CAR_Public/030102.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                Thursday, January 2, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 1

                            Headlines                            

CABLE & WIRELESS: American Shareholders Commence Suit After Stock Falls
FORD MOTOR: Dallas Launches Lawsuit Over Crown Victoria Police Cruisers
GENERAL PUBLIC: Plaintiffs Abandon Suit Over Nuclear Reactor Breakdown
KEYNOTE SYSTEMS: Officers Dismissed From Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
KIMBERLY-CLARK: Settles Suits For Securities Violations For $55 Million

MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Franchise Owner Commences Race Bias Complaint
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: TN Court Grants Certification to Consumer Suit
NEW JERSEY: Funeral Director Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in NJ Court
SHELTER MUTUAL: Homeowners File Breach-of-Contract Suit Over Insurance
TOBACCO LITIGATION: High Court Upholds $80M Damage Award in Injury Suit

UNITED STATES: Government Lawyers Challenge Immigrant Detention Suit
UNITED STATES: Gathering To Contemplate Muslim Concerns On Brink of War

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

ANNUITY AND LIFE: Weiss & Yourman Commences Securities Suit in CT Court
CABLE & WIRELESS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in E.D. VA
CABLE & WIRELESS: Charles Piven Files Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
CYTYC CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Securities Suit in MA
DIVERSA CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Launches Securities Suit in NY

LEAP WIRELESS: Glancy & Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. CA
LEAP WIRELESS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. CA
MERRILL LYNCH: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
RURAL CELLULAR: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in MN Court
SEPRACOR INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Securities Suit in MA Court

SMARTFORCE PLC: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in NH Court
TELLIUM INC.: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ Court
TELLIUM INC.: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ Court

                            *********

CABLE & WIRELESS: American Shareholders Commence Suit After Stock Falls
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
British telecoms firm Cable & Wireless Plc is facing a securities class
action filed in a Virginia State Court filed by American investors,
alleging that it failed to disclose a huge potential tax liability and
issued "false and misleading statements" that cost shareholders dearly,
Reuters reports.

In a statement, lawyers for a group of C&W American Depositary Receipt
(ADR) holders said the suit claims after a heavy fall in Company stock.  
Company shares lost almost half their value earlier this month when the
potential $2.4 billion tax liability was finally revealed.  The
Company's problem dates back to 1999 when the 130-year-old company
agreed to indemnify, or insure, German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom
against tax liabilities.  The indemnity was written into an agreement
by C&W to sell 50 percent of British mobile phone firm One 2 One to
Deutsche Telekom, which feared the deal could land it with a big UK tax
bill in years to come, Reuters states.

The Company only disclosed the indemnity on December 6 after Moody's
Investors Service cut its debt rating to "junk" status, a move that
triggered the indemnity clause, forcing C&W to secure a bank guarantee
for 1.5 billion pounds or to set aside that sum in cash.

A Company spokesman told Reuters the company was "aware of its
obligations to shareholders and would defend itself vigorously."  The
Company has also expressed confidence that Deutsche would not be hit
with the tax liability and the 1.5 billion pounds will never be needed.

The Company's fortune has plunged since it gambled, and lost, by
shifting its focus to Internet-related businesses while pulling out of
its old-fashioned communications businesses, Reuters reports.  One of
Britain's best known companies, this month it suffered the humiliation
of bowing out of Britain's leading index of blue-chip stocks.


FORD MOTOR: Dallas Launches Lawsuit Over Crown Victoria Police Cruisers
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dallas City Attorney Madeleine Johnson commenced a lawsuit against Ford
Motor Company, demanding that the automaker provide sworn testimony on
safety modifications to the Crown Victoria police cruiser, the Star
Telegram reports.  The suit comes after the death of Dallas officer
Patrick Metzler, 31, who suffered smoke inhalation and burns October 23
when his Crown Victoria Police Interceptor burst into flames when it
was rear-ended on US 75.  Ms. Johnson is seeking depositions regarding
upgrades that the city believes could improve the vehicle's safety,
such as frame shields, fire suppressant systems and bladder tanks.

"If we're not able to get the information voluntarily, I felt that I
had no choice," she said during a news conference at City Hall. "I
really think that when you talk about the safety of law enforcement
officers, I can leave no stone unturned."

A Dallas attorney representing Ford said late Thursday that he has not
seen the lawsuit and could not comment, the Star Telegram stated.  He
said Ford will file a response.  Company officials have previously said
that they agreed to provide depositions concerning the shields being
installed to guard against gas tank explosions but that they would not
provide testimony on the other safety systems because the systems are
still being tested.

Ms. Johnson rejected that argument, saying that bladder tanks, for
example, are not a new idea.  She said that Ford considered bladder
tanks in the late '70s during a series of lawsuits involving Ford
Pintos.  Bladder tanks are heavy plastic bags that fit inside gas tanks
and provide another layer of protection from a puncture.

Since 1983, at least 14 officers have died nationwide in post-collision
fires involving Crown Victoria police cruisers, according to
information from the city, the Star Telegram states.  A class action
lawsuit against the Company stemming from the crashes is pending in
Cleveland.

The lawsuit, which was filed in a state civil court in Dallas, could be
a precursor to a larger suit over the vehicle's safety, depending on
what the city discovers, Ms. Johnson told the Star Telegram.  The
current litigation does not seek any monetary damages.  This is about
safety," she said.  "It's not about a fishing expedition or trying to
get money."


GENERAL PUBLIC: Plaintiffs Abandon Suit Over Nuclear Reactor Breakdown
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the class action filed against General Public Utilities
Corporation of a reactor meltdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear
plant in 1979 have ended their lawsuit, saying that there was nothing
more that could be done to proceed with the action, the Associated
Press reports.  

Earlier, the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals refused to
hear the plaintiff's appeal of a lower court's decision dismissing
their claims against the Company and other related defendants.  
Attorney Lee C. Swartz said, "We doubt the US Supreme Court would agree
to hear the case."

The suit alleges that the plaintiffs' health was harmed by radiation
that escaped from the damaged TMI-2 plant for several days before the
reactor was brought under control.  An estimated 100,000 people fled
the region during the crisis, the Associated Press reports.

A 1990 Columbia University study found that the reported exposure
levels were too low to have caused increased lung cancer and leukemia
cases near the plant, which is on the Susquehanna River, about 10 miles
south of Harrisburg.  However, a later study by Dr. Stephen Wing and
others at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Public
Health used the same data and concluded "downwind" areas during the
accident had increased cancer rates.  Dr. Wing conceded his study did
not prove more potent radiation releases, but said there was little
else that would explain the higher cancer rates.

The Company and Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials have maintained
not enough radiation was released to cause adverse health effects, but
some doctors as well as anti-nuclear activists argued that was unclear.  
"It just seemed to me there was scant, if not zero, evidence of a true
corollary between the radiation and the illnesses," former GPU
president and chief operating officer Herman M. Dieckamp told AP. "So
it was probably the right thing for them to do."

No other major litigation remains from the 1979 accident at TMI, the
nation's worst commercial nuclear accident.  However, watchdog group
TMI Alert said it "will continue to pursue and track radiogenic
cancers."

"While this is a setback, I believe we'll endure and prevail, probably
when I'm a very old man," TMI Alert spokesman Eric Epstein told AP.


KEYNOTE SYSTEMS: Officers Dismissed From Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
dismissed Keynote System, Inc.'s officers as defendants in the
consolidated securities class action filed against them, the Company
and the underwriters of the Company's initial public offering.

The suit, filed on behalf of those who purchased Company securities
between September 24, 1999 and August 19, 2001, allege generally that
the underwriters in certain initial public offerings, including the
Company, allocated shares in those initial public offerings in unfair
or unlawful ways, such as requiring the purchaser to agree to buy in
the aftermarket at a higher price or to buy shares in other companies
with higher than normal commissions.  The suit also alleges that the
Company had a duty to disclose the activities of the underwriters in
the registration statement relating to our initial public offering.

The suit has been consolidated into a single action with cases brought
against over three hundred other issuers and their underwriters that
make similar allegations regarding the initial public offerings of
those issuers.  The plaintiffs' counsel and the individual named
defendants' counsel later reached an agreement whereby the individual
named defendants have been dismissed from the case, without any
payments by the Company.  The case against the underwriters and the
Company continues.  

However, plaintiffs' counsel and the underwriters have both been
offered settlement proposals.  The Company is currently evaluating each
proposal.  The Company believes the claims are without merit.  However,
these claims, even if not meritorious, could be expensive to defend and
divert management's attention from operating the Company.


KIMBERLY-CLARK: Settles Suits For Securities Violations For $55 Million
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kimberly-Clark Corporation reached a US$55 million settlement in two
securities class actions filed against Safeskin, its subsidiary and
some of the unit's former executive and directors, the Seattle Post-
Intelligencer reports.

The Company acquired Safeskin Corporation, a manufacturer of disposable
latex gloves and related products, in February 2000.  The lawsuits
related to events that occurred before the acquisition, the company
said.  The Company said Thursday that Safeskin did not admit wrongdoing
in the settlement, and that most of the settlement costs would be
covered by insurance.

The settlement is subject to a notice to potential class-action
plaintiffs and approval by a judge.  The company said the settlement
concludes all securities and shareholder-derivative lawsuits relating
to Safeskin.

Kimberly-Clark makes tissue, personal care and health care items in 42
countries and sells its products in more than 150 countries.


MCDONALD'S CORPORATION: Franchise Owner Commences Race Bias Complaint
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A McDonald's franchise owner has filed a complaint against the fast-
food giant with the support of the National Association for the
Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). She alleges she is being forced
to give up her four restaurants because of a federal racial
discrimination lawsuit she filed against the Company, the Associated
Press reports.

Deborah Sonnenschein, who is black, filed the suit in the United States
District Court in Bridgeport, saying that McDonald's officials told her
to hand in the keys to her restaurants January 20, Martin Luther King
Jr. Day, the Connecticut Post reports.  Corporate headquarters began
sparring with her over leases, charges and other issues, and she filed
the suit.

Ms. Sonnenschein told AP "I believe I'm being mistreated by McDonald's
because of the lawsuit."  She added that the Company responded to her
suit by "concocting" claims about problems at her restaurants.  Those
negative reports led corporate officials to terminate her franchise
rights, she says.  McDonald's "is using exaggeration and falsehoods
about the operation of my restaurants," Ms. Sonnenschein said during a
news conference Thursday.

The Company denies the allegations, saying Ms. Sonnenschein's
restaurants are not meeting Company standards, regarding quality,
service and cleanliness.  "Ms. Sonnenschein's allegations are simply
not true. McDonald's is proud of the diversity in its system and does
not tolerate discrimination in any form," the chain said in a
statement.  "Unfortunately, operations at two of Ms. Sonnenschein's
four restaurants have repeatedly fallen short of these high standards.
Despite our best efforts over the past year, she has not made the
necessary improvements."

"We remain hopeful that Ms. Sonnenschein will bring these restaurants
into compliance and have informed her of our willingness to work with
her toward that end," the statement concludes.

Ms. Sonnenschein, however, claims her problems are part of a growing
national pattern, AP reports.  "Over the last few years, more than 100
African-American (McDonald's) franchises have been turned over out of
350 in the system. That's a lot," she said.  There are 12,000
McDonald's franchises in the US.


MICROSOFT CORPORATION: TN Court Grants Certification to Consumer Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Davidson County Circuit Court in Tennessee granted class certification
to a lawsuit claiming that computer giant Microsoft Corporation
illegally overcharged Tennessee consumers for certain operating
systems, the Tennesseean.com Local News reports.

State Judge Walter Kurtz's opinion on the 3-year-old Tennessee case was
issued last week.  It doesn't decide the case.  The class of plaintiffs
will include people, businesses and others that purchased Microsoft
operating systems during the past seven years for purposes other than
resale or distribution.  The Nashville case is among federal- and
state-court lawsuits stemming from an earlier federal court case
finding Microsoft guilty of violating antitrust law.  A hearing is set
for January 9 on how to notify plaintiffs.


NEW JERSEY: Funeral Director Faces Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in NJ Court
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Former New Jersey funeral director Andrew Pratt faces a class action
filed in Knox County Superior Court, alleging fraud on behalf of Mr.
Pratt's dissatisfied clients from the Laite & Pratt and Gray & Pratt
funeral homes.

The suits were filed on behalf of twenty-one people from Camden and
Windsor, New Jersey, alleging that Mr. Pratt took their money as
prepayment for funerals that he then did not perform.  The prepayments
are now not available to the clients.  Mr. Pratt already has suffered
some civil penalties from state funeral regulators associated with
these charges.  For example, he has been forbidden to be involved in
the funeral business in Maine again, the Camden Herald reports.

Mr. Pratt was also found by state funeral regulators to have accepted
at least $80,000 in pre-payment for various funerals, money which has
since vanished.  In November, Knox County Superior Court Justice John
Atwood ordered that up to $250,000 worth of Pratt's property and assets
be immediately frozen as a preliminary move toward trying the lawsuit,
the Camden Herald states.


SHELTER MUTUAL: Homeowners File Breach-of-Contract Suit Over Insurance
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Shelter Mutual Insurance Company faces a class action in Oklahoma, that
could possible involve thousands of homeowners in 13 states who
purchased insurance policies through them, the Columbia Daily Tribune
reports.

The civil breach-of-contract suit, filed on behalf of policyholders who
repaired their homes during a ten year period between October 3,1992
and October 3,2002, challenges a Company practice that allegedly
shortchanges policyholders who act as their own general contractor when
doing repair work to their homes after damage.

Shelter homeowner policyholders are being notified about the case by
mail and legal advertisements, but the plaintiff's attorney is unsure
how many will opt in.  "It's too hard to tell right now," said Michael
Hinkle, an Oklahoma City attorney.  "We know we've got a lot of claims
from Oklahoma from hail- and storm-damage repairs, but this is the
first time we've handled a case that involves policyholders outside of
Oklahoma. We may end up with 60,000 claims from other parts of the
country."

The Company is setting aside between $6.5 million and $7 million in
reserves to handle any potential claims, company spokesman Joe Moseley
said.  "There's really no estimate we have on how many policyholders
this would affect in Missouri," Mr. Moseley told the Daily Tribune.  
"As part of the agreement on this case, we made the class cover all the
territory of states we serve."

Canadian County District Court Judge Edward Cunningham will hold a
hearing February 19 to determine how the case should proceed or if it
will be dismissed.  The case had been pending in federal Oklahoma
Western District Court before it was dismissed earlier this year. Mr.
Hinkle filed the case in state court in May.

Mr. Hinkle represents James and Margaret Phillips, Shelter
policyholders who live in Kingfisher County, northwest of Oklahoma
City.  In 1998, the Phillips submitted a claim to Shelter after their
home suffered roof, plasterboard, paint and electrical damage from a
storm.  James Phillips handled much of the contracting for the work
himself.  "If you go out and do a lot of the work for remodeling
yourself, the insurance company is supposed to give you help with
that," Mr. Hinkle said.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: High Court Upholds $80M Damage Award in Injury Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Oregon Supreme Court upheld an $80 million verdict against tobacco
giant Philip Morris Companies for allegedly concealing information
about the dangers of smoking, the Associated Press reports.

The suit was filed by the family of Jesse D. Williams, a Portland
janitor who had smoked Marlboros for four decades and died in 1997 from
lung cancer.  The suit alleges Mr. Williams kept smoking because he did
not believe a company would sell something that was truly harmful.

In March 1999, a Multnomah County jury awarded the Williams family
$821,485 in compensatory damages and $79.5 million in punitive damages.  
At the time, the $80.3 million award was the largest in an individual
smoker case.  The judge reduced the punitive damage award to $32
million, saying it was excessively large, however, the Oregon Court of
Appeals restored the verdict in June 2002.

Philip Morris officials say they might ask the Oregon Supreme Court to
reconsider, AP reports.  However, they said they will eventually
petition the Supreme Court of the United States to overturn or
substantially reduce the award.  "We continue to believe that the
Williams-Branch verdict should be set aside on a number of legal
grounds, including the excessiveness of the punitive damages award, and
we are hopeful that the US Supreme Court will agree to hear the case
and send it back to Oregon for a new trial," William S. Ohlemeyer, a
Philip Morris vice president and associate general counsel, said in a
statement.

An attorney for Williams' family said he doubts the high court will
take the case.  "It's a highly charged political issue, and I think the
U.S. Supreme Court would not go out of its way to use a tobacco case to
make law when they had other alternatives," attorney Charles Tauman
told AP.


UNITED STATES: Government Lawyers Challenge Immigrant Detentions Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The government argued Thursday of last week that a federal district
court has no jurisdiction in a lawsuit seeking to halt immigration
rules that allow the detention of Middle Eastern men, Associated Press
Newswires reports.

The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, was filed Tuesday of last
week in Los Angeles by groups representing Muslims, Arab-Americans,
Iranian-Americans and Pakistani-Americans, seeking to block future
detentions under rules adopted in the aftermath of the September 11
attacks.  At least 400 men were detained in Southern California for
visa violations when immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Sudan
went to Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) offices last week
to register as required under the new policy.

In their response Thursday last week, Justice Department lawyers said
the lawsuit should be thrown out because the federal district court
lacks jurisdiction to review INS decisions regarding detentions.  That
power is reserved for the US Supreme Court, the lawyers said.

The government lawyers also argued against granting a temporary
restraining order to the case's plaintiffs, which include four
unidentified men who were detained as illegal immigrants under the
policy.  The court documents say illegal aliens "are not entitled to
remain in the United States, and may lawfully be detained pending their
removal from the United States."

Many of those who were detained said their immigration violations were
due to slow paperwork processing by the INS.  About 3,000 temporary
visa holders, ages 16 and older, were required to register nationwide.  
Most of the detentions occurred in Southern California, and nearly all
the detainees were freed last week.


UNITED STATES: Gathering To Contemplate Muslim Concerns On Brink of War
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
For the second time in their histories, and for the second time in five
months, two diverse Muslim organizations are holding a joint US
convention to address the religious, political and social concerns of
Muslims in a country on the verge of war, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The three-day meeting in the Rosemont Convention Center, which started
Thursday the 26th of December, brings together the Islamic Circle of
North America, whose members are largely South Asian, as well as the
Muslim American Society, whose constituency is predominantly Arab.

Esam Omeish, conference spokesman, said the groups share a commitment
to grass-roots organizing on behalf of Muslims as well as efforts to
improve the larger community.

"There is a lot of talk of invigorating the Muslim community with a
sense of activism, of protecting our own rights while making sure we
contribute to the well being of the society at large," said Mr. Omeish.  
"It is a challenge because we are still mostly an immigrant community
from 50 ethnic backgrounds.  Muslims cannot just be happy preserving
our own Islam."

More than 50 speakers will address topics such as the possibility of
war in Iraq, civil liberties, the media, education, schooling, the role
of Muslim women and youth.  A session will be devoted to discussing
Palestine and U.S. policy toward the Middle East, another will address
the role of the United States government in South Asia.  Other
conference sessions will address such topics as finding a spouse,
parenting, financial planning and "how to answer the 10 most frequently
asked about Islam."

Civil rights likely will take on particular relevance after the recent
arrests of hundreds of Middle Eastern men and teenagers in Southern
California.  They had voluntarily complied with a new federal
fingerprinting and registration program for immigrants.  The American-
Arab Anti-Discrimination League, the Council on American Islamic
Organizations and other groups filed a class action in California
against Attorney General John Ashcroft and the Immigration and
Naturalization Service.

                        New Securities Fraud Cases

ANNUITY AND LIFE: Weiss & Yourman Commences Securities Suit in CT Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Weiss & Yourman initiated a securities class action against Annuity and
Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. (NYSE:ANR), and certain of its officers was
commenced in the United States District Court for the District of
Connecticut, on behalf of purchasers of Annuity and Life securities
between February 12, 2001 and November 19, 2002.

The complaint charges the defendants with violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  The complaint alleges that defendants issued
false and misleading statements which artificially inflated the stock.

For more details, contact Mark D. Smilow, James E. Tullman, and David
C. Katz by Mail: The French Building, 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1600, New
York NY 10176 by Phone: (888) 593-4771 or (212) 682-3025 or by E-mail:
info@wynyc.com


CABLE & WIRELESS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in E.D. VA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on
behalf of all purchasers of American Depository Receipts (ADRs) of
Cable & Wireless (NYSE: CWP) from August 6, 1999 through December 6,
2002, inclusive.

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 August 6, 1999 and December 6, 2002.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Company issued a press
release on August 6, 1999, announcing that it had agreed to sell One 2
One, a British based mobile telecommunications operator, to Deutsche
Telekom.  Under the announced terms of the agreement, Deutsche Telekom
would pay 6.9 billion pounds sterling in cash for 100% of the equity
ownership interest in One 2 One including the repayment of 237 million
pounds of shareholder loans, and would assume approximately 1.5 billion
pounds of third-party debt.

According to the complaint, such statements were materially false and
misleading because they failed to disclose that a critical term of the
One 2 One deal was a 1.5 billion pounds tax indemnification clause
agreed to by Cable, and more specifically, a trigger clause, whereby a
future downgrade of Cable's long-term debt rating below a predetermined
threshold would trigger a 1.5 billion pounds cash obligation on behalf
of Cable.

On December 6, 2002, Moody's investment service announced that it would
downgrade the long-term debt rating of Cable from Baa1 to Baa2. Cable
then shocked the market in a press release that same day stating that,
as a consequence of the downgrade, the above mentioned "ratings
trigger" was activated.

The announcement caused the price of Cable's ADRs to fall by 40 percent
in one business day, from a closing price of $3.90 per ADR on December
6, 2002, to close at $2.33 per ADR on December 9, 2002, on unusually
high trading volume.  Subsequently, the company filed a Form 6-K with
the SEC on December 9, 2002 which included a statement regarding the
tax indemnification "ratings trigger" clause.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by Mail:
Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706 by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.sbclasslaw.com


CABLE & WIRELESS: Charles Piven Files 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 purchased, converted, exchanged or
otherwise acquired American Depository Receipts (ADRs) of Cable and
Wireless plc (NYSE: CWP) between August 6, 1999 and December 6, 2002,
inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District
of Virginia.

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 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com


CYTYC CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Securities Suit in MA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts,
on behalf of all persons who purchased or acquired Cytyc Corporation
(NASDAQ: CYTC) common stock between July 25, 2001, and June 25, 2002,
inclusive.

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
Cytyc issued press releases representing:

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

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

     (3) that 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 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 or by E-mail:
CYTC@bernlieb.com.  


DIVERSA CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Launches Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of purchasers of the common stock of Diversa Corporation
(NASDAQ: DVSA) between February 14, 2000 and December 6, 2000,
inclusive, in the United States District Court, Southern District of
New York against the Company and:

     (1) Jay M. Short,

     (2) Karin Eastham,

     (3) James H. Cavanaugh,

     (4) Bear Stearns Co., Inc.,

     (5) J.P. Morgan Securities, Inc. (as successor-in-interest to
         Chase H&Q),

     (6) Chase H&Q,

     (7) Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown,

     (8) Credit Suisse First Boston (as successor-in-interest to DLJ),

     (9) ABN Amro Securities (as successor-in-interest to ING Baring
         Furman Selz),

    (10) ING Baring Furman Selz,

    (11) Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, Inc.,

    (12) Morgan Stanley, Robertson Stephens, Inc. (as successor-in-
         interest to FleetBoston Robertson Stephens Inc.),

    (13) Salomon Smith Barney, Inc.,

    (14) SG Cowen Securities Corp.,

    (15) Warburg Dillon Read,

    (16) RBC Dain Rauscher (as successor-in-interest to Dain Rauscher
         Wessels),

    (17) Dain Rauscher,

    (18) Needham & Company, Inc.,

    (19) Pacific Growth Equities, Inc.,

    (20) RBC Dain Rauscher (as successor-in-interest to Tucker
         Anthony), and

    (21) Tucker Anthony

The complaint alleges violations of Sections 11 and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  On
February 14, 2000, Diversa commenced an initial public offering of
7,250,000 of its shares of common stock at an offering price of $24 per
share.  In connection therewith, Diversa filed with the SEC a
registration statement, which incorporated a prospectus.

The complaint further alleges, among other things, that the prospectus
was materially false and misleading because it failed to disclose,
among other things, that:

     (i) the Underwriter Defendants had solicited and received
         excessive and undisclosed commissions from certain investors
         in exchange for which the Underwriter Defendants allocated to
         those investors material portions of the Diversa shares issued
         in connection with the Diversa IPO; and

    (ii) the Underwriter Defendants had entered into agreements with
         customers whereby the Underwriter Defendants agreed to
         allocate Diversa shares to those customers in the Diversa IPO
         in exchange for which the customers agreed to purchase
         additional Diversa shares in the aftermarket at pre-determined
         prices.

In addition, the complaint alleges that certain of the Underwriter
Defendants improperly utilized their analysts, who were compromised by
undisclosed conflicts of interest, to artificially inflate or maintain
the price of Diversa stock.

For more details, contact Rebecca M. Katz by Mail: 10 East 40th Street,
New York, New York 10016, by Phone: 877-779-1414 or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.bernlieb.com


LEAP WIRELESS: Glancy & Binkow Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Glancy & Binkow LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of California on behalf
of all persons who purchased securities of Leap Wireless International,
Inc. (NASDAQ:LWIN) (OTCBB:LWIN.OB) between February 11, 2002 and July
24, 2002, inclusive.

The suit charges the Company and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of federal securities laws.  Among other things,
plaintiff claims that defendants' material omissions and the
dissemination of materially false and misleading statements regarding
the nature of the Company's business and financial condition caused
Company stock price to become artificially inflated, inflicting
enormous damages on investors.

For more details, contact Michael Goldberg by Mail: 1801 Avenue of the
Stars, Suite 311, Los Angeles, California 90067, by Phone: 310/201-9161
or 888/773-9224 or by E-mail: info@glancylaw.com.  


LEAP WIRELESS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Stull, Stull & Brody initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of California on behalf
of purchasers of Leap Wireless International, Inc. (OTCBB:LWIN)
securities between February 11, 2002 and July 24, 2002, inclusive.

The Company is in the business of providing digital wireless services
to the mass consumer market under the provider name "Cricket."  The
suit charges that the Company and certain of its officers and directors
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Rule 10-b(5).  The action alleges that defendants issued a
series of false and misleading statements concerning the Company's
financial condition.  

Specifically, the suit charges that defendants concealed the
deteriorating value of its wireless license assets by grossly
overstating their value.  The suit further alleges that as a result of
defendants' actions, plaintiff and the class were damaged.

For more details, contact Michael D. Braun or Patrice L. Bishop by
Mail: 888/388-4605 by E-mail: info@secfraud.com or visit the firm's
Website: http://www.secfraud.com


MERRILL LYNCH: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud 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 all purchasers of Merrill Lynch Focus Twenty Fund
shares, of all four share classes (Symbols: MAFOX, MBFOX, MCFOX, and
MDFOX) from the Focus Twenty Fund's initial public offering (which took
place on or about March 3, 2000 through December 23, 2002, inclusive
against:

     (1) Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.,

     (2) Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.,

     (3) Merrill Lynch Focus Twenty Fund, Inc., and

     (4) other Merrill Lynch-affiliated entities

The suit alleges violations of Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933 and of the Investment Company Act of 1940.  The
relationships among the defendants include that the defendants are:

     (i) the underwriters for the common stock of certain of the
         companies in the Focus Twenty Fund's portfolio;

    (ii) the investment bankers and corporate finance specialists for
         certain of the companies whose securities are in the Fund's
         portfolio;

   (iii) seeking to obtain additional investment banking business from
         these present and former clients and from other companies
         whose shares also were/are in the Fund's portfolio;

    (iv) the issuers of the shares in the Fund;

     (v) preparing and publicly disseminating research reports and
         recommendations on many of the companies whose shares were in
         the Fund's portfolio; and

    (vi) the broker for certain members of the class.

This action arises as a result of the issuance by the defendants of
shares in the fund, and concerns material misstatements and omissions
by defendants in the prospectus and other incorporated documents,
relating to defendants' conflicts of interest, which include but are
not limited to the following:

     (a) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
         that Merrill Lynch had had investment banking relationships
         with, including having brought public, certain of the
         companies whose securities were part of the Fund's portfolio.
         Defendants disclosed neither this general fact nor the
         identities of the particular companies with which it had
         investment banking relationships;

     (b) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
         concerning that Merrill Lynch was continuing to seek
         investment banking relationships with many of the companies
         whose securities were part of the Fund's portfolio; and

     (c) defendants failed to disclose and omitted material information
         concerning that a material part of the total compensation paid
         to Merrill Lynch research analysts was based upon obtaining
         investment banking business for Merrill Lynch and not upon the
         accuracy of their research about a given company.

Hence, Merrill Lynch and its affiliated companies including the Fund
recommended investments in and/or invested in companies in order to
enhance Merrill Lynch's opportunity to obtain investment banking
business from those companies (without regard to whether they were good
investments for the investors including plaintiffs and the class).

For more details, contact George Peters, Derek Behnke, Robert B.
Weintraub or Daniel W. Krasner 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. E-mail should refer to the Merrill Lynch Focus  
Twenty Fund.


RURAL CELLULAR: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in MN Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Minnesota on behalf of all
purchasers of the common stock of Rural Cellular Corporation (OTC
Bulletin Board: RCCC) from January 6, 2002 through November 13, 2002,
inclusive.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its
business and financial condition.  Specifically, the complaint alleges
that defendants are liable as a participant in a fraudulent scheme and
course of conduct that operated as a fraud or deceit on purchasers of
Rural Cellular common stock by disseminating materially false and
misleading statements and/or concealing material adverse facts.  The
scheme:

     (1) deceived the investing public regarding Rural Cellular's
         business, operations and management and the intrinsic value of
         Rural Cellular common stock;

     (2) permitted Rural Cellular to sell and register debt securities
         valued at $300 million; and

     (3) caused plaintiff and members of the class to purchase Rural
         Cellular common stock at artificially inflated prices.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by Mail:
Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone: 1-
888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706 by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.sbclasslaw.com


SEPRACOR INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Commences Securities Suit in MA Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
on behalf of all persons who acquired common stock of Sepracor, Inc.
(NASDAQ: SEPR) between April 14, 2000, through and including March 6,
2002, in the United States District Court of Massachusetts against the
Company and:

     (1) Timothy J. Barberich,

     (2) Paul D. Rubin and

     (3) David P. Southwell

The suit charges that Sepracor and certain of its officers and
directors 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 during the class period,
thereby artificially inflating the price of Sepracor securities.

Specifically, defendants falsely stated:

     (i) they were "confident" that the FDA would approve the Company's
         antihistamine drug, Soltara, by March 2002, followed by
         Soltara's launch in the summer of 2002;

    (ii) that there was no evidence that Soltara caused cardiac
         effects;

   (iii) that the Company had tested Soltara for such periods and in
         such doses that the drug had reached the maximum accumulation
         in patients' bodies without adverse effects; and

    (iv) that the FDA had told the Company that the Company's safety
         testing of Soltara was sufficient to allay any concerns about
         cardiac effects of Soltara.

The truth was revealed in March 2002, when Defendants admitted:

     (a) Soltara had caused cardiomyopathy, an adverse, potentially
         fatal cardiac effect, in rats, as well as phospholipidosis, a
         serious liver disorder, in dogs;

     (b) the Company had not tested Soltara at the maximum
         concentrations in patients' bodies and, therefore, had not
         shown that Soltara would not cause cardiac effects in any
         patient treated with the drug; and

     (c) the FDA had not told the Company that its safety studies of
         Soltara were sufficient to allay concerns about cardiac
         effects.

In addition, in the Company's studies of Soltara in animals, dogs
treated with Soltara had experienced QT prolongation, the same effect
that caused earlier antihistamines to be withdrawn from the market due
to deaths in some patients.  Had these facts been known to the
investing public, it would have been apparent that it was highly
improbable that Soltara would be approved by the FDA based on the
existing evidence from the Company's testing of the drug, and that
Defendants' expressed confidence that the FDA would approve Soltara by
March 2002 was baseless.

When the truth was revealed, the market price of Sepracor stock fell
approximately 60% from a closing price of $47.26 on March 6, 2002, to a
closing price of $19.64 on March 7, 2002.

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 or by E-mail: SEPR@bernlieb.com.  


SMARTFORCE PLC: Wolf Haldenstein Commences Securities Suit in NH Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of New
Hampshire on behalf of investors who purchased and/or acquired American
Depository Shares (ADS) of SmartForce PLC, doing business as SkillSoft
(NASDAQ: SKIL) during the period from October 19, 1999 through and
including November 18, 2002 against the Company and:

     (1) William G. McCabe, Chairman of the Board from October 19, 1999
         until approximately August 2000 and

     (2) Greg Priest, President and Chief Executive Officer from
         October 19, 1999 until SmartForce's merger with SkillSoft
         Corporation on September 6, 2002

Specifically, the class period includes the following members:

     (i) all purchasers of SmartForce ADSs from October 19, 1999
         through September 6, 2002, trading under the ticker symbol
         SMTF;

    (ii) all persons who acquired shares of SmartForce's ADSs as part
         of the merger between SmartForce and SkillSoft Corporation
         completed on or about September 6, 2002; and

   (iii) all purchasers of SmartForce's ADSs after September 6, 2002
         when it began doing business as "SkillSoft," trading under the
         ticker symbols SKILD, then SKIL.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  As alleged
in the complaint, during the class period, the defendants and its
predecessors issued and/or failed to correct false and misleading
financial statements and press releases concerning the Company's
publicly reported revenues and earnings directed to the investing
public. Specifically:

     (a) SmartForce improperly recognized revenue under a reseller
         arrangement, resulting in the booking of revenue before it was
         received from the resellers;

     (b) SmartForce recognized revenue for software sales upon
         shipment, even though the payment schedules for those
         contracts extended over several years;

     (c) SmartForce recognized revenue in connection with other
         customer contracts upon execution of those contracts, even
         though the terms were four to five years in length; and

     (5) SmartForce improperly accounted for bad debt, causing an
         increase in reserve.

On November 19, 2002, SmartForce shocked the market by announcing that
it intended to restate the historical financial statements of
SmartForce for 1999, 2000, 2001, and the first two quarters of 2002.  
In the process of preparing the closing balance sheet of SmartForce as
of September 6, 2002, SmartForce identified several accounting issues
that required the pre-merger SmartForce financial statements to be
restated.  In response to this announcement, the shares of SmartForce
dropped 33.7% to close at $3.07.

For more details, contact Fred Taylor Isquith, Michael Miske, 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. E-mail should refer to  
SmartForce.


TELLIUM INC.: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Tellium, Inc.
(Nasdaq:TELM) between May 17, 2001 and February 1, 2002, inclusive, in
the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, against the
Company and:

     (1) Harry J. Carr,

     (2) Michael J. Losch,

     (3) Richard W. Barcus,

     (4) Michael M. Connors,

     (5) William B. Bunting,

     (6) Jeffrey A. Feldman,

     (7) Edward F. Glassmeyer,

     (8) Richard C. Smith, Jr.,

     (9) William A. Roper, Jr. and

    (10) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

The suit alleges that defendants violated Sections 11 and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 by issuing a materially false and misleading
Prospectus and Registration Statement in connection with the Company's
initial public offering (IPO) and violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by making material misrepresentations to the market between
May 17, 2001 and February 1, 2002.

Specifically, in the prospectus, defendants stated that the Company had
entered into an agreement to provide switches to Qwest Communications
International, Inc. (Qwest), which provided for minimum purchase
commitments of $300 million.  As alleged in the complaint, these
statements were materially false and misleading because they failed to
disclose the following adverse facts, among others:

     (i) that Qwest neither needed nor wanted Tellium's switches but
         had entered into the agreement only because Tellium was giving
         "friends and family" stock to officers of Qwest;

    (ii) the number of switches envisioned by the agreement was much
         larger than Qwest would need and represented some 200
         switches, which by far exceeded the number of sites Qwest had;
         and

   (iii) in fact, Qwest had no solid minimum commitments and could
         terminate the agreement with relative ease.

Following the IPO, the top officers and directors of Tellium continued
to make statements that an agreement to provide switches to Qwest was a
great victory and Qwest had minimum purchase commitments of $300
million.  As alleged in the complaint, Qwest had entered into the
agreement only because Tellium gave "friends and family" shares of
Tellium stock to Qwest executives in exchange for the agreement.
Moreover, Qwest did not need or want the switches and never used them.

In late 2001, Tellium's stock declined as Qwest's agreement with
Tellium was modified to give Qwest flexibility to terminate the
agreement.  While the so-called minimum commitment of the contract was
increased, this was illusory as it depended on many contingencies and
Qwest could easily cancel the agreement.  Nonetheless, defendants
assured the market that this was a positive event.  

Then, on February 1, 2002, the last day of the class period, Tellium
admitted that its 2002 results would be much worse than the Company had
been representing during the class period.  On this news, Tellium's
stock declined to as low as $2-55/64 on volume of 10.9 million shares,
some 90% below the class period high of $29-47/64.

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


TELLIUM INC.: Charles Piven Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, PA initiated a securities class
action filed on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Tellium, Inc.
(NASDAQ: TELM) between May 17, 2001 and February 1, 2002, inclusive, in
the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey against
the Company, certain of its officers and directors and Morgan Stanley
Dean Witter.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities laws by
issuing a materially false and misleading Prospectus and Registration
Statement in connection with the Company's initial public offering and
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


                              *********


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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to be
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