigation on Racial Profiling
COCA-COLA: Attys. In Racial Bias Suit Fight against Delay in Settlement
COVINGTON PIKE: Black Salesmen Sue Toyota Dealer over Racial Bias
COX COMMUNICATIONS: Faces Suit By Clients Alleging Illegal Franchise Fee

DOW CHEMICAL: FTC Approves $10 Bil Acquisition of Union Carbide
FIRSTAR CORP: DOJ OKs U.S. Bancorp Merger after Agr. to Sell 13 Branches
HAWAII: Lawsuit By Climants Alleging Breach of Trust Pending in Sp. Ct.
HEFREN TILLOTSON: Township May Share in Settlement of Investment Scam
NESTLE: Agrees to Settle Consumer Suits Re Ad. on Bottled Water

PAYDAY LENDERS: FL A.G. Asks to Join Orange County in Suit V. Ace Cash
PHONY SETTLEMENT: Bond Offer for Baby Food Settement Is a Hoax
ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Lawsuit By Crew Members for Wages Is Pending in NY Ct.
STARLINK LITIGATION: Greenpeace Dumps StarLink at EPA to Gain Attention
U-M: Expert Witness Says Race Factors in Admissions Offset Bias in Tests

UNION PACIFIC: Laramie Landowners Sue Railroad over Right of Ways
UPGRADE INT'L: Announces Dismissal of Fed Claims; WA State Claims Remain
US AIRWAYS: Settles DE Suits Re Asset Acquisition at Reagan Airport
WEST BROMWICH: Financial Product's Promises of Income Actualize in Debts

* Law Journal Tells of Effective Legal Notice Programs for Class Action

                              *********

CINAR CORP: Couple Founders Blame ex-CFO for Problems in Montreal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Deposed Cinar Corp. founders Micheline Charest and Ronald Weinberg broke
10 months of silence on February 6 by chastising the company's current
management and defending themselves against accusations of financial
wrongdoing.

The husband-and-wife team emerged from self-imposed exile to respond to a
recent lawsuit filed against them by the current management of the
Montreal animation house -- a $28.6-million claim that itemizes a host of
related party dealings and alleges the couple treated the company like a
'private bank' to fund home renovations, personal investments, their
son's private schooling and stock options for their live-in nanny.

In an interview at a Montreal hotel, the couple maintained the money in
their directors' loans account that was used to finance personal items
was in most cases either owed to them by the company or repaid. They also
criticized Ernst & Young, Cinar's long-time auditors, and pinned much of
the blame for the company's demise on Hasanain Panju, the former chief
financial officer who was fired after an internal audit last March
revealed US$122-million in company funds had been invested offshore
without board approval.

'Our approach was that we were trying to figure out what had happened,
speaking with the company, and when we were rather encouraged by
discussions we were absolutely floored that the company would spring the
lawsuit on us,' said Mr. Weinberg, explaining why the couple decided to
step out of the shadows. Mr. Weinberg and Ms. Charest, who were also
fired following the investment scandal, claim that Cinar still owes them
$8.4-million, and said they are planning to file suit against the
company. 'I think we've already suffered quite a lot, and we're
continuing to suffer. Obviously, as the co-heads of the company, the
plaque on our desk is the same as the cliche: the buck stops here.'

Cinar's storied rise has been written into legend in Canadian
entertainment circles. Ms. Charest and Mr. Weinberg launched the company
out of the trunk of a car in 1976, after the two had a chance encounter
at a New Orleans film festival. Ms. Charest, who was then working for the
National Film Board, and Mr. Weinberg, a New Yorker who was also involved
in the film business, married in 1983, and began building Cinar into what
would become the darling of domestic entertainment stocks, a company
whose worth once approached $1.5-billion.

But in the past year they have witnessed their company spiral into a
dizzying tailspin, one that lopped 70% off the stock's value before it
was halted (Cinar was later delisted by Nasdaq and suspended by the
Toronto Stock Exchange) and resulted in RCMP probes and a rash of class
action lawsuits.

Together the erstwhile power couple control roughly 64% of Cinar's voting
stock and 12% of the company's equity, and in recent months they have
been working with the animator's financial advisor, Merrill Lynch, to
help find a buyer and salvage the company's assets.

But Ms. Charest and Mr. Weinberg argue that a potential sale could be
jeopardized now by the timing of the action brought against them by
Cinar.

According to documents filed with Quebec Superior Court in Montreal,
Cinar allocated $10.9-million of the total damages to Ms. Charest, Mr.
Weinberg and four companies they control. The suit, however, alleges the
couple was working in concert with Mr. Panju, and seeks $28.6-million
solidarily from all the defendants.

According to Pierre St-Laurent, a forensic auditor who has been working
for the couple over the past eight months, Cinar was often in the
position of owing them large sums of money, once as much as $20-million.
Much of this stems from $ 35-million of the pair's personal cash,
resulting from a pair of stock offerings in 1997 and 1999, which was paid
directly to Cinar, and subsequently credited to the pair's directors'
loan account.

Ms. Charest and Mr. Weinberg rejected the company's claim that the board
of directors had never approved the use of directors' loan accounts.
According to Ms. Charest, Ernst & Young (which resigned last month and
refused to audit the company's financial statements) set up the
directors' accounts. 'Why did Ernst & Young never [bring] this up? I
mean, they were the auditors for this company, they knew what system we
had in this company, they were the auditors for 16 years,' she said.

Ms. Charest and Mr. Weinberg, who appeared tanned and at ease despite
enduring a maelstrom of media scrutiny over the past year, conceded part
of the responsibility for Cinar's rapid demise was theirs, though they
hardly sounded contrite. They attributed much of the alleged financial
improprieties -- ranging from related part dealings in which Mr. Weinberg
allegedly faked board resolutions and guaranteed high-risk personal
investments with the company's assets -- to Mr. Panju. Indeed, they
portray themselves as an ambitious, if naive, pair of entrepreneurs who
were hoodwinked by a financial guru.

Mr. Panju has not spoken publicly since he was fired, but his lawyer,
Jacques Rossignol, said recently he would be meeting with his client and
considering launching their own suit against Cinar.

Although Ms. Charest admitted there were 'some issues in the fall of
1999' -- a veiled reference to a tax-credit scandal in which Cinar
falsely credited U.S. scripts to Canadian writers in order to reap
millions of dollars worth of government tax credits -- the couple will
not discuss the script-writing allegations because of an ongoing RCMP
investigation into the affair.

The company struck a $27.5-million settlement with federal and provincial
tax authorities in December, but the matter is still in the hands of the
Mounties, who plan to submit their case to the Crown later this month and
seek charges against five suspects.

The barrage of attention and allegations has undoubtedly taken its toll
on the couple, although shareholders are not likely to have much
sympathy. Mr. Weinberg explained that he and Ms. Charest, along with
their two sons, are 'dealing with it like a family  The kids have always
been very much aware that as much as they are our kids, we have a big kid
named Cinar that always took more time than they got, and that's just
been historically part of their life.'

Neither Ms. Charest nor Mr. Weinberg would say whether they will leave
the city, or the business for that matter, if and when the controversy
settles. Their primary goal, they said, is to assist Merrill Lynch with
the sale of the company.

The investment banker sent out memoranda to at least 30 suitors this
week, said one source close to the company. To facilitate the sale
process, Cinar management released unaudited financial statements for
1999 and the first six months of fiscal 2000, along with unapproved
restatements for 1997 and 1998. According to the results, which were
adjusted for related party dealings, the tax settlement, and a host of
other write-downs, Cinar suffered a loss of $ 202.8-million over the past
18 months for which it reported.

The couple also protested these results as being unreliable, taking
exception with the company's conservative write-down on film assets and
with its accounting for the disputed $12-million payment from CIS.

Ms. Charest, perhaps mustering the last bit of optimism she has left,
managed to put a tongue-in-cheek spin on the company's downfall. 'I'll
tell you something,' she said. 'If everyone on this planet is going to
put on our shoulder the omen of creating all these problems, I will
single-handedly take all the credit for having built it.' (National Post
(formerly The Financial Post), February 07, 2001)


CINCINNATI POLICE: ACLU Board Wants Investigation on Racial Profiling
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The ACLU is investigating allegations of racial profiling by Cincinnati
police in preparation for a lawsuit, after state board members voted this
weekend, its director said.

"If the allegations are true, they are very serious allegations," said
Raymond Vasvari, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union's
Ohio chapter. "We have heard enough from people in the community that
this warrants our investigation."

The research will involve "sitting down and talking with witnesses," said
Vasvari, who would not elaborate on how the organization plans to
identify potential victims or research claims of racial bias.

The ACLU's decision was not motivated by any single case, but by multiple
reports of police treating citizens differently based on their race or
ethnicity, Vasvari said. Those types of equal rights issues are "bedrock
principles" for civil libertarians, he added.

Meanwhile, a second initiative aimed at racial profiling is on schedule
to meet a mid-March deadline for filing a class action lawsuit in federal
court, said Ken Lawson, the lead attorney in that case.

Lawson that groups working on the project had collected statements from
more than 100 people who claimed they were subjected to the practice by
Cincinnati police. "We found that this is affecting more law-abiding
citizens than we had initially thought."

As many as eight other attorneys may join him in the case, which will be
fashioned from several pending suits alleging abuse by city police
officers. Soon, Lawson's group will begin going through complaints filed
with the police department and cases investigated by the city's Office of
Municipal Investigation to find more prospective clients for the suit.

Cincinnati Black United Front, which helped take statements from people
alleging racial profiling, will provide further help in preparing the
suit if necessary, said the Rev. Damon Lynch III, the group's president.
(The Cincinnati Post Copyright 2001, February 5, 2001)


COCA-COLA: Attys. In Racial Bias Suit Fight against Delay in Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------------Attorneys
representing 2,000 Coca-Cola employees in a race discrimination suit
against the company are fighting a challenge by two class members seeking
to postpone a settlement.

Attorneys with Atlanta's Bondurant, Mixson & Elmore oppose a move by
Florida attorney Willie E. Gary to stay the settlement until his clients
receive more details about the $192.5 million settlement's proposed cash
awards. Abdallah v. Coca-Cola, No. 1-98-cv-3679 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 5, 2001).
Gary represents Coke employee Wanda Williams and former employee
Stephanie Fain.

Both women are part of the class represented by Bondurant, Mixson. Fain
is one of four women who have filed a separate $ 1.5 billion race
discrimination suit against Coke.

In a brief filed this week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, class
attorneys attacked as "frivolous" the women's claims that settlement
details contained in the class notice are inadequate.

Staying the settlement until more details are provided "would delay cash
payments averaging in the tens of thousands of dollars to at least 2,000
people, as well as the implementation of critical programmatic reforms
needed to address race discrimination at Coca-Cola," the brief states.
Those reforms include the establishment of a diversity task force and
changing the pay structure to eliminate wage disparities among black and
white employees.

Williams and Fain filed a notice of appeal Jan. 19, objecting to the date
for a fairness hearing where class members can question the settlement's
terms. That hearing is scheduled after class members must decide whether
to accept the settlement terms. The two women also seek details not
provided in the class notice.

But in the brief opposing a stay, Bondurant attorney Joshua F. Thorpe
argues that the Coke settlement notice includes far more information than
is typically found in most class discrimination notices. Class members
now can calculate an estimated two-thirds of their cash award-"more than
enough information to make an intelligent, informed decision about
whether or not to participate in the settlement or opt out."

At issue is the amount of back pay each class member would receive. That
figure is derived from a complex formula based on such factors as the
employee's work experience, tenure at Coke and education. For some
employees, part of the award will be in stock options, some of which have
no current value because their exercise price is higher than that of Coke
stock.

In addition, participants in class action suits routinely must decide
whether to accept the settlement "without knowing whether they will
receive anything at all as a result of the ligitation or settlement, let
alone even a ballpark estimate of the amount," Thorpe wrote. "Asking
members of this class to make a decision between a guaranteed cash
payment whose value can only be estimated at this point and the
uncertainty of litigating individually is more than fair. Class members
also know that if they choose to opt out and file an individual claim,
they may lose and receive nothing"

                      Wrestlers Slam Turner

Ten minority-race wrestlers sat in a federal courtroom in Atlanta Tuesday
while attorneys for Turner Sports and World Championship Wrestling asked
U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper to dismiss the men's race
discrimination claims.

The wrestlers and would-be wrestlers sued last year, claiming that Turner
Sports did not promote minority wrestlers as stars in the show business
world of televised wrestling. They claim that the scripts dictating who
wins each match consign minority wrestlers to roles that perpetuate
negative racial stereotypes. They also claim minority wrestlers received
unfair compensation compared to their white counterparts, and that WCW
employees routinely use racial epithets and derogatory language when
referring to minorities. Walker v. World Championship Wrestling, No.
1:00-CV-367 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 6, 2001)

After reading aloud the names of the plaintiffs in court, Atlanta
attorney Cary Ichter of Meadows, Ichter & Trigg noted that even the
"best-schooled devotee of wrestling" wouldn't know them. "They have never
been heard of by this court and most wrestling fans because they have
never been given the opportunity to be heard of and that is because of
the color of their skin," he said.

WCW also has indulged in derogatory racial stereotypes, Ichter claimed.
In its promotions the organization has used a white wrestler who entered
the arena in black face where he "mocked and humiliated" his opponent, an
African-American wrestler, he said. The man publicly identified as WCW's
CEO has referred to blacks in the wrestling audience as "Little Black
Sambos," he said. And one wrestler, known as "Booker T." was hung during
a performance as if he were being lynched, Ichter said.

But James A. Lamberth, a Troutman Sanders attorney who is defending WCW
and Turner Sports, argued that none of the wrestlers who have sued have
pointed to specific instances where they were treated differently because
of their race. Nothing in the WCW contracts requires the organization to
use those it hires, Lamberth said. He added that they are paid only so
they will be available to perform. "These provisions provide that we will
pay you X amount and we will use you or not use you as we see fit," he
said.

There was no contractual right to wrestle, he insisted. By choosing when
and how to use or not use their minority wrestlers, Turner Sports and the
WCW were doing only what their contracts with those wrestlers permitted
them to do."

                        UGA Settles Race Suit

Two white students who challenged law school admissions policies at the
University of Georgia have settled their case in return for admission to
UGA's law school and tuition money.

Robert T. Homlar, now at the University of South Carolina Law School, and
Virginia Noble, now at Mercer Law School, settled the case Monday, says
their attorney A. Lee Parks. Noble v. Georgia Board of Regents, No.
4:00-cv-133 (S.D. Ga. Feb. 5, 2001).

But Parks, with Parks, Chesin, Wal-bert & Miller, says the law school has
not changed its policy of using race as a criterion for admissions.

"I think what they think they bought here was a continuing right to
discriminate," Parks says. It's a "short-term fix" that permits the law
school to perpetuate its current admissions policies even if it costs the
university a certain amount in damages every year, he says, "because most
people don't sue."

UGA officials confirm there will be no change in the law school's
admissions process as a result of the settlement.

The settlement awards Homlar $15,000 and Noble $20,000 to compensate them
for the higher tuition they paid at their current law schools, as well as
a total of $ 25,000 in legal fees. Homlar intends to complete his third
year of law school at UGA, Parks says. Noble has decided to finish her
law degree at Mercer.

The two law students last year challenged UGA's use of race as a factor
in admission, a litmus test they claimed led the law school to reject
their applications in spite of test scores and grades that should have
qualified them for acceptance.

"Both Homlar and Noble had higher academic scores than minorities who
were offered admission," Parks says. But the UGA law school's current
admissions policy seeks 10 percent minority admissions in each class. "To
achieve that goal, at some level academics were subordinated to race,"
Parks says.

The suit is similar to three other suits that so far successfully have
challenged UGA's use of race as an admissions criterion for
undergraduates. Those student plaintiffs have been admitted to UGA and
awarded damages, Parks says. Nonetheless, the Georgia Board of Regents is
asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals if race can be considered
during the college admissions process.

"I think you will continue to see the lawsuits as long as the university
pursues the policy of settling rather than correcting the underlying
cause of the liability," Parks says. "People aren't just going to take
rejection without a fight." (Fulton County Daily Report, February 7,
2001)


COVINGTON PIKE: Black Salesmen Sue Toyota Dealer over Racial Bias
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Two dozen current and former black sales representatives of Covington
Pike Toyota filed a federal lawsuit against the dealership Monday
alleging racial discrimination and civil rights violations.

Black workers have been denied promotions and subjected to racial slurs,
the lawsuit said.

Covington Pike Toyota is run like in the old days, said Wayne Douglas, a
former dealership sales manager who now works for another auto firm.
"Everything is done off the good-ol'-boy system where people are not
promoted on their talent, but who is a friend to the general manager.''

Defendants in the lawsuit filed late Monday in U.S. District Court are
Covington Pike Toyota's general manager, Kent Ritchey, and dealership
owner, United Auto Group of Detroit.

Ritchey, who also is local market manager for the United Auto Group, said
he has invited "those who accuse" to sit down to discuss complaints.
"Discrimination does not exist at Covington Pike Toyota," Ritchey said at
an evening press conference. Ritchey said the company's record includes
donations to numerous charities and fund-raisers, including those geared
toward African-Americans. Lawyer Richard Fields, who represents the
plaintiffs, declined to comment. His clients include current and former
sales representatives who worked at the Toyota dealership at 1970
Covington Pike in the past year.

Fields filed a similar suit last February in behalf of black salesmen at
Bud Davis Cadillac. Plaintiffs in that suit picketed the dealership and
sent letters to 10,000 customers. The suit was settled after a month for
an undisclosed sum and changes in work conditions.

The latest suit contends the Toyota dealership had no black desk
managers, one of the top jobs, other than a few team leaders before
September 1999. Black team leaders primarily led groups of black sales
workers, but in recent years had been passed over for promotions to top
jobs.

In September 1999, six senior black employees wrote UAG chairman Roger
Penske with their concerns. Penske sent a representative to Memphis for a
meeting. "They did nothing,'' Douglas said. "They smooth-talked us for a
month and then they went back to the same old ways.''

The lawsuit said the company has failed to promote black employees into
jobs as service adviser, desk manager, leasing manager or senior finance
manager even though qualified African-Americans have expressed interest
in open positions in these areas.

Job openings are not posted, and there is no interview or application
process for openings, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit also said the
all-white senior management staff consistently makes racial slurs toward
both African-American customers and employees. "Such statements include
derogatory remarks relating to interracial relationships and ethnicity,''
the suit said.

The lawsuit claims female workers were subjected to offensive language
from top white executives. One plaintiff said she was asked by a superior
when she was going to have sex with him and when she was going to "spank
(him) and call (him) Daddy.'' Her complaints to management went
unanswered, the lawsuit says.

Douglas said about half the dealership's salesman are black, and the top
sales staff are black. He estimated that black customers account for
about half the business.

The lawsuit said Douglas and former co-worker Norman Miller, the two
senior sales representatives and team leaders, were fired last October
because of their race and because they helped draft the letter to Penske.
More than half the two- dozen plaintiffs still work at the dealership.
The others were fired or left for other jobs.

The lawsuit seeks $ 5 million in punitive damages and $ 100,000 in
compensatory damages for each plaintiff. (The Commercial Appeal (Memphis,
TN), February 6, 2001)


COX COMMUNICATIONS: Faces Suit By Clients Alleging Illegal Franchise Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cox Communications Inc. has been hit with a lawsuit by two customers in
Roanoke, Va., claiming the cable-TV company is imposing unlawful
franchise fees for high-speed Internet services.

The suit, which seeks class-action status, was filed on February 6 in the
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Roanoke, and
comes on the heels of Cox's recent decision not to collect the fees in
some parts of the West because of a federal court ruling last June.

In that case, decided by the San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals, the court concluded that Internet services delivered over
cable-TV lines are telecommunications services, not cable-TV services.
The distinction was important because franchise fees charged by cities
and municipalities typically apply only to cable-TV services.

Citing the court's decision, Cox, in the autumn, stopped collecting the
fees from consumers who live in areas under the jurisdiction of the Ninth
Circuit court, which covers parts of the West.

Cox, whose high-speed Internet services are sold under the Excite@Home
brand, warned that it was exposing itself to lawsuits from customers if
it continued to collect unjustified franchise fees.

The Virginia lawsuit recounted those events, and alleged that Cox is
trying to play it both ways. The suit noted that Cox has yet to file its
rates with the Federal Communications Commission, as other telecom
carriers do.

"In a curious shell game, Cox appears to adopt contradictory positions
regarding the classification of cable-modem service as part of a
relentless effort to avoid any government regulation and for its own
financial benefit at the expense of its customers," the suit claimed.
That "scheme" is "illegal," the suit says, alleging that Cox consumers
"have been overcharged millions of dollars in franchise fees."

The plaintiffs in the case are listed as Kimberly and William Bova of
Roanoke, Va., described in the suit as customers of Cox's cable-modem
service. The couple's lawyer, John Fishwick of Roanoke, Va., said neither
plaintiff would be available for comment.

A spokesman for Cox said the company hadn't yet seen the lawsuit and
couldn't comment.

Separately, Cox reported a fourth-quarter loss that met Wall Street's
expectations, but also showed operating cash-flow growth at the low end
of expectations.

Cox also offered guidance for 2001 that was more cautious than what some
analysts had expected. The company said it could be hurt by the slowing
economy this year, helping to pull down shares in early trading.

The Atlanta-based cable-TV operator's net loss of $71.6 million, or 12
cents a share, contrasted with net income of $113 million, or 18 cents a
diluted share, a year earlier. Revenue climbed 31% to $945.9 million from
$721.8 million. The most recent period was affected by a one-time gain of
$55 million on sales of its shares in Sprint PCS that were sold on the
open market. Operating cash flow increased about 14%.

For 2001, Cox said it expected strong revenue growth of 14% to 16%, but
operating cash-flow growth of just 12% to 13%. Some analysts wondered why
projections on cash-flow growth weren't more bullish. (The Wall Street
Journal, February 7, 2001)


DOW CHEMICAL: FTC Approves $10 Bil Acquisition of Union Carbide
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dow Chemical's $10 billion acquisition of Union Carbide, which was the
subject of complaints, was approved by the Federal Trade Commission,
creating the world's second-largest chemical company. As a condition of
the merger, Dow will withdraw from a joint venture to market plastics-
manufacturing technology. The divestiture addresses concerns that the
combined company could raise prices for licensing. (The Atlanta Journal
and Constitution, February 6, 2001)


FIRSTAR CORP: DOJ OKs U.S. Bancorp Merger after Agr. to Sell 13 Branches
------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Justice Department approved the merger of Firstar Corp. with U.S.
Bancorp into the nation's eighth-largest bank after the banks agreed to
sell 13 branches with $756 million in deposits in Minnesota and Iowa. The
agreement to sell the branches resolved competitive concerns raised by
the department's antitrust division. With the sale, the division will
raise no objection to the required final approval of the deal by the
Federal Reserve System's board of governors. (The Atlanta Journal and
Constitution, February 6, 2001)


HAWAII: Lawsuit By Climants Alleging Breach of Trust Pending in Sp. Ct.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Legislature established a separate process for resolving claims
unique to individual beneficiaries of the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust Fund
for actual economic damages arising from breaches of trust caused by the
State between the date Hawaii became a state (August 21, 1959) through
June 30, 1988. The Hawaiian Home Lands Trust Individual Claims Review
Panel ("Panel") was to provide the Legislature with findings and advisory
opinions concerning such claims, and claimants who were not satisfied
with such advisory opinions or the Legislature's response thereto must
have filed civil actions before December 31, 1999. A total of 4,327
claims were filed. In 1999, the Legislature passed a bill that would have
extended the Panel and its review process for another year, until
December 31, 2000. The bill, however, was vetoed by the Governor, and the
Panel was therefore terminated on December 31, 1999.

On December 29, 1999, three claimants filed a class action lawsuit in
State court for declaratory and injunctive relief for breach of trust or
fiduciary duty and violation of due process, equal protection and native
rights provisions of the State Constitution. On August 30, 2000, the
trial court granted claimants' motion for summary judgment and
declaratory relief as to parts of the complaint and denied defendants'
motion for judgment on the pleadings. The trial court rejected
defendants' defenses of sovereign immunity, lack of subject matter
jurisdiction and failure to state a cause of action. The trial court
granted defendants' motion to leave to file an interlocutory appeal, and
a notice of appeal was filed in the Hawaii Supreme Court. An oral order
staying all proceedings pending the Hawaii Supreme Court's disposition of
the appeal was entered on September 25, 2000.


HEFREN TILLOTSON: Township May Share in Settlement of Investment Scam
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The township may receive as much as $ 100,000 from the John Gardner Black
III investment scam of 1997. Then again, it might not. The money may come
from a settlement of $ 600,000, the result of a class-action lawsuit
against investment firm Hefren Tillotson Inc. A hearing on the matter
will take place at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in federal bankruptcy court.

The township lost just over half of $ 2.2 million it had invested with
Devon Capital Management Inc. Council president Dick Dunlap said,
however, that the township has recouped "$ 800,000 to $ 900,000."

Investment banker Black of Tyrone, Blair County, who worked for Devon,
was sentenced last year to 41 months in federal prison for defrauding 50
school districts and municipalities of $ 70 million. Black had used
Hefren Tillotson as a broker for nearly 700 trades.

Most of that money, minus attorney's fees totaling $ 145,000, is going to
the Tyrone Area School District, which lost the most, Dunlap said.
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 7, 2001)


NESTLE: Agrees to Settle Consumer Suits Re Ad. on Bottled Water
---------------------------------------------------------------
A U.S. unit of Swiss food giant Nestle agreed to settle consumer
class-action suits alleging it has fraudulently advertised its Calistoga
and Arrowhead bottled water as being mountain spring water. A California
judge gave preliminarily approval to the settlement, under which Great
Spring Waters of America will make $ 5 million in coupons and other
discounts available to consumers for five years. The company also agreed
to make $ 4.75 million in donations to charities and perform additional
tests on its California water sources. A lawyer for Great Springs
declined to comment. (Los Angeles Times, February 7, 2001)


PAYDAY LENDERS: FL A.G. Asks to Join Orange County in Suit V. Ace Cash
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Citing interest rates of 300 percent and a system that pushes consumers
further into debt, Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth's office
asked for permission Tuesday to join an Orange County lawsuit against a
"payday loan" company.

The lawsuit was filed last year in state Circuit Court in Orange County
against Ace Cash Express Inc., based in Irving, Texas. One of the
plaintiffs is Wendy Betts, a Winter Springs office worker who borrowed
money from Ace's Fern Park office in July 1996.

In the suit, Betts said she borrowed $107.50 from Ace to pay her bills.
She gave Ace a $120 check to hold for the duration of the loan, which she
renewed every two weeks by paying a $12.50 fee. In October 1997, she
increased the loan to $175 and paid a $23 biweekly fee for the next year.

Ace eventually cashed her check, which bounced, and the company
threatened to prosecute her for writing a bad check, the lawsuit said.

Betts' lawyer, Clay Yates of Fort Pierce, contends Ace engaged in
deceptive practices and violated state law capping usury rates at 18
percent annual interest. He welcomed the state joining his suit, which he
hope to expand into a class action on behalf of thousands of such
customers in Florida.

Assistant Attorney General Roger Handberg said the Ace probe is one of
several such companies being investigated statewide under racketeering
and deceptive-lending laws. He said the loan rates have averaged 270
percent to 340 percent, with some reaching more than 1,000 percent.

"From our standpoint, those transactions are continuations of the
original loan," Handberg said. "They're charging too much interest."

Ace officials would not comment, saying they are studying the state's
actions. Court records show the company contends their charges are
legally allowed check-cashing fees -- not interest on loans -- and are
exempt from state usury laws.

Ace's Web site states they have 1,221 stores engaged in retail financial
services and check-cashing businesses in 30 states. Ninety stores are in
Florida, including 12 in the Orlando area. The company, publicly traded,
reported 2000 annual revenues of $140.6 million, 60 percent of that
coming from check-cashing fees. (The Orlando Sentinel, February 7, 2001)


PHONY SETTLEMENT: Bond Offer for Baby Food Settement Is a Hoax
--------------------------------------------------------------
Police said a phony offer from people who say they represent a baby food
company is an attempt to steal birth certificates and Social Security
numbers.

Detective John Cox said a flier, allegedly from Gerber Products Co., has
been circulating that urges people to send information to the company in
exchange for $500 savings bonds.

The flier says a class-action lawsuit has been settled involving
preservatives in baby food that may have been consumed between 1985 and
1997.

People who used the products during that time were offered the bonds,
police said.

According to the Gerber Internet Web site, there have been several false
rumors concerning a baby food settlement.

Gerber denied any involvement in a settlement involving reimbursements to
consumers. (The Commercial Appeal Memphis, TN Copyright 2001, February 4,
2001)


ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Lawsuit By Crew Members for Wages Is Pending in NY Ct.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
In April 1999 a lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York on behalf of current and former crew
members alleging that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. failed to pay the
plaintiffs their full wages. The suit seeks payment of (i) the wages
alleged to be owed, (ii) penalty wages under U.S. law and (iii) punitive
damages. In November 1999, a purported class action suit was filed in the
same court alleging a similar cause of action. The company is not able at
this time to estimate the impact of these proceedings on its business.


STARLINK LITIGATION: Greenpeace Dumps StarLink at EPA to Gain Attention
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Greenpeace said it dumped more than a ton of genetically modified
StarLink corn Wednesday morning in the driveway at the headquarters of
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a bid to gain the attention
of newly installed EPA chief Christine Todd Whitman.

StarLink had been approved only as animal feed and for industrial uses
but wound up in the human food chain. The dumping coincided with the
filing of a lawsuit this week by farmers who say they have been harmed
financially by the StarLink mix-up.

StarLink, produced by Aventis CropScience, has been genetically altered
to produce a protein, Cry9C, to repel pests. It is feared the protein is
a human allergen and the EPA currently is considering whether to grant
Aventis a waiver to allow the corn that accidentally made its way into
the food chain to work its way through the food processing system without
necessitating massive recalls.

The dumping was accompanied by activists dressed in biohazard suits,
displaying a banner reading, "Genetic Experiment -- Whitman: StarLink
Corn Isn't Food."

Greenpeace claimed Whitman, as governor of New Jersey, was soft on
polluters and likely to favor the chemical and biotech industries.

"Christy Whitman has been cozying up to the chemical and biotech
industries while environmentalists and consumers are left holding the
feed bag," said Charles Margulis, Greenpeace genetic engineering
specialist. "Wealthy companies should not be granted pardons. They should
be held accountable for polluting our food."

A group of Iowa farmers earlier this week filed a class action suit in
state district court in Des Moines, saying they were financially hurt
because of consumer fears generated by StarLink. Aventis has been unable
to account for 1.2 million bushels of StarLink and there is some evidence
StarLink cross-pollinated with another brand of genetically modified
corn. The company has said it would compensate farmers and grain elevator
operators for losses, possibly totaling as much as $1 billion.

Attorney Roxanne Conlin said the suit was filed in Iowa court because the
state court system moves faster than the federal courts, where class
actions suits were filed on behalf of growers nationwide in December.

Many farmers and grain elevators have been unable to sell their corn
because traces of StarLink have been found in the stocks. Some farmers
have said they never were told they had to segregate StarLink from the
rest of their crops.

Aventis claims StarLink is safe for human consumption and some new
research by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign may bear that
out.

UI plant biologist Margaret Gawienowski has released findings indicating
the DNA of corn breaks down and becomes unidentifiable once corn is
wet-milled for such products as flakes although it remains intact in
dry-milling, which is used to make corn meal.

The StarLink controversy erupted in September when the altered corn was
detected in Taco Bell taco shells produced by Kraft for sale in grocery
stores. Since then it has turned up in numerous other brands of taco
shells, corn meal and corn flour. (United Press International, February
7, 2001)


U-M: Expert Witness Says Race Factors in Admissions Offset Bias in Tests
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Testimony in the University of Michigan's Law School race-conscious
admissions policy continued Tuesday, with an expert witness saying that
using race as one of many factors in admissions is the only way colleges
can offset biases in standardized tests.

Martin Shapiro, a testing specialist and psychology professor at Emory
University in Atlanta, testified before U.S. District Judge Bernard
Friedman in Detroit.

Barbara Grutter, 47, of Wayne County's Plymouth Township, filed the
class-action lawsuit in 1997, calling the school's admission policies
unconstitutional. Grutter, a white applicant, says the law school
discriminated against her while accepting minority students with lower
test scores and grade-point averages.

Shapiro said biases were built into Scholastic Aptitude Tests, or SATs,
from the start.

Test makers today pretest groups of students, he said. If the group that
historically scores well performs well on a pretest, the question is
kept. If a group that historically scores poorly does well on a pretest
question, the question is thrown out, Shapiro said.

Data shows that women and minorities traditionally have scored lower than
white men on the pretests, Shapiro said.

Larry Purdy, Grutter's lawyer, asked Shapiro if it would be logical for
colleges to stop asking an applicant's race.

"That's a fairy tale," Shapiro answered. "You cannot remove race as a
piece of information in the United States. It's too ascertainable."

Purdy then asked the expert if standardized tests should not be used for
admission.

Standardized tests "are not the devil," Shapiro said. But "race and sex
in our society are characteristics that affect how we perform. They are
not irrelevant." (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, February 7,
2001)


UNION PACIFIC: Laramie Landowners Sue Railroad over Right of Ways
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A group of Laramie County landowners is suing Union Pacific Railroad over
the use of railroad rights of way for fiber-optic cable and other
telecommunications lines.

The class-action lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by Warren
Nicodemus and Dale and Darlene Bowman. The Sheridan law firm Davis &
Cannon is representing the landowners.

The landowners argue right of way agreements do not allow the use of
their property for anything othe rthan operating a railroad. They contend
Union Pacific and the telecommunications companies are trespassing,
depriving landowners of rents and profits and enriching themselves at the
landowners' expense.

As of Monday, Union Pacific had not formally responded to the complaint.

But Union Pacific spokesman John Bromley said the railroad will fight it.

Bromley said telecommunications companies have laid fiber-optic and other
equipment along railroad rights of way throughout the country.

"The telecommuncations system we have today wouldn't be possible without
it,' he said.

The landowners want U.S. District Judge William Downes of Casper to stop
Union Pacific from negotiating rights of way with telecommunications
companies and allow landowners to recover damages and punitive damages.
The damage amounts would be determined at trial.

Since the mid-19th century, Union Pacific has entered into rights of way
agreements with possibly thousands of landowners to operate its railroad,
the suit said.

But Union Pacific "has nothing more than a right of way for railroad
purposes," it said.

Qwest and most of the major telecommunications companies have laid
fiber-optic cable along Union Pacific's rights of way, Bromley said.

Qwest spokesman Skp Thurman declined to comment on the lawsuit, but he
said the company has legally secured contracts with railroads. Laying
cable by the tracks is an environmentally clean way to build
telecommunications infrastructure, Thurman said.

Union Pacific, based in Omaha, has 38,654 miles of track in 23 states.
The railroad hauls everything from chemicals, coal and food to grain
metals and automobiles. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire,
February 7, 2001)


UPGRADE INT'L: Announces Dismissal of Fed Claims; WA State Claims Remain
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Upgrade International Corp. (OTCBB:UPGD) Reports that the United States
District Court for the Western District of Washington has granted the
Company's Motion to Dismiss the Federal Claims in the class action
litigation pending before the Court.

The Court left intact the claims based upon Washington State law and
remanded those to the Whatcom County Superior Court for further
proceeding.

Upgrade Chairman and CEO Daniel Bland stated, "We are pleased that the
Court has granted our Motion to Dismiss the broad Federal claims made by
the plaintiffs. We are confident that the State law claims will be
dismissed as well."

Upgrade International Corp. through its ownership interest in UltraCard
Inc., Efornet Corp., and cQue Corporation is engaged in the development
and commercialization of a patented ultra high capacity portable data
storage technology.


US AIRWAYS: Settles DE Suits Re Asset Acquisition at Reagan Airport
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Commencing on May 24, 2000, US Airways Inc., along with several of the
company’s officers and directors and, in all suits other than one, UAL
Corporation, have been named as defendants in eight putative class
actions filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware in and
for the New Castle County.

The plaintiffs allege that they have been and will be damaged by the
agreement reached between US Airway’s parent, UAL Corporation, and Robert
Johnson with respect to the acquisition by an entity established by Mr.
Johnson of certain assets located at Reagan National Airport that are to
be divested by US Airways in connection with the consummation of the
merger. The plaintiffs allege, among other things, that the individual
defendants have breached their duty of loyalty and their fiduciary duties
in entering into the agreement with Mr. Johnson. On November 9, 2000, US
Airways entered into a memorandum of understanding to settle the class
actions, subject to consummation of the merger, negotiation of a
definitive settlement agreement and Court approval of the settlement.
There can be no assurance that the Court will approve the settlement as
proposed.

The company was also named as a nominal defendant in a derivative action
filed in the Court of Chancery based upon the same allegations. The
derivative plaintiff brought causes of action for (i) breach of fiduciary
duty; (ii) gross mismanagement; and (iii) corporate waste of assets. The
plaintiff in the derivative action seeks, among other things, declaratory
and equitable relief, unspecified compensatory damages and attorneys'
fees.


WEST BROMWICH: Financial Product's Promises of Income Actualize in Debts
------------------------------------------------------------------------
West Bromwich Building Society has run up costs of Pounds 27m in legal
bills and compensation for a financial product that promised elderly
people extra income but saddled many with big debts.

The news concludes a drawn-out battle between the society and customers,
which has reflected poorly on a mutual movement anxious to portray itself
as more ethical than banks.

During the early 1990s, the society sold large numbers of a financial
product allowing elderly people to realise some of the value of their
homes. Typically, they received half the value of a remortgage, with the
balance invested to cover interest payments.

But in many cases, returns from the Rainbow Equity Release Scheme -
marketed by a firm of financial advisers based in Southport that is no
longer in business were lower than interest charges.

This resulted in ballooning debts for customers, three of whom committed
suicide.

The society fought hard to avoid compensating investors by cutting back
interest charges, despite a strong campaign mounted by the Birmingham
Post. But it was defeated in a class action brought by about 195
customers in the High Court in 1998. It is believed that only five of
these claims have still to be settled.

Rod Knight, of JKeith Park, a law firm that represented customers in the
class action, said about 900 people bought the product.

He said: "When the sales campaign was at its height, the (underlying)
investments would have had to make returns of 23 per cent just to cover
the interest.

"West Bromwich Building Society has been quite hard-nosed in its handling
of this case. It suggests further protection is needed for vulnerable
customers."

The society confirmed the scale of the costs, which are almost double
last year's profits. It declined to comment further.

Cheltenham & Gloucester, the mortgage arm of Lloyds TSB, also sold equity
release products but settled the bulk of claims out of court, including a
Pounds 7.5m payment to 319 investors in 1996. It also froze some loans
and wrote off smaller mortgages. Financial Times (London)


* Law Journal Tells of Effective Legal Notice Programs For Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The reality of class action litigation is that, for a multitude of
reasons, these suits often settle prior to trial. See Air Line Stewards &
Stewardesses Ass'n v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 630 F.2d 1164, 1166-67
(7th Cir. 1980) (citation omitted) ("Federal Courts look with great favor
upon the voluntary resolution of litigation through settlement. This rule
has particular force regarding class action lawsuits."), aff'd sub nom.
Zipes v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 455 U.S. 385 (1982).

In class actions, unlike individual actions, the parties may not reach
agreement on their own. Rather, Rule 23(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure ("Fed. R. Civ. P.") provides that "a class action shall not be
dismissed or compromised without the approval of the court." This rule
protects absent class members, who oftentimes are not aware of the
lawsuit at all. See Generally In re General Motors Corp. Pick-Up Truck
Fuel Tank Product Liability Litigation, 55 F.3d 768, 783-86 (3d Cir.
1995). One way judges protect the rights of absent class members is by
ensuring that they receive proper and adequate notice. Consequently,
attorneys must be careful at this stage of the case lest their hard work
in achieving settlement be scuttled by a poorly constructed notice
program.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(C)(2) requires "the best notice practicable under the
circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be
identified through reasonable effort."

The Supreme Court in Eisen v. Carlisle & Jacquelin, 417 U.S. 156, 173
(1974), maintained that the meaning of this part of the rule is
"unmistakable." It held that "[i]ndividual notice must be sent to all
class members whose names and addresses may be ascertained through
reasonable effort." This oft-cited holding in Eisen was effectively the
death knell of that particular class action. The Supreme Court reasoned
that because of the availability of computer records, individual notice
had to be mailed to over two million class members, a cost that plaintiff
refused to bear. Eisen, 417 U.S. at 179. Nevertheless, as the Court
stated, "[t]here is nothing in Rule 23 to suggest that the notice
requirements can be tailored to fit the pocketbooks of particular
plaintiffs." Id. at 176.1 Obviously, under Eisen, counsel must be
prepared to send individual notice where feasible. Where individual
notice is not practicable, however, counsel should seek creative
alternatives for publication or other forms of notice that will satisfy
the most exacting standards of any court.

The proliferation of new communication vehicles actually has made it more
difficult to reach target audiences _ and to capture their attention _
through notice programs. With the Internet explosion, consumers now are
inundated with information from many varied sources, making the design
and implementation of legal notice programs more important than ever for
attorneys handling class action settlements. What follows are some
guidelines on how best to conduct a legal notice program that will
achieve the communications objective and be accepted by all parties and
the Court as the "best notice practicable."

In the typical class action settlement, the parties seek court
authorization for a notice plan prior to instituting that plan.
Obviously, therefore, the court is validating the plan based on its
construction rather than its ultimate effectiveness in eliciting
responses.

This is a good thing for the parties and the notice experts because in
typical class action settlements, only a fraction of the universe of
potential class members actually submit claims. Response rates depend on
several factors including the scope of the notice, the age of the case,
and the publicity surrounding the alleged misconduct. As Professor
Newberg explains: "[a]pathy, ignorance, burdensomeness, size of
individual recovery involved, as well as myriad other factors will affect
each claimant's decision whether or not to file such a response." H.
Newberg & A. Conte, Newberg on Class Actions, 8.35 at 8-114-115 (3d Ed.
Dec. 1992) (hereinafter "Newberg").

It stands to reason, therefore, that even when a court evaluates the
notice plan at the final approval stage, after notice has been
disseminated, it should judge the program based on its design, content
and scope, and not by the ultimate response rate. See, e.g., Weinberger
v. Kendrick, 698 F.2d 61, 71 (2d Cir. 1982) (method of notice may be
proper despite evidence that some class members did not receive notice).
For example, Judge Politan of the District of New Jersey recently
approved a notice program in In re American Family Publishers Business
Practice Litigation, MDL No. 1235, Master File No. 98 CV 1653 (D.N.J.
Sept. 7, 2000), where approximately 3% of potentially eligible class
members, filed claims.

Nevertheless, Judge Politan noted that "[t]here have been no objections
to the form or content of the Publication Notice or the Notice Packet, or
the sufficiency of the Notice Plan, by any Class Members. The Notice Plan
satisfied due process, constituted adequate and sufficient notice to all
persons entitled to be provided with notice, . . . and fully complied
with the requirement of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
and Rule 2002 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure." Slip op. at
9 -10.2

In securities class actions where typically lists of shareholders exist
and are easily accessible, it is relatively simple to design a notice
program. Individual notice will be mailed to everyone on such lists.
Individual notice will also be sent to brokerage firms and banks that may
hold the stock in "street name." See, e.g., In re Victor Technologies
Securities Litigation, 792 F.2d 862, 863 (9th Cir. 1986). To supplement
these mailings the parties will publish a summary notice, usually in The
Wall Street Journal.

In cases where lists are not available, such as in the antitrust or
consumer arena, publication notice is the most acceptable form of notice.
However, such notice must be sufficiently targeted to the actual class.
As Professor Moore explains: "In fashioning publication of notice, courts
should consider the circumstances of each case, including the size and
geographical diversity of the class, and characteristics of the class
members that are relevant to determining which publication they would
read." J. Moore, Moore's Federal Practice, 23.63 [8][c] at 23-305 (3d Ed.
1992). For example in Six (6) Mexican Workers v. Arizona Citrus Growers,
904 F.2d 1301, 1304 n.2 (9th Cir. 1990), notice to a class of
undocumented migrant workers was accomplished, in part, through
publication in relevant United States and Mexican newspapers.

It is often necessary to use multiple communications vehicles to maximize
the reach of a legal notice program. Paid advertising in newspapers,
magazines, or Sunday supplements, or sometimes on radio and television,
are just some of the techniques that can be used. Other techniques
include press releases, and maybe a video release for television if
appropriate, and postings on the Internet and in other strategic
locations. Although new publicity techniques are associated nowadays with
new media, as far back as 1972, at least one scholar noted the importance
of a creative approach. "The experience shows that a consumer claim
program must be 'sold' like anything else, and the courts, like the
nation's consumer industries and its politicians, must learn to use
modern techniques of mass communication. Given the potential availability
of free radio and television time for such purposes, these media can be
far more effective in eliciting claims from injured consumers and far
less expensive than traditional avenues of notice." Shapiro, Processing
the Consumer's Claim, 41 Antitrust L.J. 257 at 267 (1972).

Some courts have held that publication notice alone is not enough. See
Silber v. Mabon, 18 F.3d 1449, 1455 (9th Cir. 1994). Therefore, whenever
publication is the primary means of notice it is a good idea to
supplement such publication. In In re Domestic Air Transportation
Antitrust Litigation, 141 F.R.D. 534, 548-553 (N.D. Ga. 1992), this was
accomplished by posting notice in defendants' ticket offices and in
36,000 travel agencies. Radio and television spots are also good
supplements to publication. See Montelongo v. Meese, 803 F.2d 1341, 1351
(5th Cir. 1986) (court ordered bilingual radio announcements for sixty
days in areas where class of migrant farm workers were most likely to be
found).

Giving notice to state agencies, which may be in contact with class
members, is another way to supplement publication. See In re Agent Orange
Product Liability Litigation, 818 F.2d 145, 169 (2d Cir. 1987). The trend
for publication notice is to use simple language as much as possible.
Display ads, which are short and to the point and which resemble
commercial advertising, attract more attention than legalistic,
long-winded summaries in small type. Although all legal notices must
contain sufficient information to enable a claimant to understand his or
her rights, information needs to be put in terms that can be easily
understood by the class involved.

When possible, notice elements should be scheduled to reach the class
during a focused period of time, to maximize the impact of the message.
For example, advertised notice may be most effective if it appears after
the direct mail notice has been sent. Similarly, radio notice can be used
simultaneously with print notice to reinforce the message. However, there
are no absolute rules for such timing, and logic should dictate. In In re
Coordinated Pretrial Proceedings in Antibiotic Antitrust Actions, 410 F.
Supp. 706 (D. Minn. 1975), for example, a nationwide publicity campaign
was orchestrated before bulk mailing of claim forms and notices so that
consumers would be expecting them. Checks were ultimately mailed to
885,000 responding claimants, the largest consumer refund distribution up
to that time. See Newberg 8.38 at 8-122.

When trying to determine costs for a notice program, the major tension is
between plaintiffs' desire to reach as many class members as possible and
defendants' desire to limit the cost and negative publicity. This
conflict between the parties, like all other issues in the stipulation of
settlement, should simply be subject to negotiation. The only caveat is
that both parties must be careful to construct a program that meets the
requirements of Rule 23 and the court.

Finally, the budget for a notice program is not dictated by the size of
the settlement alone. A small dollar value settlement does not mean that
notice can be accomplished easily. Similarly, of course, a large
settlement does not necessarily translate into a complex notice program.
It is important to use a commonsense approach in looking at the factors
that will influence notice costs. For example, the size of the class,
location of the class, difficulty in reaching class members and their
geographic dispersion will have a direct impact on the budget for legal
notice. In the end of course, as Eisen teaches us, cost considerations
must give way to due process concerns as the parties strive to effectuate
the "best notice practicable," thereby reducing the risk of the
settlement being successfully challenged.

Footnotes

1 Eisen involved a notice of pendency, not a notice of settlement.
Financial considerations are less onerous for plaintiffs at the
settlement stage since there is often a fund from which to pay notice
costs. See H. Newberg & A. Conte, Newberg on Class Actions, 8.20 at 8-67
(3d Ed. Dec. 1992). Nevertheless, both parties are usually interested in
providing notice in the most cost-effective way possible.

2 See also Vancouver Women's Health Collective Society v. A.H. Robins
Co., 820 F.2d 1359, 1362-64 (4th Cir. 1987) (even though response rate
was low outside the United States, notice program was "reasonable"
because news outlets throughout the world received notice). (The
Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, February, 2001)


                        *********


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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by Bankruptcy
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Washington, DC. Theresa Cheuk, Managing Editor.

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