CAR_Public/021023.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
            Wednesday, October 23, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 210

                           Headlines
                             
ALABAMA: Supreme Court Refuses To Reinstate Suit Over Franchise Taxes
CANADA: Human Rights Commission To Intervene in Suit For Autistic Kids
CREDIT SUISSE: MA Regulators To File Complaint For Securities Fraud
EARTHLINK INC.: Entering Suit Mediation Due To Faulty Internet Service
INDIAN FUNDS: Fort Belknap Tribes Take Control Over Federal Programs

INDIAN FUNDS: Neal McCaleb To Meet Rocky Mountain Tribes Over Funds
LOUISIANA-PACIFIC: To Appeal Jury Verdict Awarding $29.6M To Plaintiffs
MINOLTA BUSINESS: NY Court Refuses Request To Invite More Plaintiffs
SWIFT TRANSPORTATION: NJ Court Refuses To Dismiss Suit Over Leases
TELECOMS COMPANIES: WV Judge Allows Suit To Target Telecom Products

UNITED KINGDOM: Suffolk Motorists Consider Suit Over Speed Limits Law
VISKASE COMPANIES: Probe into Sausage Casings, Plastic Films Concluded
WELLS FARGO: Agrees To Settle Employee Suit Over Toms Sierra Co. Sale
WISCONSIN ENERGY: Denies Being Charged With Criminal Wrongdoing in Suit
WYETH: Legal Fight Over Claims' Validity Threatens Diet-Drug Settlement

*State Laws Banning Ex-Convicts From Voting Faces Scrutiny, Review

                    New Securities Fraud Cases      

ALLEGHENY ENERGY: Wolf Haldenstein Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
ATLAS AIR: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
CREDIT SUISSE: Charles Piven Launches Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
CONSECO INC.: Fruchter & Twersky Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. IN
DPL INC.: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. Ohio

ELECTRONIC DATA: Berger & Montague Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX
LIBERATE TECHNOLOGIES: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
MERRILL LYNCH: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NY
MERRILL LYNCH: Johnson & Perkinson Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
SALOMON SMITH: Cohen Milstein Launches Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY

SCHERING-PLOUGH: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in New Jersey
SEARS ROEBUCK: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
SEARS ROEBUCK: Mark McNair Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
SEARS ROEBUCK: Bernard Gross Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
TXU CORPORATION: Mark McNair Commences Securities Suit in N.D. Texas

VODAFONE PLC: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
VODAFONE PLC: Johnson & Perkinson Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY

                           *********


ALABAMA: Supreme Court Refuses To Reinstate Suit Over Franchise Taxes
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Supreme Court refused to consider reinstating a class
action filed against the state of Alabama, by about 15,000 companies
seeking refunds of the state franchise tax, the Associated Press
reports.

The suit arose after the Supreme Court stated in a 1999 ruling that
Alabama's franchise tax was unconstitutional because it taxed out-of-
state companies doing business in Alabama at a higher rate than
Alabama-based companies.  The Alabama Supreme Court ruled for the
state, but the plaintiffs appealed to the High Court, asking it to
reverse the ruling.

The Supreme Court stated that the Companies were ineligible for refunds
from the unconstitutional franchise taxes they paid because the
deadline for them to apply individually for refunds expired in
September, state attorneys said, the Associated Press states.

An attorney for the companies, Matthew H. Lembke, had told the Supreme
Court that Alabama was trying to dodge its obligation to refund
unconstitutional taxes and "other states will be emboldened in similar
efforts . No matter how unpleasant refunds of unconstitutional taxes
may be for Alabama and its treasury," the Constitution requires it, he
told justices in paperwork, AP reports.

Had the suit succeeded, the state would have had to face a potential
US$750 million in refunds.  "We avoided the nightmare," state attorney
Susan Kennedy told AP.  Gov. Don Siegelman said the Supreme Court
decision was great financial news for the state and he hopes it will
provide the impetus to address Alabama's corporate tax structure.

"Now it's time to move forward and create a fair corporate tax
structure, where powerful, out-of-state corporations cannot use
accounting tricks to pay nothing to our schools," he said in a
statement.


CANADA: Human Rights Commission To Intervene in Suit For Autistic Kids
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A group representing hundreds of families of children with autism
spectrum disorders announced that the Quebec Commission des droits de
la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Quebec's Human Rights
Commission) has informed them of its intention to intervene on their
behalf in their class action against the Quebec Government.

The families have undertaken this legal action to put a halt to the
Quebec Government's systematic discrimination which has been denying
their children a medically necessary treatment, intensive behavioral
early intervention.

Only last week, a British Columbia Court of Appeal ruling against the
BC Government established a clear precedent that it is discrimination
under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms for a provincial
government to not provide medically necessary fully funded intensive
behavior intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders of
all ages as long as deemed beneficial by the child's physician.

By rejecting the Government of British Colombia's appeal of the BC
Supreme Court's Auton decision, the BC Court of Appeal's ruling on
October 9 has provided additional support to the Quebec parents' class
action suit.  The unanimous decision upheld the Auton decision, which
requires the BC Government to provide intensive early behavioral
intervention, as a medical necessary treatment, for children with an
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  It has also opened the door for legal
action on behalf of many thousands of children with autism conditions
in various provinces in Canada who currently are being denied
treatment.

The Court of Appeal also extended the decision so that even school age
children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, through court intervention if
necessary, will be able to access such intervention if requested by the
family physician (with the written support of a neurologist or
psychologist), with non-compliant civil servants facing possible
contempt charges.  

"This decision will go a long way to compel provinces and territories,
such as Quebec, that have been unwilling to finally provide effective
autism treatment to provide it regardless of severity, specific
diagnosis or age," the Autism Society Canada said in a statement.
    
"The court decision is all the more important given the rapid increase
in the number of children diagnosed with autism conditions (63%
increase from 1999 to 2001 in Canada).  It is widely recognized that
early intensive behavioral intervention can significantly improve the
functioning of children with autism, which the BC Court of Appeal noted
in its decision, and is critical to avoiding an otherwise bleak
institutionalized future.  Effective treatment provision will help to
reduce lifelong costs to governments (cost-effectiveness research
indicates by 50%), and will reduce the human suffering of people with
autism conditions and their families.

Because appropriate services are generally not available, human
suffering associated with autism conditions in Canada is profound.

Two Canadian courts have now spoken: not providing effective treatment
in the form of intensive behavioral intervention to people with Autism
Spectrum Disorders is discrimination under the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms.  

Autism Society Canada, therefore, throws its full support behind the
legal action undertaken by the Quebec Autism Class Action Committee.


CREDIT SUISSE: MA Regulators To File Complaint For Securities Fraud
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Federal regulators from the state of Massachusetts intend to file a
civil complaint against investment firm Credit Suisse First Boston,
alleging the firm controlled research at the bank, which led to
misleading analyst reports.

Investment bankers completely controlled the stock research produced by
technology analysts at CSFB, which displayed a cavalier attitude toward
investors, said Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William
Galvin, who spoke at a news conference at the Massachusetts Statehouse
in Boston, according to a Reuters report.

Regulators also charged the firm allocated initial public offerings to
senior executives to encourage them to have business with the firm.  
The regulators filed the suit, allegedly after the United States
Securities and Exchange Commission failed to act on the complaints.

A spokeswoman for CSFB was not immediately available for comment,
according to Reuters.


EARTHLINK INC.: Entering Suit Mediation Due To Faulty Internet Service
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Earthlink, Inc. will enter mediation in a class action filed 19 months
ago in Multnomah County Circuit Court, on behalf of thousands of its
current and former customers, the Oregonian reports.

The suit was commenced after the Company merged it systems with
OneMain.com, which it acquired in late 1999.  During the merge, many
former OneMain.com customers alleged that e-mail took days to send and
receive and they couldn't upload Web pages.

The suit seeks refunds for Teleport users who paid monthly service fees
when their service was down.  Compensation to businesses for any
customers lost because of the outages also is sought.

"I don't think that corporate takeovers and giant, huge business
dealings should put normal people out as much as this did. That's why
I'm fighting," Virginia Bruce, a Portland Web developer who is the lead
plaintiff in the complaint, filed in March 2001 told the Oregonian.  E-
mail and Internet service problems made it tough to conduct business,
she said.  "I deal with most of my clients through e-mail."

The court has yet to decide whether the case will receive class
certification.  The Company argued against certification, stating that
Ms. Bruce did not cite a loss of specific billable hours and therefore
doesn't represent business users who were harmed.

Judge Edward J. Jones delayed a ruling on class certification, but
earlier denied the Company's request to require arbitration, a process
often favored by companies in class actions because of its quick
resolution and frequently small penalties.  In arbitration, an official
hears arguments and issues a ruling that can rarely be appealed.  In
mediation, which both parties must agree to enter, a settlement is
reached when both sides agree.  If mediation fails, the dispute bounces
back to court, the Oregonian states.


INDIAN FUNDS: Fort Belknap Tribes Take Control Over Federal Programs
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Fort Belknap Assiniboine and Gros Ventre tribes continue to take
control of reservation programs previously run by the Bureau of Indian
Affairs (BIA) and the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Associated
Press Newswires reports.

The tribes, for example, recently signed a contract giving them control
of $565,000 worth of programs, such as fire management, road
maintenance, probate, enrollment and sewer and water systems.

Another $877,829 in real estate and agriculture services also have been
contracted, but the tribes will not take over administration until
November 1.  The tribes already were administering 35 programs
previously run by BIA and IHS, including water resources, tribal
courts, credit, law enforcement, transportation, criminal
investigation, planning and several health programs.

In 1975, Congress passed the Indian Self-Determination and Education
Assistance Act, allowing tribes to administer the federal government's
programs on their reservations.  Some of the tribal members of the Fort
Belknap Community Coalition say their tribes are not ready to
administer so many programs, especially the complex real estate and
trust programs on the 675,000-acre reservation.

The Fort Belknap Indian Community Council says, however, that having
such control is critical to the future of the tribes.  Why this is
administrative takeover is happening is probably best exemplified by
the words of Fort Peck tribal President Ben Speakthunder, who recently
spoke to the issue of why the tribal council chose to rid itself of BIA
control and assume responsibility for the tribe's future.

President Speakthunder, an Assiniboine, referred to the 130 years of
Interior Department and BIA mismanagement of Indian funds, brought to
light by the ongoing class action.  The way the Indian trust funds are
managed will change when the class action is settled over the admitted
mishandling of the trust accounts by the BIA, he said.

Tribal self-determination is the way to the future, whether it is
managing the trust funds or whether it is taking control and protecting
the Indians' resources for the future generations, be it oil, gas,
grazing or water, President Speakthunder said.  "Without these
important natural resources -- our identity -- we are nothing."


INDIAN FUNDS: Neal McCaleb To Meet Rocky Mountain Tribes Over Funds
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Neal McCaleb will meet with Rocky
Mountain tribes this week, in a consultation meeting that will discuss
the United States government's management of their land, money and
resources, the Billings Gazette reports.

The meeting is the last of a dozen similar consultations held between
the Interior Department and Indian tribes.  The meetings were held
because of an ongoing, court-induced effort to reform the department's
Indian trust fund system.

Several tribes have filed a class action against the department, saying
the trust fund was mismanaged.  In September, Federal Judge Royce
Lamberth held Interior Secretary Gale Norton in contempt of court, for
failing to account for money in the fund and lying about its efforts to
fix the system.

"This is an opportunity to work with tribes to get their input on trust
reform," Nedra Darling, BIA spokeswoman, told the Gazette.  "He's been
looking forward to working with them directly."

"We're tying to use the consultation as a place to get our word in, to
come forward with a plan to address trust reform," Ervin Carlson,
Blackfeet Tribal Business Council member told the Gazette.  Ten Rocky
Mountain tribes from Wyoming and Montana, as well as tribal
representatives from around the country, are expected to attend.

The Department is also hurrying to submit trust standards by January 6,
2003, a deadline set by the Court.  "We are going to move heaven and
Earth to meet the deadline," Dan Dubray, Interior Department spokesman
told the Gazette.

While the January deadline is cited as a reason for the current
parting, the impasse between department and tribal leaders began to
grow this summer after both sides failed to agree on trust reform
legislation after nearly nine months of discussion.

"We're concerned about having gone all this way and not really having
anything to show for it," Mr. Dubray said.  "We're looking forward to
Billings and working with tribal leadership in developing our plan as
time will allow us."


LOUISIANA-PACIFIC: To Appeal Jury Verdict Awarding $29.6M To Plaintiffs
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation will appeal a verdict by a jury in McLeod
County, Minnesota District Court involving LP Inner-Seal siding that
awarded $29.6 million to Butler Manufacturing Company.

The Portland-based wood products company already has paid more than
$400 million to settle about 139,000 claims arising from a national
class action over its oriented strandboard siding, a mixture of wood
flakes and resin pressed into boards.  Homeowners began suing the
Company in the early 1990s, when they found their home siding swelling
with moisture, cracking and breaking up, according to an earlier Class
Action Reporter story.

"LP will take the appropriate steps with the trial judge, or the
appellate courts if necessary, to have this verdict set aside. The
verdict contradicts the National Class Action Settlement and treads on
the jurisdiction of the Federal District Court of Oregon.  We believe
there are sufficient errors to warrant a new trial and we are confident
the verdict will not stand," said Mark Fuchs, LP's senior counsel.

LP is a premier supplier of building materials, delivering innovative,
high-quality commodity and specialty products to its retail, wholesale,
homebuilding and industrial customers.


MINOLTA BUSINESS: NY Court Refuses Request To Invite More Plaintiffs
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in New York denied a request by two
former service technicians of Minolta Business Solutions, Inc. to allow
them to invite other potential plaintiffs to join a class action
alleging violations of the federal and state wage and hour law.

In a rare refusal to grant permission to send notices of the pending
action and opt-in consent forms, the court found no basis in the
ongoing litigation to support the claim that the two plaintiffs were
"similarly situated" to other service technicians for overtime pay
purposes.  The legal standard under the Fair Labor Standards Act for
granting permission to send notices to other potential plaintiffs is
very low, and there are very few reported decisions denying requests to
give such notice.

Lawsuits alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act
have become fertile ground for "collective action" complaints, where an
employer could be liable for unpaid overtime wages and penalties for an
entire class of employees working in similarly situated positions.
Demonstrating that other employees are similarly situated has been an
easy task, and the number of collective action FLSA cases is
significantly higher than other types of class action lawsuits.

In a major victory for the Company, this decision bars the plaintiffs
from issuing notice of the federal claims absent further evidence and
complicates plaintiffs' efforts to obtain class certification on other
pending state law claims.  Plaintiffs have requested a deferral on the
issue of class certification on the state law claims until further
discovery in the litigation provides additional information as to
whether other employees were similarly affected.

For more information, contact Paul Siegel and Marc Wenger of Jackson
Lewis LLP by visiting the firm's Website: http://www.jacksonlewis.com


SWIFT TRANSPORTATION: NJ Court Refuses To Dismiss Suit Over Leases
------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in New Jersey refused to dismiss a
class action filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers
Association (OOIDA) against Swift Transportation Co., Inc. and its
subsidiaries:

     (1) Swift Transportation Co. Inc. (NV),

     (2) M.S. Carriers Inc. and

     (3) M.S. Carriers Warehousing Distribution Inc.

The suit alleges that the defendants' leases violated federal truth-in-
leasing regulations.  

The Company sought dismissal by arguing that the plaintiff owner-
operators did not have a private right of action under federal leasing
regulations and, therefore, the court had no jurisdiction, Primedia
Business Magazines reports.  OOIDA said the leases fail to contain a
number of provisions required by 49 C.F.R. 379.12 and also contain
provisions in direct conflict with the leasing regulations.  The
carriers are also accused of failing to provide owner-operators with:

     (i) required documentation for chargebacks against compensation;

    (ii) forced purchase of insurance and other products and services;

   (iii) illegal deductions from escrow accounts; and

    (iv) failure to return escrow accounts within the required time
         after termination


TELECOMS COMPANIES: WV Judge Allows Suit To Target Telecom Products
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Tod Kaufman allowed a class action
against AT&T Corporation and Lucent Technologies Inc. to target
products, including voice-mail systems, that allegedly did not meet
standards for year 2000 compliance, plaintiffs' attorneys said on
Monday, according to a Reuters reports

The suit charges the two companies with selling or leasing
telecommunications equipment from 1990 to 2000 that was not compliant
with Year 2000 standards, thus forcing customers to purchase additional
products.

The suit further alleges that the defendants sold certain plaintiffs
"service protection plans" under which they promised to keep the
products in good working order but with respect to the alleged Y2K
defect, defendants refused to provide free solutions that made the
products Y2K Compliant.

AT&T officials referred the matter to Lucent, which it spun off in
1996.  Lucent said any so-called Y2K cases were transferred to Avaya
Inc., which Lucent spun off in October 2000, according to a Reuters
report.  Avaya, a provider of voice and data networks, confirmed it is
the lead company on the case, originally filed in 1999 in Charleston,
West Virginia.

In August, Judge Kaufman named Jackson General Hospital, Coldwell
Banker/Landmark Realtors and Jefferds Corp., all West Virginia
businesses, as representatives of the class.


UNITED KINGDOM: Suffolk Motorists Consider Suit Over Speed Limits Law
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Motorist in Suffolk, England are thinking of launching a class action
on behalf of more than 50,000 drivers who could have been wrongly
punished for breaking speed limits in Suffolk, the East Anglian Daily
Times reports.

The Association of British Drivers (ABD) might commence the suit, which
questions the legality of the Suffolk law prosecuting motorists in some
30 mph zones across the country.  The group seeks to "obtain justice"
for motorists who have been penalized by limits that it claimed "have
no legal force."  

Malcolm Heymer, of the ABD, claimed thousands of drivers had been
illegally punished for speeding in the unenforceable zones since
Suffolk County Council introduced the limits in the mid-1990s.  

"The ABD estimates that at least 50,000 drivers have been convicted of
exceeding speed limits that we believe have no legal force," he told
the Daily Times.  "Consequently, we are exploring the possibility of
bringing a class action to obtain justice for those who have been
wrongfully fined and had their licenses endorsed . If the ABD is proved
correct, not only will all those drivers who have been illegally
prosecuted be eligible for compensation, but the county council will
have to make new speed limit orders from scratch."

Suffolk County Council introduced 30mph speed zones through all of its
villages between 1994 and 1996.  The ABD claimed there had been a
"major error" in the way the council introduced speed limits on roads
without street lighting, the East Anglian Daily Times states.

Suffolk police speed enforcement officer Pc Mike Rayner criticized
Suffolk County Council earlier this year over the problem, which means
speed traps at 37 sites in Suffolk cannot be used successfully.  Police
have since uncovered inconsistencies in sections of the Road Traffic
Regulation Act, making it virtually impossible to monitor speeding and
enforce the 30mph limits through many Suffolk villages.

Richard Spring, the Conservative MP for West Suffolk, has already
written to Transport Secretary Alistair Darling to urge him to sort the
situation and stop speeding drivers escaping punishment.  Joan Girling,
cabinet member on the council with responsibility for transport, was
unavailable for comment last night, the Times states.

However, Peter Thompson, the council's director of transport and
environment, said it was working closely with the police and the
Department of Transport to clarify "certain legal technicalities"
regarding the enforcement of 30mph speed limits in Suffolk villages.


VISKASE COMPANIES: Probe into Sausage Casings, Plastic Films Concluded
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Specialty meat packaging firm Viskase Companies announced that the
United States Department of Justice has concluded its investigation
into the Company's sausage casings and specialty plastic films and that
no further action is to be taken, the Food Navigator reports.

The Company said that it had fully co-operated with the DOJ during the
investigation, which began in 1997.  F. Edward Gustafson, president and
chief executive officer of the company, said, "We are pleased with the
DOJ's decision to close its lengthy investigation.  There is no basis
for the pending class action lawsuits that were filed as a result of
the grand jury investigation and the company will continue to
vigorously defend these claims."

Viskase Companies has its major interests in food packaging.  Principal
products manufactured are cellulosic and nylon casings used in the
preparation and packaging of processed meat products, according to the
Food Navigator.


WELLS FARGO: Agrees To Settle Employee Suit Over Toms Sierra Co. Sale
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Wells Fargo Bank reached a settlement with the Department of Labor that
will resolve the department's claim relating to the 1998 sale of Toms
Sierra Co. of Colfax, which started over a dispute over how to value
private Company stock bought by employee stock ownership plans (ESOP,
the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

The bank allegedly mishandled the sale of Toms Sierra, costing
employees their retirement benefits.  The Labor Department's suit
claims that the bank Fargo approved the sale of the petroleum
distribution company for far more than it was worth, causing the
employee pension plan to lose more than $10 million.

The bank's willingness to cooperate with regulators in a review of how
it handles other employee stock ownership accounts is read by others as
acknowledgment that the bank goofed, the Sacramento Business Journal
states.  The Company also had previously agreed to pay $5.6 million to
the Toms Sierra pension plan to settle a related class action that
claimed the bank inappropriately approved the sale.  "Toms Sierra Co.
Inc. and its current management has been vindicated," said Whitney
Washburn, a Sacramento lawyer who represents the new owners.

"We are pleased with the terms of the settlement between the Department
of Labor and Wells Fargo Bank, and with Wells Fargo Bank's settlement
payment to the Toms Sierra Co. employee stock ownership plan - and that
Toms Sierra Co. was not named as a liable party in the Department of
Labor lawsuit," Ms. Washburn continued.

The agreement with Wells Fargo depends on fulfilling the terms agreed
to in a related class action approved by a US District Court judge in
Sacramento last month.  Legal action by federal officials continues
against the Toms family for allegedly reaping "unjust profits" from the
sale.

The Labor Department announced the deal but had no additional comment.
The Company issued a brief statement that states, "Although Wells Fargo
wishes the dispute had not arisen, it is pleased that its contribution
will help pay retirement benefits to close to 300 people."


WISCONSIN ENERGY: Denies Being Charged With Criminal Wrongdoing in Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wisconsin Energy Corp. belied in a press release rumors the Company had
been charged with criminal wrongdoing in a complaint filed last week
are unfounded.  The criminal complaint, issued against Wisconsin State
Sen. Charles Chvala, does not allege any wrongdoing by the Company or
its representatives, nor does it allege any wrongdoing involving
enactment of Power the Future legislation.

The Company has no reason to believe that the validity of the
legislation or agency review of the project will be adversely affected
by the indictment.  The complaint against Sen. Chvala charges the
senator with various alleged acts of misconduct, including extortion
(also known as "pay to play" allegations), misconduct in public office,
unlawful political contributions, and various campaign finance
violations.

A contribution made by WEC to an issues advertisement entity known as
"ICD-Issues, Inc." was identified, along with contributions from
various other business entities to this independent expenditure group,
in a portion of the complaint charging that Sen. Chvala misused funds
contributed to ICD-Issues, Inc. during the 2002 Wisconsin State Senate
election.

As the complaint notes, contributions to such independent expenditure
groups are lawful, and there is no allegation that the contribution
made by WEC was improper or that WEC had any knowledge of, or
involvement with, Sen. Chvala's alleged subsequent misuse of ICD-
Issues, Inc. contributions.

"There are no "pay to play" allegations or quid-pro-quo allegations in
the complaint referring to WEC or the Power The Future legislation, nor
any allegations that Sen. Chvala demanded the contribution for approval
of the Power the Future legislation," the Company said in a statement.


WYETH: Legal Fight Over Claims' Validity Threatens Diet-Drug Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Last August, Deb Toews, 43, responded to ads offering free exams, in
Fresno, California, to anyone who had taken the Pondimin or Redux diet
pills, which were recalled in 1997, because of heart and lung damage in
some patients.  Ms. Toews was examined and was told her heart was so
badly damaged she needed surgery to save her life, according to a
report by The Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ).

Ms. Toews, of course, was devastated.  She was urged by a lawyer, who
talked to people after they had the exam, to join a class action
against Wyeth, the drug maker that withdrew the pills.  Instead, Ms.
Toews, who is a registered nurse, sought a second opinion.  What she
learned, in a way, upset her even more. There is nothing wrong with her
heart.

Such episodes have sparked an ugly, behind-the-scenes brawl among
dozens of lawyers from coast to coast, and it is threatening to derail
a landmark $5 billion diet-drug settlement that was supposed to have
been a model for resolving huge class actions.

The dispute also has caused financial spasms at Wyeth, which changed
its name from American Home products last year, in order to overhaul
its image in the wake of the diet-pill scandal.

Wall Street is already angry that the Madison-based drug maker has
repeatedly misjudged the amount of money it owes in order to pay for
all the diet-pill lawsuits, which include the thousands not covered by
the class action settlement.

At issue, in the brawling, is whether some of the 17,000 claims,
already filed, list actual heart damage, or whether they were
wrongfully submitted by lawyers seeking a bigger slice of the
settlement.  The $4.75 billion settlement fund is supposed to pay for
damages or the cost of monitoring the health of the former diet-pill
users.

Wyeth, the lawyers who negotiated the original deal and the lawyers for
the trust that administers the fund, all say that some of the claims
are fraudulent.  As a result, they say, the fund soon may run out of
money, according to court documents.

The calculation of how much money was needed to settle claims was based
on valid records of sales plus other complex but equally valid
considerations.  From this calculation, it was determined that only a
few thousand diet-pill claims were to be expected.

Then came the fraudulent medical conclusions, and the claims began
pouring in.  By the end of August, more than 17,000 had been filed and
that number could still double by year's end, according to court
documents.  At that rate, $14 billion would be needed - three times the
current fund.

Wyeth and its legal allies blame the large number of claims on
aggressive advertising law firms soliciting diet-drug users.  These law
firms spent at least $51 million on television ads between 2000 and
2002, documents show.

The lawyers accused of filing fraudulent claims deny any wrongdoing and
are angry the dispute is delaying payments to some of their clients.  
"We have done nothing wrong," said Mr. Bern, whose firm, Napoli Kaiser
Bern & Associates, is one of two firms accused by Wyeth and its legal
allies of filing more than 700 fraudulent claims.  "We followed the
procedures set up by the court."

The attorney who interviewed Ms. Toews in Fresno, Margo Dockendorf of
Oceanside, California, did not return calls seeking comment.  Ms. Toews
contacted the FBI and was told an investigation would begin.

Wyeth wants to avoid putting more money in the fund, according to Mr.
Bern.  Mr. Bern added that the lawyers who negotiated the settlement
are trying to protect $430 million in fees, which are supposed to be
paid from the settlement fund.

"They used flawed statistics to come up with a settlement that is
woefully inadequate.  And those lawyers are concerned about one thing -
fees.  Now they want to audit every claim, which means the deal has
dramatically and fundamentally changed," he said.

Pursuing another possible fraud, Wyeth and its allies, are dealing with
a dispute that hinges on the work of two cardiologists hired by Mr.
Bern's firm and others, to conduct or review echocardiograms.  This is
an important aspect of the examination of the heart's function, in that
the echocardiogram gauges heart damage and thus determines a diet-pill
user's compensation.

In court documents, Wyeth and its allies find it unbelievable that one
doctor, Linda Crouse of Shawnee Mission, Kansas, reviewed thousands of
echocardiograms in 10 months, while also performing her regular medical
duties and seeing 80 patients a week.

Wyeth hired a cardiac ultrasound expert, Arthur Weyman, to study 302
sample claims.  Dr. Weyman said that two-thirds did not qualify for
compensation, based on a complex formula that was designed as part of
the original settlement.  By contrast, court documents say heart damage
was found in 64 percent of the claims submitted by the lawyers accused
of filing fraudulent claims.

Thomas Wagstaff, an attorney for Dr. Crouse, denied the accusations.  
The doctor, who was paid $720,000 for 1,000 exams, by two of the
accused law firms, set aside her regular duties while she was reviewing
or conducting exams, Mr. Wagstaff said.  "She is not some flunky from
the Midwest who will do whatever they ask.  Her credentials are
impeccable."  The other cardiologist, Dr. Richard Mueller of New York,
declined to comment.

It is not clear whether Wyeth will be ordered to contribute additional
money to the court-approved settlement.  The drug maker already has set
aside $14.6 billion in reserves for the fund and to cover the cost of
litigating thousands of other lawsuits not covered by the settlement.


*State Laws Banning Ex-Convicts From Voting Faces Scrutiny, Review
------------------------------------------------------------------
When Thomas Johnson moved from New York City in 1996, to start a prison
aftercare ministry in Gainesville, Florida, he received critical
support from several local elected officials.  So, when election time
arrived, Mr. Johnson wanted to express his thanks in one of the best
ways he knew -- by voting for those who had helped him, according to a
report from The Christian Science Monitor.  However, when Mr. Johnson
went to vote, he was told he could not vote in Florida.  When he asked
why, he was told it was because he is an ex-felon.

It did not matter that Mr. Johnson had served his time and all his
rights had been restored to him in New York State.  Under Florida law,
convicted felons are barred for life from voting.  Mr. Johnson, a
former crack addict, is now an ordained minister.

Mr. Johnson is not alone in his plight.  Nationwide, some 1.4 million
ex-felons in 13 states are prohibited from voting.  However, the tide
may be turning against such laws.

In recent years, voting law changes in five states have granted more
than 440,000 ex-felons the right to vote, according to research at the
University of Minnesota.  A Harris poll in July found that 80 percent
of Americans believe ex-felons who have served their terms should have
the right to vote.  Congressman John Conyers (D) of Michigan is
introducing a bill to authorize restoration of voting rights in
national elections for all ex-felons, probationers and parolees.

These developments were discussed recently at a national symposium on
felony disenfranchisement in Washington by some 230 community activists
and criminal-justice specialists from 25 states.  When a similar
meeting took place in 1999, 60 people attended.

"It (the issue of ex-felon voting rights) has just mushroomed," says
Marc Mauer of The Sentencing Project, a liberal criminal justice policy
group.

The Sentencing Project and Human Rights Watch made national headlines
in 1998, with a report that disclosed that nearly 13 percent of all
African-American men were excluded from the political process because
of felony convictions.  In Florida, the largest state that bars ex-
felons from voting, roughly a quarter of the state's African-American
men are banned from the polls.

Some analysts say such a significant disproportionate impact on
African-American political participation in Florida is proof that the
disenfranchisement law is a violation of the federal Voting Rights Act
and the United States Constitution.

However, there are others who disagree.  In July, a federal judge in
Miami dismissed a class action filed by Mr. Johnson and seven other ex-
felons seeking to overturn the state provision.  US District Judge
James Lawrence King wrote in his dismissal order, "It is not racial
discrimination that deprives felons, black or white, of their right to
vote, but their own decision to commit an act for which they assume the
risks of detection and punishment."

Nancy Northup, an attorney with the Brennan Center Justice at NYU
School of Law, who has worked on the suit, said Judge King's decision
will be appealed.  "This is not just affecting the ex-felons.  It is
affecting the ability of a lot of communities to elect candidates who
they feel would best represent them," she said

To some analysts, this is not necessarily a bad thing.  "Do you really
want a bloc of felons deciding elections?" asks Roger Clegg of the
Center for Equal Opportunity, a conservative public-policy group in
Northern Virginia.  The potential inclusion of a large number of new
voters is a sensitive issue in Florida, where the 2000 presidential
election was decided by a razor-thin 537 votes.

Mr. Clegg says that banning felons from the polls serves important
societal interests by reinforcing the idea that criminals will face
serious and, in some cases, permanent consequences for lawless conduct.  
"Before you assert a right to make a law, you should be willing to
follow the law," Mr. Clegg says.

Critics counter that felony disenfranchisement policies undercut the
idea of rehabilitation  and create a barrier to ex-felons becoming
fully engaged Americans.  "What this is saying, is that you will always
be a second-class citizen, you will never be a full member of society,"
says Mr. Mauer.

Mr. Clegg says the goal of rehabilitation is better served through the
restoration of voting rights on a case-by-case basis to those who
deserve it rather than through a wholesale policy change that will
grant rights to some who may abuse them.  Florida law permits
individual ex-felons to petition the state government for reinstatement
of voting rights.  Critics say it is too complicated and takes too
long.

"There is obviously a delicate balance here," Mr. Clegg says.  "Society
wants to send the message that committing crimes is a bad thing that
brings unpleasant consequences.  On the other hand, you don't want
people to think, 'I have committed a felony and I'll never be able to
get a job again or vote again, or rejoin society.'"

After six years, victory has been won by Mr. Johnson.  While Mr.
Johnson's lawsuit was dismissed in federal court, the resulting
attention to his case caused Florida officials to reexamine their
policy regarding ex-felon residents from out of state.  

Recently, election officials in Gainesville, gave Mr. Johnson a piece
of good news - he is now legally authorized to vote in Florida.  
However, he says he will not be doing any celebrating until November at
the earliest.  "I am not taking anything for granted," he said, "until
I see my name on the voter rolls."

                      New Securities Fraud Cases      

ALLEGHENY ENERGY: Wolf Haldenstein Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York, on behalf of purchasers of the securities, and options on the
securities of Allegheny Energy, Inc. (NYSE: AYE) between April 23, 2001
and October 8, 2002, inclusive, against the Company and certain of its
officers and directors.

On March 16, 2001, Allegheny Energy's subsidiary Allegheny Energy
Supply Company, LLC (Allegheny Energy Supply) announced that it
completed its acquisition of Global Energy Markets (G.E.M.) from
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (Merrill Lynch).

The complaint alleges that Allegheny Energy made false and misleading
statements during the class period in that it omitted to state that its
revenues (and revenue guidance) materially depended, on illusory,
revenue creating, "wash transactions" with Enron, and other deceptive
energy trading practices.  At no point did Allegheny Energy disclose to
the investing public that:

     (1) the surge in its revenues was attributable to G.E.M.'s
         practice of engaging in deceptive and illusory trades; and

     (2) that after the Enron story broke, Allegheny Energy could no
         longer engage in these deceptive trading practices as
         successfully, and that revenues would drop as a result.

On September 25, 2002, the Company sued Merrill Lynch for fraud and
breach of contract related to the G.E.M. acquisition.  In that lawsuit,
Allegheny Energy alleged that it overpaid for G.E.M. because the unit's
financial reports had been inflated by sham trades involving Enron.

The Company admitted that G.E.M engaged in a significant amount of wash
or round trip energy trades with Enron, and perhaps others.  The
Company further admitted that the effect of those trades was to
artificially inflate revenues, trading volumes and growth rate.

The Company's September 25, 2002 admissions set a chain of events in
motion, which would result in the Company's stock's tumble from a high
of $12.85 on September 25, 2002 to $3.80 on October 8, 2002, a drop of
$9.05, or 70%.

On October 1, 2002, Moody's downgraded Allegheny Energy's credit to
junk status.  The Company, in a press release, reassured investors that
this would not trigger any default or prepayment of the firm's debt.  A
week later, on October 8, 2002, the Company announced that it was in
technical default under its credit agreements.

For more details, contact Fred Taylor Isquith, Gregory Nespole, Scott
Farrell, George Peters or Derek Behnke by Mail: 270 Madison Avenue, New
York, New York 10016, by Phone: 800-575-0735 by E-mail:
classmember@whafh.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.whafh.com. All e-mail correspondence should make reference  
to Allegheny Energy.


ATLAS AIR: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired Atlas Air Worldwide
Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CGO) securities between April 18, 2000 through
October 15, 2002, inclusive, including shares purchased pursuant or
traceable to May 2000 and September 2000 Prospectuses for public
offerings of Company shares.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, against the Company, five of its senior
officers and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Charles Piven by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202 by Phone: 410-986-0036 by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com
or visit the firm's Website: http://www.pivenlaw.com


CREDIT SUISSE: Charles Piven Launches Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired Agilent Technologies,
Inc. (NYSE: A) securities between December 13, 1999 and September 9,
2002, inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, against defendant Credit Suisse First Boston
Corporation.

The action charges that defendant violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of Agilent's securities.

For more details, contact Charles Piven by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202 by Phone: 410-986-0036 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.pivenlaw.com


CONSECO INC.: Fruchter & Twersky Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. IN
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Fruchter & Twersky LLP and Abraham & Associates initiated a securities
class action on behalf of purchasers of publicly traded Senior Notes
and other debt securities of Conseco, Inc. (OTC BB: CNCE) between the
period of October 30, 2001 and August 12, 2002, inclusive against the
Company and certain of its officers and directors.  The complaint was
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Indiana, Indianapolis Division.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated section 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by, among other things, disseminating a series of materially
false and misleading statements regarding the Company's liquidity and
the Company's manufactured-homes financing business.

For more details, contact Jack G. Fruchter by Mail: One Pennsylvania
Plaza, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10119, by Phone: 212-279-5050 or
800-440-8986 by Fax: 212-279-3655, or by E-mail:
JFruchter@FruchterTwersky.com.  


DPL INC.: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. Ohio
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired DPL, Inc. (NYSE: DPL)
securities between March 30, 1999 and August 14, 2002, inclusive, in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio,
Western Division, against the Company and certain of its officers and
directors.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Charles Piven by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202 by Phone: 410-986-0036 by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com
or visit the firm's Website: http://www.pivenlaw.com  


ELECTRONIC DATA: Berger & Montague Commences Securities Suit in E.D. TX
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berger & Montague, PC initiated a securities class action against
Electronic Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: EDS) and some of its officers and
directors in the United States District Court for Eastern District of
Texas on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased the Company's
common stock between April 19, 2002 and September 24, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

The complaint alleges that during the class period, defendants misled
their investors by issuing false and misleading statements and failing
to disclose material facts about the Company's business, and claims
defendants misrepresented the truth about, inter alia, the Company's
operations and financial condition and as a result, the price of
Company securities was artificially inflated during the class period.

During the class period, the complaint asserts that defendants issued
numerous statements highlighting the Company's strong financial
performance despite the fact that its revenues were contingent on
factors not in the Company's control, that overseas contracts were
performing below expectations, and that the Company was recording and
reporting receipts from contracts as assets even though the contracts
were not yet fully completed.

When Wall Street began to learn about the foregoing on September 18,
2002 after Company executives warned that a lack of new revenues would
wipe out more than $0.60 per share of its Q3 earnings target of $0.74,
the price of Company stock plummeted to a 52-week low of $17.20, down
from a class period high of over $55.00.

After further revelations regarding EDS's put-option and other
liabilities emerged in the wake of the foregoing disclosures, EDS's
share price tumbled even further, reaching an intraday low of $10.09
before closing at $11.68 on September 24, 2002.

For more details, contact Sherrie R. Savett, Christopher L. Nelson,
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


LIBERATE TECHNOLOGIES: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired Liberate Technologies
(Nasdaq: LBRT) securities between September 20, 2001 and October 15,
2002, inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California, against the Company and certain of its officers
and directors.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Charles Piven by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202 by Phone: 410-986-0036 by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com
or visit the firm's Website: http://www.pivenlaw.com  


MERRILL LYNCH: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NY
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & Nobel PC initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf
of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of
CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) from March 23, 1999 through October 6, 2000,
inclusive.  Also included are those who acquired Company shares through
the acquisitions of:

     (1) Flycast (FCST),

     (2) Adforce (ADFC),

     (3) Tallan, Inc. (TALN),

     (4) Primedia, Inc. (PRM),

     (5) Altavista (AVTAF),

     (6) Yesmail.com Inc. (YESM),

     (7) Ubid, Inc. (UBID), and

     (8) ProxyMate

The suit alleges that Merrill Lynch and its well-known Internet stock
analyst Henry Blodget violated the federal securities laws by knowingly
issuing false and misleading analyst reports regarding CMGI during the
class period.

Based on e-mails and other internal Merrill Lynch communications, which
were made public as a result of the investigation conducted by the New
York State Attorney General, the suit alleges that Defendants' failed
to disclose a significant conflict of interest between their investment
banking and research departments.

Specifically, Henry Blodget and other Merrill Lynch analysts issued
favorable analyst reports regarding CMGI to the public when they
allegedly knew that positive recommendations were unwarranted.

Unbeknownst to the investing public, Merrill Lynch's buy
recommendations and price targets for CMGI were influenced by its
efforts to attract lucrative investment banking business from CMGI and
other internet companies.

For more details, contact Nancy A. Kulesa by Phone: 800-797-5499 by E-
mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.snlaw.net


MERRILL LYNCH: Johnson & Perkinson Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Johnson & Perkinson initiated a securities class action on behalf of
all persons who acquired Exodus Communications, Inc. (EXDS) common
stock between December 8, 1999 and June 19, 2001, inclusive in the
Southern District of New York.

The complaint alleges that Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. and its analyst,
Henry Blodget:

     (1) issued "Buy" recommendations about Exodus without any rational    
         economic basis;

     (2) failed to disclose that they were issuing "Buy"
         recommendations to obtain investment banking business; and

     (3) concealed significant, material conflicts of interest that
         prevented them from providing independent objective analysis.

Between March 24, 2000 and September 26, 2001, Exodus stock dropped
from approximately $173.32 per share to less than $1 dollar per share.  
During this time period, Merrill Lynch repeatedly reiterated its Near-
Term Buy/Long-Term Buy recommendation.

For more details, contact Dennis J. Johnson or Jacob B. Perkinson by
Mail: 1690 Williston Road, South Burlington, Vermont 05403 by Phone:
877-266-2133 or by E-mail: email@jpclasslaw.com.  


SALOMON SMITH: Cohen Milstein Launches Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York against Salomon Smith Barney, Inc. and Jack Grubman on behalf
of all persons or entities who purchased the common stock of Level 3
Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq:LVLT) from January 4, 1999 through June
18, 2001, inclusive.

The suit arises as a result of the issuance by the defendants of
analyst reports regarding Level 3 which recommended the purchase of
Level 3 common stock and which set price targets for Level 3 common
stock without any reasonable factual basis.

Furthermore, when issuing the Level 3 reports, defendants failed to
disclose significant, material conflicts of interest which they had, in
light of their use of Mr. Grubman's reputation and his Level 3 analyst
reports, to obtain investment banking business for Salomon Smith
Barney.

Furthermore, in issuing their Level 3 reports, in which they were
recommending the purchase of Level 3 stock, Defendants failed to
disclose material, non-public, adverse information, which they
possessed about Level 3.

Throughout the class period, Defendants maintained an "Outperform" or
"Buy" recommendation on Level 3 in order to obtain and support
lucrative financial deals for Salomon Smith Barney. Salomon Smith
Barney garnered millions of dollars in fees as a result of underwriting
and managing several debt and equity offerings on behalf of Level 3.

For more details, contact Steven J. Toll, Esq. or Robert Smits by
Phone: 888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600 by E-mail: stoll@cmht.com or
rsmits@cmht.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.cmht.com


SCHERING-PLOUGH: Charles Piven Commences Securities Suit in New Jersey
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired Schering-Plough Corp.
(NYSE: SGP) securities between October 1, 2002 and October 3, 2002,
inclusive, in the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey, against the Company and certain of its officers and directors.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Charles J. Piven by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202 by Phone: 410-986-0036 by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com
or visit the firm's Website: http://www.pivenlaw.com  


SEARS ROEBUCK: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired Sears, Roebuck & Co.
(NYSE: S) securities between January 17, 2002 and October 17, 2002,
inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division, against the Company and:

     (1) Alan Lacy,

     (2) Glenn Richter,

     (3) Paul J. Liska and

     (4) Thomas E. Bergmann

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Charles Piven by Mail: The World Trade
Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore,
Maryland 21202 by Phone: 410-986-0036 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com


SEARS ROEBUCK: Mark McNair Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office of Mark McNair initiated a securities class action
against Sears, Roebuck & Co. (NYSE:S). The complaint is on behalf of,
and seeks damages for shareholders who purchased the stock between
January 17, 2002 and October 17, 2002.  The case is pending in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The case charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

For more details, contact Mark McNair by Mail: 1101 30th Street PN.W.
Suite 500, Washington, D.C, 20007 by Phone: 877-511-4717 or
202-872-4717 or by E-mail: mcnair@justice4investors.com.  


SEARS ROEBUCK: Bernard Gross Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. IL
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernard M. Gross PC initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, on behalf
of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired the
common stock of Sears, Roebuck & Co. (NYSE:S) between January 17, 2002
and October 17, 2002, inclusive.

The suit is pending in the United States District Court, Northern
District of Illinois, against the Company and:

     (1) Alan Lacy,

     (2) Paul J. Liska,

     (3) Glenn Richter, and

     (4) Thomas E. Bergmann

The complaint charges the defendants 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.

As alleged in the suit, the Company issued numerous statements
regarding its performance during the class period, which represented
that the Company was successfully growing its revenues and earnings.
Additionally, in each of its releases and financial reports, the
Company reported its provisions for non-collectible accounts and in,
its 2001 annual report represented that its reserves were "adequate".

The suit alleges that these statements were materially false and
misleading when made because they failed to disclose that the risk of
customer defaults on Company credit card bills had risen dramatically
throughout the class period and that the Company had under-reserved for
this risk by hundreds of millions of dollars, thereby inflating its
assets (by increasing accounts receivable) and earnings (by under
reporting its expenses).

On October 17, 2002, the Company surprised the market by issuing a
press release stating that it would grow its 2002 earnings by 15%,
rather than 22%, because of a "$222 million increase in the domestic
provision for non-collectible accounts".

In reaction to the announcement, the price of its common stock plunged
32%, falling from a $33.95 per share close on October 16 to a close of
$23.15 per share on October 17, on trading of over 36 million shares.

For more details, contact Deborah R. Gross or Susan Gross by Phone:
866-561-3600 (toll-free)/or 215-561-3600 by E-mail:
susang@bernardmgross.com or debbie@bernardmgross.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.bernardmgross.com


TXU CORPORATION: Mark McNair Commences Securities Suit in N.D. Texas
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Office of Mark McNair initiated a securities class action
against TXU Corp. (NYSE:TXU), on behalf of, and seeks damages for
shareholders who purchased the Company's stock between April 25, 2002
and October 11, 2002.  The case is pending in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Texas against the Company
and certain of its officers and directors.

The case charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a series of materially false and misleading statements to the
market throughout the class period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's securities.

Specifically, Company investors have been stunned by two revelations.
First, on October 4, 2002, the Company shocked the market by disclosing
it expected materially lower earnings than had been previously
predicted.  These revelations caused the Company's common stock to
decline over 55% in the next four trading days.

Second, on October 14, 2002, before the market opened, TXU announced
that it was cutting its dividend 80% to $0.125 per share and was
selling all of its European assets.

The Company's stock price immediately collapsed to as low as $10.10 per
share before closing at $12.94.

For more details, contact Mark McNair by Mail: 1101 30th Street PN.W.
Suite 500, Washington, D.C, 20007 by Phone: 877-511-4717 or
202-872-4717 or by E-mail: mcnair@justice4investors.com.  


VODAFONE PLC: Schatz & Nobel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schatz & Nobel PC initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf
of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the publicly traded
securities of Vodafone Group PLC (NYSE: VOD) from March 7, 2001 through
May 28, 2002, inclusive.  Also included in the class are those who
acquired Company shares through its acquisitions of Cellular Telecom
and Telephone Integrated.

The suit alleges that the Company and certain of its officers and
directors issued false and misleading statements concerning its
financial condition.  Specifically, defendants failed to disclose that
the Company was improperly delaying the write-down of billions of
dollars of goodwill and impaired assets, thereby artificially inflating
the Company's reported financial results.

Despite defendants' claims that the Company had a "solid balance
sheet," when the Company finally did write-off the value of its
impaired assets and goodwill, the Company obliterated all profits for
2001 and 2002.

On May 28, 2002, the Company announced massive write downs for goodwill
of approximately 13.47 billion pounds sterling and exceptional items
and operating costs of 5.4 billion pounds and exceptional non-operating
costs of 865 million pounds.

At the end of the class period, the price of Company ADRs closed at
$15.19 per ADR, as compared to a class period high of $33.26 per ADR.

For more details, contact Nancy A. Kulesa by Phone: 800-797-5499 by E-
mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.snlaw.net


VODAFONE PLC: Johnson & Perkinson Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Johnson & Perkinson initiated a securities class action on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD) between
March 7, 2001 and May 28, 2002, inclusive, in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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, thereby artificially inflating the price of Company securities.

In these statements, defendants highlighted the Company's strong
financial performance and growth and reassured investors that Vodafone
maintained a "solid balance sheet."  As alleged, these statements were
materially false and misleading because:

     (1) the Company was improperly delaying the write-down of billions
         of dollars of goodwill and impaired assets, thereby  
         artificially inflating the Company's reported financial
         results.  In fact, despite defendants' claims that the Company
         had a "solid balance sheet," when the Company finally did
         write-off the value of its impaired assets and goodwill,
         Vodafone obliterated all profits for 2001 and 2002;

     (2) the Company had grossly overpaid for the numerous acquisitions
         it had made in prior years; and

     (3) based on the foregoing, defendants' representation that the
         Company would continue to maintain its "record of delivering
         outstanding performance" was lacking in a reasonable basis.

On the last day of the class period, the Company announced its
financial results for the fiscal year 2002 and the period ending March
31, 2002, which included massive write downs for goodwill of
approximately (pound)13.47 billion and exceptional items and operating
costs of (pound)5.4 billion and exceptional non-operating costs of
(pound)865 million.

At the end of the class period, the price of Company ADRs closed at
$15.19 per ADR, as compared to a class period high of $33.26 per ADR.

For more details, contact Dennis J. Johnson or Jacob B. Perkinson by
Mail: 1690 Williston Road, South Burlington, Vermont 05403 by Phone:
888-256-0890 or by E-mail: jplaw@adelphia.com.  


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