CAR_Public/030115.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
              Wednesday, January 15, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 10

                            Headlines                            

ARIZONA: Compensation For Scottsdale Residents' TCE Lawsuit Delayed
BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Court Upholds Refusal to Certify Explorer Suit
CROWN VICTORIAS: Canada's Police Reinforces Cars Due To Accident Hazard
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: CA Court Refuses Certification For Paxil Lawsuit
GREAT ATLANTIC: NY Court Grants Preliminary Approval to Wage Suit Pact

IRAN: 1979 Tehran Hostages Appeal Dismissal of Torture Suit in DC Court
KIM SON: Woman Employee Commences Suit Over Bad Working Conditions, Pay
GREAT ATLANTIC: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Judge Refuses To Allow Appeal to Suit Settlement
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Apple Says $1.1B Settlement Not Strict Enough

MONSANTO CO.: Farmer Alleges Seed Dealers' Forgery Led To Legal Battle
NEVADA: City, Developers Paying $14M For Faulty Home Construction
PALM INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Fraud Suit
PALM INC.: Trial in Handhelds Consumer Suit To Resume March 2003 in CA
PALM INC.: Faces Consumer Lawsuit Over m500, m505 Handhelds in CA Court

PALM INC.: Asks MI Court To Dismiss Suit Over Advertising for Handhelds
PALM INC.: Consumers Sue Over "Fraudulent" m130 Claims in CA, IL Courts
PHILIPS SERVICES: Ontario Court Rejects Appeal Over Class Certification
RIBOZYME PHARMACEUTICALS: Hearing For Securities Settlement Set March
SILICONE IMPLANTS: Implant Makers Seek FDA Review Of Gel-Filled Devices

WORLDCOM INC.: Investors Commence Arbitration Claims V. Citigroup

*Proposed SEC Rules Could Turn Corporate Lawyers Into Whistle-Blowers

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

BIO-TECHNOLOGY GENERAL: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Investor Suit in NJ
CABLE & WIRELESS: Brodsky & Smith Commences Securities Suit in E.D. VA
HOTELS.COM: Brodsky & Smith Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. TX
HOTELS.COM: Bull & Lifshitz Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. TX
LEAP WIRELESS: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Fraud Suit in CA

LIPPER CONVERTIBLES: Cohen Milstein Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
RURAL CELLULAR: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Lawsuit in MN Court
RURAL CELLULAR: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Lawsuit in MN Court

                           *********

ARIZONA: Compensation For Scottsdale Residents' TCE Lawsuit Delayed
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Compensation for thousands of south Scottsdale residents in a class
action suit filed against high tech giant Motorola, Inc. and other
companies over trichloroethylene (TCE) contamination will be postponed,
due to arbitration delays.

The class action, filed in 1992, claims property damages as a result of
drinking contaminated city well water.  The wells were shut down in
1981 after the TCE was discovered, but years of lawsuits followed
against high-tech giant Motorola and other companies over TCE dumping,
azcentral.com reports.

Darlene Petersen, 73, has lived in the same home near Coronado High
School for 44 years, and believes nine longtime neighbors on her street
developed various cancers from TCE-contaminated well water.  Ms.
Petersen is due to receive her check for $325 next spring. Ms. Petersen
believes the money due to her from the settlement of a class action
suit over poisonous drinking water is minor compensation, azcentral.com
reports.  Originally, the checks were scheduled to be sent this month,
but they have been held up because of arbitration delays.

"The money isn't the important thing," Ms. Petersen said.  "How about
all those people who died because of this?  Those companies should be
held responsible for monitoring this situation forever."

Although the medical community can't decide if there's a link between
TCE and cancer, Tony Lucia, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said many
medical researchers testified that TCE does hasten the onset of certain
types of cancers and is a direct cause of lupus, azcentral.com reports.

Mr. Lucia said he's not surprised it has taken so long to settle the
suits.  There were 80 law firms representing the defense, and five
representing the plaintiffs.  "There were over 1,000 depositions,"
Lucia said


BRIDGESTONE/FIRESTONE: Court Upholds Refusal to Certify Explorer Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Supreme Court upheld an appeals court's ruling
rejecting nationwide class certification for the lawsuits filed against
Ford Motor Company, and Bridgestone Corporation's Firestone unit, over
rollover accidents in 2001 involving the popular Ford Explorer sport
utility vehicles, equipped by Firestone tires, Reuters reports.

According to an earlier Class Action Reporter story, the suits allege
breach of warranty and consumer fraud, and seek compensation for
millions of owners of Ford Explorers equipped with any of Firestone
since 1990.  The suits are different from other suits spawned by the
accidents because plaintiffs in the litigation are seeking compensation
for the tires and for the diminished resale of their Ford Explorers -
not personal injury awards.  

The Supreme Court declined without comment on the appellate court's
ruling, which affects more than 3 million owners of the Explorers made
between 1991 and 2001 and the owners of about 60 million Firestone
tires.

A federal judge in Indianapolis initially allowed two different classes
to proceed, one for owners of the Explorers and the other for buyers of
the Firestone tires, Reuters states.  The appeals court later ruled
that a class action would be unmanageable because a number of differing
state laws applied and the case involved too many products sold over a
long period, with various circumstances involved.  Attorneys for the
plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court.  They said the appeals court
was wrong in ruling that no class action is proper unless all litigants
are covered by the same legal rules.

John W. "Don" Barrett, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs, told
Reuters the high court's decision disappointed but did not surprise him
because it is very difficult to get the justices to review a case.  
"Eventually Ford and Firestone are going to have to meet us in a
courtroom, which is of course what they are terrified to do, because we
are going to beat them," Mr. Barrett said.

Months ago, he said, the plaintiffs had set up an alternative plan to
bring a national class action in state court. "We have cases filed in
several states," he said, "and we're proceeding to have them
certified."

Ford spokeswoman Kathleen Vokes called the Supreme Court's decision not
to hear the case a "victory for consumers."  "It confirms that safety
decisions should be made by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration, not trial lawyers," she told Reuters.  "No-injury cases
should not be heard as class actions, especially in this case, because
Ford and Firestone have already replaced million of tires at their own
expense."

Dan MacDonald, spokesman for Bridgestone's North American subsidiary,
told Reuters he was pleased by the high court's action.  "Many of these
people owned tires that were part of the recall and ended up with a
full new set of tires at no cost," he said. "These no-injury claims are
frivolous, not appropriate for class status, and would only serve to
further clog the courts."


CROWN VICTORIAS: Canada's Police Reinforces Cars Due To Accident Hazard
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Several of Canada's largest police forces are hurrying to reinforce gas
tanks on their Ford Crown Victoria cruisers after several US officers
suffered fiery deaths when the tanks caught fire or exploded, CNews
Canada reports.

The Ontario Provincial Police have pulled about 100 Crown Victorias off
the road to install gas-tank shielding, and the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police (RCMP) is also retrofitting its fleet.

The Ford Motor Company insists that the cars, which are assembled
exclusively in St. Thomas, Ontario are safe.  However, the company has
also offered to install the fuel-tank shielding, free of charge, after
13 US officers died in fiery crashes in the cars between 1983 and last
year, CNews Canada states.  Each of the deaths involved a Crown
Victoria gas tank catching fire, often after the car was hit in the
rear in a high-speed crash.  An investigation by the US National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration last year found that four people
have also died in crashes involving civilian Crown Victoria cars.

No injuries or deaths have been reported in Canada so far, but the
deaths south of the border have raised red flags here about North
America's most popular police vehicle.  RCMP spokeswoman Rochelle
Patenaude told CNews that all 2,000 Crown Victorias operated by the
Mounties are being modified as quickly as parts can be ordered.

"We're aware of the incidents in the United States and want to do
everything possible to ensure the safety and security of our members,"
Ms. Patenaude said from Ottawa.  "The service is being done at the
dealerships. As the parts become available, the appointments are
scheduled in with priority."

Sgt. Terry Blace, a spokesman for the OPP, said 400 of the force's 500
Crown Victorias have already been upgraded, with work on the rest
expected to be completed in the next few weeks, CNews Canada reports.  
Similar upgrades are underway at the Toronto police force, which has
about 700 of the cars, and at the Montreal police service, which
operates 104 Crown Victorias.

Ford continues to insist that the full-size car is one of the safest
vehicles on the road, arguing the problem is not with the car but the
way it is used by police forces.  Ford spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said
in an interview that most of the deaths involving police officers have
occurred during rear-end crashes at more than 115 km/h, CNews reports.  
She added that the risk is compounded when objects stored in the trunk
of the cruiser puncture the gas tank during high-speed crashes.  "Our
research shows that some things that could cause punctures are sharp
components," Kinley said from company headquarters in Dearborn,
Michigan.  "We believe the shielding will make a big difference."


GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: CA Court Refuses Certification For Paxil Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
United States District Court in Los Angeles, California Judge Mariana
Pfaelzer refused to grant class certification to a lawsuit filed
against GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK), over the effects of its top-selling
anti-depressant drug Paxil

Several Paxil users filed the suit against the Company in Los Angeles
federal court, alleging the Company deliberately downplayed the
severity of withdrawal symptoms from the drug, according to an earlier
Class Action Reporter story.  In September 2002, Judge Pfaelzer had
granted a temporary injunction against ads for the drug, but later
allowed the Company to claim that its anti-depressant Paxil is not
addictive.

Judge Pfaelzer said in her ruling that attorneys for a group of Paxil
users failed to present a manageable trial plan.  Glaxo, Europe's
biggest drug maker, argued that it would be difficult for the court to
determine if each member of a large class experienced the alleged
withdrawal symptoms, including nausea and dizziness.  

The company was supported in court by the US Food and Drug
Administration, which said it had previously reviewed in-depth Paxil's
side effects and concluded that the drug is not habit forming and, as a
result, the ads did not mislead, Reuters states.


GREAT ATLANTIC: NY Court Grants Preliminary Approval to Wage Suit Pact
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
granted preliminary approval to a settlement proposed by Great Atlantic
& Pacific Tea Co., Inc. to settle two lawsuits, one a class action,
charging it with overtime wage violations.

On January 13, 2000, the Attorney General of the State of New York
filed an action in New York Supreme Court, County of New York, alleging
that the Company and its subsidiary Shopwell, Inc., together with the
Company's outside delivery service Chelsea Trucking, Inc., violated New
York law by failing to pay minimum and overtime wages to individuals
who delivered groceries at one of the Food Emporium's stores in New
York City.  The complaint sought a determination of violation of law,
an unspecified amount of restitution, an injunction and costs.

A purported class action was filed on January 13, 2000 in the Southern
District of New York against the Company, Shopwell, Inc. and others by
Faty Ansoumana and others.  The federal court action makes similar
minimum wage and overtime pay allegations under both federal and
state law and extends the allegations to various stores operated by the
Company.

On September 18, 2002, the plaintiffs, the Attorney General and the
Company entered into a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement pursuant
to which the Company would pay approximately $3 million in full
settlement of the actions and would receive releases from the class and
the Attorney General, and the actions would be dismissed with
prejudice.  The proposed settlement remains subject to entry of an
order of final approval by the federal court.  


IRAN: 1979 Tehran Hostages Appeal Dismissal of Torture Suit in DC Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Americans who were taken hostage in Tehran, Iran in 1979 appealed the
dismissal of a class action they filed against the Islamic Republic of
Iran, LexisNexis reports.

According to a brief filed in the United States Court of Appeals for
the District of Columbia, Congress has created a claim against foreign
states for acts of torture and hostage taking.  Oral argument before
the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is scheduled for
May 12.

"Every other District Court judge to consider the question -- in a
dozen reported decisions issued before and after the ruling below --
has concluded that Congress created a claim against foreign states for
acts of torture and hostage taking. The subsequent legislation enacted
in response to the government's appearance in this case make Congress'
intent to do so unmistakably clear," the plaintiffs say in the brief
filed January 7.

"The text, purpose, and legislative history of the Antiterrorism Act
make clear that plaintiffs have a claim against the Iranian defendants.
Congress provided the District Court with unequivocal indication of its
intent to abrogate the (Algiers) Accords, when, in response to the
District Court's comments from the bench, it amended the Antiterrorism
Act and explained in its Conference Report that the new subsection
626(c) applied `notwithstanding any other authority,'" they say.

Section 626(c) was part of the 2002 Appropriations Act for the
departments of Commerce, Justice and State, the judiciary and related
agencies, LexisNexis states.  On April 18, 2002, US Judge Emmet G.
Sullivan of the District of Columbia granted the US government's motion
to intervene and denied the plaintiffs' motion to strike the
government's motion.  The judge also vacated his August 17, 2001, order
granting the plaintiffs' motion for a default judgment against Iran and
its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and holding them liable.  He explained
that the order "violated" the express provisions of the Foreign
Sovereign Immunities Act.


KIM SON: Woman Employee Commences Suit Over Bad Working Conditions, Pay
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Kim Son's downtown restaurant in Houston, Texas faces a class action
filed a former employee, who claimed she worked in sweatshop conditions
and was not paid minimum or overtime pay, the Houston Chronicle
reports.

Sara Villatoro, who worked for the Houston chain from August 2001 to
July 2002, claims she worked 60 hours a week but received only a flat
rate of $260, or $4.33 an hour.  Ms. Villatoro claims that other Kim
Son employees complained to her that they too were paid a flat rate and
no overtime.  "I know that when people asked about overtime, the
manager of Kim Son got very angry," Villatoro states in an affidavit
submitted with her lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday.

Tri La, Kim Son's owner, told the Chronicle he had not received a copy
of the suit, but he denies its allegations, saying he pays appropriate
minimum and overtime wages.

Richard Burch, Villatoro's attorney, said former and current Kim Son
employees may join the lawsuit if it is granted class-action status.
But, he added, some who are undocumented immigrants may be reluctant to
come forward, the Chronicle states.  The purpose of the Fair Labor
Standards Act is two-fold: "First, it ensures people are paid a bare
minimum amount of money for each hour worked; and the other purpose is
to protect people from overwork by making employers pay time and a
half," Mr. Burch said. "Neither one of those goals is being met at Kim
Son."


GREAT ATLANTIC: Asks NJ Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. asked the United States District
Court for the District of New Jersey to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against it and certain of its officers
and directors.  

The suit purports to assert claims under Sections 10(b) (and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 arising out of the Company's accounting practices and certain
alleged material misrepresentations and omissions made by
the Company concerning its financial results.


MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Judge Refuses To Allow Appeal to Suit Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
US District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly denied two computer industry
trade groups the chance to appeal Microsoft Corporation's settlement
deal with the US Justice Department and nine states. She says they do
not have the legal standing to step in and appeal the suit to the US
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Reuters reports.

The Software and Information Industry Association and the Computer &
Communications Industry Association filed, with the judge's permission,
friend-of-the-court briefs asking for stricter sanctions against the
software giant.  However, Judge Kollar-Kotelly said legal precedents
did not support the groups' argument that they had a right to intervene
in the government case.  If they want to pursue the matter further, she
said, they could file a private case against the company.  

"Nothing prevents (the associations) or their membership from pursuing
their own antitrust actions against Microsoft," the judge wrote.

The settlement already faces an appeal by the state attorneys general
of Massachusetts and West Virginia, the final hold-outs from a group of
nine states that had tried to obtain more stringent sanctions against
Microsoft, Reuters states.  Over the states' objections, Judge Kollar-
Kotelly approved, with minor adjustments, a settlement crafted by the
Justice Department and Microsoft a year earlier.

In the deal endorsed by Judge Kollar-Kotelly on November 1, Microsoft
agreed to measures that included giving computer makers greater freedom
to feature rival software on their machines by allowing them to hide
some Microsoft icons on the Windows desktop, Reuters states.  The two
industry groups that flagged their intention to appeal are longstanding
critics of Microsoft and have lobbied for tough government action
against the company.


MICROSOFT CORPORATION: Apple Says $1.1B Settlement Not Strict Enough
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Microsoft Corporation's rival Apple Computer Corporation expressed
misgivings over the US$1.1 billion antitrust settlement Microsoft
entered with the state of California, saying the settlement doesn't go
far enough, maccentral.com reports.

Under the settlement, Microsoft agreed to offer vouchers, ranging in
amounts ranging from US$4 to $29, to California customers who purchased
Microsoft software between February 18, 1995, and December 15, 2001.  
Two-thirds of the amount not claimed by individuals will be donated to
4,700 of California's neediest schools, according to Brad Smith,
Microsoft general counsel, and Eugene Crew, lead counsel for Townsend
and Townsend and Crew LLP, the San Francisco firm that brought the suit
nearly four years ago.  The proposed deal would see one-third of the
value of the unclaimed vouchers reverts to Microsoft, which maintains
no admission of fault or any violation of the law in the matter.
Microsoft's attorneys pointed out that in many class action cases, all
unclaimed damages revert to the defendant.

The problem that Apple has with the settlement is the way the money
given to the schools must be spent and the fact that only two-thirds of
the voucher money not claimed by customers actually goes to the
schools.  "Microsoft has proposed to offer vouchers to their customers
as part of a California antitrust settlement. However, history tells us
that less than 25 percent of customers redeem these types of vouchers,
so to accurately evaluate Microsoft's offer we must focus on the fate
of the unclaimed voucher funds," Apple said in a statement given to
MacCentral.  

"Under Microsoft's proposal, one third of these unclaimed funds are
taken back by Microsoft and not given to our schools. Another third can
be used by schools only to purchase Microsoft software, leaving just
the remaining third available for our schools to purchase the products
of their choice," the statement continued.

Of course, Apple and other technology companies would like as much
money as possible made available to the schools to purchase product
other than Microsoft's.  The education market, once dominated by Apple,
has been hotly contested over the last several years, but the
Cupertino-based computer maker has seen some major wins recently.  
Apple counts Henrico County and the State of Maine as two customers
that implemented programs based on the company's iBook computer
totaling in the tens of millions of dollars, maccentral.com reports.

"Apple strongly believes that Microsoft should make the entire pool of
unclaimed voucher funds available to our schools to purchase any
technology products that best meet their needs," said Apple's
statement. "Microsoft should not be allowed to recoup one third of the
unclaimed voucher funds and should not be allowed to dictate which
technology our schools choose to buy with these funds. Remember -- this
is a settlement imposed against Microsoft for breaking the law, and it
should not allow them to unfairly compete in education -- one of the
few remaining markets where they don't have monopoly power."

The settlement still must be presented to the judge, and potential
class members must be given the option to not participate -- leaving
open an individual's choice to appeal.  After the Superior Court gives
final approval, which Microsoft's attorneys estimate will happen by
early fall, the class members get about four months to submit claims.


MONSANTO CO.: Farmer Alleges Seed Dealers' Forgery Led To Legal Battle
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Southern Illinois farmer discovered he was in trouble with
agribusiness  - namely, Monsanto, when US marshals showed up at his
Metropolis farm and confiscated his soybean seeds, reported the
Belleville News-Democrat (IL).  

That moment began a legal battle in US District Court, in East St.
Louis, weighing technology against time-honored farming practices.  
Issues arose out of the trial testimony, which led the plaintiff to
file a class action against the seed dealers.

Monsanto obtained an injunction against farmer Eugene Stratemeyer,
after it was determined that he had saved Roundup Ready soybeans, a
genetically engineered soybean, for the purpose of planting next year.
The genetically engineered soybean, which was introduced in 1996, won't
die when exposed to Roundup herbicide, thereby allowing farmers to
spray the entire field and make soybean farming cheaper and less labor
intensive.

"I didn't know about this at all.  I couldn't replant my own seeds when
the marshals showed up on my land and seized my soybeans, said Mr.
Stratemeyer.  "The first time I became aware of this was right then
when I found out about the lawsuit."

Under a technology users' agreement farmers are supposed to sign when
they purchase the seed - they are prohibited from saving the Roundup
seed for replanting or sale to other farmers.  However, Mr.
Stratemeyer, in a counter-suit, claimed he never signed that kind of
agreement.  The battle ended when a federal jury found Mr. Stratemeyer
had violated such an agreement with Monsanto when he saved and sold
Monsanto's soybean seeds.

Monsanto sued the prominent Southern Illinois farmer to protect its
patent on the technology, Monsanto spokesman Janice Armstrong said, and
to ensure that all farmers using Monsanto seeds are playing by the same
rules.  However, Mr. Stratemeyer contends the contract bans a
traditional farming practice of saving seeds from a harvest for
replanting the next year.  He also believes Monsanto singled him out
because of his stature in the community.

The jurors awarded Monsanto $16,000 in damages, plus attorneys' fees
and costs.  Even though the verdict went against Mr. Stratemeyer, his
lawyer, Ronald Osman, said it still was a victory because the awarded
damages were so much less than Monsanto requested, an amount in excess
of $800,000.

Testimony during the trial revealed that the seed dealers purveying the
Monsanto seed commonly sign the farmers' names to the seed contracts.
Whereupon, Mr. Osman filed a class action, also in federal court, in
East St. Louis, against the seed dealers for forging farmers' names on
the contracts.  The suit also maintains that the seed dealers are
agents representing the company.

Monsanto has denied the seed dealers operate as their agents.  The
dealers merely distribute the seed, said Monsanto spokeswoman, Janice
Armstrong.  Mr. Osman, referring to the large discrepancy between the
damages requested by Monsanto and the damages awarded by the jurors,
said the jurors did not award damages for the period before the lawsuit
was filed because of the trial testimony, which revealed the seed
dealers were signing the contracts.  Mr. Osman also farms in Southern
Illinois and says the case is important because it demonstrates the
conflict between big corporations and farmers.


NEVADA: City, Developers Paying $14M For Faulty Home Construction
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Carson City, Nevada, and three developers have agreed to pay $14
million to residents in a subdivision who claimed faulty construction
led to drainage problems and mold-related illnesses, the Associated
Press Newswires reports.

The class action was filed by homeowners of the Mountain Park
subdivision in northeast Carson City against Carson City, Stanton Park
Development, Millard Realty and Construction Co. and Garretson-Ferguson
Construction Co. for homes built in phases between 1992 and 1998.

"This is a clear case of disregarding obvious hazards by the developer,
and then not disclosing to the home buyers what the developer knew was
going to happen," Robert Maddox, lawyer for the homeowners, told the
Reno Gazette-Journal.  For example, added Mr. Maddox, the residents
should have been alerted to groundwater problems that damaged the homes
and fostered mold growth. The homeowners claimed that the developers
and the city, which had approved the subdivision, were aware of the
unsuitable conditions at the project site prior to building the homes.

The lawsuit also alleged that Carson City knew of many of the hazards
present and should not have approved the development.  "We claimed, for
example, that they had knowledge that the area was prone to seasonal
flooding, and our position was, "Hey, you have been told and you have
flat-out ignored it," Mr. Maddox said.

The settlement provides for a subdivision repair project, which
includes storm drainage for the entire neighborhood, as well as mold
removal, lot re-grading and concrete repair for specific homes.  Each
resident also will receive an additional $10,000 for related
miscellaneous repairs to their homes.  Fifty-seven residents each will
receive an additional $10,000 for health problems caused by hazardous
mold that developed as a result of standing water, Mr. Maddox said.


PALM INC.: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Palm, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York to dismiss the consolidated securities class
action pending against it, several of its officers and certain of the
underwriters for its initial public offering.

The suit asserts that the prospectus from the Company's March 2, 2000
initial public offering failed to disclose certain alleged actions by
the underwriters for the offering.  The complaints allege claims
against the Company and the officers under Sections 11 and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended.  Certain of the complaints also
allege claims under Section 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

Other actions have been filed making similar allegations regarding the
initial public offerings of more than 300 other companies.  All of
these various consolidated cases have been coordinated for pretrial
purposes as In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation, Civil
Action No. 21-MC-92.  An amended consolidated complaint was filed in
April 2002.

The Company and the individual defendants joined the motion to dismiss
filed on behalf of all issuers and individual defendants, which was
heard on November 1, 2002.  The court has yet to issue a ruling on this
motion.


PALM INC.: Trial in Handhelds Consumer Suit To Resume March 2003 in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the consumer class action pending against Palm, Inc. and 3Com
Corporation will continue March 24, 2003 in the California Superior
Court, San Francisco County.

The suit alleges breach of warranty and violation of California's s
Unfair Competition Law, on behalf of purchasers of Palm III, IIIc, V
and Vx handhelds.  The suit alleges that certain Palm handhelds may
cause damage to PC motherboards by permitting an electrical charge, or
"floating voltage" from either the handheld or the cradle to be
introduced into the PC via the serial and/or USB port on the PC.  The
plaintiffs allege that this damage is the result of a design defect in
one or more of the following: HotSync software, handheld, cradle and/or
the connection cable.  The complaint seeks restitution, rescission,
damages, an injunction mandating corrective measures to protect against
future damage as well as notifying users of potential harm.

Discovery is closed.  The trial was set to permit the parties to
conduct settlement discussions.  In connection with Palm's separation
from 3Com, pursuant to the terms of the Indemnification and Insurance
Matters Agreement between 3Com and Palm, the Company may be required to
indemnify and hold 3Com harmless for any damages or losses which may
arise out of the litigation.


PALM INC.: Faces Consumer Lawsuit Over m500, m505 Handhelds in CA Court
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Palm, Inc. faces a purported consumer class action filed in California
Superior Court, San Francisco County, on behalf of purchasers of Palm
m500 and m505 handhelds, alleging:

     (1) the HotSync function in certain Palm handhelds does not
         perform as advertised and the products are therefore
         defective; and

     (2) upon learning of the problem, Palm did not perform proper
         corrective measures for individual customers as set forth in
         the product warranty.

The complaint alleges the Company's actions are a violation of
California's Unfair Competition Law and a breach of express warranty.  
The complaint seeks alternative relief including an injunction:

     (i) to have Palm desist from selling and advertising the
         handhelds;

    (ii) to recall the defective handhelds,

   (iii) to restore the units to their advertised functionality,

    (iv) to pay restitution or disgorgement of the purchase price of
         the units and/or damages and attorneys' fees.

The Company has filed its answer denying the allegations, and the
parties are in the early stages of discovery.  No trial date has been
set.


PALM INC.: Asks MI Court To Dismiss Suit Over Advertising for Handhelds
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Palm, Inc. asked the Wayne County Circuit Court in Detroit, Michigan to
dismiss a purported consumer class action alleging that certain of the
Company's advertisements for its Palm III, V and m100 handheld devices
were false or misleading regarding the ability of the device to
wirelessly and remotely access e-mails or the Internet without the need
for additional hardware or software sold separately.  

The suit alleges:

     (1) violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, and

     (2) breach of express and implied warranties and Michigan common
         law

The suit seeks to recover the purchase price of the device from Palm
for themselves and a class of all similarly situated consumers.  

The court has heard arguments on that motion, and it has advised it
will rule on the motion to dismiss before considering the suitability
of this lawsuit for class treatment.


PALM INC.: Consumers Sue Over "Fraudulent" m130 Claims in CA, IL Courts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Palm, Inc. faces four similar consumer class actions alleging consumer
fraud regarding the Company's representations that its m130 handheld
personal digital assistant supported more than 65,000 colors.  The
suits are filed in:

     (1) the California Superior Court, Santa Clara County,

     (2) the California Superior Court, San Diego County,

     (3) the Illinois Circuit Court, Cook County and

     (4) Illinois Circuit Court, St. Clair County

Certain of the cases also allege breach of express warranty and unfair
competition.  In general, the cases seek unspecified damages and/or to
enjoin the Company from continuing its allegedly misleading
advertising.  

The Company expects other similar actions may be filed.  The Company
has filed answers denying the allegations in the two former actions.  
The parties are in the early stages of discovery, and no trial date has
been set.


PHILIPS SERVICES: Ontario Court Rejects Appeal Over Class Certification
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal for Ontario has rejected a disgruntled investor's
appeal to get a class action suit certified against a group of
underwriters and Philip Services Corporation, the Investment Executive
states.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Salomon Brothers Canada Inc.,

     (2) Merrill Lynch Canada Inc.,

     (3) CIBC Wood Gundy Securities Inc.,

     (4) Midland Walwyn Capital Inc.,

     (5) Gordon Capital Corporation,

     (6) RBC Dominion Securities Inc.,

     (7) TD Securities Inc.,

     (8) First Marathon Securities Ltd., and

     (9) its auditor, Deloitte & Touche.

The suit seeks damages for negligent misrepresentation arising out of
the purchase of shares in the open market.  The investor, Joseph
Menegon, allegedly purchased 300 shares of Philip Services on the open
market, on November 28, 1997.  The firm subsequently became insolvent.  
In 1998, he claimed damages against the respondents for alleged
misrepresentations contained in a prospectus, and the audit opinion of
Deloitte & Touche, the Investment Executive reports.

Mr. Menegon conceded before the motions judge that he personally did
not have a cause of action under the Securities Act since only
purchasers who purchase shares offered by the prospectus during the
period of distribution, not after, can make a claim.  Still, he
maintained that he could be the representative for the class of
purchasers who had a cause of action.  Hence, the motion turned on the
viability of the action at common law.  Mr. Menegon argued that a duty
of care arose as a result of the reasonable foreseeability that
purchasers of shares in the secondary market, before and after the
public offering under the prospectus, would rely on the document to
hold, buy or sell Philip shares.

He submitted that the respondents' duty of care should not be delimited
at the pleading stage on the basis of policy concerns about limitless
liability.  The motions judge rejected this argument, the Investment
Executive reports.  On appeal, Mr. Menegon argued that the motions
judge erred.  His argument focused entirely on the reasoning of a
decision released after the motion was heard in this case.

The appeals court upheld the lower court's decision. "In my view, the
pleadings in this case fall far short of setting out material facts
which could give rise to a duty of care to Menegon on the part of the
auditors or the Canadian Underwriters," the court said.  It dismissed
the appeal with costs.


RIBOZYME PHARMACEUTICALS: Hearing For Securities Settlement Set March
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Colorado will
commence on March 17,2003 fairness hearing for the settlement proposed
by Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, Inc. relating to the securities class
action filed against it on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common
stock on November 16 and 17, 1999.  The suit alleges that the Company
violated certain federal securities laws based upon its having made an
allegedly misleading announcement on November 15, 1999, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story states.

The hearing will be held before the Honorable Marcia S. Krieger, United
States District Judge, for the purpose of determining:

      (1) whether the proposed Settlement of the claims against
          Defendants in the above-captioned Litigation in return for
          the creation of a total settlement pool of $3 million should
          be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable and adequate
          pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;

      (2) whether, thereafter, all claims against all Defendants should
          be dismissed with prejudice; and

      (3) whether the proposed Plan of Allocation of the Settlement
          fund should be approved.

Any objections to the Settlement, the Plan of Allocation, or the
requests for attorneys' fees must be postmarked no later than February
14, 2003.   For more information, contact Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., Securities Litigation by Mail: c/o Berdon LLP, P.O. Box 9014,
Jericho, NY 11753-8914, by Phone: (800) 766-3330, by Fax: (516) 931-
0810 or visit the Website: http://www.berdonllp.comor contact John F.  
Walsh, Jennifer H. Hunt of HILL & ROBBINS, P.C. by Mail: 1441 18th
Street, Suite 100, Denver, CO 80202 or by Phone: (303) 296-8100.


SILICONE IMPLANTS: Implant Makers Seek FDA Review Of Gel-Filled Devices
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
For more than a decade, silicone breast implants have been banned in
the United States, pulled from the market amid claims that they made
women ill.  By the mid-1990s, the devices had become a symbol of what
many regarded as corporate America's indifference to women's health -
with one implant maker, Dow Corning company, eventually filing for
bankruptcy protection, the Los Angeles Times reports.  

Now, silicone implants are poised for a comeback.  Longtime implant
maker Inamed Inc., formerly known as McGhan, has taken the first step
toward returning the gel-filled devices to the market place.  On New
Year's Eve, the company asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow
it to again sell silicone breast implants.  A rival firm expects to
make a similar request soon and a third company hopes to follow.  
Manufacturers also are testing a thicker, gumdrop-like gel that doesn't
leak.  Inamed's filing sets the stage for a new examination of silicone
gel.  Although some of the debate is expected to echo the original,
this time the FDA will be ruling in a markedly changed climate, and
will have safety data in hand.

At the time the silicone implants were pulled from the market, an
estimated one million to two million women had gotten them.  No one
denies that some implants ruptured, requiring repair or removal, and
that some women became ill.  "We know there has not been a breast
implant manufactured that does not sometimes rupture," said Dr. David
W. Feigal, the FDA's top regulator of devices.  Even Inamed's patient
literature tells women they may need additional surgery at some point
to replace or remove the breast implant.

However, scores of studies have failed to prove that implants cause the
connective tissue diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus,
which thousands of women claimed in class actions against the
manufacturers.  In a 1996 book, Dr. Marcia Angell, then executive
editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, said that unscrupulous
trial lawyers had manipulated the science to convince women -- and an
unquestioning media -- that silicone implants were dangerous.  

Then came a widely publicized report from the prestigious Institute of
Medicine.  This report, released in 2000, found that women with
silicone implants were no more likely to have connective tissue
disorders than women without implants.  As the furor was calmed by the
continuing growth of a sober, well-documented science minimizing the
alleged danger from the devices, the number of women seeking the
devices grew as well.  With this increased interest and desire has come
an increasing dissatisfaction with the saline implants.

Meanwhile, even as Inamed and Mentor Corp., both headquartered in Santa
Barbara, continued to produce saline implants, they were working to
improve the durability of the silicone implants, laying the groundwork
to ask regulators to reconsider their decision of the ban on silicone
implants.

The focus of yet-to-be-scheduled hearings before an FDA advisory panel,
which could come as soon as this summer, is likely to come down to
whether today's silicone are safe enough.  Much of the attention will
focus on the rate of complications:  Implants don't last a lifetime and
can cause rupture and infection.  Dr. Debra Johnson, a plastic surgeon
in Sacramento, said that silicone is not a perfect implant, it feels
nice and looks nice, but if it breaks, it is a hassle.  Free silicone
in the tissues can be nasty to get rid of.  Nevertheless, many women
gravitate to the more natural look and feel of silicone.

It was in January 1992, after multimillion-dollar jury awards and
hundreds of lawsuits, that FDA Commissioner David A. Kessler called for
a moratorium on the sale of silicone implants, noting that women still
had access to saltwater-filled implants.  The mushrooming controversy
and FDA action had a temporary chilling effect.  Demand has since grown
dramatically.

Dr Feigal, director of the FDA Center for Medical Devices, said
regulators will review all prior studies of implant safety.  While the
Institute of Medicine report did not find any convincing evidence about
connective tissue diseases, it did comment quite extensively about the
local complications of rupture and infection, Dr Feigal said.

Depending on the agency's satisfaction with manufacturers' silicone
studies and two years of patient follow-up (90,000 women have gotten
the implants through research studies), the FDA could approve the sale
of silicone gels next year.  It could also require further studies.

Many women say they are not satisfied with the safety of silicone
implants.  It is their testimony that is most likely to echo through
the earlier proceedings.  It can be hoped that the current research on
safety and durability will result in the new purchasers experiencing
not only satisfaction but health and well-being; that there will be no
replay of the hundreds of lawsuits, and the unhappy sight of  women
recalling their illnesses and the many accompanying traumas.  However,
Whether any silicone implant is approved will depend on whether the
FDA decides not that they are safe, but that they are safe enough.

Dr. Feigal said many people have the misconception that an FDA-approved
product is a safe product.  In reality, the agency must evaluate risks,
see if they outweigh benefits and finally determine whether it is
"reasonable to let the consumers decide whether or not they are willing
to take those risks."


WORLDCOM INC.: Investors Commence Arbitration Claims V. Citigroup
-----------------------------------------------------------------
More than 100 small investors initiated arbitration claims against
Salomon Smith Barney, Inc.'s parent company Citigroup, Inc. over
investment losses resulting from the bankruptcy of WorldCom Inc. and
the perceived lack of government action on their behalf, Computerworld
reports.

The investors filed the claims with the National Association of
Securities Dealers (NASD) early this week, asking for the return of the
full value of their investment.  Among other things, the documents
allege that Salomon engaged in fraud by making material
misrepresentations of its relationship to WorldCom.  The Company failed
to disclose to investors the business ties between Salomon and
WorldCom, as well as the personal and business relationship between
star analyst Jack Grubman and WorldCom founder and former Chief
Executive Officer Bernard Ebbers, according to Robert Weiss an attorney
from the firm Hooper & Weiss, which is representing the claimants.

Asked about the development, Salomon Smith Barney told Computerworld
that the company believes the claims are similar to others that have
been filed and maintains that the claims made against it are untrue.  
"While we have yet to see the claims, we expect them to mimic other
filings, which we continue to believe are without merit," said Susan
Thomson, a spokeswoman for Salomon Smith Barney.

The documents filed today, over 1,000 pounds altogether, are just the
beginning of what will be a flood of thousands of individual
arbitration cases brought against Citigroup and Salomon, Mr. Weiss told
Computerworld.  The purpose of the arbitration cases is to give small
investors a chance to recover more of their original investment than
would be possible in traditional class action suits, he added.

"In a class action suit, people get pennies on the dollar. In
arbitration, it depends on a variety of factors, but the average
recovery is much higher," Mr. Weiss told Computerworld.

However, it is also hoped that the large number of claims will point
out the shortcomings of arbitration as a way to handle widespread
malfeasance on the part of financial institutions like Salomon and
their brokers, Mr. Weiss said.   

Like other brokerages, Salomon requires its customers to agree to waive
their right to sue, requiring them to use industry-sponsored
arbitration to resolve conflicts.  "With widespread fraud like this,
where you have millions of people who were misled and lost money,
arbitration is not a good strategy for the investor class," Mr. Weiss
told Computerworld.

In addition, arbitration is less advantageous than the courts for those
who are making claims, according to Weiss.  "Arbitration is a stacked
deck. The whole process is administered by an industry trade group,"
Mr. Weiss added.  The high profile filing of thousands of separate
arbitration claims, it is hoped, will highlight the problem and help
politicize the issue of requiring investors to engage in arbitration.

To qualify as a claimant, individuals need to have purchased WorldCom
stock through Salomon Smith Barney and relied on research provided by
the company, especially by analyst Jack Grubman, Mr. Weiss said.


*Proposed SEC Rules Could Turn Corporate Lawyers Into Whistle-Blowers
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Despite a high-powered lobbying campaign by corporate lawyers, the
Securities and Exchange Commission is moving toward approving a new
regulation that some lawyers say would compel them to blow the whistle
on clients, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A majority of the five commissioners is currently moving toward
instituting some form of "noisy withdrawal" requirement, according to
people familiar with the matter.  That rule would require a lawyer who
sees evidence of a client company committing a "material" securities
law violation, and is unable to get the company's board to stop it, to
quit and inform the SEC that he is quitting for "professional
considerations."

The proposal, which arose from last year's wave of corporate scandals,
has elicited a chorus of criticism from law firms, bar associations and
corporate lawyers, who contend it would severely damage the attorney-
client relationship.  "It paints a target on your client," says
Lawrence J. Fox, a Philadelphia securities litigator who has
represented lawyers accused of wrongdoing.  "It is clearly a dramatic
breach of confidentiality.  It would make the lawyer into a regulator."

Congress ordered the SEC to enact a new professional-conduct rule for
lawyers, in last year's Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which called for stricter
rules to enforce corporate governance.  The most controversial of a
long slate of regulations required by the bill is a directive to adopt
rules "setting forth minimum standards of professional conduct for
attorneys" practicing before the SEC.  Those rules, Congress said,
should require outside and company lawyers to report "evidence of a
material violation" of securities laws by a company "up the ladder" to
senior executives or the board.

However, when the SEC unveiled its proposed rule in late November,
lawyers were taken aback, saying the commission had gone beyond the
Congressional mandate by proposing the "noisy withdrawal" requirement.  
The bar group, said American Bar Association President Alfred P.
Carlton Jr., a corporate lawyer from Raleigh, does not object to
lawyers being required to report their concern to top corporation
officials, but going to the government is another matter.

Proponents of the rule with its "noisy withdrawal " requirement, say
that concerns about attorney-client privilege are not as important as
making sure lawyers try to prevent their clients from defrauding
investors.  Last year's corporate scandals sparked sharp questions
about how the lawyers for Enron and other tainted companies could have
allowed the behavior to happen.

In December, a Houston federal judge declined to dismiss a class action
brought by Enron shareholders against one of its outside law firms,
Vinson & Elkins and others.  The SEC, as part of its probe of Tyco
International Ltd., is also sifting through e-mails from Tyco's outside
lawyers that reveal these lawyers knew about some of the alleged
wrongdoing at the corporation.

The members of the commission are leaning toward supporting such a
requirement in some form, people familiar with the matter say.  
However, because a vote is not expected until late January, the view of
commissioners could still change.  One alternative under consideration
is to require the companies themselves to inform the SEC when an
outside lawyer has quit.

SEC Commissioner Roel Campos, a Democrat, is among those on the
commission in favor of the change.  Mr. Campos said the commissioners
were on track to approve the final rules called for by Congress by
January 26.  Mr. Campos said members have not ruled out the possibility
of renewing a comment period before taking action on portions not
mandated by Congress, such as the "noisy withdrawal" provision.

Lawyers had been optimistic that the most controversial part of the
initiative would stall.  For years, corporate lawyers have strongly
resisted government effors to chip away at the confidentiality of the
attorney-client relationship.  Unlike auditors, lawyers are supposed to
be advocates for their clients and to represent them zealously.  
Turning corporate lawyers into potential whistle-blowers, some lawyers
say, could cause clients to withhold information from their lawyers and
could make lawyers unwilling to advise clients if they begin growing
uncomfortable with their activities.

States' legal ethics rules generally require lawyers who "know" their
services are being used by a client to commit fraud to quit.  Most
states give them discretion to make a "noisy withdrawal," but don't
require it, according to Susan Koniak, an ethics expert at the Boston
University School of Law.

Lawyers' professional groups intend to press hard over the next couple
of weeks to try to persuade commissioners to back away from instituting
any form of forced whistle-blowing.  An American Bar Association task
force, assembled to lobby the SEC, is attempting to set up a meeting
with SEC commissioners or staffers before a final decision is made,
according to Baltimore lawyer M. Peter Moser, chairman of the group.

The group also is pressing the SEC to make other changes in the
proposal.  For instance, the rules are meant to apply only to lawyers
who practice before the commission, but many lawyers say they are
drafted too broadly.  Some lawyers say the language of the proposal is
not clear enough about what would trigger the obligation for a lawyer
to take action.

At last count, more than 150 written comments have poured into the SEC
from lawyers and law firms, with all but a few urging the SEC to
reconsider the requirement, or at least delay instituting it.  Two
former general counsels of the SEC have urged the commission to
reconsider.

New York lawyer Edward H. Fleischman, who served as an SEC commissioner
from 1986 to 1992, also complained in a written comment to the
commission.  He said the rules threaten a "Bill of Rights-enshrined
value" of lawyers being independent of government agencies and
"unburdened by concern over self-protection when engaged in the
vindication of clients' rights.  Think John Adams and his defense of
the Redcoats after the Boston Massacre."

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

BIO-TECHNOLOGY GENERAL: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Investor Suit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf
of all purchasers of the common stock of Bio-Technology General Corp.
(Nasdaq:BTGC) from April 19, 1999 through August 2, 2002, inclusive.

The suit alleges that Bio-Technology and certain of its executive
officers with violations of federal securities laws.  Among other
things, plaintiff claims those defendants' material omissions and the
dissemination of materially false and misleading statements concerning
Bio-Technology's revenue and earnings caused the stock price to become
artificially inflated, inflicting damages on investors.

The suit alleges that, in order to inflate the price of the stock,
defendants caused the Company to falsely report its earnings during
1999, 2000 and 2001 through inappropriate revenue recognition
practices, including recognizing revenue where significant
uncertainties existed relating to realization of the invoiced amounts.

The suit charges that on August 2, 2002, defendants announced that
reported financial results for fiscal year 1999, 2000 and 2001 would be
restated to eliminate revenue that had been improperly recorded. The
Company has now restated its results for each of the years ended
December 31, 1999, December 31, 2000 and December 31, 2001.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by Phone:
(888) 299-7706 (toll free) or (610) 667-7706 by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.sbclasslaw.com


CABLE & WIRELESS: Brodsky & Smith Commences Securities Suit in E.D. VA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC initiated securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired Cable & Wireless
(NYSE:CWP) securities between August 6, 1999 and December 6, 2002,
inclusive, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District
of Virginia, against the Company and some of its officers and
directors.

The action charges that defendants violated the 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 Evan J. Smith or Marc L. Ackerman by Mail:
Two Bala Plaza, Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, by Phone:
877-LEGAL-90 or by E-mail: esmith@brodsky-smith.com or
mackerman@brodsky-smith.com


HOTELS.COM: Brodsky & Smith Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. TX
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Law offices of Brodsky & Smith, LLC initiated a securities class
action on behalf of shareholders who acquired Hotels.com (Nasdaq:ROOM)
securities between October 23, 2002 and January 6, 2003, inclusive, in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas,
against the Company and certain of its officers and directors.

The action charges that defendants violated the 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 Marc L. Ackerman or Evan J. Smith by Mail:
Two Bala Plaza, Suite 602, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, by Phone:
877-LEGAL-90 or by E-mail: esmith@brodsky-smith.com or
mackerman@brodsky-smith.com


HOTELS.COM: Bull & Lifshitz Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. TX
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bull & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Texas against
Hotels.com (Nasdaq:ROOM) on behalf of all purchasers of the securities
of Hotels.com, Inc. between October 23, 2002 and January 6, 2003.

The complaint charges the Company and some of its directors and
officers with violating securities laws which artificially inflated the
Company's stock and led to large profits of Company insiders, at the
expense of other Hotels.com, Inc. investors.

For more details, contact Peter D. Bull or Joshua M. Lifshitz by Phone:
(212) 213-6222 or visit the firm's Website: http://www.nyclasslaw.com


LEAP WIRELESS: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Fraud Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated a securities class action on behalf of
all purchasers of the common stock of Leap Wireless International, Inc.
(OTCBB:LWIN) between February 11, 2002 and July 24, 2002, in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of California.

Leap provides digital wireless services to the mass consumer market
under the provider name "Cricket."  In addition to the Company, the
suit names Manford Leonard, Susan G. Swenson and Harvey P. White, all  
senior officers and/or directors of the Company during the class
period, as defendants.

The suit charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing a series of false and
misleading statements regarding its business and financial condition
during the class period.  Specifically, the suit alleges that, at the
time the Company announced its financial results for the fiscal year
ending on December 31, 2001 (i.e., on February 11, 2002) and throughout
the remainder of the class period, defendants concealed the
deteriorated value of its wireless license assets by relying upon a
fraudulent impairment test of those assets, which resulted in a gross
and material overstatement of the value of Leap's assets in the
Company's financial statements.

The suit also pleads that defendants issued additional false and
misleading statements during the class period that caused the value of
Leap's common stock to trade at artificially inflated levels during the
class period.

For more details, contact Ramon Pinon by Mail: 488 Madison Avenue, 8th
Floor, New York, New York 10022 by Phone: (877) 935-7400 by E-mail:
rpinon@whesq.com or visit the firm's Website: http://www.whesq.com


LIPPER CONVERTIBLES: Cohen Milstein Launches Securities Suit in S.D. NY
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, PLLC initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York on behalf of its client and other Limited Partners who
invested in Lipper Convertibles, L.P. during the period from January
13, 1998 through March 26, 2002.  The suit names the following persons
as defendants:

     (1) Lipper Convertibles, LP,

     (2) Lipper Holdings, LLC,

     (3) Kenneth Lipper, the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and
         President of Lipper Holdings, who was responsible for
         supervising the day-to-day operations of the Partnership,

     (4) Abraham Biderman, the Executive Vice-President of Lipper
         Holdings and the co-manager of the Partnership, who was
         responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the
         Partnership, and

     (5) Edward Strafaci who was until his sudden and unexpected
         departure in January 2002, the co-manager of the Partnership
         and who was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations
         of the Partnership

Lipper Convertibles is a Limited Partnership which was designed to
invest and which the General Partner and the other defendants
represented was engaging in "convertible arbitrage" by investing "a
preponderance of the Partnership's portfolio" in "investment grade
securities of substantial public companies with market liquidity."  In
a letter to the Limited Partners dated February 20, 2002, the General
Partner shocked the public, the convertible hedge fund industry and the
Limited Partners by revealing that the assets of the Partnership had
been substantially overvalued and that the actual value of the assets
of the Partnership would be devalued "in the neighborhood of 40%."

By March 26, 2002, the General Partner, Lipper Holdings, decided to
dissolve the Partnership and sold all the securities held by the
Partnership.  On October 3, 2002, the General Partner filed an action
for dissolution of the Partnership in the Supreme Court of New York,
which is ongoing.

This suit alleges the defendants artificially inflated the value of the
Partnership's assets, profits and performance from 1995 through 2001 by
utilizing pricing policies and valuation practices that violated the
terms of the Partnership Agreement, the representations in the Offering
Memoranda, and generally accepted accounting principles.

The suit also alleges the "Independent Inquiry" conducted by the
Special Counsel hired to investigate the pricing practices at Lipper,
recently concluded that the General Partner's valuations were not
"supported by any rational basis."  As a result of the defendants'
overvaluation, the suit alleges that the Limited Partners suffered
damages by paying an inflated value for their investment in the
Partnership, overcompensating the General Partner, defendant Lipper
Holdings, by paying an incentive compensation fee based on inflated
profits and performance, and overcompensating other Limited Partners
who withdrew funds from the Partnership during the period of
overvaluation.

The suit further alleges that the defendants invested Partnership
assets in unsuitable investments - risky and illiquid securities -
which violated the terms and representations of the Offering
Memorandum.  As a result of these unsuitable investment of Partnership
assets by defendants, the Limited Partners who are members of the Class
suffered damages by being invested in risky investments in which they
would not have otherwise invested and suffering losses which would not
have occurred but for the investment of Partnership assets in
unsuitable, risky and illiquid securities.

The suit alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by misrepresenting the profits, performance, value of
Partnership assets, the risk of investing in the Partnership, the
securities in which the Partnership was invested and the overall
investment strategy of the Partnership.

As the suit alleges, these misrepresentations caused the Plaintiff and
other members of the class to purchase interests in the Partnership at
artificially inflated prices and/or suffered losses they would not have
otherwise suffered.  Additionally, the suit asserts claims on behalf of
the Partnership against the General Partner, defendant Lipper Holdings,
for breaches of fiduciary duty, breaches of the Partnership Agreement
and unjust enrichment.

For more details, contact Andrew N. Friedman, Robert Smits or R. Joseph
Barton by Phone: 888-240-0775 or 202-408-4600 by Fax: 202-408-4699 by
E-mail: afriedman@cmht.com, jbarton@cmht.com or rsmits@cmht.com or
visit the firm's Website: http://www.cmht.com


RURAL CELLULAR: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Lawsuit in MN Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
Minnesota on behalf of purchasers of Rural Cellular Corporation
(NASDAQ:RCCC) publicly traded securities during the period between May
7, 2001 and Nov. 12, 2002.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  The
complaint alleges that during the class period, defendants caused the
Company's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels through the
issuance of false and misleading financial statements.  Then, on
November 12, 2002, after the market closed, defendants revealed that
the Company's fiscal 2001 through Q2 2002 results had been materially
misstated and would have to be restated.

Rural Cellular admits it inappropriately recorded transactions included
in its FY 2001 through Q2 2002 results, and has restated those results
to remove millions in improperly reported income (which illegally
decreased the Company's losses) such that its FY 2001 through Q2 2002.
It admits its financial statements were not a fair presentation of
Rural Cellular's results and were presented in violation of Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles and SEC rules.

For more details, contact William Lerach by Phone: 800/449-4900 by E-
mail: wsl@milberg.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.milberg.com


RURAL CELLULAR: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Lawsuit in MN Court
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Coates, LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on
behalf of purchasers of Rural Cellular Corp. (OTC Bulletin Board: RCCC)
publicly traded securities during the period between May 7, 2001 and
November 12, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges Rural Cellular and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The
complaint alleges that during the class period, defendants caused Rural
Cellular's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels through the
issuance of false and misleading financial statements.  Then, on
November 12, 2002, after the market closed, defendants revealed that
Rural Cellular's fiscal 2001 through Q2 2002 results had been
materially misstated and would have to be restated.

Rural Cellular has now admitted that it inappropriately recorded
transactions included in its FY 2001 through Q2 2002 results, and has
restated those results to remove millions in improperly reported income
(which illegally decreased the Company's losses) such that its FY 2001
through Q2 2002 financial statements were not a fair presentation of
Rural Cellular's results and were presented in violation of Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles and SEC rules.

For more details, contact Jackie Addison, Heather Gann or Sue Null by
Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone: 1-888-551-
9944 by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.cauleygeller.com

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

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