CAR_Public/020723.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
              Tuesday, July 23, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 144

                          Headlines

AOL TIME: Mounting Strong Defense V. Securities Fraud Suit in NY Court
AT&T BROADBAND: Agrees To Mediate Suit Over Cable-Customers' Problems
AT&T BROADBAND: Cable Complaints Continue, County Files Consumer Suit
CALIFORNIA: County, State Faces Suit Over Children's Mental Health Care
CANADA: Suit Over Medical Equipment Against Winnipeg Hospital Dismissed

CATHOLIC CHURCH: Boston's Cardinal Law Faces New Round of Questions
CENDANT CORPORATION: NJ State Court Refuses To Dismiss Century 21 Suit
CONAGRA FOODS: Recalls 19M Pounds of Beef Due To E.Coli Contamination
DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Price-Fixing Conspiracy with Mercedes-Benz Alleged
FIRST SECURITY: UT Court Grants Securities Suit Over Bank Sale Price

FLAT ROCK: Voluntarily Recalls 1,800 Gas Grills For Injury Hazard
FLORIDA: Federal Court Rejects Felons's Suit To Alter Voting Rights Ban
FLORIDA: Legal Group Sues Over Loss of Medicaid Services For Elderly
GLOBAL CROSSING: Judges Weigh Venue Change For Securities Fraud Suits
HAWAII: Special Education Court Oversight Needed, Monitor States

HEARTLAND ADVISORS: Judge To Rule On Proposed $14 Million Settlement
HONDA MOTOR: Cleveland Dealers Allege Executives Demanded Kickbacks
JOHN HANCOCK: Reaches $19.5M Lawsuit Settlement for Insurance Fraud
LAS VEGAS: Agrees To Compensate Former Hotel Employees $105T In Backpay
MONTANA: Retiree Files Lawsuit Over Changes in Pension Benefit Rules

MONTANA: State Prison Faces Suit On Behalf of Inmates With Ailments
TEXAS DAY: Agrees To Settle Lost Wages Suit for $498T in Texas Court
WAL-MART STORES: Recalls 60,000 Gas Grills For Fire, Injury Hazard
WISCONSIN AUTO: Legal Aid Society Files Suit For Predatory Lending

                      New Securities Fraud Cases

AMDOCS LTD.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. MO
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Paskowitz & Associates Begins Securities Suit in NY
AOL TIME: Berger & Montague Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
AOL TIME: Wolf Popper Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. New York
CAPITOL ONE: Milberg Weiss Launches Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. VA

CROSS MEDIA: Bernard Gross Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
HALLIBURTON COMPANY: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in TX
SONUS NETWORKS: Milberg Weiss Introduces Securities Fraud Suit in MA
SONUS NETWORKS: Schiffrin & Barroway Launches Securities Suit in MA
TELLABS INC.: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL

TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in S.D. FL
                              
                              *********

AOL TIME: Mounting Strong Defense V. Securities Fraud Suit in NY Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
AOL Time Warner labeled "without merit" the securities fraud suit
pending against it, its directors and officers and its auditors Ernst &
Young, in New York federal court, alleging the Company artificially
inflated largest media company artificially inflated online advertising
revenues.

The suit was filed on behalf of investors who bought America Online
Inc. common stock between July 19, 1999, and Jan. 10, 2001, and those
who bought AOL Time Warner Inc. shares between Jan. 11, 2001, and July
17, 2002.

The suit alleges, that the Company misstated online advertising revenue
by including such sums as one-time payments in connection with the
termination of advertising contracts, according to a FOX News report.  
The Company allegedly "artificially inflated" online advertising
revenue for its 2001 fiscal first quarter by including $16.4 million in
online advertising that AOL required 24dogs.com to purchase in order to
settle a legal dispute and sums received in connection with selling
online advertising for online auction site, eBay Inc.

The suit further alleges that Ernst & Young broke securities laws by
certifying the Company's financial statements as incorporated in the
company's annual report for its fiscal year 2001.

The suit was commenced after the Washington Post reported that the
America Online unit boosted online advertising revenue through
"unconventional deals" from 2000 to 2002.

"This lawsuit is without merit and we intend to vigorously contest it
in court. All company accounting has been appropriate and in accordance
with GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), and we have
provided our investors with all appropriate material information about
our business," AOL Time Warner said in a statement,

Spokesmen for Ernst & Young could not immediately be reached for
comment, FOX News reports.  An AOL spokesman on Thursday told Reuters
that the Washington Post story was "flawed in its facts and analysis
and misleading in its conclusion."


AT&T BROADBAND: Agrees To Mediate Suit Over Cable-Customers' Problems
---------------------------------------------------------------------
AT&T Broadband has agreed to begin mediation to settle a class action
filed in Jacksonville, Florida, The Florida Times-Union reports.

With that decision, depositions in the case are now on hold, as are two
hearings, including one to certify the class as approximately one
million AT&T cable customers in Florida.  The current development
should not, however, impact a separate settlement in the works between
Jacksonville and AT&T, City Hall's top attorney said.

The lawsuit's attorneys and AT&T have sent an August 15 deadline to
reach an agreement, and if nothing is resolved, the court proceeding
will continue, said Norwood S. Wilner, one of the attorneys in the
class action.  The lawsuit alleges that AT&T breached its contracts
with customers, overcharged for services and falsified performance
reports to Jacksonville.

"This (agreement to begin mediation) indicates that AT&T realizes they
have to deal with the subscribers as well as with the city, and that
they realize we have documents in our possession that indicate they
have not been in compliance with the city," Mr. Wilner said.

Mr. Wilner's staff will spend a few weeks determining a fair monetary
figure for AT&T's cable customers, he said.  Using average customer
bills, Mr. Wilner said one formula would, for example, provide a $168
rebate per customer.  That would total $33.6 million for Jacksonville's
approximately 200,000 customers and more than $168 million for the
class of approximately one million cable customers in Florida.  He
emphasized that the formulas are "nothing but ideas right now."

The decision to try to keep the case out of the courtroom came a day
after Mr. Wilner and other attorneys met with lawyers from AT&T and
Comcast Corp. in Philadelphia, where Comcast is headquartered.  AT&T
and Comcast shareholders have approved a $45 billion merger of Comcast
and Broadband.  "Comcast is extremely concerned about the situation
here," Mr. Wilner said.  "They realize they will inherit this
situation, and they do not want it hanging over their heads the way it
is now."

The city of Jacksonville and AT&T have been trying work out the details
of a settlement for customers, but have not been waiting on the class
action, said the city's General Counsel Rick Mullaney.  The city
settlement agreed upon on June 20, would be about a $2 million to $3
million value to customers, Mayor John Delaney said.

As part of its negotiations with AT&T, the city is looking to enact
tougher customer service standards, with specific fines if they are not
met.


AT&T BROADBAND:  Cable Complaints Continue, County Files Consumer Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a lawsuit filed in DeKalb County, Georgia, in Superior Court, county
government attorneys, on behalf of the many county residents,
specifically, from whom they had received complaints, and the many
county residents, generally, who are customers of AT&T Broadband,
accused the company of inadequate customer service, the Atlanta
Journal-Constitution reports.  The county attorneys further accused the
Company, in its lawsuit, of:

     (1) failing to provide local minority programming;

     (2) charging unequal rates to customers receiving similar service;
         and

     (3) improperly installing lines

Earlier this month, county officials told county commissioners that the
Company also has failed to abide by a contract requirement to provide
DeKalb with documents detailing customer service complaints.

The county has asked the court to require AT&T Broadband, which is
preparing a $27 million merger with Comcast, to deposit $15 million
into the court's registry to cover potential damages.  Stockholders of
AT&T Broadband and Comcast approved the merger last week.

There were many evidences brought alleged in the lawsuit that the
county government was aware of the poor customer service provided
DeKalb county customers.  Among them, that the county's Chief Executive
Officer Vernon Jones and some staff members met with AT&T Broadband
officials last year to discuss resident complaints about service.  The
county, according to the lawsuit, asked for Company reports but never
received them.

Although the Company disputes the claims and say they have improved
service, similar service complaints are being heard in other parts of
the country as AT&T holds the required public hearings to get approval
for its merger with Comcast.

Litigation is a present factor in this mix of poor service.  In May, a
class action was filed in Jacksonville, claiming that AT&T Broadband
was billing customers for services not provided.  Officials in
Florida's Broward County, have met with the company to address concerns
about shoddy service in minority communities.  Florida Attorney General
Robert Butterworth is investigating the Company's billing practices.

Separately, still, in Portland, Oregon, residents protested last
December, when the Company prevented a class action by requiring
customers to resolve their disputes through a company-led complaint
process.

Applying the biblical story of David and Goliath to DeKalb County's
battle with AT&T Broadband, Commissioner Hank Johnson said he hopes
DeKalb's legal slingshot will strike a blow for better service.


CALIFORNIA: County, State Faces Suit Over Children's Mental Health Care
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Los Angeles County's child welfare system was sued recently for
allegedly failing to provide mental health programs for tens of
thousands of children, Associated Press Newswires reports.  The class
action has been brought by a coalition of civil rights groups,
including:  

     (1) ACLU Foundation of Southern California,

     (2) the Center for Law in the Public Interest,

     (3) the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and

     (4) the Washington, D.C.-based Bazelon Center for Mental Health
         Law

The county's Department of Children of Family Services, Los Angeles
County and the state of California were named as defendants in the
class action, which asks a federal court to order the system with more
than 50,000 children in foster care to provide the mental health care
it says children are entitled to under law.

The kind of mental health care the children would be entitled to under
law, would end decades of continually shuffling children with
emotional, behavioral and psychiatric impairments between foster homes
and county facilities that critics say are little more than warehouses.

The lawsuit says early psychiatric diagnosis and a stress on mental
health care would be far less expensive than the $276,000 a year it
costs to keep children in the Maclaren Children's Center in El Monte,
where individualized therapy is available no more than one hour per
week.

An estimated 60 to 85 percent of children in foster care nationwide
have significant mental health problems.  The county's failure to
identify and address the mental health problems of children in foster
care "is perhaps the principal obstacle to family reunification or
adoption," said Mark Rosenbaum, legal director of the ACLU of Southern
California.


CANADA: Suit Over Medical Equipment Against Winnipeg Hospital Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action against a Winnipeg hospital over improperly cleaned
medical equipment has been dismissed, the National Post reports.

Three people filed the suit against the St. Boniface Hospital, alleging
that tubes had not been disinfected properly over seven years, thereby
increasing the risk for 3,000 patients that they might catch hepatitis
and HIV.

The judge said the basis for a class action did not exist.  Moreover,
the judge said that the failure to grant class action status to the
lawsuit was not based on the merits of the lawsuit, and, therefore,
individual claims could be allowed.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Boston's Cardinal Law Faces New Round of Questions
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese,
which is at the center of a national child sex scandal afflicting the
church, faced a new round of questioning recently over his handling of
priests accused of molesting children, Reuters English News Service
reports.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents 86 plaintiffs who accuse
Cardinal Law and others in the archdiocese in a civil suit of covering
up abuse by defrocked priest and convicted pedophile John Geoghan, will
question Cardinal Law.

Mr. Garabedian won permission to question Cardinal Law after the
archdiocese backed out of a $15 million to $30 million settlement in
the Geoghan case in May.  The archdiocese had to pull out of the deal
when its Finance Council ruled that it was too expensive and would use
up money needed to compensate an increasing number of other alleged
victims.  A judge has said that the power lies with the Cardinal to
enforce the settlement.  A trial on these issues is set for July 31.

Mr. Geoghan is already serving a nine- to 10-year sentence for fondling
a child and faces at least one more criminal trial stemming from
allegations by about 130 people that he molested them during his more
than 30 years as a Boston-area priest.

Mr. Geoghan's case sparked outrage among US Catholics, but the scandal
snowballed into a national crisis after documents released at his trial
showed that Cardinal Law and others in the hierarchy knew about Mr.
Geoghan's history of sexual abuse, but still moved him from parish to
parish, where he continued his abuse.

The controversy, described by many as the worst crisis to afflict the
Catholic Church in modern times, forced the resignation of four bishops
and cost more than 250 priests their jobs.  It also led bishops, at
their recent national conference, to adopt a national policy to bar
pedophile priests from acting as clerics.

Cardinal Law, who heads Boston's two million Catholics, has refused to
step down despite polls showing he has lost credibility.

Lawyers for the diocese in the Geoghan case have claimed that under
canon, or church, law, approval of the Finance Council was necessary in
order to proceed with the settlement.  However, in a ruling that could
hurt the diocese's case, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Constance Sweeney
ruled that Cardinal Law is not bound to obey the Finance Council's
decision.

"The secular power of the Archdiocese of Boston . resides exclusively
in the hands of the archbishop himself, who happens to be Cardinal
Law," Judge Sweeney said in a court hearing earlier this month.  She
based her findings on 19th century statutes that first allowed the
civil incorporation of the diocese.

A trial to resolve the dispute over the settlement is set to July 31.
Judge Sweeney will preside.


CENDANT CORPORATION: NJ State Court Refuses To Dismiss Century 21 Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of New Jersey refused to dismiss the class action
filed against Cendant Corporation by a couple of current and former
Century 21 franchisees.

Samantha Tesser, one of the attorneys representing the franchisees,
said the motion included the argument that Cendant wasn't the proper
party for the franchisees to sue because the franchises in question
were relationships with Century 21 not Cendant.

The court thought otherwise, based on the ties between Cendant and
Century 21, said Ms. Tesser, an attorney with Adorno & Yoss of Miami.
Tesser previously was with Atlas Pearlman, which in May merged with
Adorno & Zeder to form Adorno & Yoss.  "The motion to dismiss claimed
that the lawsuit had no merit, but we prevailed," she said.  The
Company now has 10 days from the hearing date to respond to the
lawsuit.

In another action on the same case, the Superior Court of New Jersey
today will hear a motion for admission pro hac vice, which would allow
Tesser and attorney Robin Campbell, both of Adorno & Yoss, to represent
the franchisees in the lawsuit. Neither is licensed to practice law in
the state of New Jersey.

The Company declined to comment on these developments in the lawsuit.  
"It is not our policy to comment on matters of open litigation," said
Kevin Meyer, vice president of communications and public affairs for
the Company's real estate services division.

The class action first was announced in February, when Frank K. Cooper
Real Estate #1 of Miami, Fla., filed a lawsuit against parent company
Cendant and franchisor Century 21 Real Estate, alleging the latter
favors competing real estate brokerage chains and diverts money
allocated for Century 21 advertising to the competing Coldwell Banker
and ERA brands.

The Century 21 franchisees are seeking class action status and
unspecified damages from Cendant and Century 21.

Three law firms, McElroy, Deutsch & Mulvaney, Adorno & Yoss and
Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, filed the suit on behalf of Century 21
franchisees as of Jan. 1, 1995, and those that became franchisees after
that date.


CONAGRA FOODS: Recalls 19M Pounds of Beef Due To E.Coli Contamination
---------------------------------------------------------------------
ConAgra Foods Inc. recalled nearly 19 million pounds of fresh and
frozen ground beef, the nation's second largest recall, after the US
Agriculture Department said the meat may be contaminated with E. coli
0157:H7, a deadly bacteria that causes diarrhea, dehydration and kidney
damage, the Associated Press reports.

The US Centers for Disease Control confirmed that at least 16 people
were sickened by the ConAgra beef in Colorado, California, Michigan,
South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.  Another six illnesses are under
investigation.

The Company, the second-biggest US supplier of food and meat after
Kraft Foods Inc., agreed to the recall last week after first pulling
354,200 pounds from the market on June 30. The ground beef was sold
nationwide.

"This action is being taken as a cautionary measure to ensure the
protection of public health," Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman told
AP.  "Public health is our number one priority."


DAIMLERCHRYSLER AG: Price-Fixing Conspiracy with Mercedes-Benz Alleged
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit, which is seeking class action status, recently was filed in
the U.S. District Court for New Jersey, alleging that DaimlerChrysler
AG's US Mercedes unit and Mercedes-Benz Manhattan, "participated in a
price-fixing conspiracy among Mercedes-Benz dealers," the Dow Jones
Business News reports.

A DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) spokesperson has responded by saying that
the lawsuit is several years old and was filed by a disgruntled
Mercedes dealer.  The spokesperson said the company is preparing a
statement about the matter.

The US Department of Justice is investigating the allegations of price-
fixing between Mercedes-Benz USA and its wholly owned subsidiary,
Mercedes-Benz Manhattan.

The stock fell sharply in the wake of the news, DaimlerChrysler stock
recently was down $2.70 or 5.7 percent to $44.85.


FIRST SECURITY: UT Court Grants Securities Suit Over Bank Sale Price
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Third District Judge Joseph Fratto recently classified as a class
action, the suit brought by the shareholders who were claiming that
First Security Corp. directors sold the bank for an inadequate price to
Wells Fargo, according to a report by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Judge Fratto also said that Salt Lake City-based Zions Bancorporation,
which owns 9.5 million First Security shares, should be part of the
shareholders' group as the two-year-old lawsuit moves forward.

"We would have proceeded (with the class action) even if Zions were not
allowed to be part of this action, but there really was no reason they
should have been excluded," said Thomas Karrenberg, a Salt Lake
attorney, who is part of the legal team representing the shareholders.

The Company believes otherwise.  Its attorney, Gilbert Serota, declared
Zions a special case.  He attempted to paint Zions as a spurned suitor,
upset because the Company accepted a purchase offer from Wells Fargo.  
Mr. Karrenberg countered, "This case is not about First Security not
accepting Zions' offer; it is about how First Security directors sold
the bank for an inadequate price to Wells Fargo."

The lawsuit alleges that Company Chairman Spencer Eccles agreed to sell
First Security in April 2000, just a few days after Zions shareholders
rejected their Company's plan to buy its rival, after the unexpected
revelations that the Company would fall short of earnings expectations.

The lawsuit charges that Mr. Eccles' anger at Zions' rejection of the
first proposed merger was of such nature, that further negotiations
with Zions were not an option for Mr. Eccles.  He never sought a new
bid from Zions or sought competing bids for First Security.  Instead,
he struck a deal for a price substantially below what he knew he could
obtain from Zions and arranged a lucrative "golden parachute" for
himself from Wells Fargo, according to the lawsuit.


FLAT ROCK: Voluntarily Recalls 1,800 Gas Grills For Injury Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Flat Rock Grill Co. is cooperating with the US Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about 1,800 gas grills.  The
glass casing of the thermometer displays attached to these grills can
break or shatter, posing a risk of cuts or other serious injuries to
consumers.  The Company has received six reports of the thermometer's
glass casing on these grills breaking, though no injuries have been
reported.
        
These heavy-duty, stainless steel grills are Flat Rock Grill Shoreline
Series Models 2000 and 3000.  The model number is written on a label on
the front of the grill.  "FRG" is on the front of the grill.  The grill
has a thermometer display on the grill hood that measures 3-inches in
diameter, and has a temperature range from 50 to 550 degrees.  The
thermometer display has "BBQ-1" or "BBQ Pit Thermometer" written within
the glass casing.  
        
Independent retailers in the southeastern and south central US and the
firm's web site sold these gas grills from July 1999 through July 2002
for about $1,200.
        
For more information, contact the Company by Phone: 888-308-7399
between 9 am and 5 pm ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.flatrockgrill.com.
        

FLORIDA: Federal Court Rejects Felons's Suit To Alter Voting Rights Ban
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
A group suing the state on behalf of about 620,000 felons recently lost
their suit to overturn Florida's 134-year-old lifetime voting ban
against anyone who has been convicted of a felony, The Miami Herald
reports.

US District Judge James Lawrence King of Miami rejected all arguments
made in the class action, which claimed, among other things, that the
state law dating back to 1868 violated the constitutional rights of
felons who have served their sentences but still cannot vote in
Florida.

David H. Thompson of Cooper & Kirk, a Washington, D.C. lawyer who
represented the state, said the ruling was in keeping with earlier
judicial decisions and represented a "vindication of Florida's common-
sense policy" regarding felons.  Felons can only vote if they
successfully apply to the state's Clemency Board for restoration of
their civil rights.

"Florida over the last two decades has restored the right to vote for
over 2000,000 convicted felons," Mr. Thompson said.  "As a practical
matter, it is the recidivists and the most serious offenders who are
denied the right to vote."

However, the plaintiffs still believe they have a "very strong legal
claim" and plan to appeal the decision, said Nancy Northup, an attorney
for the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, which
filed the lawsuit last year.

The plaintiffs in this case, over 600,000 felons who have fully served
their sentences, "already have paid their debt to society," Ms. Northup
said.  "It is unfair and irrational to continue to punish them for
life."

The plaintiffs argued, for example, that the clemency process is
difficult for the felons because many applicants still owe court fines
and victim restitution penalties they cannot afford to pay after
serving their sentences.  In effect, the lawsuit argued that Florida is
imposing a poll tax in violation of the Voting Rights Act.

Judge King rejected that argument, finding that "victim restitution is
a crucial part of the debt the convicted felon owes to both the state
and society."  Requiring the felons to pay victim restitution also
"furthers rehabilitation and readiness for a return to the electorate,"
he wrote.

Judge King said no trial is necessary because there are no facts in
dispute and the state has the law on its side.  Judge King also
rejected the plaintiffs' arguments that Florida's law was racially
motivated to keep black citizens from voting in violation of their
civil rights.


FLORIDA: Legal Group Sues Over Loss of Medicaid Services For Elderly
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Legal Services has filed a federal lawsuit to get Medicaid
services restored for up to 5,500 elderly and disabled people, who were
cut off this month, The Miami Herald reports.

Before the change, a person with a monthly income no greater than $685,
could get drugs, dentures and eye glasses through Medicaid.  Starting
July 1, however, senior and disabled Floridians can make no more than
$671 per month to qualify for such services.

State lawmakers made the change in May when they passed a budget for
the fiscal year that started July 1.  Anne Swerlick, a lawyer with
Florida Legal Services, said, "It is hard for me to believe they
realized what they were doing."

The lawsuit, which is challenging the cuts, says the termination
notices sent to recipients are misleading and do not fully tell them
about other ways to seek financial help.  State health care officials
said the number of people who will lose their coverage is closer to
3,400.  No plans are in the works to restore the safety net, they said.


GLOBAL CROSSING: Judges Weigh Venue Change For Securities Fraud Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Two of the nation's top public pension funds argued before a panel of
six federal judges, sitting in Newport, Rhode Island, that shareholder
suits against bankrupt telecommunications giant Global Crossing, should
be tried in New York, according to a report by Reuters English New
Service.  

The company argues, on the other hand, that shareholders would be
better served by a Los Angeles venue for the trial.  The Company is
officially based in Bermuda, but Los Angeles was its world
headquarters.

The panel of six federal judges will make the crucial decision about
where the pending 58 lawsuits will be heard - a choice that could
affect which of the three pension giants leads the shareholders in a
class action against the Company and its accountants, Arthur Andersen.

Lawyers for public pension funds in New York and Ohio argued that the
cases should be consolidated in US District Court in New York City -
"because it (New York) is one of the most convenient locations," said
Joseph Case, spokesman for the Ohio Attorney General's office.  The
spokesman for the New York pension system said its lawyers planned to
rely on their argument for becoming lead plaintiff, to make their case
for a hometown trial.

Company attorney Patricia Glaser argued that the cases should end up in
Los Angeles, where two US District judges have been handling pre-trial
matters for 37 of the 58 cases filed nationwide.  "The reason we want
it in Los Angeles is because there are documents here, there are two
key witnesses here and there are two federal investigations there (Los
Angeles)," Ms. Glaser said after the hearing.

In court documents filed in April, New York and Ohio pension funds each
asked to be named lead plaintiff in a class action against the Company,
based on the amount of their stock losses in the company, as well as
their expertise in such lawsuits.

Ohio claims losses of $116 million in its public employees and
teachers' funds.  New York, which lost $75 million on its Global
Crossing stock, has cited to the court its experience leading four
other securities suits to support its request to lead the Global
Crossing shareholders.

In addition to the nearly one million members of the New York pension
funds, there are several suits involving private company pensions and
individual stockholders that are pending in the US District Court for
the Southern District of New York, the New York attorneys pointed out.

The California Public Employees Retirement System (Calpers), the
nation's largest public pension fund, also asked to be named lead
plaintiff against the Company, based on investment losses of $11
million.  Calpers also wants the suits to be tried in Los Angeles.

If the cases end up in Los Angeles, the federal judge handling them
would decide which plaintiff should represent the rest based on
criteria laid out in the 1995 federal securities litigation reforms,
lawyers said.  The lead plaintiff directs litigation for all members of
the class action and is usually the institutional investor that has
the greatest losses and the greatest litigation experience.

The panel's upcoming decision on venue may not influence who becomes
lead plaintiff, but will confer other benefits upon the winner, said
University of Southern California law school professor Erwin
Chemerinsky.

"The fights in choice of forum are often about cost and convenience,"
said Professor Chemerinsky, a national expert in legal education.  
"Everyone wants to litigate closer to home because that can save you a
lot of money."

Litigators who win home court advantage, know their jury pools and can
better select panels favorable to their clients.  Professor Chemerinsky
says, "It makes a huge difference in urban versus rural situations, but
I don't know that this will make a lot of difference between L.A.
and New York."


HAWAII: Special Education Court Oversight Needed, Monitor States
----------------------------------------------------------------
The official appointed by US District Judge David Ezra, in Honolulu, to
monitor the "Felix" consent decree involving special education
programs, reportedly has reversed his recommendation that the state be
found in compliance, the Associated Press Newswires reports.  Key state
lawmakers said recently that they understand that Ivor Groves now
recommends the federal court continue close supervision of mental
health and education programs.

Attorney Jeff Portnoy, who is Judge Ezra's special master for the
consent decree, confirmed that Mr. Groves has revised his
recommendations, but said that the report remains confidential.  Mr.
Portnoy said he likely will file the report with the court early next
week, thereby making it public, but he first wanted to give the
parties, including the state, a chance to respond.

Mr. Portnoy declined to characterize Mr. Groves' recommendations, but
said, as special master, it was he who requested the report.  "It's a
supplemental report that I asked for based on things that have occurred
over the last 90 days that in my view could be important to what the
court could decide on the consent decree," he said.  Mr. Portnoy did
not elaborate.

In April, Mr. Groves, the monitor, drafted a 41-page report, saying
federal oversight of the Felix programs could be eased, because the
state had made progress in providing the services for special-needs
students.

Mr. Groves was appointed to monitor the state's effort to meet
requirements under the 1994 consent decree that stemmed from a 1993
federal class action that accused the state of failing to provide
federally mandated, coordinated mental health and education services to
disabled children.  The case was initiated by the mother of Jennifer
Felix.

In May 2000, Judge Ezra found the state in contempt for failing to
implement the required system of care.  The judge threatened to name a
receiver to take over the system if all state public schools are not in
compliance by March 31.  The rush to comply with the decree and meet
Judge Ezra's deadlines for compliance saw the state's annual costs
climb from $45 million in 1995 for 4,000 children to more than $350
million for 11,000 children.

The Legislature's joint Felix investigative committee also voted to
pursue its subpoena of Judith Schrag, a member of Mr. Groves' technical
assistance panel set up by Judge Ezra to measure the state's
compliance.  Judge Ezra quashed the committee's original subpoena.
State Senator Colleen Hanabusa (D) said that negotiations on a more
narrow subpoena were broken off recently by Ms. Schrag's attorneys with
no explanation.

Rep. Scott Saiki (D) said Ms. Schrag's testimony "is even more relevant
now, because she helped create the standards for the full consent
decree, and now there is a reversal in the monitor's recommendations,
and we would like to know what happened."

A state criminal investigation into irregularities in some of the Felix
programs has resulted in its first conviction, Attorney General Earl
Anzai announced recently.  Susan Puapuaga, a therapeutic aide, pleaded
no contest to 10 counts of medical assistance fraud in Circuit Court
last week, and will be sentenced in October.  Ms. Puapuaga was found to
have submitted claims for $1,800 for services she did not provide
special needs children, according to state prosecutors.


HEARTLAND ADVISORS: Judge To Rule On Proposed $14 Million Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge will decide, imminently, whether to allow a proposed
$14 million settlement in the class action against Heartland Advisors
Inc. and related parties, according to a report by The Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel.

Prospects for the settlement's approval by US District Judge J.P.
Stadtmueller appear promising, as only six of the known 6,825 class
members have objected, and PriceWaterhouse Coopers LLP, the accounting
firm for the bond funds, has withdrawn its previous objections.  The
judge's decision is expected after a public hearing on the settlement
at the federal courthouse.

The settlement would give Heartland High-Yield Municipal Bond Fund
shareholders an average of 32 cents a share.  Shareholders of the
Heartland Short Duration High-Yield Municipal Fund would get an average
of 17 cents a share, according to court documents.

Investors in the two bond funds lost millions of dollars in October
2000, when Heartland marked down the funds' net asset values by 69
percent for the High-Yield fund and 44 percent for the Short Duration
fund in a single day.

The six shareholders who objected to the proposed settlement all said
it would not adequately compensate them for their losses.  The $14
million settlement represents about 17 percent of the $87 million of
damages estimated by plaintiffs, and that percentage "compares
favorably" with other recent settlements, Heartland and the plaintiffs
countered in court documents.

One of the objectors, John Dagres, a bond manager, also said that his
objection was based, additionally, on his view that Heartland was
"unethical" and committed an "undeniable breach of fiduciary
responsibility."

Heartland would use a $10 million insurance policy, issued by Gulf
Underwriters, to fund the settlement.  Privately held Heartland
Holdings would put up the remaining $4 million.

Heartland has come forth with the more than $5 million in defense
costs, even though the insurance policy was set up to pay defense costs
first, court documents say.  William J. Nasgovitz, president of
Heartland Advisors, has advanced $9 million to Heartland Holdings for
settlement and defense expenses.  His contribution "represented a
substantial proportion" of his and Heartland Holdings' net worth, the
same court documents say.

PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the accounting firm for the bond funds and a
defendant in the class action that has not yet agreed to settle, filed
an objection to the settlement, say it had not been included in the
negotiations.  It is the plaintiffs, however, who supplied the language
in the final settlement documents, which lead the accounting firm to
withdraw its objections.  

The modified language says that if a judgment or verdict is eventually
entered against the accounting firm, damages will be reduced by the
amount settling defendants already have paid or amount that corresponds
to the percentage of guilt assigned to the settling defendants at that
proceeding, whichever is the greater.

The lead law firm for the plaintiffs, Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco
Burt & Pucillo, is asking for fees of not more than 25 percent of
settlement and an expense reimbursement not exceeding $164,756.


HONDA MOTOR: Cleveland Dealers Allege Executives Demanded Kickbacks
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Honda Motor Company is facing a lawsuit alleging that executives of
Japan's second-largest automaker demanded kickbacks from dealers in
exchange for shipments of hot-selling Accords and Preludes, the Los
Angeles Times reports.

Officials of Motorcars Inc., a Cleveland Honda dealership, recently
sued in state court in Ohio, resurrecting bribery claims that are more
than 20 years old.  Those accusations, earlier, had led to mail fraud
convictions of nearly a dozen executives at Honda's US unit.

The Company already has paid more than $400 million to resolve dealers'
suits claiming the Company shipped them fewer cars after they refused
to pay kickbacks starting in 1975.  Officials of the Cleveland
dealership opted not to join that settlement.

"The pattern of corrupt activity and the extent of illegal acts and
conspiracy was widespread throughout the management of American Honda,
Honda North America and Honda Japan," lawyers for the Cleveland
dealership said in the lawsuit.

Federal indictments handed down in 1994, estimated that $15 million in
bribes were paid to Honda executives for car shipments from 1975 to
1992.

In 1998, a federal judge in Baltimore, approved a $316 million
settlement of dealers' suits over kickbacks.  It called for dealers to
get cash, auto parts, signs and dealership improvements in exchange for
dropping their claims about the kickback arrangement.

Then, in 2000, Honda agreed to add $60 million to the class action
settlement after dealers unhappy with it uncovered a memo showing the
Company's lawyers hid evidence of management's involvement.  A group of
dealers objected, saying $60 million was insufficient to compensate
them for the Company's wrongdoing.  The Company agreed to provide an
additional $21 million in January to win their approval of the deal.  
The additional funds brought to more than $400 million the total Honda
has paid to settle individual and class actions by dealers.  


JOHN HANCOCK: Reaches $19.5M Lawsuit Settlement for Insurance Fraud
-------------------------------------------------------------------
John Hancock Financial Services Inc. settled for $19.5 million the
class action affecting some 1.5 million of its customers, and alleging
that the Company failed to adequately notify policyholders of
additional costs tied to premium payments made periodically rather than
on an annual basis, BusinessToday.com reports.

Under the settlement, class members will receive an extra $800, $1,000
or $1,400 on top of whatever benefits their policies provide at the
time of death.

Hancock officials declined comment on their reason for settling the
case, filed in December 2000 in a New Mexico court, BusinessToday.com
reports.  "We have no additional comment beyond what is in the
release," Hancock spokesman Roy Anderson said.

"I think they were legally vulnerable, because they were charging rates
that were excessive and not known to the policyholders," Jason Adkins,
a lawyer in Boston and longtime Hancock critic, told BusinessToday.com.  
Adkins founded the Center for Insurance Research in Cambridge.

The national class-action lawsuit against Hancock is one of 21 so-
called "modal premium" class-action cases brought against insurers
nationwide, the Company said in a statement yesterday.

Lawyers at Eaves, Bardacke, Baugh, Kierst & Kiernan PA in Albuquerque,
N.M., the lead law firm in the Hancock case, could not be reached for
comment yesterday, BusinessToday.com states.


LAS VEGAS: Agrees To Compensate Former Hotel Employees $105T In Backpay
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Las Vegas Sands, Inc., operator of the closed Sands hotel-casino,
agreed to pay 600 former Culinary Union workers $105,000 in backpay
checks in compensation for income lost with the early closure of the
hotel-casino in 1996, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

The Culinary Union filed a suit against the Company in 1996 after the
hotel closed to make way for the building of The Venetian.  The suit
alleged the workers received 45 days' notice of the hotel-casino's
closure instead of the 60 days required under federal law.

In 1998, federal judge Philip Pro ruled that the Company was obligated
to pay the employees a full 15 days' pay rather than the days they
would have worked in that 15-day period.  The judge also ordered the
Company to pay employees double-time for a missed July 4 holiday and
awarded $73,626 to the union on Oct. 8, 1998, a decision that the
Company appealed.  However, the 9th U.S. Court of Appeals rejected the
appeal last April.

However, a class action filed by two former Company dealers on behalf
of 600 non-union workers is still pending, Culinary attorney Andrew
Kahn told the Las Vegas Sun.


MONTANA: Retiree Files Lawsuit Over Changes in Pension Benefit Rules
--------------------------------------------------------------------
A retired state employee has filed a class action against the Public
Employees' Retirement Board, alleging changes in benefit rules, a year
ago, unfairly lowered his monthly pension, the Associated Press
Newswires reports.

Joseph Baumgardner retired from the Department of Public Health and
Human Services about the same time the changes were adopted.  He claims
he receives about $180 less each month than he would have been entitled
to under his retirement plan before the recent changes were adopted.  
He claims that hundreds of other retirees are likely to be similarly
affected as well.

Instead of the $2,333.73 a month, to which Mr. Baumgardner maintains he
is entitled, he collects $2,149.98, he said in his lawsuit filed this
week in District Court in Helena.  "The state is just, unilaterally,
without the consent of any of the employees, changing what they had
agreed to give the employee in the way of benefits," said Thomas
Morrison, one of two Helena attorneys representing Mr. Baumgardner.

The lawsuit asks for re-evaluation of benefits for Mr. Baumgardner and
all retired state employees who are affected.  It also seeks to repeal
the state law that allowed the Board to make the changes.  Mr. Morrison
and Mr. Baumgardner's other attorney Ross Cannon said the changes to
the retirement system unconstitutionally impaired employees' contracts
with the state.  The attorneys charge that the Montana Legislature
unconstitutionally delegated its authority by allowing the Board to
make the benefit changes.

Mike O'Connor, executive director of the retirement board, said the
Board was simply following state law and sound fiscal practices when it
made the changes, which affect only retirees who opt to share their
pension with a beneficiary who would get the remainder of the benefits
after the employee's death.

All employees, once they have met the requirements of the state
retirement program, receive a guaranteed retirement benefit.  However,
when employees want their benefits to continue after their death, they
receive the "actuarial equivalent" of that amount, meaning that
payments are calculated based on the employee's life expectancy and the
expected interest earnings over that period.

Mr. Morrison and Mr. Cannon estimated that more than 2,000 employees
are affected by the changes.  After the 2001 Legislature passed a law
allowing the Board to choose the proper mortality and interest
estimates, the Board adopted updated mortality estimates that better
reflected what was actually happening in the retirement system - this,
Mr. O'Connor acknowledged.  "That is done to maintain the financial
stability of the retirement plans," he added.

However, Mr. Morrison and Mr. Cannon said, it is not fair that someone
who retired just months before Mr. Baumgardner is getting nearly $200 a
month more in benefits.  "The cost should not be on the backs of
employees," Mr. Cannon said.  "That cost should go to the Legislature
for future funding."


MONTANA: State Prison Faces Suit On Behalf of Inmates With Ailments
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Montana State Prison faces a class action filed by a group of
inmates with hepatitis and other ailments in the United States District
Court in Helena, Montana, the Billings Gazette reports.

The suit alleges that the state's Department of Corrections refuses to
treat their medical problems and allows them to become more ill behind
bars.  The suit asserts several problems with medical care at the state
men's prison in Deer Lodge, among them that prison medical staff refuse
to give inmates needed medical diets, water down prescribed pain
medications and, in one case, refused treatment to a man who had a
"painful, spreading rash on his body."

US District Magistrate Caroline Ostby is reviewing the suit to see
which of the many charges the inmates allege hold enough legal water to
proceed to court.

The American Civil Liberties Union told the Billings Gazette that they
are "looking very hard at Montana" and considering its own suit against
the state over the matter.  

Roughly one-third of the more than 2,000 men at the state prison have
hepatitis, Sally Johnson, health administrator for the Department of
Corrections told the Billings Gazette.  Hepatitis, a disease that can
lead to severe liver damage and untimely death, is very expensive to
treat, with drug costs running more than $1,500 in some cases.  The
disease can also be difficult to treat.

Sally Johnson cites those reasons and more as she explains why Montana
has chosen to screen inmates for hepatitis, educate them and monitor
their progress, but not treat them.  "If you treated all of them, it
would make the state go broke," she said.

Ms. Johnson added that the department is in the process of singling out
inmates who would be good candidates for treatment, but said the
department doesn't have the money to treat anybody and would have to go
before the Legislature to get the extra cash.  "Given the state budget
picture, I don't see that there's much of an option for that," she told
the Billings Gazette.

Federal guidelines or no, Eric Balaban, attorney for the plaintiffs,
said, from a public health point of view, it only makes sense to treat
people with chronic, infectious diseases. What's more, it is the right
thing to do.  "They have a right to be treated," he told the Gazette.  
"They have a serious medical condition which, if not treated, can lead
to unnecessary pain, suffering and death."


TEXAS DAY: Agrees To Settle Lost Wages Suit for $498T in Texas Court
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Day Cruises, Inc. agreed to settle for US$498,000 a class action
filed in Texas federal court on behalf of 163 current and former
employees, alleging the Company owed them lost wages, the Corpus
Christi Caller-Times reports.

Under the settlement, the class members will receive 93% of the wages
owed to them.  Federal judge Janis Graham Jack approved the settlement
during a fairness hearing Friday.

Defense attorney Rolando Leon told the Caller-Times the fact that the
plaintiffs will recover 93 percent of what they claimed was owed to
them shows the company was committed toward putting the matter behind
them and wanted to pay their employees as much as possible.

During and after the hearing, some former employees who were designated
as class representatives in the lawsuit said they were happy with the
agreement and felt they got what they were owed.  Judge Jack ordered
that the four class representatives each receive a bonus of $2,000 for
their participation in the case, the Caller-Times reports.  "It
basically puts a closure on management of the past," said John Lee,
president of Texas Day Cruises Inc.

The Company does not admit to any of the allegations.  In January,
plaintiff's attorney Stephen Ackley initially sought to have more than
200 former and current employees certified as a class and said they
were owed $1.6 million in back overtime wages.  Despite that early
projection, Mr. Ackley on Friday said he was pleased with how much the
employees would recover, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times states.


WAL-MART STORES: Recalls 60,000 Gas Grills For Fire, Injury Hazard
------------------------------------------------------------------
Wal-Mart Stores is cooperating with the US Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) by recalling about 60,000 Red Devil gas grills sold
at Wal-Mart.  About 155,000 of these grills were manufactured by e4L
Inc., of Encino, Calif., and Quantum North America Inc., of Encino,
Calif.  Because the manufacturer is out of business, CPSC issued a
warning about these grills in May 2002.

The product's design allows consumers to light the grill at an air
intake tube, instead of at the burner.  Though the grill appears to
function normally, gas inside the air intake tube ignites.  The tube
can reach temperatures of up to 750 degrees Fahrenheit and present a
burn hazard to consumers.  In some earlier grills, the heat produced by
lighting the grill at the air intake tube damaged the plastic support
piece and caused the grill to fall to the ground.  When it collapses,
flames from the grill can burn nearby consumers and ignite surrounding
combustibles.
        
There have been 44 reports of consumers suffering burns to legs, hands
and fingers, including reports of some third degree burns, after the
grills collapsed during use.  More than 1,000 consumers returned their
grills to the manufacturer because the grills collapsed.  There have
been no reports of incidents or injuries involving these grills sold by
Wal-Mart.
        
These red metal gas grills have a tripod stand.  They have a logo on
the label of the lid and grill base showing a devil cooking at a grill
with the writing, "Red Devil."  The lid also reads "The Portable
Outdoor Kitchen."  The black plastic base, above the tripod, reads
"QUANTUM HOMEWARES."  Components sold with the grill include a heat
plate, an oversized skillet with handles, a table-safe serving trivet,
and carrying totes.  They were manufactured in Hong Kong.
        
Quantum and e4L sold these grills directly to consumers through
television infomercials from about May 1998 through January 1999 for
about $160.  This recall only includes grills sold at Wal-Mart.

CPSC sued e4L Inc. and Quantum North America Inc. to obtain a recall,
and an administrative law judge granted CPSC a default judgment when
these manufacturers failed to appear.  The firms are liquidating their
assets under bankruptcy law.

Both the Home Shopping Network (HSN) and QVC previously notified their
customers directly about the hazard these grills pose, and provided a
remedy.  Since Quantum and e4L have declared bankruptcy, there is no
remedy available for grill bought from retailers other than HSN, QVC
and Wal-Mart.

For more information, contact Wal-Mart Customer Service by Phone:
800-WALMART anytime, or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.walmart.com.  


WISCONSIN AUTO: Legal Aid Society Files Suit For Predatory Lending
------------------------------------------------------------------
You know your lender is serious when it charges 300 percent annual
interest and demands the title to your car as collateral, even when all
you need is several hundred dollars for a month or so.  However,
Wisconsin Auto Title Loans, a thriving concern with 22 offices
throughout the state, goes one step further - the borrower must
surrender a key to the car, making it clear that if the borrower
defaults on the loan, the lender will drive the car away.

For these reasons and more, the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee recently
filed what it hopes will be a class action against the Company, The
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.  Legal Aid calls the Company a
"predatory lender" that must be stopped.

The Company's loan provisions and collection procedures violate state
law, says Legal Aid attorney Hannah Dugan, and its interest rates are
"unconscionable."  However, the power of those arguments in court
remains to be seen.  A hearing has been set before Milwaukee County
Circuit Judge Kitty Brennan.  If a class action is approved, thousands
of Wisconsin Auto Title borrowers could be added to the case.

The question may be asked by the court, if as Legal Aid alleges, the
Company has made more than 50,000 loans statewide since incorporating
nearly four years ago, isn't that evidence that the company is meeting
a need?  Legal Aid will have to be prepared to argue this point.

Legal Aid, a non-profit agency that often takes on causes for the poor,
is trying to create a class action by intervening in a collection
action brought against borrower Kenneth M. Jones, a northside Milwaukee
resident.  Mr. Jones, 61, and out of work, sought an $800 loan to make
ends meet.   Mr. Jones was required to borrow $954, because $150 was
added for a year's membership in the Continental Car Club and $4 for a
title filing fee.  Filing the loan information with the state gave the
company the right to go to court and seize Mr. Jones's 1992 Infiniti,
with 103,000 miles on it. He also turned over his spare key to Auto
Title.

The final deal called for Mr. Jones to pay $1,197 last January, one
month after getting the loan.  By April, he had defaulted and the
company demanded $1,627.  When payment was not made, it filed a small
claims action seeking a judge's permission to seize his car, one of
more than 2,000 actions it has filed in Wisconsin, according to
Legal Aid's court papers.

Both sides are marshalling their arguments.  Edward Heiser Jr., a
Milwaukee attorney representing Auto Title, says, among other things
that people want the service and that he is confident that the
defendant's practices and its forms are in full compliance with
Wisconsin law.

The Company is a subsidiary of Community Loans of America, in Atlanta,
which does car title lending nationally, said Mr. Heiser.  Auto Title
has 22 offices in Wisconsin, including six in Milwaukee.

The Legal Aid Society says in its lawsuit that the Company did not give
Mr. Jones, and many of the other borrowers, proper notice before going
to court for repossession and violated other provisions of the state
consumer law.

In any event, until the Legal Aid's case can proceed further, the
Company will continue to make the loans its way, and the borrowers will
have to fend for themselves.

                        New Securities Fraud Cases

AMDOCS LTD.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. MO
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri on behalf of purchasers of Amdocs Limited (NYSE:DOX) common
stock during the period between July 18, 2000 and June 20, 2002,
inclusive.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial condition.  Specifically, the complaint alleges
that these statements failed to disclose, among other things, that the
Company's business and operations were being negatively affected by a
host of adverse factors, including, but not limited to, the following:

     (1) Amdocs was experiencing declining sales as its business began
         to be affected by adverse market forces; and

     (2) Amdocs artificially inflated its financial statements by
         maintaining inadequate reserves for doubtful accounts and
         failing to disclose that Amdocs' revenue growth improperly
         included revenues from a recent acquisition.

Furthermore, defendants lacked a reasonable basis upon which to publish
and/or affirm the revenue guidance they provided to analysts and
investors.

For more details, contact Jackie Addison, Sue Null or Ellie Baker by
Phone: 1-888-551-9944 by E-mail: info@classlawyer.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.classlawyer.com


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Paskowitz & Associates Begins Securities Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Paskowitz & Associates initiated a securities class action on behalf of
all persons who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired
the common stock of the American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) between
July 18, 1999 and July 17, 2001, inclusive.

The lawsuit asserts claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated by the SEC
thereunder and seeks to recover damages, and is pending in the US
District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The complaint alleges that American Express and certain of its officers
and directors made misstatements and omissions of material fact,
including:

     (1) failing to disclose that American Express was investing in a
         risky portfolio of high-yield or "junk" bonds with ratings as
         low as "single-B" that carried the potential for substantial
         losses if default rates in the junk bond market increased;

     (2) failing to disclose the true extent of American Express's
         total exposure as a result of the foregoing after American
         Express wrote down $182 million of its junk bond portfolio in
         April 2001; and

     (3) failing to disclose that American Express was taking a
         substantial and unnecessary risk by investing in high-yield
         securities involving complex risk factors that American
         Express management and personnel did not fully comprehend.

For more details, contact Laurence Paskowitz by Phone: 1-800-705-9529
by Fax: 212/685-2306 or by E-mail: classattorney@aol.com


AOL TIME: Berger & Montague Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berger & Montague, PC initiated a securities class action against AOL
Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: AOL) and certain of its principal officers in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased Company securities
between October 18, 2000 and July 17, 2002, inclusive.

The suit alleges that defendants violated Section 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities and Exchange Act of l934.  More specifically, the suit
alleges that defendants issued materially false and misleading
statements about its advertising revenues since the third quarter 2000
through the end of the class period.

The suit further alleges that certain company insiders sold tens of
thousands of shares of AOL stock at huge profits while in possession of
material adverse non-public information concerning AOL's revenues.

On January 17, 2002, the market was shocked by the news that AOL had
improperly boosted its advertising revenues by $270 million during the
period stated above by engaging in a series of unconventional
transactions.

For more details, contact Todd S. Collins, Michael T. Fantini or
Kimberly A. Walker by Mail: 1622 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
by Phone: 888-891-2289 or 215-875-3000 by Fax: 215-875-5715 by E-mail:
InvestorProtect@bm.net or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.bergermontague.com


AOL TIME: Wolf Popper Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. New York
------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Popper LLP initiated a securities class action against AOL Time
Warner, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of AOL during the period October 19,
2000 through July 17, 2002, inclusive, in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suit alleges that during the class period, the Company recognized
revenue on a variety of transactions in violation of generally accepted
accounting principles in an effort to mask the decline in advertising
revenues.  The true facts were disclosed to investors, only after AOL
common stock plummeted in value by more than 70% from its trading price
at the beginning of the class period ($46.91) to its trading price at
the end of the class period.

When the true facts concerning the Company's recognition of revenue in
violation of GAAP were revealed in a Washington Post article on July
18, 2002, Company shares declined an additional 10 %, to close on July
18, 2002 at $12.45.

For more details, contact Michael A. Schwartz or Abigail Kowaloff by
Mail: 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022-6689 by Phone: 212-759-4600
or 877-370-7703 by E-Mail: IRRep@wolfpopper.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.wolfpopper.com


CAPITOL ONE: Milberg Weiss Launches Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. VA
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Capital One
Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF) between January 15, 2002 and July 16, 2002,
inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District
of Virginia, Alexandria Division, against the Company and:

     (1) Richard D. Fairbank (CEO and Chairman),

     (2) Nigel W. Morris (President and COO) and

     (3) David M. Willey

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market between January 15, 2002 and July 16, 2002.

According to the complaint, the Company issued numerous press releases
regarding its performance during the class period which represented
that the Company was experiencing quarter after quarter of record
earnings and revenue growth while maintaining "stringent risk
management practices" and adequate loan loss reserves.

The complaint further alleges that these, and other, representations
were materially false and misleading because they failed to disclose
that the Company was in violation of federal guidelines regarding
adequate levels of capitalization and loan loss reserves and that it
was not effectively managing its rapid growth.

On July 16, 2002, the Company revealed that it had entered into an
agreement with regulators, which required the Company to boost reserves
by $247 million in the second quarter of 2002, tie-up additional
capital and institute infrastructure reforms in order to deal
adequately with its high rate of growth, especially in the subprime
market.

In reaction to the announcement, Company stock plummeted by 39%,
falling from a $50.60 per share close on July 16 to $30.48 per share by
the close of July 17, on extremely heavy trading volume.

During the class period, as alleged in the complaint, Company insiders,
including Mr. Willey, profited by selling a total of over $8.2 million
in the Company's common stock at artificially inflated prices and the
Company undertook a convertible debt offering for $650 million on April
19, 2002.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman by
Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl., New York, NY, 10119-0165 by
Phone number: 800-320-5081 by E-mail: capitalone@milbergNY.com or visit
the firm's Website: http://www.milberg.com


CROSS MEDIA: Bernard Gross Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernard M. Gross initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf
of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired the
common stock of Cross Media Marketing Corporation (ASE: XMM), between
November 5, 2001 through July 11, 2002, inclusive.  The suit names as
defendants the Company and Ronald Altbach.

The complaint charges the Company and Ronald Altbach, Chief Executive
Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors, with violations of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and
Rule 10b-5, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market during the class period.

On November 5, 2001, the start of the class period, the Company
announced that it expected both revenues and earnings for 2002 to
increase in excess of 50 percent.  Defendants continued to issue
numerous press releases during the class period which touted the
Company's performance and represented that revenues and earnings were
increasing.

Additionally, defendants misrepresented the impact and nature of the
FTC proceedings brought against the Company and others.  The material
misstatements and omissions had the cause and effect of creating in the
market an unrealistically positive assessment of the Company and its
business, finances and operations, thus causing the Company's common
stock to be overvalued and artificially inflated at all relevant times.

The truth regarding the Company was not fully disclosed until July 12,
2002, when defendants finally revealed that the Company would have a
loss for the second quarter of 2002 and that revenues for the year
would be significantly less than previously predicted.

In reactions to the July 12 news release and conference call, the
common stock price of the Company dropped drastically, from $6.54 on
July 10, to $4.88 on July 11, to $2.71 on July 12.

For more details, contact Bernard M. Gross, PC by Mail: 1515 Locust
Street, Second Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102 or by Phone: 866-561-
3600/215-561-3600


HALLIBURTON COMPANY: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in TX
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of all persons who purchased or acquired Halliburton Company
(NYSE: HAL) securities between July 22, 1999 and May 28, 2002.  The
action is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Texas.

The complaint charges that the Company violated Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder,
by issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to
the market between July 22, 1999 and May 28, 2002.

As alleged in the complaint, beginning in the fourth quarter of 1998,
unbeknownst to the public, the Company materially changed its revenue
recognition policy to recognize revenue on claims and change orders
relating to cost-overruns which its clients had not approved.  
Previously, the Company would only recognize revenue on approved change
orders or claims.

The suit further alleges that the alteration of the Company's
accounting policy and financial results reported as a result thereof
throughout the class period were materially false and misleading and in
violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) because,
among other things, the accounting change was not disclosed to the
public or supported as the preferred accounting treatment in the
Company's financial statements and because collection of the claims or
change orders was not probable and the amounts involved could not be
estimated reliably.

As a result of these violations of GAAP, according to the complaint,
the Company's quarterly and annual earnings press releases and
financial reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) throughout the class period were materially false and misleading
and artificially inflated the Company's reported revenues and earnings,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Company securities.

On May 28, 2002, after the close of the market, the Company issued a
press release announcing that the SEC is conducting an investigation
into its accounting for cost overruns.  In reaction to the press
release, the price of the Company's stock dropped by 3.3% in one day on
extremely heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Ms. Linda Flood by Mail: 10 East 40th Street,
New York, New York 10016 by Phone: 800-217-1522 or 212-779-1414 or by
E-mail: HAL@bernlieb.com.  


SONUS NETWORKS: Milberg Weiss Introduces Securities Fraud Suit in MA
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Sonus Networks,
Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS) between December 11, 2000 and January 16, 2002,
inclusive.  The suit is pending in the United States District Court,
District of Massachusetts against the Company and:

     (1) Hassan M. Ahmed,

     (2) Michael G. Hluchyj,

     (3) Stephen J. Nill,

     (4) Gary A. Rogers,

     (5) Jeffrey Mayersohn,

     (6) Frank T. Winiarski,

     (7) Rubin Gruber,

     (8) Edward T. Anderson and

     (9) Anhousheh Ansari

The suit alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations to the
market between December 11, 2000 and January 16, 2002, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Company securities.

The complaint alleges that defendants issued numerous statements, which
highlighted the Company's financial performance and described the
Company's success in acquiring and/or developing new products, which it
was then able to offer to current and prospective customers.

As alleged in the complaint, these statements were materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that certain products that the Company claimed it had sold to
         Qwest Communications International, Inc. would not be ready
         for deployment in time to meet Qwest's needs and would result
         in Qwest having to purchase competing products from Nortel;

     (2) that the Company's highly-touted transaction with Qwest, which
         contributed more than 10% of Sonus' first quarter 2001
         revenues, was actually a quid pro quo deal wherein Sonus had
         to agree to buy a $20 million Irrevocable Right of Use (IRUs)
         from Qwest in exchange for a $20 million order from Qwest;

     (3) that contrary to defendants' representations, Sonus' products
         were not carrier class as they did not have 99.999%
         availability, did not have voice quality as good as circuit-
         switched networks and did not have sophisticated network
         management and configuration capabilities; and

     (4) as a result, the Company was not on track to report revenues
         of $195 million in 2001.

On January 16, 2002, the last day of the class period, the Company
announced its disappointing fourth quarter and year-end 2001 results
and revealed that revenues for the year were just $173 million compared
to class period estimates exceeding $200 million. Following this
announcement, shares of Company stock fell below $5 per share.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman or Samuel H. Rudman by
Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl. New York, NY, 10119-0165 by
Phone: 800-320-5081 by E-mail: Sonuscase@milbergNY.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.milberg.com  


SONUS NETWORKS: Schiffrin & Barroway Launches Securities Suit in MA
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court, District of Massachusetts on behalf of
all purchasers of the common stock of Sonus Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq:
SONS) from December 11, 2000 through January 16, 2002 inclusive.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violating Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, by issuing
a series of material misrepresentations to the market between December
11, 2000 and January 16, 2002, thereby artificially inflating the price
of Sonus securities.

The complaint alleges that defendants issued numerous statements, which
highlighted the Company's financial performance and described the
Company's success in acquiring and/or developing new products, which it
was then able to offer to current and prospective customers.

As alleged in the complaint, these statements were materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that certain products that Sonus claimed it had sold to Qwest
         Communications International, Inc. would not be ready for
         deployment in time to meet Qwest's needs and would result in
         Qwest having to purchase competing products from Nortel;

     (2) that the Company's highly-touted transaction with Qwest, which
         contributed more than 10% of Sonus' first quarter 2001
         revenues, was actually a quid pro quo deal wherein Sonus had
         to agree to buy a $20 million Irrevocable Right of Use (IRUs)
         from Qwest in exchange for a $20 million order from Qwest;

     (3) that contrary to defendants' representations, Sonus' products
         were not carrier class as they did not have 99.999%
         availability, did not have voice quality as good as circuit-
         switched networks and did not have sophisticated network
         management and configuration capabilities; and

     (4) as a result, Sonus was not on track to report revenues of $195
         million in 2001

On January 16, 2002, the last day of the class period, the Company
announced its disappointing fourth quarter and year-end 2001 results
and revealed that revenues for the year were just $173 million compared
to class period estimates exceeding $200 million.  Following this
announcement, shares of Company stock fell below $5 per share.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by Mail:
Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone:
888-299-7706 (toll free) or 610-667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


TELLABS INC.: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Tellabs, Inc.
(NASDAQ:TLAB) between December 11, 2000 and June 19, 2001 inclusive.

The suit charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market between December 11, 2000 and June 19, 2001.

According to the complaint, the Company had represented to the public,
in press releases issued throughout the class period, that:

     (1) its new products were enjoying strong demand;

     (2) the seeming slowdown in its business was due to "component-
         parts shortages which have been corrected;" and

     (3) the Company's business was strong fundamentally and the
         Company would meet earnings and revenues expectations.

The complaint alleges that these, and other, statements were materially
false and misleading because, as alleged in the complaint, its new
optical networking line of products were inferior to the competition
and their products were not well-received or in high demand.

The complaint further alleges that, contrary to its statements to the
investing public, the Company's highly-touted acquisition of SALIX was
a failure as sales of the product line the Company gained in the
acquisition were falling.

On June 19, 2002, the Company issued a press release revealing that
second quarter of 2001 revenues would be 35% less than guidance
reiterated only weeks before, and that its earnings would be breakeven
instead of the consensus $0.29 per share.  In reaction to the
announcement, the price of the Company's common stock fell by 31%, from
$23 per share on June 19 to $15.87 on June 20, representing a 75%
decline from the class period high.

During the class period, one of the defendants sold a total of 80,000
shares of the Company's common stock at prices between $64.25 to $65.38
per share, grossing proceeds of more than $5.18 million.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery Ave,
Suite 202 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808 by Phone: 888-643-6735 or
610-660-8000 by Fax: 610-660-8080 by E-mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.  


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Suit in S.D. FL
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida on behalf of purchasers of Tyco International, Ltd. (NYSE: TYC)
publicly traded securities during the period between May 1, 2002 and
June 12, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint alleges that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors violated the federal securities laws.  Specifically, the
complaint alleges that during the class period defendants failed to
disclose the Company's practice of engaging in related-party
transactions with its own officers and directors, including:

     (1) interest-free loans the Company made to employees, for
         personal use;

     (2) the Company's purchase of a Florida home from its director;

     (3) the Company's retaining a law firm that employs its director,
         while his compensation at the law firm was based on the amount
         of work the law firm did for the Company; and

     (4) the Company's use of funds to pay for executives' personal
         items

Additionally, during the class period defendants failed to disclose the
ongoing criminal investigation of one of its officers.

As a result of the defendants' failure to disclose the Company's
related-party transactions, Company securities traded at artificially
inflated levels during the class period.

For more details, contact Jackie Addison, Sue Null or Ellie Baker by
Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone: 888-551-9944
or by E-mail: info@classlawyer.com

                              *********

S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, and
Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2002.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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