CAR_Public/021226.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
              Thursday, December 26, 2002, Vol. 4, No. 254

                            Headlines                            

ACCELR8 TECHNOLOGY: Reaches Settlements in Securities, Derivative Suits
AGILE SOFTWARE: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
AUTODESK INC.: Court Hears Arguments on Securities Fraud Suit Dismissal
CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Employees Commence Suit Alleging WARN Violations
CANADA: Metis Veterans Bring Suit Seeking Compensation For War Efforts

CANADA: Court Rejects Concept of Benefits Secured Under Constitution
COMVERSE TECHNOLOGY: NY Court Dismisses With Prejudice Securities Suit
CRACKER BARREL: Recalls 27,000 Motion Lamps For Electrocution Hazard
DVT LITIGATION: Court Clears Way For Consumer Lawsuits Against Airlines
ENRON CORPORATION: Federal Judge Grants Delay In Securities Fraud Suit

FINISAR CORPORATION: NY Court Dismisses Officers, Directors From Suit
FLORIDA: Software Maker Sues, Alleging Taxes Inhibited Free Speech
GAP INC.: Preliminary Approval Granted to Settlement of Sweatshop Suit
GERBER SCIENTIFIC: CT Court Consolidates Eight Securities Fraud Suits
GOTHAM PARTNERS: Asks Court To Review Injunction of First Union Merger

ILLINOIS: Judge Orders Irrigation Operations In Old Cemetery Stopped
JAPAN: Judge Orders Tokyo Condo Removed To Save Scenic View in Lawsuit
METHODE ELECTRONICS: Faces Securities Lawsuit V. McGinley Merger in DE
NIKU CORPORATION: Officers, Directors Dismissed From Securities Suits
NVIDIA CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Fraud Suit in CA

OPTIO SOFTWARE: Attempts To Reach Settlement in NY Securities Lawsuit
SEACHANGE INTERNATIONAL: Declares MA Securities Suits "Without Merit"
UTAH: Advocacy Group For Disabled Files Lawsuit Over Delays In Services
WAL-MART STORES: Workers Glad To Tell of Wage Concerns After Victory
WEAR ME: Voluntarily Recalls 3,000 Infant Garments For Poisoning Hazard

WORLD WRESTLING: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
ZALE CORPORATION: Agrees To Settle Two Consumer Suits in AL, TX Courts
ZUTANO INC.: Voluntarily Recalls 3,000 Stuffed Toys For Choking Hazard

*Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Brings The Investment Banks "To Heel"

                     New Securities Fraud Cases                        

ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Shalov Stone Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
ANNUITY AND LIFE: Bernard Gross Commences Securities Suit in CT Court
CYTYC CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in MA Court
MERRILL LYNCH: Finkelstein Thompson Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Suit in C.D. CA

SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Bernstein Liebhard Launches Securities Suit in CA

                             *********

ACCELR8 TECHNOLOGY: Reaches Settlements in Securities, Derivative Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Accelr8 Technology Corporation reached settlement agreements in the
consolidated securities class action and the shareholder derivative
suit filed in the United States District Court for the District of
Colorado.  The consolidated securities class action names as defendants
the Company and:

     (1) Thomas V. Geimer,

     (2) Harry J. Fleury, and

     (3) James Godkin

Additionally, Derrick Hongerholt filed in the same court a shareholder
derivative action against:

     (i) Thomas V. Geimer,

    (ii) David C. Wilhelm,

   (iii) A. Alexander Arnold III,

    (iv) Harry J. Fleury,

     (v) James Godkin and

    (vi) the Company as a nominal defendant

The consolidated securities suit alleges violations of Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder,
relating to the Company's accounting and public disclosure from October
1997 to November 1999.  The defendants have answered the amended
complaint, in which they denied liability and raised affirmative
defenses.  On January 23, 2001, the court granted the plaintiff's
motion for class certification.  

The defendants also answered the Hongerholt derivative complaint, and
denied all claims.  In connection with this proceeding, the Company's
Board of Directors appointed David G. Palmer, Esquire, as independent
counsel to serve as a Special Litigation Committee to investigate the
claims and circumstances relating to the derivative action filed by
Derrick Hongerholt and to determine whether the derivative action
should be terminated.  On September 10, 2002, the Special Litigation
Counsel determined, after investigation, that the derivative claims
were without factual merit, and should be dismissed.

On October 30, 2002, the parties agreed to a settlement of the
derivative action, under which that action would be dismissed with
prejudice upon an exchange of releases, with no payments made by or on
behalf of any of the defendants.  The settlement is subject to Court
approval, and while the Company believes that approval is probable,
there can be no assurance that the settlement will be approved.  In the
event that the settlement is not approved, and the litigation proceeds,
the Company is bearing the costs of defense in accordance with
indemnification agreements for all defendants, which costs may be
material to the Company.  No claims are asserted against the Company
in the derivative action.

On October 30, 2002, the parties to the consolidated amended suit also
executed a memorandum of understanding setting out an agreement in
principle to settle the suit against all parties.  Under the
contemplated settlement, the Company will contribute to a settlement
fund $450,000, and 375,000 shares of common stock in the Company.  The
settlement fund will be distributed in a manner over which the Company
has no control.  This agreement in principle is subject to formal
documentation and court approval.

Although the Company believes that it is probable that the parties will
complete formal documentation of the settlement agreement, and that the
settlement will be approved, there can be no assurance that completion
of the settlement, and court approval will occur.  In the event that
the settlement is not completed, the litigation will continue.  While
the Company believes it has substantial defenses to the claims, there
is no assurance that the resolution of the suit will not have a
material adverse effect on the Company.

         
AGILE SOFTWARE: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Agile Software, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated securities
class action filed against it, several of its officers and directors,
and the underwriters of its initial public offering.

The plaintiffs allege that the prospectus for the initial public
offering of Company securities, incorporated in the Registration
Statement on Form S-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission, was materially false and misleading because it failed to
disclose, among other things, that the underwriters had made secret
arrangements for aftermarket purchases of the securities, and made
arrangements for excessive and improper underwriters compensation in
the form of increased brokerage commissions.

The plaintiffs subsequently filed an amended complaint that
additionally alleges that the prospectus for a secondary offering of
Agile securities, conducted on December 13, 1999, and incorporated into
a Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, also was materially false and misleading for the
same alleged reasons.

The plaintiffs also allege that the Company's stock price was
artificially inflated as a result of the alleged underwriter practices.  
Plaintiffs attempt to state and claim violations by the Company, the
individuals and the underwriters of Section 11 of the Securities Act of
1933, violations by the individual defendants and underwriters of
Section 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act, and violations by the
underwriters of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by the Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The suit has been consolidated for pre-trial purposes with more than
one thousand other actions, filed against more than 300 other issuers
of securities, affiliated individuals, and dozens of underwriters of
the securities offerings in In Re Initial Public Offering Securities
Litigation, 21 MC 92 (SAS).  The Company and individual defendants,
together with other issuer and individual defendants, recently argued
motions to dismiss the complaint, and are awaiting the judge's rulings
on the motions.  The Company believes that it has meritorious defenses
against these actions.


AUTODESK INC.: Court Hears Arguments on Securities Fraud Suit Dismissal
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments
on the appeal of the dismissal of a consolidated securities class
action against Autodesk, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors.

The suit, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock
during the period between September 14, 1998 and May 4, 1999 and are
seeking unspecified damages, alleges violations of federal securities
laws.

On November 14, 2000 the court granted the Company's motion to dismiss
the lawsuit, allowing the plaintiffs to amend their complaint. The
plaintiffs filed an amended complaint and the Company filed a motion to
dismiss the amended complaint, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
states.

The court dismissed the suit with prejudice in November 2001.  The
plaintiffs' attorneys then appealed the decision to the US District
Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit.


CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Employees Commence Suit Alleging WARN Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit was filed recently in federal court in Brooklyn, claiming
that Cablevision Systems Corp. failed to give employees the required 60
days' notice when it laid off hundreds of them this year, Newsday
reports.

The lawsuit seeks 60 days of wages for the former employees, saying
that because the job cuts represented a mass layoff of more than 500
employees it was subject to the requirements of the federal Worker
Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act.  Two former
employees who were laid off are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.  
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York, seeks class action status in order to represent
other employees who were laid off in August and September.  Leonard N.
Flamm, a Manhattan attorney, is representing the former employees.  

The Company had said that it was laying off more than 2,400 employees
as part of a major restructuring.  The lawsuit says that some of the
laid-off employees signed releases to waive requirements of the WARN
Act, but those documents were improper because they contained false and
misleading statements.


CANADA: Metis Veterans Bring Suit Seeking Compensation For War Efforts
----------------------------------------------------------------------
About 3,000 Metis fought for Canada in the Second World War and the
Korean War.  Many of these veterans afterwards received no benefits, or
substantially reduced benefits, Maclean's reports.  These Metis
veterans, some 600 of whom are still alive, have been caught in a
bureaucratic quagmire, partly due to the fact that, as non-status
Indians, they were not entitled to aboriginal veterans benefits.  From
time to time, however, officialdom would lump the Metis in with other
status natives, but no reliable benefits program for the Metis
themselves ever has been developed.

William Woodward is one of the Metis, who is frustrated with Ottawa's
failure to address the situation.  Recently, the National Metis
Veterans Association, on behalf of William Woodward and some other
Metis, launched a class action against the government, seeking fair
compensation for the Metis' war efforts in World War II, and in the
Korean War as well.

William Woodward, at age 19, left the northern Alberta bush to join the
fight against the Nazis.  He fought at Mount Cassino in Italy, one of
the war's bloodiest battles, and he was later taken prisoner.  After
spending 208 days in a German POW camp, Mr. Woodward returned to an
uncertain life in Canada, without government financial assistance to
get an education, start a business or purchase land.  Now 79, Mr.
Woodward is a retired construction contractor.  He lives with his wife
Nancy in Anzac, 400 km northeast of Edmonton.  The lawsuit seeks the
recognition and compensation given other Canadian veterans.


CANADA: Court Rejects Concept of Benefits Secured Under Constitution
--------------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Canada rejected a landmark attempt, made in a
class action led by a young woman, Louise Gosselin, to characterize
social benefits as secured by constitutional guarantees, according to a
report by The Globe and Mail.  

The lawsuit was launched after the Quebec Legislature enacted
legislation requiring the deduction of a certain amount of money from
social benefits received by healthy unemployed individuals under 30 who
refused to join a public program aimed at helping such individuals
secure employment.  Ms. Gosselin argued that the social benefit
received by the unemployed individuals under 30 is a right to minimum
social assistance secured under the Canadian Charter that could not be
diminished because they did not join a program.

Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin ruled that far from demeaning the
dignity of individuals such as Ms. Gosselin, the Quebec scheme wisely
uses financial inducements to steer young people toward the work force.  
Nevertheless, poverty activists took heart from Chief Justice
McLachlin's assertion that a right to social assistance may be
recognized in the future if the right case comes along.

"They are saying that some day they may say 'yes' to our claim, but
just not on the facts in this case," said Vincent Calderhead, a Halifax
lawyer for the Charter Committee on Poverty Issues.  "It is a victory
for us that they have not slammed the door."

Constitutional expert Mahmud Jamal agreed, calling the ruling
"monumental."  Mr. Jamal added, "Is there a constitutional right to
welfare or Medicare?  The majority has not foreclosed this possibility,
and that alone is a significant Charter milestone."

Mr. Calderhead said that poverty activists across the country are
formulating challenges that will meet the criteria inferred by the
court.  "We see this as a green light to keep bringing cases forward."

The ruling bared a sharp philosophical split on the court.  Four judges
found the Quebec scheme to have violated equality guarantees.  Two of
those four judges also said the Quebec scheme breached Charter Section
"7" guarantees to life, liberty and security.  However, the majority
urged caution in forcing governments to enhance their social welfare
schemes.  They went so far as to praise Quebec for creating an
enlightened welfare regime.  "The regime constituted an affirmation of
young people's potential rather than a denial of their dignity," Chief
Justice McLachlin said.  He added, "The longer a young person stays on
welfare, the more difficult it becomes to integrate into the work force
at a later time."

Judge Louise Arbour, a member of the minority in this case, warned that
confining guarantees of life, liberty and security to extreme fringes
of the criminal law, such as capital punishment, will choke off the
Charter's promises.


COMVERSE TECHNOLOGY: NY Court Dismisses With Prejudice Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
dismissed with prejudice the consolidated securities class action
pending against Comverse Technology, Inc., and certain of its executive
officers.  

The suit generally alleges violations of federal securities laws on
behalf of individuals who allege that they purchased the Company's
common stock during a purported class period between April 30, 2001 and
July 10, 2001.  The suit sought an unspecified amount in damages.

On April 22, 2002, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the amended
consolidated complaint in its entirety.  On September 30, 2002, the
court granted the motion.  On November 8, 2002, the Court entered a
final judgment dismissing the amended consolidated complaint with
prejudice.  On November 26, 2002, plaintiffs agreed to waive their
right to appeal the judgment in exchange for the Company's agreement
that each side bear its own costs and legal fees.  Plaintiffs' time to
appeal has expired and no appeal was filed, and the case is now closed.


CRACKER BARREL: Recalls 27,000 Motion Lamps For Electrocution Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is cooperating with the US Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about 27,000
motion lamps.  Approximately 6,400 of those lamps were sold to
consumers.  Wires near the light's socket can become exposed, posing a
risk of electric shock or electrocution to consumers.  There have been
no reports of incidents or injuries.  This recall is being conducted to
prevent the possibility of injury.
        
The recall involves the Pumpkin and Snowman model motion lamps.  The
ceramic lamps have liquid-filled globes that become warm and the heat
moves the glitter inside.  The Pumpkin lamp has orange liquid in its
globe, straw hair and a burlap hat.  The Snowman wears a black top hat
and a red and black scarf.  The Snowman's globe is filled with a clear
liquid.  On the bottom of each lamp is a sticker that reads, "Made in
China."
        
Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores(r) sold the motion lamps nationwide
from August 2002 through October 2002 for about $20.
        
For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (888) 645-6516 between
9 am and 9 pm ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.crackerbarrel.com.


DVT LITIGATION: Court Clears Way For Consumer Lawsuits Against Airlines
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a landmark ruling, an Australian court recently cleared the way for
passengers who developed potentially fatal blood clots during long-haul
flights to sue airlines, Associated Press Newswires reports.

The state of Victoria's Supreme Court rejected a claim by Qantas
Airways and British Airways that a clot suffered by a Sydney man
onboard its flights should not be classed as an accident.  Under
international aviation law, airlines are liable for damages only in the
case of an accident.  Justice Bernard Bongiorno's ruling means the case
likely will go to trial late next year.

The test case is the first of 497 potential lawsuits lodged with
Australian firm Slater & Gordon regarding deep-vein thrombosis, or DVT.  
"It is a very good decision in relation to the futures of this
litigation," Slater & Gordon lawyer Paul Henderson said outside the
court.  "All the plaintiffs in this action, some 500, are now in a
position to have their case determined on its merits.

Deep-vein thrombosis is a condition in which a blood clot forms in the
deep veins of the legs.  It can be fatal when part of the clot breaks
off and blocks a blood vessel in the lungs.  The condition, which also
has been tagged "economy class syndrome," has been linked to long-haul
flights and other environments in which people sit still for long
periods.

The test case in Victoria's Supreme Court concerns a 59-year-old man
who was hospitalized and no longer works after developing a blood clot
while on a three-day return business trip from Sydney to London, his
lawyers said.

The ruling came ahead of a decision expected within days in a similar
case in Britain into airlines' responsibility for DVT.  If the British
court rules in their favor, the claimants plan to take action against
up to 30 airlines, including British Airways, Delta Airlines and
American Airlines.


ENRON CORPORATION: Federal Judge Grants Delay In Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
US District Judge Melinda Harmon, who is overseeing the shareholder
class action against Enron Corporation, its bankers, lawyers and
accountants, recently granted a request to give plaintiffs more time to
file additional claims, Reuters English News Service reports.

In court papers recently made public, Judge Harmon, in Houston, said
she would revise the trial schedule after she finished answering
motions to dismiss.  She also gave an inkling that her much-awaited
decisions to such motions could come soon.

"The court is working vigorously on the motions to dismiss," Judge
Harmon wrote.  Defendants in federal class actions are given an
opportunity to argue why they should be removed from the suit by the
judge.  The University Board of Regents, the lead plaintiff in the
shareholders' lawsuit, has asked for more time because it believes it
will need to investigate other possible parties who are likely to be
added to the lawsuit.

"The lead plaintiff has been unable to determine the identities of
certain parties which it believes are culpable, and likely will not be
able to identify those parties until after discovery," the board wrote
in its motion requesting the delay.  The trial originally had been set
to begin on December 1, 2003.


FINISAR CORPORATION: NY Court Dismisses Officers, Directors From Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
dismissed Finisar Corporation's officers and directors from the
consolidated securities class action pending on behalf of all persons
who purchased the Company's common stock from November 17, 1999 through
December 6, 2000.  The suit initially named as defendants the Company
and:

     (1) Jerry S. Rawls, President and Chief Executive Officer,

     (2) Frank H. Levinson, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical
         Officer,

     (3) Stephen K. Workman, Vice President Finance and Chief Financial
         Officer, and

     (4) an investment banking firm that served as an underwriter for
         the Company's initial public offering in November 1999 and a
         secondary offering in April 2000.

The suit alleges violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, on the grounds that the prospectuses incorporated in the
registration statements for the offerings failed to disclose, among
other things, that:

     (i) the underwriter had solicited and received excessive and
         undisclosed commissions from certain investors in exchange for
         which the underwriter allocated to those investors material   
         portions of the shares of Company stock sold in the offerings
         and

    (ii) the underwriter had entered into agreements with customers
         whereby the underwriter agreed to allocate shares of Company
         stock sold in the offerings to those customers in exchange for
         which the customers agreed to purchase additional shares of
         Company stock in the aftermarket at pre-determined prices.

The Company is aware that similar allegations have been made in
lawsuits relating to more than 300 other initial public offerings
conducted in 1999 and 2000.  Those cases have been consolidated for
pretrial purposes.  The issuer defendants, including the Company, filed
a motion to dismiss the complaints.  A hearing date on the motion has
not been set.

The Company believes that the allegations against it and its officers
and directors are without merit.  However, the litigation is in the
preliminary stage, and it cannot predict its outcome.  The litigation
process is inherently uncertain.  


FLORIDA: Software Maker Sues, Alleging Taxes Inhibited Free Speech
------------------------------------------------------------------
Citrix Systems, a Fort Lauderdale software maker, has sued the
Florida's Department of Revenue, claiming that the company should
receive a refund of about $5 million in state corporate income taxes it
has paid over the past five years, The Miami Herald reports.  Citrix
also contends that its customers should receive refunds on sales taxes
they paid when buying Citrix's products and services, a claim that
could far exceed what Citrix is seeking for itself.

"This case is not about Citrix," said Allen Libow, a Boca Raton tax
lawyer who represents Citrix.  Mr. Libow filed the lawsuit recently in
Broward Circuit Court.  "It's about the customers having to pay sales
tax on their ability to communicate and receive news without the
chilling effect of sales taxes."  Mr. Libow is seeking Citrix customer,
and even newspaper and magazine publishers who disseminate information
and pay taxes, to join the suit.  He is also trying to get the lawsuit
certified as a class action.  There are some who call Citrix's claim
novel; others see it as a bit flaky.

"It is a stretch to suggest that taxing a software maker is an
infringement on free speech," said David Bruns, a Department of Revenue
spokesman.


GAP INC.: Preliminary Approval Granted to Settlement of Sweatshop Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Mariana Islands
granted preliminary approval to a settlement proposed by Gap, Inc. and
other clothes retailers of a class action filed by workers of the
defendants' factories in Saipan.

The suit alleges, among other things, that the Company and other
defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Act in connection with the labor practices and treatment of workers of
factories in Saipan that make product for the defendants.  The
plaintiffs seek injunctive relief as well as actual and punitive
damages.

The suit was originally filed in the United States District Court,
State of Hawaii but in July 2000 was ordered transferred to the United
States District Court, District of the Mariana Islands.  On March 23,
2001, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied plaintiffs' writ of
mandamus requesting that the action either be transferred back to the
District Court in Hawaii or to the Central District of California.  On
October 29, 2001, the District Court of the Mariana Islands issued an
order granting in part and denying in part the motion to dismiss.  On
December 17, 2001, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint.

On May 10, 2002, the court granted in part and denied in part the
defendants' motion to dismiss the second amended suit, giving
plaintiffs leave to amend some of the dismissed claims.  Also on May
10, 2002, the court granted plaintiffs' motions for class certification
and for preliminary settlement approval.  The Company continues to
defend itself in the suit and believes the claims against it are
without merit.


GERBER SCIENTIFIC: CT Court Consolidates Eight Securities Fraud Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
ordered consolidated the eight securities class actions pending against
Gerber Scientific, Inc. and several of its current and former officers
and directors.

The suits were filed on behalf of a proposed class of purchasers of the
securities of the Company between May 27, 1999 and April 12, 2002
seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  
The first lawsuit was filed shortly after the Company announced, on
April 15, 2002, that it expected to take a $12.0 million pre-tax charge
in its fiscal fourth quarter, the period ending April 30, 2002, and
that the Company was conducting an internal review of its financial
reporting for the period January 1, 1998 through April 30, 2002 in
response to an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission
into its inventory and reserve accounting practices.  In this
announcement, the Company stated that once its investigation had been
completed, the Company would likely restate its financial results for
the appropriate periods.  

By order dated July 12, 2002, the court ordered the suits consolidated,
appointed the Louisiana Municipal Employees' Retirement System as lead
plaintiff, and appointed the law firm of Bernstein Litowitz Berger &
Grossman as lead counsel.  The lead plaintiff was ordered to file a
consolidated amended suit on or before December 13, 2002 and,
thereafter, the Company expects to be responding to the consolidated
suit.  

Presently, the litigation is in its very early stages and the Company
intends to defend vigorously the suits.  Given the current status of
the litigation, the Company cannot predict the outcome of the lawsuits
nor reasonably estimate a range of loss.


GOTHAM PARTNERS: Asks Court To Review Injunction of First Union Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------------
First Union asked the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New
York to review a trial court's decision continuing the injunction
preventing consummation of its merger with Gotham Partners, LP.

On April 15, 2002, Gotham Partners, First Union and its five trustees
were served with a complaint filed in the Supreme Court of New York for
New York County on behalf of a purported holder of First Union's
convertible preferred shares.  Among the allegations made by the
plaintiff is that the proposed transaction with Gotham Golf Corp. was
approved by the First Union's Board of Trustees in violation of
fiduciary duties owed to the holders of First Union's convertible
preferred shares.  The suit seeks, among other things, unspecified
damages, an injunction of the proposed transaction and the court's
certification of the lawsuit as a class action.

On November 22, 2002, the Supreme Court of New York for New York County
issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the merger transaction.  A
further hearing was held and, on December 6, 2002, the court issued an
order continuing the injunction pending a full trial on the merits of
the claim brought by the plaintiffs.


ILLINOIS: Judge Orders Irrigation Operations In Old Cemetery Stopped
--------------------------------------------------------------------
In a potentially far-reaching class action, a judge in Marshall County,
Illinois, has ordered two farmers to stop operating irrigation
equipment in an old country cemetery south of Henry, the Peoria Journal
Star reports.  Lead plaintiff Thomas Bogner of Henry and 15 other
people originally sued the two farmers, and the judge certified the
case as a class action because of the potentially large number of
people who could be affected.

The pivot irrigator operated by Kenneth and Gerald Villiger violates
the "physical integrity and sanctity" of the 150-year-old burial site,
commonly known as the Old Catholic Cemetery, Circuit Judge Scott Shore
ruled in a recently filed order.

"This is a landmark case.  (Judge Shore) has brought the wisdom of the
U.S. Supreme Court down to Marshall County," plaintiffs' attorney W.
Durley Boyle of Hennepin said.

Granting the plaintiffs' request for a permanent injunction against
continual operation of the irrigator, Judge Shore ruled that the
Villigers "have caused and continue to cause the tandem wheels of their
irrigation equipment to tread over the gravesites, headstones and
adjunct cemetery grounds."

In a sometimes strongly worded finding, based on evidence presented at
the recent trial, Judge Shore found that "the equities weigh heavily
against" the Villigers, because they had purchased the 170 acres of
cropland surrounding the cemetery with "full knowledge of the existence
of the cemetery grounds."

Citing trial evidence about changes that have taken place at the
cemetery when the irrigator was installed, Judge Shore found that the
Villigers "have disposed of fencing, moved and disposed of headstones,
and cut or removed trees on cemetery grounds, all for their own
convenience and economic benefit, without reverence or consideration
for the sacred and sentimental character of the cemetery or the rights
or sensitivities of those whose ancestors' remains are there interred."

Nile Williamson, one of two Peoria attorneys representing the
Villigers, said that an appeal might ensue against the injunction,
because the two brothers maintain that the surrounding land could not
be farmed profitably without the irrigator passing through the
cemetery.  "We would certainly contest (the ruling) from the standpoint
that we have done all we could to protect the sanctity of the
cemetery," Mr. Williamson said.

The approximately half-acre cemetery is owned by the Catholic Diocese
of Peoria, which had granted the Villigers an easement to operate the
irrigator.  However, Judge Shore's order reaffirmed another judge's
earlier ruling that the relatives of the approximately 112 people
buried there have separate legal rights with respect to the protection
of gravesites and monuments.

Although there apparently are no prior Illinois cases directly
addressing the controversy, Mr. Boyle, plaintiffs' attorney, maintained
that the US Supreme Court has affirmed an obligation to "protect the
repose of the dead and religious sensibilities of the living."


JAPAN: Judge Orders Tokyo Condo Removed To Save Scenic View in Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
In a landmark ruling, a Tokyo court ordered the upper half of a 14-
story suburban condominium to be removed because it destroys the
scenery of a tree-lined avenue, Agence France-Press reports.  
Disgruntled citizens filed the suit, demanding the removal of the
protruding part of the tower.

"When a landscape unique to an area has been formed, benefits from its
scenery are entitled to legal protection," presiding Judge Akira
Miyaoka said.  "Landowners have been sacrificing their rights to use of
land in order to preserve the scenery for more than 70 years . The
condominium sticks out from the line of trees and infringes on its
scenery."

There have been cases in Japan in which rights to fine sceneries have
been recognized, but this case is the first time that the removal of a
building, or part of a building, has been ordered to protect added
value from good views.  The building under fire is one of four towers
in a plush condominium project.

The street in question has been lined with cherry and ginko trees,
strictly pruned at a height of 20 meters, since they were planted 75
years ago when a state university of commerce moved into the area.  
After the construction project was announced in 1999, the city of
Kunitachi imposed an ordinance in early 2000, banning new buildings
from standing at the same height or above the trees along the road,
called University Avenue.  However, the ground already had been
prepared for the project.

The Tokyo District Court also demanded the condominium's developer,
Meiwa Estate Co., to pay monthly damages of 10,000 yen ($80) to each of
three residents who live next to the 44-meter (147-foot) tower until
its removal.  The doomed half of the building houses 58 apartments, but
only one of them has been occupied.  The Company was also ordered to
pay nine million yen in legal costs to some 50 residents, the
plaintiffs in the suit.

The developer of the condominium, calling the verdict "unexpected,"
said it was considering an appeal to a higher court.


METHODE ELECTRONICS: Faces Securities Lawsuit V. McGinley Merger in DE
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Methode Electronics, Inc. and certain of its directors faces a class
action filed on behalf of all holders of the Company's Class A common
stock and derivatively on behalf of the Company in the Court of
Chancery of the State of Delaware.

The plaintiff alleges in the suit that the directors of the Company
breached their fiduciary duties of disclosure, care and loyalty by
approving an agreement between the Company and the Estate of William B.
McGinley and members of the McGinley family pursuant to which the
Company agreed, among other things, to make a tender offer for the
repurchase of all of the Company's Class B common stock at a price of
$20 per share.  Plaintiff further alleges in the suit that the
Company's board:

     (1) approved the tender offer for the repurchase of the Company's
         Class B common stock,

     (2) caused the Company to enter into certain employment agreements
         with the Company's chairman of the board and certain of its
         officers and

     (3) failed to disclose and misrepresented certain information in
         connection with the Company's 2002 Proxy Statement, as part of
         a scheme to entrench the incumbent board and management.

Additionally, the plaintiff alleges in the suit that the directors of
the Company, by approving the repurchase of the Class B common stock,
diverted a corporate opportunity away from the Company and the Class A
stockholders.  Plaintiff seeks, among other things, to enjoin the
repurchase of the Class B common stock, as well as other equitable
relief.


NIKU CORPORATION: Officers, Directors Dismissed From Securities Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Niku Corporation's officers and directors were dismissed as defendants
in the consolidated securities class action pending against them, the
Company and various underwriters of its initial public offering (IPO)
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, arising out of the Company's initial public offering in February
2000.

The suit alleges, among other things, that the registration statement
and prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for
purposes of the IPO were false and misleading because they failed to
disclose that the underwriters allegedly:

     (1) solicited and received commissions from certain investors in
         exchange for allocating to them shares of Company stock in
         connection with the IPO; and

     (2) entered into agreements with their customers to allocate such
         stock to those customers in exchange for the customers
         agreeing to purchase additional Company shares in the
         aftermarket at pre-determined prices.

On August 8, 2001, the court ordered that these actions, along with
hundreds of IPO allocation cases against other issuers, be transferred
to Judge Shira Scheindlin for coordinated pre-trial proceedings.  In
October 2001, Judge Scheindlin adjourned all defendants' time to
respond to the complaints until further order of the court.  In July
2002, omnibus motions to dismiss the complaints based on common legal
issues were filed on behalf of all issuers (and underwriters).  The
court has not issued a decision on any of those motions.

By Order dated October 8, 2002, Judge Scheindlin dismissed the
Company's officers and directors without prejudice.  This case remains
at a preliminary stage and no discovery proceedings have taken place.  
The Company believes that the claims asserted against it in these cases
are without merit.


NVIDIA CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Amended Securities Fraud Suit in CA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class actions pending against NVIDIA
Corporation filed a consolidated amended securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of California.  
The suit also names as defendants certain of the Company's officers,
alleging violations of the federal securities laws arising out of the
Company's announcement on February 14, 2002 of an internal
investigation of certain accounting matters.

Three related shareholder derivative actions against the Company,
certain of its executive officers, directors and its independent
auditors, KPMG LLP, in California Superior Court and in Delaware
Chancery Court, collectively the actions.  The two related derivative
actions filed in California Superior Court have been consolidated.  
These suits allege claims in connection with various alleged statements
and omissions to the public and to the securities markets and seek
damages together with interest and reimbursement of costs and expenses
of the litigation.

The derivative actions also seek disgorgement of alleged profits from
insider trading by officers and directors.  The actions are in the
preliminary stages.  The federal class actions have been consolidated
and lead plaintiffs appointed.  

The Company is unable to predict the ultimate outcome of the suits.  
There can be no assurance the Company will be successful in defending
the suits and if the Company is unsuccessful the Company may be subject
to significant damages.  Even if the Company is successful, defending
the suits is likely to be expensive and may divert management's
attention from other business concerns and harm the Company's business.


OPTIO SOFTWARE: Attempts To Reach Settlement in NY Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Optio Software, Inc. is engaged in settlement negotiations with
plaintiffs in the securities class action pending in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York against the
Company, its officers and directors and the underwriters in the
Company's initial public offering as well as certain officers and
directors.

The suit, filed on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock
between December 14, 1999 and December 6, 2000, includes allegations of
violations of:

     (1) Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 by all named
         defendants,

     (2) Section 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 by the
         underwriter defendants,

     (3) Section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by the individual
         defendants, and

     (4) Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
         10b-5 promulgated thereunder by the underwriter defendants.

The complaint seeks unspecified amounts as compensatory damages as a
result of the Company's alleged actions, as well as punitive damages
and reimbursement for the plaintiff's attorney's fees and associated
costs and expenses of the lawsuit.


SEACHANGE INTERNATIONAL: Declares MA Securities Suits "Without Merit"
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Seachange International Inc. faces several securities class actions
filed in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts on behalf of all purchasers of the Company's common stock
in or traceable to the offering conducted by the Company on or about
January 29, 2002.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated,

     (2) Thomas Weisel Partners LLC,

     (3) RBC Dain Rauscher, Inc.,

     (4) William C. Styslinger, III,

     (5) William L. Fiedler,

     (6) Martin R. Hoffmann,

     (7) Thomas F. Olson and

     (8) Carmine Vona

The suits allege that the registration statement and prospectus issued
by the Company in connection with its stock offering completed on
January 31, 2002 contained statements that were materially inaccurate.  
The plaintiffs are seeking damages in an unspecified amount, together
with interest thereon, recissory damages, reimbursement of costs and
expenses, and further relief that the court may determine to be
appropriate.  The Company labeled the allegations in the suits "without
merit."


UTAH: Advocacy Group For Disabled Files Lawsuit Over Delays In Services
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Utah's largest advocacy group for the disabled recently filed a class
action charging that the state has failed to provide required services
to several hundred disabled persons, the Deseret News reports.

The Disability Law Center, on behalf of the Arc of Utah and nine
individuals, claims in a class action, filed in US District Court, that
the state for 12 years has been delaying on fulfilling its obligation
to the disabled whose conditions are severe, but not so severe as to
require institutionalization.

Even though the state agrees that the services are required, and the
federal government through Medicaid has mandated that they be offered,
Utah agencies have put off providing them to everyone who is eligible,
and has placed those it is not helping on a waiting list, which now
numbers 1,316.  Legislators say the state does not have enough money to
offer services to everyone who needs them.  Therefore, say the
legislators, the best the state can do is keep track of the disabled
and try to trim the list a little each year.

Fraser Nelson, executive director of the Disability Law Center, charges
that even when the state had funding to cover everyone, at times during
the past 12 years, the legislators showed no interest in doing so.  
"That is why we ultimately decided it won't happen unless the court
makes them."

Despite some additional funding over the years, the list continues to
grow.  In 1990, there were about 600, and now there are more than twice
that, said Robert Denton, senior attorney at the law center.  "You
really won't find a (legislative) commitment to solve something unless
it's a highway," Mr. Denton said.

The class action does not ask for a specific amount of money, only that
the state adopt a reasonable time frame for providing services to all
who qualify and getting rid of the list.  Not only has the waiting list
been a sore spot in state government since it was started 12 years ago,
but an audit completed a year ago by the Legislative Auditor General
found that the state has been doing a poor job of tracking who should
be on it.

Services, such as respite for in-home care providers and job support,
for people on the list, would cost approximately $4.3 million,
according to the state's disability division, Division of Services for
People With Disabilities.  The list last received additional funding in
the 2001 budget, and received no increases for 2002 or 2003.

The list in effect increases risk of unnecessary institutionalization
and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, not to mention the
Supreme Court's Olmstead ruling that declares unnecessary
institutionalization is a form of discrimination against people with
disabilities, said Robert Denton, senior law center attorney.

Most of the people on the waiting list are eligible under Medicaid, the
joint state and federal insurance program, to obtain services with
"reasonable promptness."  For most Medicaid services, that means within
90 days.  Most of the people on the list have been waiting more than
two years.  A few have been waiting as long as 10 years.


WAL-MART STORES: Workers Glad To Tell of Wage Concerns After Victory
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Wal-Mart workers won a court victory and they are glad, but they are
just as glad for the chance to tell the world what they feared would
not be believed; that "Sam's store" was making people work for free.  

"The people at Wal-Mart wanted to be heard; they wanted to know that
somebody was listening," said James Piotrowski, one of the attorneys
who represented 425 former and current Wal-Mart workers in Oregon who
sued the retail giant.  Theirs was a story of store managers who forced
employees to work unpaid overtime or risk demotion, or even firing,
their lawsuits contended.

A federal jury in Oregon became the first in the nation to deliver a
verdict, in more than three-dozen class actions against the Company,
when it ruled unanimously that the suing employees were forced to work
"off the clock" in violation of state and federal wage laws.

"They told us over and over again that managers in the stores would not
listen to their complaints about working for free, about altering their
time cards, about paychecks that came out short," Mr. Pietrowski said.  
The jury did not rule on the monetary damages, which will be decided by
a different jury in a separate trial.

US District Judge Garr M. King thanked the eight jurors saying "it was
a long trial and you worked hard and very diligently."  Each juror was
polled after the verdict, and each responded with an emphatic "yes"
about the decision that the Company had "willfully" violated the law
from 1994 through 1999, the entire period covered by the lawsuit.

Wal-Mart spokesman William Wertz said the company was disappointed with
the verdict, stating that "Wal-Mart has a strong policy of paying its
associates for all the time they work."  Shane Youtz, another attorney
for the workers, and Mr. Piotrowski said four weeks of testimony and
four days of jury deliberations showed otherwise.

The company still faces 39 other class-action lawsuits in 30 states,
from California to New York, seeking tens of millions of dollars in
back overtime pay.  Wal-Mart, a $218 billion company, employs one
million workers in 3,250 stores in the United States.  Mr. Pietrowski
said that unpaid overtime is a problem across the entire retail
industry, but "in our collective experience, which is about 25 years,
we have never seen a problem as egregious as at Wal-Mart."


WEAR ME: Voluntarily Recalls 3,000 Infant Garments For Poisoning Hazard
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wear Me Apparel Corporation is cooperating with the US Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about 3,000 infant
girls' garments.  The paint on the "smiley face" zipper-pull attached
to the sweat jacket of these garments contains lead.  Young children
could ingest lead from the zipper-pull, presenting a lead poisoning
hazard.  The Company and CPSC have not received any reports of injuries
involving these garments.  This recall is being conducted to prevent
the possibility of injury.
        
The recalled garments were sold under the "Joe Boxer" brand name
in sizes 12-months through 18-months and size 24-months.  The garments
were sold as sets that include a light tan sweat jacket with the word
"Smile" embroidered on the front and a painted "smiley face" yellow
zipper-pull and red sweat pants.  Only style numbers 40801002 and
40801003 are included in the recall and can be found on the reverse
side of the care label.  Writing on the collar label includes "MADE
IN/HECHO EN CHINA."  
        
Kmart stores nationwide exclusively sold these garments from August
2002 through October 2002 for between $10 and $13.  For more details,
contact the Company by Phone: (866) 469-6257 anytime.


WORLD WRESTLING: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. asked the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed, asserting claims for alleged violations
of the federal securities laws.  Also named as defendants in this suit
were:

     (1) Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc.,

     (2) Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Incorporated,

     (3) Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation,

     (4) WIT Capital Corporation,

     (5) Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation,

     (6) Chase H&Q (Hambrecht & Quist LLC),

     (7) Vincent K. McMahon,

     (8) Linda E. McMahon and

     (9) August J. Liguori

The suit alleges, inter alia:

     (i) claims under Section 11 of the Securities Act against all
         defendants,

    (ii) claims under Section 12(2) of the Securities Act against the
         Underwriter Defendants,

   (iii) claims under Section 15 of the Securities Act against the
         Company and the individual defendants,

    (iv) claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule
         10(b)(5) against all defendants, and

     (v) claims under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the
         individual defendants

According to the allegations of the suit, the underwriter defendants
allegedly engaged in manipulative practices by pre-selling allotments
of shares of the Company's stock in return for undisclosed, excessive
commissions from the purchasers and/or entering into after-market tie-
in arrangements which allegedly artificially inflated the Company's
stock price.  The plaintiff further alleges that the Company knew or
should have known of such unlawful practices.

The Company denied all allegations against it and believes that it has
meritorious defenses on plaintiffs' claims.  The Company also
understands that nearly 1,000 suits with similar claims and/or
allegations have been filed over the past couple of years against
companies which have gone public in that general time period.  All of
these claims have been consolidated before the same judge in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.  The
Company is a part of a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of all issuers
on July 15, 2002.  The Company cannot at this time predict the likely
outcome of this litigation.


ZALE CORPORATION: Agrees To Settle Two Consumer Suits in AL, TX Courts
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zale Corporation reached a settlement for two class actions filed
against it in the Circuit Court for Colbert County, State of Alabama
and in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Texas, Texarkana Division.

The state suit names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) Jewelers National Bank,

     (2) Zale Indemnity Company,

     (3) Zale Life Insurance Company,

     (4) Jewelers Financial Services,

     (5) Jewel Re-Insurance, Ltd. and

     (6) certain employees of the Company

The federal suit names as defendants the Company and:

     (i) Jewelers National Bank,

    (ii) Zale Indemnity Company,

   (iii) Zale Life Insurance Company,

    (iv) Jewel Re-Insurance, Ltd. and

     (v) certain employees of the Company

Both suits concern allegations that the defendants marketed credit
insurance to customers in violation of state statutory and common laws
and bring claims based on, inter alia, fraud, breach of contract and
consumer protection laws.

The federal complaint alleges that the Company's credit insurance
practices violated federal anti-racketeering laws.  In both complaints,
the plaintiff seeks, among other things, compensatory and punitive
damages, as well as injunctive relief.  Both actions are in the
discovery stage, and neither has been certified as a class action.

The Company has reached an agreement with counsel for the plaintiffs to
settle these actions.  The settlement is subject to the approval of the
respective courts.


ZUTANO INC.: Voluntarily Recalls 3,000 Stuffed Toys For Choking Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Zutano, Inc. is cooperating with the US Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) by voluntarily recalling about 3,000 "Hip Hoppy"
stuffed bunny toys with buttons.  The buttons on the front of the
bunnies' jacket can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children.  
The Company has not received any reports of injuries relating to these
stuffed bunny toys.  This recall is being conducted to prevent the
possibility of injuries.
        
The recall includes bunny toys that measure about 10-inches tall and
have jackets that button up the front.  Some of the jackets, pants and
hats on the bunnies have a multi-colored striped or a patterned print.  
"Zutano" is printed on a tag attached to the bunny. "Hip Hoppy" is
printed on a hang tag attached to the bunny.  Only bunny toys with
buttons are included in the recall.  The bunnies were made in China.
        
Department and specialty stores nationwide sold the recalled bunny
toys from July 2000 through December 2002 for about $18.
        
For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (800) 287-5139 between
10 am and 5 pm ET Monday through Friday.  


*Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Brings The Investment Banks "To Heel"
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The name Eliot Spitzer barely registered on Wall Street's radar a year
ago.  These days, the mere mention of it is sufficient to strike fear
and anger in the hearts of investment bankers and research analysts,
the Financial Times reports.

In just a matter of months, Mr. Spitzer, the New York State attorney
general, has charged from relative obscurity to national prominence on
the back of a crusading investigation that has tarnished the banks'
reputations and led to the most sweeping Wall Street reforms since the
Depression.  Mr. Spitzer achieved this by wielding an obscure state
securities law, the Martin Act, that gave him wide discretion to pursue
banks.  Along, the way he also proved to be a diligent reader of other
people's e-mails.

Arguably, however, his greatest weapon has been a talent for legal
stagecraft.  Mr. Spitzer, a former Mafia prosecutor, could appear
aggressive to the point of being reckless when it suited him in
negotiations, and then assume a reasonable posture.  The effect was to
push his adversaries to the brink in order to pull them back into
settlement.

To his detractors, namely, the many bankers, Mr. Spitzer is an
opportunist who has destroyed confidence in the markets to propel
himself to the New York Governor's mansion.  However, Mr. Spitzer would
not have had his chance if it had not been for the banks' misconduct
and the inability of federal regulators such as Harvey Pitt, former
chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to mount an
effective response.

In hindsight, the political ramifications of the stock market collapse
should have been obvious.  Ordinary investors who put their shirts on
Wall Street's casino in the 1990s lost billions of dollars when the
bubble burst.  Just how much the stock analysts were to blame is a
matter of debate.  However, it was well known on Wall Street that these
bull market celebrities often dressed up their research to help
investment banking colleagues capture more business.  Mr. Spitzer
accused Merrill Lynch of just this conflict of interest in April, after
months of intense investigation.  To support his claim, the attorney
general published a pile of internal e-mails in which the banks'
internet analysts, including Henry Blodget, derided the very companies
they publicly were touting to investors.  "This was a shocking betrayal
of trust," said Mr. Spitzer.

At first, Merrill resisted.  It said that the e-mails had been taken
out of context, and that Mr. Spitzer had over-stepped his jurisdiction.  
However, the power of the e-mails was devastating.  In a matter of
days, the largest US broker's share price plunged, knocking billions
from its market value.

Mr. Spitzer threatened to release more e-mails, but there was no need.
Within two months, Merrill caved in, agreeing to a $100 million
settlement, a public apology from its chairman and reforms designed to
increase the separation between the research analysts and the
investment bankers.

While the rest of Wall Street groused about Mr. Spitzer, their actions
betrayed a new found respect.  Salomon Smith Barney, the investment
banking arm of Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston and others quickly
adopted the new reforms to head off the attorney general's widening
investigation.

The federal regulators were less accommodating.  Despite numerous
meetings in Washington, Mr. Pitt resisted Mr. Spitzer and his
investigation.  The SEC would not join forces with Mr. Spitzer until
months later, when Mr. Pitt's own fate was in doubt.  Michael Oxley,
chairman of the House Financial Services committee, blasted Mr.
Spitzer, warning that he was heading down a dangerous path that would
impose "balkanized" state regulations on a national industry.

However, Mr. Spitzer persevered.  Rebuffed by the fess, he enlisted
other state authorities, assigning each to review a different bank.
Massachusetts took charge of the CSFB investigation, while Utah was
assigned to Goldman Sachs.  Mr. Spitzer turned his attention to Salomon
Smith Barney and its star telecommunications analyst, Jack Grubman.  In
so doing, the attorney general also learned that banks were dangling
lucrative initial public offerings before executives who had the power
to steer their companies' underwriting assignments their way.  It is
known as "spinning."

In October, the attorney general filed suit against senior telecoms
executives, including WorldCom founder Bernie Ebbers, demanding that
they return $28 million in "ill-gotten" profits reaped from Salomon
IPOs.  Although the lawsuit targeted the executives, it was packed with
unsavory  details about Salomon.  In one e-mail, Mr. Grubman, a star
analyst with Salomon, complained that the broker was supporting
companies it knew were "pigs."  As with Merrill, the evidence was not
only a public relations disaster, but also a treasure trail of evidence
for class-action lawyers representing angry investors.

In one of the more surreal episodes of the saga, Mr. Spitzer, an avid
jogger, bumped into Mr. Grubman early one morning in Central Park at
the height of the investigation.  Miraculously, the combative attorney
general and the pugnacious analyst, who was once an amateur boxer, had
a cordial chat before going their own ways.  It was a rare display of
restraint.  For, even as a deal came into sight, Mr. Spitzer kept up
the prosecutorial pressure.  He continued his investigation all the way
to Sandford Weill, Citigroup's chairman and chief executive, raising
questions as to whether the head of the world's largest financial
services company might be swallowed by the crusade.

Critics have charged that Mr. Spitzer was unfairly trying his case in
the press.  Of particular concern were e-mails embarrassing to Mr.
Weill that found their way into the newspapers.  The attorney general
also has been criticized for being excessively hostile.  At a recent
dinner to honor the year's best stock analyst, Mr. Spitzer was invited
as the guest speaker.  Far from extending an olive branch to the
industry, the attorney general confronted the assembled analysts with
data about their pitiful stock-picking record.  In the end, however,
Mr. Spizer has displayed enough diplomacy to broker an agreement
between a slew of investment banks and an unwieldy coalition of federal
and state regulators.

The final verdict on the attorney general's crusade will rest on the
success of the new reforms in protecting investors from the conflicts
of interest inherent in Wall Street.  However, no one can deny Mr.
Spitzer has succeeded in giving ordinary investors a revealing glimpse
into the ways of Wall Street.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases                        

ALLIANCE CAPITAL: Shalov Stone Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Shalov Stone & Bonner LLP initiated a securities class action on behalf
of a class of all persons who suffered damages as a result of their
acquisition of shares of the Alliance Premier Growth Fund during the
period from October 31, 2000 to February 14, 2002.  The complaint names
as defendants:

     (1) Alliance Capital Management, L.P.,

     (2) Alliance Premier Growth Fund, Inc.,

     (3) John D. Carifa,

     (4) Alfred Harrison,

     (5) Mark D. Gersten,

     (6) Ruth Block,

     (7) David H. Dievler,

     (8) John H. Dobkin,

     (9) William H. Foulk, Jr.,

    (10) James M. Hester,

    (11) Clifford L. Michel and

    (12) Donald J. Robinson

The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by disseminating materially false and misleading
Registration Statements and Prospectuses pursuant to which shares of
the Fund were issued to the public.  While the Fund stated that its
investments were based on extensive research and in-depth understanding
of the business fundamentals of investee companies, the complaint
alleges, among other things, that the Fund's investments in Enron Corp.
were not based on these criteria.  Ultimately, the Fund lost over $700
million in its investments in Enron.

For more details, contact Susie Cowen by Mail: 485 7th Avenue, Suite
1000, New York, NY 10018 by Phone: (212) 239-4340 by E-mail:
scowen@lawssb.com


ANNUITY AND LIFE: Bernard Gross Commences Securities Suit in CT Court
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Bernard M. Gross initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, on
behalf of all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired
the securities of Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. (NYSE:ANR)
between February 12, 2001 and November 19, 2002, inclusive.

The action is pending in the United States District Court, District of
Connecticut against the Company and:

     (1) Frederick S. Hammer, Chairman of the Board of Directors,

     (2) Lawrence S. Doyle, Chief Executive Officer and President and

     (3) John F. Burke, Chief Financial Officer, Senior Vice President
         and Corporate Secretary

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 material misrepresentations to the
market between February 12, 2001 and November 19, 2002, thereby
artificially inflating the price of Annuity and Life securities.  
Throughout the class period, as alleged in the complaint, defendants
issued numerous statements and filed quarterly and annual reports with
the SEC which described the Company's increasing revenues and financial
performance.

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:

     (i) that the Company had failed to properly account for embedded
         derivatives contained in certain of its annuity reinsurance
         contracts in 2001;

    (ii) that, since at least 2001, the Company had understated a
         portion of its liabilities and expenses;

   (iii) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls and was
         therefore unable to ascertain the true financial condition of
         the Company; and

    (iv) that as a result, the values of the Company's balance sheet
         and financial results were materially overstated at all
         relevant times.

On November 19, 2002, the last day of the class period, Annuity and
Life announced that it would restate its financial results for years
2000, 2001 and the first and second quarters of 2002, the period ending
June 30, 2002.  As detailed in the announcement, the restatement was
necessary because the Company had failed to properly account for the
embedded derivatives contained in certain of its annuity reinsurance
contracts in 2001, and, that since at least 2001, the Company had
understated a portion of its liabilities and expenses.  Following this
disclosure, shares of Annuity and Life fell as much as 44%, culminating
a 91% decline in the price of the Company's common stock in the prior
twelve months.

For more details, contact Deborah R. Gross or Susan R. 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


CYTYC CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in MA Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Cytyc Corporation
(NASDAQ: CYTC) between July 25, 2001 to June 25, 2002 inclusive, in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, against
the Company, Patrick J. Sullivan (CEO throughout the Class Period,
President until January 30, 2002, Chairman since November 7, 2001) and
Robert L. Bowen (CFO).

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 July 25, 2001 to June 25, 2002.  Among
other things, the complaint alleges that throughout the class period
the Company issued press releases representing that:

     (1) it was enjoying record revenue and earnings growth, increasing
         the market share of its primary product (ThinPrep);

     (2) its revenues would grow by 25% in 2002 over 2001, to $275-$300
         million; and

     (3) the Company was not negatively impacted, and would not be
         negatively impacted, by the general economic slowdown that was
         well underway at the time.

These statements were materially false and misleading, according to the
complaint, because they failed to disclose that the Company's
seemingly-impressive revenue and earnings growth was attributable, in
material part, to overstocking of inventory at the laboratories which
purchased ThinPrep in large volumes in reaction to deep discounts
offered by Cytyc (which recognizes revenue upon shipment).  The
complaint further alleges that defendants were motivated to commit the
alleged securities laws violations in order to pump up the Company's
results so that it could use its inflated stock as currency for key
corporate acquisitions.

On December 3, 2001, Cytyc acquired Pro-Duct Health, Inc. for $167
million in Cytyc common stock and cash and, on February 2, 2002,
announced that it has entered a definitive merger agreement to acquire
Digene Corporation using Cytyc common stock and cash.  At the time of
the announcement, the Digene acquisition was valued at $554 million.  
On April 24, 2002, after the close of trading, Cytyc revealed, in a
conference call, that its revenues and earnings for 2002 would be
materially less than the market had been led to believe.  Instead of
revenues between $295-$305 million, the Company stated 2002 sales would
be as low as $270 million, and reduced earnings expectations from $0.66
per share to $0.55-$0.55 per share.

According to the Company, the cut was due to inventory reduction by its
customers (laboratories), which had overstocked ThinPrep in the first
quarter of 2002 and would meet end-user demand from inventory instead
of new orders.  In response to the announcement, which was contrary to
repeated assurances by the Company, the price of Cytyc common stock
plummeted by 36.5%, falling from a $24.80 per share close on April 24
to close at $15.73 on April 25, on extremely heavy trading volume.

The truth regarding the Company's business, however was still
undisclosed, according to the complaint.  On June 25, 2002, Cytyc
shocked the market by again lowering its expected revenues for 2002 to
$230- $245 million and earnings per share to $0.40- $0.44.  In a
conference call held later that day, Cytyc announced that it was
considering switching its revenue recognition model from its current
recognition-on-shipment to a system more reflective of end-user demand.  
In response, Cytyc's stock price plummeted again, this time by 39%,
falling from a $11.46 per share close on June 24, to close at $6.88 per
share on June 25, on extremely heavy trading volume.

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: cytyccase@milbergNY.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.milberg.com  


MERRILL LYNCH: Finkelstein Thompson Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Finkelstein, Thompson & Loughran, initiated a securities class action
on behalf of purchasers of Homestore.com common stock (Nasdaq: HOMS)
between the period of September 8, 1999 and September 21, 2001, against
Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MER) and Henry Blodget, its former
head of the internet research group, in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suit alleges that the general disclosures in the Homestore.com
Research Reports were materially false and misleading because it failed
to disclose conflicts of interest, which include, but are not limited
to, the following:

     (1) analysts' compensation was tied to the success of Merrill
         Lynch's investment banking business with the covered company;

     (2) Merrill Lynch pre-sold favorable research ratings to companies
         that it took public;

     (3) Merrill Lynch's research reports failed to disclose actual
         cause for concern when it had that information available;

     (4) price targets were based upon a manipulative price; and

     (5) Merrill Lynch research reports failed to disclose that its
         research division was not independent from the investment
         banking division.

For more details, contact Andrew J. Morganti or Conor R. Crowley by
Phone: 1-202-337-8000 by E-mail: ajm@ftllaw.com or crc@ftllaw.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.ftllaw.com


SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Cohen Milstein Lodges Securities Suit in C.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Syncor
International, Inc. (Nasdaq:SCOR) between March 30, 2000 and November
5, 2002 inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California against the Company and certain of its officers
and directors.

The Company claims to be a leading provider of high technology health
care services.  The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
the Company's Chairman of the Board and the director of its Asian
division were making illegal payments to Syncor's overseas customers.  
Before the market opened on November 6, 2002, the Company announced
that it was conducting an internal investigation into illegal payments
to its overseas customers and had contacted the Justice Department and
the Securities Exchange Commission, and that its previously announced
acquisition by Cardinal Health, Inc. was in doubt.  As a result of this
news, Syncor's stock price plummeted. NASDAQ halted trading of Syncor's
stock pending a satisfactory response to its request for additional
information from the Company.

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


SYNCOR INTERNATIONAL: Bernstein Liebhard Launches Securities Suit in CA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the Central District of
California, Western Division, on behalf of all persons who purchased or
acquired Syncor International Corp. (Nasdaq: SCOR) common stock between
April 25, 2000 and November 5, 2002, inclusive.

The suit charges 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 press releases and public filings trumpeting
significant sales growth in the Company's international business.  
These press releases and public filings were materially false and
misleading in that they failed to disclose that throughout the class
period, the Company's Chairman of the Board and the director of its
Asian division were making illegal payments to Syncor's overseas
customers.

Before the market opened on November 6, 2002, the Company shocked the
market by announcing that it was conducting an internal investigation
into illegal payments to its overseas customers and had contacted the
Justice Department and the Securities Exchange Commission, and that its
previously announced acquisition by Cardinal Health, Inc. was in doubt.  
As a result of this news, Syncor's stock price dropped sharply in pre-
market trading to $22.50 per share, down $13.42 per share from its
previous closing price of $35.92, and NASDAQ halted trading of Syncor's
stock pending a satisfactory response to its request for additional
information from the Company.

For more details, contact Ms. Linda Flood, Director of Shareholder
Relations by Mail: 10 East 40th Street, New York, New York 10016 by
Phone: (800) 217-1522 or (212) 779-1414 by E-mail: SCOR@bernlieb.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.bernlieb.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
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