CAR_Public/030211.mbx                C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
               Tuesday, February 11, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 29

                              Headlines                            

AL-QAEDA: Families of Australian Bali Attack Victims Join 9/11 Lawsuit
APPLIED MICRO: Discovery Commences in Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. CA
ATI TECHNOLOGIES: Reaches Settlement of Securities Fraud Lawsuits in PA
CALIFORNIA: Prominent Lawyer Bill Lerach To Speak At UC San Diego Forum
GEORGIA: Disabled File Suit To Move To Community Setting or Home Care

ILLINOIS: Bill Proposes Appeal Bond Ceiling, Philip Morris Trial Starts
INDIAN FUNDS: Former Indian Affairs Officer Deleted Trust Fund Records
MARYLAND: Plaintiffs Urge Settlement Of Lawsuit Over Racial Profiling
MCDONNELL DOUGLAS: Judge Approves $36M Partial Settlement Over Age Bias
MORTGAGE COMPANIES: Settlement Seen For Lawsuit Over Reverse Mortgages

PENNSYLVANIA: Court Certifies Age Bias Lawsuit V. Transportation Dept
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS: Prosecutor Says Firm Knew of Tyco's Fraud
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Canceling Indefensible Summer Minority Program
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Court Refuses To Give Sale Proceeds to Investors
TENNESSEE: DCS Must Prove Knowledge Of Children's Whereabouts  

TOBACCO LITIGATION: Big Tobacco's Lawyers Fire First Shot in LA Lawsuit
TOBACCO LITIGATION: Jury Says Firms Not Liable For Plaintiff's Cancer
TOBACCO LITIGATION: FL Jury Rejects Attendant's Secondhand Smoke Claim
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Legal Community Watches Ex-General Counsel's Trial
UNITED STATES: Deference To Wartime President Key To Detention Powers

UNITED STATES: Deadline Looms For Immigrants To Apply For 1986 Amnesty
WEST VIRGINIA: Chamber of Commerce Study Pushes for Tort Law Changes

*Businesses Should Create Measures For Cyber Safety, Law Firm Advises

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERICREDIT CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Suit in TX
ARIBA INC.: Emerson Poynter Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
ATMEL CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
BIO-TEHCNOLOGY GENERAL: Chitwood & Harley Files Securities Suit in NJ
MCSI INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. Ohio

TRANSKARYOTIC THERAPIES: Chitwood & Harley Files Securities Suit in MA
TRANSKARYOTIC THERAPIES: Berman DeValerio Lodges Securities Suit in MA

                            *********

AL-QAEDA: Families of Australian Bali Attack Victims Join 9/11 Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Australian families, victims of the bombing in Bali, Indonesia have
decided to join the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks in
the United States in a class action filed against terrorist group Al-
Qaeda and its financiers, the Globe and Mail reports.

The trillion-dollar suit was filed in the United States District Court
in Washington.  The suit names Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind
behind the attack, his al Qaeda network, and Taliban leader Mullah
Mohammad Omar as defendants along with 141 individuals, financial
institutions and companies who allegedly support terrorism, as an
earlier Class Action Reporter story states.

The suit also names as defendants the 19 hijackers of the three
airplanes commandeered during the attack, as well as individuals like
Zacarias Moussaoui, who was recently indicted by the government for
having alleged ties to Al Qaeda.  The suit also named banks and
companies as far away as Somalia for their "sponsorship" of terrorism.

Six Australian families have so far joined the action, including 21-
year-old Jake Ryan, who was badly injured in the Bali blast, the Globe
and Mail reports.  Another 30 families are in talks with Australian
lawyer Mike Hourigan, who is leading the local fight for justice.

"I was very sensitive to the fact families are still rebuilding," Mr.
Hourigan told the Gloge and Mail.  "But everyone agreed they wanted to
strike back at the terrorists in some way.  They see these defendants
as the people with blood on their hands."


APPLIED MICRO: Discovery Commences in Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery has commenced in the consolidated securities class action
pending against Applied Micro Circuits Corporation in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of California.

In April 2001, a series of similar federal suits were filed against the
Company and certain executive officers and directors of the Company.  
The suits were later consolidated.  In November 2001, the court
appointed the lead plaintiff and lead plaintiff's counsel in the
consolidated proceeding, and plaintiff filed a consolidated federal
complaint in January 2002.

The consolidated federal complaint alleged violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and was brought as a purported shareholder class
action under Sections 10(b), 20(a) and 20A of the 1934 Act and Rule
10b-5 under the 1934 Act.  Plaintiff sought monetary damages on behalf
of the shareholder class.

Defendants brought a motion to dismiss the consolidated federal
complaint in March 2002.  On May 9, 2002, the court granted the motion,
dismissing the complaint, but gave the plaintiff 45 days to file an
amended complaint.  On June 23, 2002, plaintiff filed an amended
consolidated complaint.

In general, the amended consolidated federal complaint alleges that the
Company and the individual defendants misrepresented the Company's
financial prospects for the quarters ended December 31, 2000 and March
30, 2001, in order to inflate the value of the Company's stock.

Defendants brought a motion to dismiss the amended consolidated
complaint, which was denied in October 2002.  Discovery is expected to
continue throughout calendar year 2003, with expert discovery scheduled
for calendar year 2004 and trial for calendar year 2005.


ATI TECHNOLOGIES: Reaches Settlement of Securities Fraud Lawsuits in PA
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
ATI Technologies Inc. reached a US$8 million settlement of class
actions brought by US shareholders, in the US District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, according to reports by the Globe and
Mail and Associated Press Newswires.  The court will hold an April
25 hearing to consider approval of the settlement.

The shareholders alleged in their lawsuits that the company made
material misleading statements and engaged in omissions of relevant
information before a May 2000, earnings warning.  Chief Financial
Officer Terry Nickerson said insurance will cover about US$3 million of
the settlement of lawsuits filed in May 2001,

Canadian regulators have accused the founder and chief executive of ATI
Technologies, K. Y. Ho, as well as some employees and their spouses, of
insider trading prior to the profit warning.  The Ontario Securities
Commission alleges that ATI failed to disclose material information in
a timely manner and misled the provincial stocks regulator.

ATI is also a leader in the design and manufacture of set-top and
digital television and video game consoles.  The Markham, Ontario-based
company employs more than 2,000 and also reported 2002 revenue of US$
1.02 billion.


CALIFORNIA: Prominent Lawyer Bill Lerach To Speak At UC San Diego Forum
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Behind the prosecution of just about every major case of corporate and
accounting fraud over the last decade, trial attorney William S. Lerach
has loomed large.  Mr. Lerach, who has filed class actions against
hundreds of corporate offenders including Enron, Dynegy, Qwest and
WorldCom, will be the speaker at the February 12 meeting of the
University of California, San Diego, Economics Roundtable, according
to an Associated Press Newswire report.

Mr. Lerach, who, according to The New Yorker magazine, ". has spent the
last few decades suing corporate executives for allegedly lying to,
cheating and otherwise defrauding their shareholders," has arguably
become country's top class action lawyer.

Mr. Lerach has been involved with many of the largest and highest
profile securities class action suits in recent years including Enron,
Dynegy, Qwest, and WorldCom.  Mr. Lerach is a member of the American
Bar Association Litigation Section's Committee on Class Actions and
Derivative Skills, and the American Law Institute Faculty on Federal
and State Class Action Litigation.  He was appointed by President
Clinton as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council,
the University of California San Diego's website states.

His talk, "The Chickens Have Come Home To Roost:  How the Big
Accounting Firms and Corporate Interests Chloroformed Congress and Cost
America's Investors Trillions," will be held from 7:30 am to 9 am at
the UCSD Faculty Club.


GEORGIA: Disabled File Suit To Move To Community Setting or Home Care
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Birdsong has joined six other plaintiffs with physical
disabilities in a civil rights lawsuit, filed in federal court in
Atlanta, alleging that the plaintiffs' segregation in nursing homes
violates the Americans with Disabilities Act, The Atlanta Journal-
Constitution reports.

The plaintiffs are demanding that the state provide services so they
can move into a community setting or home-based care if they choose.  
The plaintiffs also seek class-action status for their lawsuit so that
thousands of Georgians who also are eligible for home- and community-
based care and are on waiting lists waiting to receive such services,
do in fact receive them, instead of remaining "at risk" of nursing home
placement.

Mr. Birdsong has spina bifida, and hydrocephalus, a condition in which
excess fluid accumulates in the brain.  He also has depression.  In a
community setting, he would require help taking medications as well as
help with some of his housekeeping and personal care.  His attorneys
argue that the cost of such services would be less than what the
Medicaid program pays for his current nursing home care.  This is true
for many of Georgia's disabled now awaiting community or home-based
care.  The named defendants include Governor Sonny Perdue, the State's
Department of Community Health, the Department of Human Resources, and
those agencies' commissioners.

One point in the Birdsong case made its way four years ago to the US
Supreme Court, where, in a 6 to 3 decision involving two mentally
disabled patients, the Justices ruled states must transfer disabled
patients found to be ready for release from psychiatric hospitals into
more home-like settings.  The Justices added as a condition that the
release would depend on the state having the resources to accommodate
the transfer.  However, since Medicaid already is paying for the care
of the disabled in the instant case in their nursing home settings,
financial resources should not be a consideration.  Mr. Birdsong's
attorneys, as mentioned above, already have argued in the lawsuit that
the Medicaid payments to the nursing homes are larger than would be the
payments for the plaintiffs' care in community and home care settings.

"The Supreme Court ruled," said Mark Johnson, advocacy director for the
Shepherd Center in Atlanta, which treats spinal cord, brain and other
catastrophic injuries.  Its ruling "is the law of the land.  We wanted
to believe Georgia would be the first to implement the law.  But
nothing has really happened."

Meanwhile, Mr. Birdsong and other plaintiffs who have joined his
lawsuit, will continue to wait while the case wends its way in the
judicial system.  Wait, and hope, like Mr. Birdsong, that the day will
come when their desires "to be able to go places, get a job, get more
education," will be the human reality to which the Supreme Court of the
United States gave the imprimatur of "law of the land."


ILLINOIS: Bill Proposes Appeal Bond Ceiling, Philip Morris Trial Starts
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Two days after a class action trial started last month in Madison
County, Illinois accusing tobacco company Philip Morris USA of consumer
fraud, an Illinois legislator proposed a bill capping appeal bonds for
tobacco companies, according to a report by the St. Louis Post-
Dispatch.

The Illinois Trial Lawyers Association says the timing of the bill,
which sets the cap at $25 million, was no coincidence.  The
Association's director, James Collins, said setting the cap at $25
million, when tobacco companies could be facing multibillion-dollar
verdicts in the Madison County case or any other lawsuit statewide,
would amount to assuring "an automatic appeal."  Typically, a civil
defendant who loses a case can appeal the verdict only by posting the
full amount of the award, plus interest.

The class counsel in the Madison County case has asked for damages of
more than $7 billion.  The class action claims that Philip Morris
defrauded consumers by saying that Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights
produced less nicotine and tar than regular cigarettes.  In truth,
class counsel argued, light cigarettes are worse for smokers than
regular cigarettes, and the lie has kept most smokers puffing long
after they would have quit.

Rep. Robert Molaro, D-Chicago, who proposed the bill, said he supports
the idea of a capped appeal bond because any defendant should have the
right to appeal without facing bankruptcy.  If the tobacco companies go
out of business, Mr. Molaro said, I want them to do it because they are
paying a judgment, not because they are paying an appeal bond.  He said
he was aware of the trial in Madison County, and that that was indeed a
reason the he filed the bill.

Rep. Molaro based his bill on one considered last year by both chambers
of the Illinois Legislature.  A bill similar to Mr. Molaro's was filed
recently for consideration in the Illinois Senate.

Brendan McCormick, a spokesman for Philip Morris USA, said that is why
tobacco companies have successfully sought legislation capping appeal
bonds in 13 states, including Florida and West Virginia.  Illinois is
one of six states where such legislation is still pending, Mr.
McCormick said.  "The laws on the books did not necessarily anticipate
the size of the verdicts."

In July 2000, for example, a jury in Florida ordered Philip Morris to
pay $74 billion in a class action in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.  Just a
few months before the verdict, Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed
legislation capping appeal bonds at $100 million.

James Collins, of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, said, "We
think this is very clearly special legislation."  Moreover, said Mr.
Collins, his organization believes the measure is unconstitutional
because it violates the separation between the legislative and judicial
branches.  "If anyone decides to cap an appeal bond, it should be a
judge."


INDIAN FUNDS: Former Indian Affairs Officer Deleted Trust Fund Records
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The former head of Indian affairs at the Interior Department broke
federal law by deleting months of records related to a class action
alleging the government lost or otherwise mismanaged billions of
dollars in American Indians' money, a court-appointed investigator said
recently, according to a report by the Duluth News-Tribune (Minn.)

In a deposition, under oath, in December, then-Assistant Secretary for
Indian Affairs Neal McCaleb said he did not know he was supposed to be
storing copies of his e-mail, and he thought his assistant was doing
it.  However, court-appointed special master Alan Balaran said Mr.
McCaleb's story is unbelievable, citing numerous written directives and
a pair of meetings in which Mr. McCaleb was instructed by an Interior
official to keep the electronic documents and correspondence.

"What began as an inquiry into a possible error in judgment resulted in
the discovery that the most senior official of the Bureau of Indian
Affairs . violated court orders and federal law by destroying
individual Indian trust records with impunity," Mr. Balaran wrote.

The documents in question relate to a six-year-old class action on
behalf of 350,000 Indian landowners who claim the government mismanaged
as much as $137 billion in oil, gas, timber, grazing, and other
royalties from Indian land since 1887.  The Interior Department has all
along disputed the $137 billion figure, but also has acknowledged
mishandling of Indian claims and records over the years.

The documents include daily spreadsheets indicating payments from oil,
gas and timber leases.  In response to the report, Interior Department
Daniel DuBray referred to a statement Mr. McCaleb made in October that
the e-mail deletions were a mistake, and that Mr. McCaleb notified the
court as soon as they came to his attention.

Mr. Balaran filed his report with District Court Judge Royce Lamberth,
who is presiding over the case.  In September, Judge Lamberth held Mr.
McCaleb and Interior Secretary Gale Norton in contempt of court for
failing to comply with his order to fix the trust management accounts.  
Mr. McCaleb retired from the Interior Department at the end of last
year, saying he took Judge Lamberth's contempt citation personally and
was hurt by it.


MARYLAND: Plaintiffs Urge Settlement Of Lawsuit Over Racial Profiling
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Supporters of the proposed settlement in Maryland's racial-profiling
lawsuit say there is little room for further negotiation over
objections raised by the new head of the state police and the state
comptroller, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

"If the review drags out or if the Ehrlich administration tries to
start the negotiations from scratch, at that point it makes sense to
take this to court," said Washington defense attorney Robert L.
Wilkins.  

It was Mr. Wilkins, who began the legal battle in 1992, when he was
stopped by a state trooper in Cumberland and refused to consent to
having his car searched.  "What is before them is a package.  We have
been working on this for the past four years.  It is already a
compromise," he said.

Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Mr. Wilkins,
and dozens of minority motorists who filed a class action, claiming
state troopers pulled them over for "driving while black," have stopped
just short of setting a deadline for officials to sign off on the
historic agreement.  However, African-American leaders are urging the
State Board of Public Works to vote on the $325,000 settlement when it
meets.

The board, which is made up of Governor Robert Ehrlich, state Treasurer
Nancy Kopp and Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, has not placed the
agreement on its agenda.  Comptroller Schaefer and Col. Edward Norris,
the state police superintendent, have expressed misgivings about the
proposed settlement, which would require state police to develop a
system for tracking the race of stopped motorists, establish a
police-citizen panel to monitor reports of racial profiling and set up
a telephone number for complaints.

Ms. Kopp said she supports the settlement.  That could make the
governor the swing vote.  A spokeswoman for Governor Ehrlich said he is
reviewing the proposed agreement and plans to meet with both sides in
the next week or two.

Members of the Legislative Black Caucus held a news conference last
week to express their concern about the delay in voting on the
settlement, which was proposed in December, shortly before Governor
Parris Glendening left office.  However, Comptroller William Schaefer
and Treasurer Nancy Kopp both agreed to defer consideration, at then
Governor-Elect Ehrlich's request, until the new governor and Col.
Edward Norris, the state police superintendent could review it.

Senator Lisa A. Gladden, a Baltimore Democrat, said African-American
leaders have been patient.  However, she added, "We have waited long
enough.  We just want the governor, comptroller and treasurer, to put
it on the board's agenda, approve this and let it go.  This case has
been pending for 10 years."

Officials of the troopers union have criticized the proposed agreement,
saying that officers were not consulted during negotiations.  State
Police Superintendent Norris said he planned to implement many of the
changes outlined in the consent decree, such as installing more cameras
in patrol cars.  However, he said he has reservations about other
proposals, such as an oversight committee.  Mr. Norris has not offered
a recommendation, however, to the governor on the agreement.


MCDONNELL DOUGLAS: Judge Approves $36M Partial Settlement Over Age Bias
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
US District Judge Sven Erik Holmes has given preliminary approval to a
$36 million partial settlement of an age discrimination class action
against McDonnell Douglas Corporation, the Associated Press Newswires
reports.

Judge Holmes recently set a March 24 hearing to test the fairness of
the proposed settlement.  The settlement is a partial one in that it
will not settle back pay claims in the nine-year-old case.  The issue
of granting back pay for the plaintiffs is being appealed by the
defendants.

However, Judge Holmes decided that the argument plaintiffs' attorney
Michael Mulder made before him was a good one: that a partial
settlement at this time would allow plaintiffs to recover some money in
the near future rather than waiting for possibly more funds in the more
distant future when the remaining issue of the back pay will have been
determined.

"This is an old class, unfortunately, and the time for relief is now,"
Mr. Mulder said.  The average age of the plaintiff class is 59, Mr.
Mulder added, and 50 plaintiffs have died while the case has been
pending.

About 1,100 workers sued McDonnell Douglas over its 1994 decision to
close its facility in Air Force Plant No. 3.  The plaintiff workers
alleged that this decision violated the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act (ERISA).  Judge Holmes found, on September 5, 2001, that
the reasons the Company provided for closing the plant were
"incomplete, misleading and pretextual."  On September 25, 2001, he
ruled that back pay would not be excluded when considering damages.  
The defendant thereupon appealed this ruling.


MORTGAGE COMPANIES: Settlement Seen For Lawsuit Over Reverse Mortgages
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Settlement is a likely possibility for a nationwide class action, which
consolidates a series of lawsuits filed against providers of reverse
mortgages to homeowners 62 and over, The Washington Post reports.

All the participants in the lawsuits and their lawyers are under a gag
order mandated by the proposed settlement, prohibiting discussion of
any aspect of the settlement.  However, the essentials of the
settlement, plus the original charges brought by the homeowners and
their heirs, were available last week on the Web site of the settlement
claims administrator (http://www.gilardi.com).

The pending settlement is intended to end a series of class action
lawsuits filed nationwide against Transamerica Corporation, Financial
Freedom and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., the annuity provider.  
Under the proposed settlement:

     (1) the defendant companies deny all allegations that they misled
         or defrauded elderly homeowners by persuading them to sign up
         for predatory mortgages carrying excessive fees and abusive
         terms;

     (2) a nationwide class of about 1,588 homeowners or their estates
         will receive partial repayments of some of the appreciation-
         sharing fees they have disputed or paid.  The total settlement
         payouts by Financial Freedom, Transamerica and MetLife will be
         $8 million; and

     (3) a maximum of 29 percent of the $8 million, or $2.32 million
         will come off the top as payment to the trial lawyers who
         negotiated the settlement.  Roughly $5.2 million will be
         distributed by formula among the settlement class members,
         unless they opt out.  Though some other claimants will be
         eligible for larger sums, the average payout will amount to
         $3,325.

A "fairness hearing" on the settlement is scheduled for May 14, in
Redwood City, California.  The settlement involves a controversial form
of mortgage, called a reverse mortgage.  It is marketed by Transamerica
Corp. and serviced by Financial Freedom Senior Funding Corporation.  
Financial Freedom is a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers, a Wall Street
investment banking house.  Financial Freedom is also the largest
reverse mortgage originator and servicer in the country.  

Reverse mortgages are designed to convert homeowners' equity into
usable cash for seniors who are "house rich, cash poor," and are
therefore restricted to homeowners who are 62-years-old or older.  The
reverse mortgage program marketed by Transamerica can, and did, produce
transactions with predatory terms and substantial fees. One New York
homeowner took out a reverse mortgage and received $58,000 in cash
payouts spread over 32 months.  When she died, her home was sold a few
months later, and Financial Freedom demanded more than $765,000 as
repayment under the terms of the reverse mortgage--more than three-
quarters of a million dollars to repay a $58,000 loan.

How such a demand by Financial Freedom came about is better understood
by a quick look at just a few of the terms routinely incorporated into
a Transamerica reverse mortgage.  Although most reverse mortgages are
insured by the Federal Housing Administration, there are a few
companies operating their own programs, like HomeFirst, a Transamerica
subsidiary.  Some of these programs, especially those targeted at homes
in higher-priced metropolitan areas, included "shared appreciation"
features that cut the lender into the appreciated value of the
property.

Home First offered a plan in the 1990s that contained a standard 50
percent appreciation share on top of regular interest, a mandatory
annuity purchase benefiting only the lender, plus excessive fees.  
HomeFirst and its portfolio of shared appreciation mortgages were
acquired in 1999, by Financial Freedom, the Lehman Bros. subsidiary
mentioned above.


PENNSYLVANIA: Court Certifies Age Bias Lawsuit V. Transportation Dept
---------------------------------------------------------------------
The Clearfield County Court in Pennsylvania certified as a class action
the lawsuit filed against the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
(PennDOT) on behalf of all of its employees aged 40 and above, the
Centre Daily Times reports.

Osceola Mills resident Joseph M. Bunak filed the suit in Clearfield
County Court in May 2000, alleging that the department discriminated
against its senior employees.  

The suit alleges "not only he, but all (PennDOT employees) over age 40
were discriminated against," attorney Edward J. Van Allen told the
Daily Times.  "They hire (young) people off the street to fill their
foreman jobs who are totally unqualified."  Attorney Van Allen further
claimed PennDOT awards promotions to younger employees while denying
older workers the same opportunities.

Judge John K. Reilly, Jr., ruled that plaintiffs in the sweeping case
can include nearly all non-management employees of PennDOT who were 40
years old or older on March 1, 1996, "and who suffered one or more
adverse employment decisions based on their age."

Hypothetically, that means as many as 5,665 people could be plaintiffs,
according to statistics recorded in Van Allen's office.  A hearing will
be scheduled after a notice is sent to all those employees, both
current and former, the Centre Daily Times reports.

Under Judge Reilly's order, workers who qualify as plaintiffs but don't
want to be involved in the suit must submit a written request by August
6.  Employees who live outside Pennsylvania cannot participate in the
legal action.  Efforts to reach PennDOT officials on Saturday were
unsuccessful, the Centre Daily Times reports.


PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS: Prosecutor Says Firm Knew of Tyco's Fraud
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Prominent accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers allegedly knew about
many of the transactions that led to the indictments of Tyco
International's former chief executive Dennis Kozlowski and former
chief financial officer Mark Swartz, Assistant District Attorney John
Moscow conceded, the Associated Press reports.

Mr. Kozlowski, 51, and Mr. Swartz, 45, have been indicted for grand
larceny charges after having allegedly stolen more than $600 million
from the Company.  The Company's chief lawyer, Mark Belnick, 56, was
also charged with larceny, after initially being accused of improperly
obtaining $14 million in loans from the Company.  In a superseding
indictment last week, prosecutors alleged that he received a $12
million "special bonus" for blocking a federal probe.

Lawyers for the executives, who maintain that the money they received
from Tyco were board-approved loans, said they could not understand how
their clients committed fraud if the corporation's "outside" auditors
knew about it, the Associated Press reports.

Attorney Moscow told the court that he would "stipulate" that the
auditing firm knew about the transactions, surprising the defense
lawyers.  "We're not going to be opposing this at trial," Atty. Moscow
said.

Stephen Kaufman, Kozlowski's attorney, told the court, "Isn't it
extraordinary that we're told today that the watchkeepers of the
organization had full knowledge" of the things the former Tyco CEO is
charged with.

Swartz' lawyer, Charles Stillman, told the court, "It is very startling
that the district attorney is acknowledging that Pricewaterhouse knew
of actions for which the DA wants to send my client to prison."

Attorney Moscow was trying to get a May 27 trial date by eliminating
months of pretrial depositions of accountants.  Defense lawyers asked
for a January 2004 trial date, saying they had 700 boxes of documents
and 3.5 million e-mails to sift through to prepare for trial.  State
Supreme Court Justice Michael Obus, after hearing arguments on when the
trial should begin, scheduled jury selection to begin September 29 for
the joint trials of Mr. Kozlwoski and Mr. Swartz. He did not set a
trial date for Mr. Belnick, the Associated Press reports.

Atty. Moscow said outside court that auditors were told the
transactions were approved by Tyco's Board of Directors, when in fact
they were not.  Pricewaterhouse spokesman Steven Silver could not be
reached immediately, AP reports.


PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Canceling Indefensible Summer Minority Program
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Princeton University has decided to scrap its summer enrichment program
for minority students for fear of an affirmative action suit, the
Associated Press reports.

The seven-week program was initiated in 1985, with the Ford Foundation
and other private groups initially funding it.  In 1998, however, the
foundation later withdrew its support after becoming concerned about
the program's legal status.  The University has proceeded to fund the
program, which encourages black and Hispanic undergraduates to pursue
graduate work in public policy and international affairs.

After Princeton's lawyers revealed that the program's race-based
admissions policy could not be defended in court, the administrators of
the Woodrow Wilson School Junior Summer Institute decided to end the
program and announced it last week.

The decision does not mean Princeton is against affirmative action, and
the university has found no problems with its other programs, Robert
Durkee, the university's vice president for communications told AP.  
"This program is race exclusive in its admissions and most certainly
could be challenged," he said.  "We didn't want to be in a position
that put other programs at risk."

The University, however, will proceed with this year's program because
30 students are already enrolled.  School officials then will wait for
the Supreme Court to rule on the University of Michigan's affirmative
action policy to see whether the program could continue if its
admissions criteria were changed, the Associated Press reports.

University officials told AP that a group that opposes affirmative
action had contacted them within the past year and raised questions
about the program.  They declined to identify the group but Roger Clegg
of the Virginia-based Center for Equal Opportunity told AP his group
and the American Civil Rights Institute had made inquiries.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Court Refuses To Give Sale Proceeds to Investors
----------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Colorado refused to set aside the
sales proceeds for the sale of a Qwest Communications International,
Inc. unit for investors who have commenced a securities class action
against the Company, the Associated Press reports.

The securities suit was filed against Qwest Communications
International, Inc. (NYSE:Q) and certain of its officers on behalf of
purchasers of Company securities between April 19, 2000 and February
13, 2002.  The suit names as defendants the Company and officers Joseph
P. Nacchio and Robin A. Szeliga.

The suit asserts claims against the defendants for violations of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The complaint alleges that
defendants issued false and misleading statements, which artificially
inflated the stock, an earlier Class Action Reporter story states.

Law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP, attorney for the
plaintiffs, initially asked the court to block the sale of the
QwestDex, the Company's phone directory unit or freeze the US$7 billion
in anticipated proceeds, claiming that the money should go to
shareholders who "have been the victims of one of the largest
accounting falsifications and worst violations of the securities laws
in the history of the United States," the Class Action Reporter story
states.  The motion further states that profits gained from alleged
insider stock deals by former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio and founder
Philip Anschutz should be frozen.

That motion was denied.  Milberg Weiss again filed a motion requesting
a preliminary injunction to hold the sales proceeds of QwestDex,
exclusively for the benefit of its clients.

The Company hailed the court's decision, saying in a statement that it
was pleased with the ruling and looks forward to closing the second
phase of its QwestDex phone directories unit sale in 2003.  It said it
plans to use the proceeds from the sale of the phone book unit to help
strengthen its balance sheet.

Qwest received $2.75 billion in cash from private equity firms The
Carlyle Group and Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe in the deal's first
phase, involving seven western and Midwest states.  The second phase,
expected to be completed in 2003, is worth about $4.3 billion and will
involve directory operations in another seven US states, the Associated
Press reports.

"We look forward to closing the second phase of our QwestDex sale in
2003 and using the proceeds to help strengthen the company's balance
sheet," Qwest said in its statement.


TENNESSEE: DCS Must Prove Knowledge Of Children's Whereabouts  
-------------------------------------------------------------
The state of Tennessee is now bringing foster children to court
hearings so that juvenile court officials can see them and make sure
the Department of Children's Services (DCS) is accounting for them,
that, indeed, the department knows where they physically are located,
the Associated Press Newswires reports.

Volunteers working to deliver Christmas presents to the foster children
found themselves unable to deliver most of these gifts.  Out of 1,000
children they found only 100 at the Davidson County addresses provided
them by the DCS.

Juvenile Court Judge Betty Adams Green said the court had no choice but
to have the children brought to routine hearings at the court so the
court can be satisfied about the children's whereabouts.  "But I think
that until we can be satisfied we have the situation under control, we
are going to keep doing this," said Judge Green.

Carla Aaron, spokeswoman for the DCS, said the holiday incident was an
isolated occurrence and that the DCS has a database that can generate a
comprehensive list.  The volunteers were given a list generated in-
house, which was incomplete, not up-to-date and will not again be given
to any outside agency.

DCS was brought under the federal court's supervision in 2001, when
eight foster children brought a class action against the state of
Tennessee.  The court appointed Sheila Agniel as monitor of the class
action settlement that emerged at that time.

The December incident so angered Juvenile Referee Andrei Ellen Lee that
she wrote a letter to Shiela Angiel.  Ms. Agniel, in turn, wrote a
letter on January 31, to New York-based attorney Ira Lustbader, saying
that the Christmas incident raised "very serious concerns."   Mr.
Lustbader is associated with Children's Rights, the child advocacy
organization that represented the children in the federal case.  Mr.
Lustbader characterized the requirement to have the children attend the
hearings as a "bold" and "courageous move that his firm had not seen
before in any cases in any other states.

The severity of the problem of just being able to locate the children
physically  - without even thinking about the adequacy of services
rendered - is illustrated by a statement in Ms Agniel's letter, when
she states, "in many instances, the placement's physical location or
address was not clearly recorded (if at all) in the physical case
record, although there were indications of the case manager's contact
with the child."

Ms. Agniel is expected to release a "targeted review" of 200 randomly
selected children in the state's care to the parties involved in the
federal settlement no later than February 17.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Big Tobacco's Lawyers Fire First Shot in LA Lawsuit
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers defending the nation's big tobacco companies in a class action
filed on behalf of more than one million current and former Louisiana
smokers got their first shot recently at the plaintiffs' leadoff
witness and tried to paint him as a hired gun who makes money helping
people who sue their clients, the tobacco companies, according to a
report by The Times-Picayune.

Dr. David Burns, a chest disease specialist at the University of
Southern California Medical School in San Diego, told the Civil
District Court jury that he has testified for plaintiffs in more than
30 lawsuits filed against Big Tobacco.  Dr. Burns also has written,
edited or reviewed several years' worth of US Public Health Services
Surgeon General's reports on health and smoking.

Testifying as an expert on issues of smoking and health, Dr. Burns was
the first witness the plaintiffs' side has presented in its quest to
convince the jury that the tobacco industry manipulated nicotine levels
in cigarettes to keep smokers hooked and should have to pay for
programs to help them quit, as well as for medical monitoring for
current or former smokers who want those services.  Under cross-
examination, Dr. Burns testified that he has been involved in more than
100 lawsuits against the tobacco companies.  

"In the last few years, you have spent more time working on tobacco
lawsuits than seeing patients?" asked Mark Belasic, a Cleveland
attorney for R.J. Reynolds.

"I think it has been approximately equal," Dr. Burns said.

The tobacco companies, including Philip Morris Inc., R.J. Reynolds
Tobacco Co., Lorrillard Tobacco Co. and Brown & Williamson Tobacco
Corp., deny the claims in the class action.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: Jury Says Firms Not Liable For Plaintiff's Cancer
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A Sacramento County Superior Court jury, in California, found cigarette
makers Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. free of
responsibility for the cancer of a longtime smoker, the Los Angeles
Times reports.  The trial was a lengthy one, having started in
October.  Although not a class action, the case will be studied
carefully by plaintiffs lawyers for the way the defendants shaped their
arguments against responsibility, for the statements by jurors
indicating they found defendants' arguments strong, and the plaintiffs'
unconvincing - these and other matters will be analyzed.

The Sacramento jury, in votes of 11 to 1 and 12 to 0, rejected claims
by plaintiffs Laurence and Laurie Lucier, who had charged the two
cigarette companies with negligence, fraud and manufacturing defective
products.  However, according to both the defense and the plaintiffs'
lawyers, the jurors were not convinced that smoking caused Laurence
Lucier's cancer.  The tobacco companies had argued that the tumor had
formed in Mr. Lucier's chest, outside his lung, and was a rare,
nonsmoking type.  The companies could not have been held liable without
a finding by the jury that the cancer was smoking-related.

On the other hand, plaintiffs' lawyer Gary Paul was pleased by certain
of the jury's statements.  They "believed everything we said about
hiding the truth, concealment and deception," said Mr. Paul.  However,
he added, they were not convinced that caused Mr. Lucier's cancer.

Theodore Grossman, lawyer for R.J. Reynolds, said the jurors understood
that "people who choose to smoke in the face of . known risks should
not be financially rewarded."

According to the evidence, Mr. Lucier, 52, became a regular smoker in
his early teens.  He smoked R.J. Reynolds' Winston cigarettes for a
short time in the 1960s and then switched to Benson & Hedges, a Philip
Morris product.  Mr. Lucier's cancer was first detected in 1999 but is
presently in remission.

California juries, prior to the Lucier verdict, had rendered the
tobacco industry four straight defeats after repeal, in 1998, of a
state ban on tobacco lawsuits.  The industry also had suffered defeats
in two other cases on the West Coast, in Oregon.


TOBACCO LITIGATION: FL Jury Rejects Attendant's Secondhand Smoke Claim
----------------------------------------------------------------------
A Miami jury recently rejected the claim presented by a flight
attendant in a trial for compensatory damages, in which the attendant
alleged that secondhand smoke in the airliners aggravated his lung
disease, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

The trial for damages was the sixth to go to a jury, in accordance with
a 1997 settlement of a class action between tobacco companies and the
nation's nonsmoking flight attendants.  Under the terms of the
settlement, the four leading cigarette makers were left with the
possible liability for compensatory damages, to be resolved by a series
of mini-trials which the flight attendants were authorized to pursue
individually against the four tobacco companies.  The settlement paved
the way for approximately 3,000 mini-trials.  No punitive damages were
to be allowed.

Evidence was to be presented to juries at a series of mini-trials so
they might determine whether the respective illnesses of which the
attendants complained in the original lawsuit were either caused or
aggravated by the secondhand smoke to which they were exposed during
performance of their duties aboard the airlines.  The four defendants
also agreed to fund a $300 million medical foundation to study smoke-
related illnesses.

Philip Gerson, attorney for James A. Seal, a San Francisco-based flight
attendant for United Airlines, said he was disappointed with the
outcome, but was gratified that the jury had concluded that secondhand
smoke does aggravate asthma.  Gareth Cooper, attorney for tobacco
company Brown & Williamson, said he was pleased with the verdict.  "The
evidence presented to this jury made it clear that exposure to
secondhand smoke did not cause Mr. Seal's problems," said Mr. Cooper.

The tobacco companies have won five of the six mini-trials, which have
been conducted.  The only flight attendant successful so far received a
$5.5 million verdict.  However, more recently, a flight attendant who
lost in her mini-trial, was granted a new trial on the grounds that the
tobacco companies' medical expert gave testimony which was prejudicial
and that the companies should have known this.

The four named tobacco company defendants are Philip Morris, R.J.
Reynolds Tobacco Co., Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. & Lorillard
Tobacco Co.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Legal Community Watches Ex-General Counsel's Trial
----------------------------------------------------------------------
At a recent hearing before New York Supreme Court Judge Michael J.
Obus, attorneys for Tyco International Ltd., defendants L. Dennis
Kozlowski, Tyco's former chairman and Mark H. Swartz, its former chief
financial officer, discussed the next court date's scheduling.  
However, Reid H. Weingarten, lawyer for former Tyco general counsel
Mark A. Belnick expressed his bafflement at being there at all, The
Washington Post reports.

Mr. Weingarten presented his motion to have the case against his client
dismissed, which Judge Obus put on the calendar for a May 16 hearing.  
The prosecutors contend that Mr. Belnick committed larceny when he
accepted a $12 million bonus for his work in avoiding a Securities and
Exchange Commission investigation, when he knew at the time that the
stock and cash payment to him had not been authorized by the company's
board.  The prosecutors also charge Mr. Belnick with seven counts of
falsifying business documents as well as violation of New York
securities law.

The legal community is closely watching Mr. Belnick's case, because in
the past government officials, for the most part, avoided prosecuting
the lawyers in their roles as advisers because such cases might scare
officers of corporations away from seeking legal advice.  Now the rules
appear to be changing.  Congress and the Justice Department, as well as
the SEC, see the corporate and financial worlds somewhat differently
since the debacles that engulfed companies like Enron, WorldCom and
Adelphia.  They perceive the necessity that the players in those worlds
must play more responsible roles and to achieve that end, they must, in
turn, be held responsible under law.

It is not only the regulators and prosecutors who are looking seriously
at the roles the lawyers play in the corporations.  In December,
federal Judge Melinda Harmon, who is presiding over the plaintiff
shareholders' class action against Enron, ruled that these plaintiffs
could sue the law firm of Vinson & Elkins for their role in the Enron
collapse, even though a 1994 Supreme Court decision says legal advisers
cannot be sued privately simply for "aiding and abetting" a corporation
that commits securities fraud.

Judge Harmon's decision "is a signal that courts are receptive to
including the lawyers," said Georgetown University law professor Donald
C. Langevoort.  "I would assume we are going to see more."

However, the path leading to holding lawyers liable is not necessarily
one without dissent.  Last month, the SEC withdrew a plan to require
lawyers to inform the commission when they believe a client's corporate
filings are fraudulent, because lawyers strongly opposed such a
measure, saying it would prevent corporate clients from seeking legal
advice.

The legal community has every reason to watch the Belnick case.  
Lawyers' responsibility for, and what constitutes their knowledge of,
goings-on false or deceptive--and their possible liability--is going to
be a much-debated issue.  Simply giving advice such as "you are close
to the line" will not be enough, say the legal analysts.


UNITED STATES: Deference To Wartime President Key To Detention Powers
---------------------------------------------------------------------
A federal appeals court recently handed the Bush administration a major
legal victory, ruling unanimously that a wartime president can detain
indefinitely a United States citizen captured as an enemy combatant on
the battlefield, and deny that person access to a lawyer, The New York
Times reports.  It is not such a stretch from this set of facts to
other wartime scenarios, which may involve groups of people whose fate
this decision will help determine.

The case before a three-judge appeals panel sets up a stark clash
between the nation's security interests and its citizens' civil
liberties, with the judges finding that President Bush was due great
deference in conducting the war on terrorism.  The judges of the United
States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Virginia,
said it was improper for the federal courts to probe too deeply into
the detention of Yasser Esam Hamdi, a 22-year-old American-born Saudi,
who was captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan, and now is
imprisoned in a military brig in Norfolk, Virginia.

Lawyers for Mr. Hamdi challenged his detention, asserting that because
he is a citizen he has the same constitutional rights as citizens in
criminal cases, including the right to consult a lawyer and to question
the reasons for his confinement.  The appeals panel, with an issue
before it that strikes to the core of the American constitutional
system, said that to deprive any citizen of his constitutional
protections "is not a step that any court would casually take."

Even so, and having said this, in the opinion written by the circuit's
Chief Judge, J. Harvie Wilkinson III, the panel said, "The safeguards
that all Americans have come to expect in criminal prosecutions do not
translate neatly to the arena of armed conflict.  In fact, if deference
is not exercised (by the court) with respect to military judgments in
the field, it is difficult to see where deference would ever obtain."

Attorney General John Ashcroft called the decision "an important
victory for the president's ability to protect the American people in
times of war."

However, Elisa Massimino, a director of the Lawyers Committee for Human
Rights, said, "The court seems to be saying that it has no role
whatsoever in overseeing the administration's conduct of the war on
terrorism.  That is particularly disturbing in the context of a
potentially open-ended, as-yet-undeclared war, the beginning and end of
which is left solely to the president's discretion" under the findings
composing the Fourth Circuit's recent ruling.

The lawyers authorized by Mr. Hamdi's father to argue the case on his
son's behalf are certain to seek a review from the Supreme Court, but
there is no guarantee that the justices will take up the case.  The
Hamdi case began with the narrow issue of whether the courts should
be satisfied with a Defense Department official's two-page, nine-
paragraph statement that offered a spare accounting of facts to justify
the government charge that Mr. Hamdi has been properly labeled an enemy
combatant.  Judge Robert C. Doumar of Federal District Court in Norfolk
ruled in August that the declaration -- made by Michael Mobbs, a
special adviser to the under secretary of defense for policy -- was not
enough.  The appeals court reversed that finding and went much further
in defining the authority of the executive branch in wartime.

"The constitutional allocation of war powers affords the president
extraordinarily broad authority as commander in chief and compels
courts to assume a deferential position in reviewing exercises of this
authority," the panel found.

While courts are entitled to review detentions when asked, the panel
ruled that, "courts are ill-positioned to police the military's
distinction between those in the arena of combat who should be detained
and those who should not."

The panel said further that it would be improper for the judicial
branch to launch an exhaustive inquiry into the conditions of Mr.
Hamdi's capture, as his lawyers had requested.  To do so, the judges
said, would require officers to travel back to the United States from
across the globe.  They said the war should not be determined by
litigation.

The appeals court did not go so far as to deny Mr. Hamdi the use of the
writ of habeas corpus, a legal mechanism allowing people to challenge
their detention, a position that might attract a Supreme Court review.  
Instead, the judges said the judicial review had to be extremely
limited.

Frank W. Dunham, Jr., a federal public defender in Virginia, who argued
the case for Mr. Hamdi, had asserted that the defendant was entitled to
challenge the accusations that he was an enemy soldier.  However, the
court said that since it was "undisputed" that Mr. Hamdi "was present
in a zone of active combat operations, we are satisfied that the
Constitution does not entitle him to a searching review of the factual
determinations underlying his seizure there."

In addition, the judges rejected appeals by Mr. Hamdi's lawyers that
they should consider whether the war was at an end.  Such questions,
the court said, were solely the province of the president and his
military advisers.

The judges also rejected Mr. Hamdi's assertion that the Geneva
Convention required the government to convene a tribunal to determine
whether he was a lawful or unlawful combatant.  The panel said that
only governments and diplomats could invoke the Convention, not
individuals.

The only other American citizen known held without charges is Jose
Padilla, the so-called dirty-bomb suspect.  Unlike Mr. Hamdi, who was
captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan, Mr. Padilla was arrested at
O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, on suspicion of being involved
in a terrorist plot to detonate a radioactive device.  He is being held
in a military brig in South Carolina.

In another case, a federal district judge has upheld the
administration's decision to hold about 600 prisoners at the Guantanamo
naval base in Cuba, ruling the laws of the United States do not apply
there.  Other federal judges have ruled that the Bush administration
could not hold hearings on immigration violations in secret and could
not withhold the names of those arrested on such charges from the
public.  These cases are making their way through the appellate courts.

Judge Wilkinson ended the opinion with a reference to the casualties of
the September 11 attacks.  "It is not wrong even in the dry annals of
judicial opinion to mourn those who lost their lives that terrible
day," he wrote.  "Yet, we speak in the end not from sorrow or anger,
but from the conviction that separation of powers takes on special
significance when the nation itself comes under attack."


UNITED STATES: Deadline Looms For Immigrants To Apply For 1986 Amnesty
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Illegal immigrants who got a second chance to apply for amnesty granted
in 1986, have until June, 2003, to petition to become permanent
residents, a message the government is spending $800,000, to get out to
the Latino community, according to a report by Associated Press
Newswires.

The amnesty is available only to those who were part of a class action
filed on behalf of illegal immigrants who said they were wrongly denied
amnesty granted under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.  
Then-President Bill Clinton signed a law in 2000, the Legal Immigration
and Family Equity (LIFE) Act, to redress those claims.   The applicants
must have petitioned to be a member of the class of one of the three
class actions filed in the late 1980s, by October 1, 2000, the INS
said.  It is not a general amnesty for persons in the United States
illegally.

Michael Garcia, Immigration and Naturalization Service interim
commissioner, said in a recent news conference that only 50,000 people
have applied for the amnesty that is available to an estimated 200,000
people, mostly Mexicans.  Mr. Garcia said the response is unfortunate,
because in addition to allowing those eligible to become lawful
permanent residents, it also provides work authorization, benefits for
spouses and children and protection from deportation while applications
are pending.

Carlos Felix-Corona, Mexico's minister of migration affairs, urged
those who believe they are eligible to apply, to contact Mexican
consular offices to avoid any fraud or scams that might emerge.  In
other similar situations, people posing as lawyers or notary publics
have claimed expertise and charged high sums only to leave the
immigrant with improper documentation or a bad application.


WEST VIRGINIA: Chamber of Commerce Study Pushes for Tort Law Changes
--------------------------------------------------------------------
With the push for changes in West Virginia's civil justice system
heating up, the state Chamber of Commerce recently released a study
claiming the state's current tort laws are costing West Virginians jobs
and money, the newspaper, the Charleston Gazette, reports.

Advocates of so-called tort reform warn that the costs will continue to
mushroom if lawmakers don't overhaul the system soon.  Left untouched,
according to the study by The Perryman Group of Waco, Texas, the
state's civil justice system could cost the typical West Virginia
household an estimated $998 by 2006.  In 2001, the legal system cost
the average state household about $600 in higher prices for good and
services, lost job opportunities, lower wages and depressed consumer
spending, the report stated.

The President of West Virginia's Chamber of Commerce, Steve Roberts, at
a recent press conference, at the state capitol, about the report,
urged lawmakers to support measures that would make West Virginia's
legal system friendlier to businesses and less appealing to plaintiffs.  
To a large extent, the Perryman report helps quantify what people knew
in their gut, said Mr. Roberts.  "The reality is that if we do things
in West Virginia that cause us to be a dry island, then nobody will
come here."

The President-elect of the West Virginia Trial Lawyers Association,
Marvin Masters, said the study just isn't credible.  "I don't know
where he (Steve Roberts) came up with his figures," he said, "but you
can manipulate numbers however you want to."

Mr. Roberts said he expected plaintiffs to toss darts at Perryman's
latest study.  "Certainly there will be those who will look for reasons
to say, 'No, it ain't so,' " he said.  "But as we figure out how to
keep good jobs in West Virginia, and bring in new ones, pieces of
information like this can help us decide how to do this."

Mr. Roberts said that last year the US Chamber of Commerce said West
Virginia had one of the worst judicial systems in the country.  A 2001
survey found that corporate defense lawyers consider West Virginia's
legal rules unfairly tilted toward plaintiffs.  Mr. Masters said the
surveys were flawed because they only asked defense lawyers and
businessmen to contribute to the Perryman report.  He said the state
has a "good tort system" that helps state citizens and small businesses
recover losses from out-of-state corporations that try to take
advantage of them.

Last month, lawmakers began debating a plan to cap damage awards for
pain, suffering and other punitive damages, and to restrict plaintiffs'
ability to recover their losses in cases with multiple defendants.  
West Virginia's House of Delegates has approved the plan, and the
Senate is planning to hold a hearing on the bill.

The state's Chamber of Commerce hopes to capitalize on lawmakers'
apparent willingness to overhaul the civil justice system.  It plans to
begin running a series of newspaper ads with one central message to
West Virginians, "You are paying a high price for a flawed legal
system."

Mr. Roberts, head of the state Chamber of Commerce, said he hopes the
ads and the Perryman Study will encourage the Legislature to bar out-
of-state plaintiffs from filing suit in West Virginia courts unless
their injury happened in West Virginia.  Currently, people from across
the country come to West Virginia courts to take advantage of its
plaintiff-friendly rules governing massive class action suits.

Also, the state Chamber of Commerce wants lawmakers to toss out rules
permitting third-party 'bad faith' lawsuits.  These arise out of rules
that allow plaintiffs who have won settlements for their injuries to
sue the insurers that paid them.  In these lawsuits, plaintiffs claim
the insurance company moved too slowly to settle or did not give them
enough.

Without changes in such areas as these, says the Perryman report, the
state will continue to see larger rates of inflation, lower levels of
job creation and slower economic growth than other states.

The President of the US Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Donahue, urged
lawmakers to "finish the job" of revamping the state's civil justice
system.  "If you do, the future is bright," Mr. Donahue said.  "If you
don't, the future is dim."


*Businesses Should Create Measures For Cyber Safety, Law Firm Advises
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Christopher Wolf, a partner in the Washington office of Proskauer Rose
LLP, and Chairman of its Computer Security Practice Group, has warned
his business clients who are not yet on high alert for cyber crime
within their offices, that civil lawsuits as well as criminal action by
the government are real and increasing threats to which they must give
their attention, the Boston Herald reports.  Mr. Wolf pointed out that
the breaches of security have become so great and so frequent and the
security imposed by business so inadequate that trial lawyers may find
this area a lucrative one, an area similar to the big-money cases
involving tobacco, asbestos, faulty tires, or breast implants.

"We have advised our clients to take careful stock of their computer
security and to document the steps they are taking to be as secure as
possible," said Mr. Wolf.  "Most corporations are more vulnerable to
computer crime than they realize, and many have no real plans to
prevent or deal with cybercrime . When it comes time to report to
shareholders, regulators or the public on how secure their networks are
and what their recovery plans are, corporations must be extremely
careful, or they may face substantial legal liability."

Mr. Wolf took another step toward helping his corporate clients embark
on a road to computer security, and other corporations as well.  Mr.
Wolf recently informed the Electronic Crimes Task Force, a group
organized by the United States Secret Service and composed of leading
law enforcement officials, that corporations need a blueprint from the
government, similar to the one issued on Y2K readiness.  They need to
be advised, said Mr. Rose, on what is considered "sufficient
disclosure" on computer security.

Mr. Wolf described the criminal activity on the Internet, noting that
it is swelling in sophisticated ways.  Hackers are not just stealing
money, posting it to their own accounts, but they are also accessing
business plans, new product information, contract data and more.  Mr.
Wolf further said they are selling it to competitors or using it in
some other damaging way.

A 2002 government survey of computer security specialists who worked
in-house at various companies was still another source of the losses
being suffered by businesses from cyber crime.  The survey revealed
that 80 percent admitted suffering financial losses due to computer
breaches and they estimated the average loss at $2 million.

Mr. Wolf touched on another interesting facet in the increase in
computer security breaches.  He noted that since September 11, 2001,
there has been a serious increase in computer security breaches.  This
fact and its relationship to national security is troubling, said Mr.
Wolf, since 90 percent of critical infrastructure is provided by the
private sector.

Although he has decided to advise and warn about cyber crime and the
necessity that his clients and others take steps toward security, Mr.
Wolf said, it is a source of surprise and dismay that there is still a
large number of firms that do not take steps to secure the safety of
their computer systems.  Small incidents still abound that illustrate
that the average corporation's focus is not one of "security, security,
security."  For example, when employers fire workers, they often fail
to terminate the password or inform the tech department about the
firing, thus opening the possibility that the employee's password is
still usable and information is vulnerable.

                     New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERICREDIT CORPORATION: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Suit in TX
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class action
in the United States District Court for Northern District of Texas, on
behalf of all persons who purchased or acquired AmeriCredit Corporation
(NYSE: ACF) securities between April 14, 1999 and September 16, 2002,
inclusive.

This action involves defendants' material omissions and the
dissemination of materially false and misleading statements concerning
loan delinquencies at AmeriCredit.  These misleading statements and
omissions drove AmeriCredit's stock price to a class period high of
$63.63 on August 8, 2001, during which time the Company's financial
performance was artificially inflated by improperly deferring loan
delinquencies.  AmeriCredit stock plunged to $8.46 per share on
September 17, 2002 when analysts reported that the Company would be
raising the delinquency triggers on its existing loans.

Defendants' manipulation of AmeriCredit's loan delinquency rate during
the class period gave the Company access to much-needed cash - money
that normally would have been retained in the trusts as a cushion
against delinquent loans - that artificially inflated the Company's
earnings and stock price and acted as a fraud on the market.

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


ARIBA INC.: Emerson Poynter Commences Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Emerson Poynter LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf
of a class consisting of all persons who purchased securities of Ariba,
Inc. (Nasdaq:ARBAE) between January 11, 2000 and January 15, 2003,
inclusive.

The suit charges Ariba and certain of its executive officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Among
other things, plaintiff claims that defendants' material omissions and
the dissemination of materially false and misleading statements
concerning Ariba's revenue and earnings caused Ariba's stock price to
become artificially inflated, inflicting damages on investors.  Ariba
provides software, services and network access to enable corporations
to evaluate and manage the cash costs associated with running their
business.  The suit alleges that, in order to inflate the price of
Ariba's stock, defendants caused the Company to falsely report certain
financial results.

On January 15, 2003, the Company admitted that its financial statements
were false and issued a press release entitled, "Ariba Provides Update
on Accounting Review and Restatement of Financial Statements."  The
press release stated in part: "Ariba, Inc. announced today that it will
restate its financial statements for the fiscal years ended September
30, 2001 and 2000 and for the quarters ended March 31, 2000 through
June 30, 2002 as a result of an ongoing review of accounting matters."
The Company's top officers and directors took advantage of the false
financial statements and sold nearly $692 million worth of their Ariba
shares to the unsuspecting public.

For more details, contact Ms. Tanya Autry by Phone: (501) 907-2555 or
(800) 663-9817 or by E-mail: shareholder@emersonfirm.com


ATMEL CORPORATION: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in N.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of purchasers of Atmel Corporation (NASDAQ:ATML)
publicly traded securities during the period between January 20, 2000
and July 31, 2002.

The complaint charges Atmel 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 Atmel's shares
to trade at artificially inflated levels through the issuance of false
and misleading financial statements, all the time concealing that Atmel
was selling defective chips to its customers which would lead to
product recalls, repairs and loss of customer relationships.  While the
Company's stock price was artificially inflated due to defendants'
false statements, defendants sold more than $500 million in notes in a
private placement offering.  Atmel later registered these securities
for resale via a Registration Statement.

On July 31, 2002, media reports indicated that the Company had been
sued by a major customer, Seagate Technology Inc., for selling
defective chips, which led to defects in millions of disk drives.  On
this news, the Company's stock price declined to $2.96.

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


BIO-TEHCNOLOGY GENERAL: Chitwood & Harley Files Securities Suit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Chitwood & Harley LLP initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of
purchasers of the common stock of Bio-Technology General Corporation
(Nasdaq:BTGC), between April 19, 1999 and August 2, 2002, inclusive.  
The suit names as defendants the Company and:

     (1) Sim Fass,

     (2) Christopher G. Clement, and

     (3) Yehuda Sternlicht

The complaint charges Bio-Technology and certain of its executive
officers with violations of federal securities laws.  Among other
things, plaintiff claims that the defendants' material omissions and
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.

Specifically, plaintiff asserts that in order to inflate the price of
BTG's stock, defendants caused the Company to falsely report its
results during 1999, 2000 and 2001 through improper revenue recognition
practices, including recognizing revenue in shipments to distributors
where significant uncertainties existed concerning realization of the
invoiced amounts, which precludes revenue recognition under Generally
Accepted Accounting Principles.  On August 2, 2002, defendants
announced that BTG's 1999-2001 results would be restated to eliminate
revenue that had been improperly recorded. BTG has now restated its
results for each of the years ended December 31, 1999, 2000 and 2001.

For more details, contact Jennifer Morris by Mail: 1230 Peachtree
Street, Suite 23000, Atlanta Georgia by Phone: 1-888-873-3999 (toll-
free), by E-mail: jlm@classlaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.classlaw.com


MCSI INC.: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. Ohio
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman Coates & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio, Western Division on behalf of purchasers of MCSi, Inc. (Nasdaq:
MCSI) publicly traded securities during the period between July 24,
2001 and February 26, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges that the Company, Michael E. Peppel (CEO,
President and Chairman) and Ira H. Stanley (CFO, Sr. V.P.) 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 24, 2001 to
February 26, 2002.

According to the complaint, throughout the class period, defendants
issued numerous statements in quarterly and annual press releases
regarding the supposed strength of its business, particularly the
success of its high-margin systems integration business.  According to
the complaint, these, and other representations detailed therein, were
materially false and misleading because they failed to disclose that
MCSi's business was deteriorating overall and that its integration
services business was not operating as successfully as defendants had
represented.

The complaint further alleges that the scheme was designed to
artificially inflate the price of the Company's common stock in order
to allow MCSi insiders to profit by selling their shares of MCSi common
stock at artificially inflated prices in two follow-on public
offerings.  On August 15, 2001, MCSi sold 4 million shares in a
secondary offering at $11.50 per share and on December 19, 2001, the
Company and certain selling shareholders, including Mr. Peppel who sold
200,000 shares for gross proceeds of $4,575,000, undertook another
public offering, selling a total of 5.2 million shares of MCSi common
stock at $22.875 per share.

Then, on February 26, 2002, the Company shocked the market by reporting
a 29% decline in sales for the fourth quarter of 2001, and a loss of
$0.24 per share (including a restructuring charge).  In reaction to
this announcement, the price of MCSi common stock plunged by 40%,
falling from a $17.35 per share close on February 25 to a close of
$10.40 per share on February 26, on extremely heavy trading volume.

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


TRANSKARYOTIC THERAPIES: Chitwood & Harley Files Securities Suit in MA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Chitwood & Harley initiated a securities class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc.
(Nasdaq:TKTX) or who sold put options, on the open market from January
4, 2001 through January 14, 2003.

Plaintiffs claim that, during the class period, defendants made
misrepresentations and nondisclosures of material fact to the investing
public concerning TKTX's prospects for FDA approval for the marketing
of TKTX's Replagal enzyme therapy for the treatment of Fabry disease.  
Plaintiffs charge that defendants knew by virtue of their ongoing
communications with the FDA that the FDA considered TKTX's data on the
primary pain reduction endpoint of TKTX's Phase II study to be
uninterpretable, and further that the FDA considered that TKTX's
cardiac and renal data did not support approval.

According to testimony at the January 14, 2003 Advisory Committee
hearing, in a letter dated December 22, 2000, the FDA had advised TKTX
that "the clinical study data (from the Phase II studies) had not
provided substantial evidence of efficiency and fully detailed the
facts leading to that conclusion.  (The FDA's Center for Biologics
Evaluation and Research) recommended that additional clinical studies
be conducted."

The true facts began to emerge after the close of the securities
markets on October 2, 2002, when TKTX admitted that the FDA had
determined that TKTX's data on pain reduction was "uninterpretable,"
and that TKTX had determined not to rely on that data to seek FDA
approval for marketing of Replagal.  At that time, defendants stated
that TKTX would rely primarily on its data for cardiac and renal
improvement in Phase II tests for patients receiving Replagal.
Unbeknownst to investors, however, but as revealed at the January 14,
2003 Advisory Committee meeting, the FDA had informed TKTX that the
renal and liver data did not support approval as early as December
2000.  On January 15, 2003, TKTX closed at $6.49, more than 85% below
its class period high.

Motivation for TKTX to make the materially false and misleading
statements during the class period is supported by the need to sell
$267 million in common stock in secondary public offerings during the
Class Period and by substantial insider trading.  Defendant Richard F.
Selden, for example, was motivated to sell 90,000 shares of his
personal holdings of TKTX common stock during the class period for
total consideration of $2,800,000.

For more details, contact Jennifer Morris by Mail: 1230 Peachtree
Street, Suite 2300 Atlanta Georgia 30309 by Phone: 1-888-873-3999
(toll-free), by E-mail: jlm@classlaw.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.classlaw.com


TRANSKARYOTIC THERAPIES: Berman DeValerio Lodges Securities Suit in MA
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo initiated a securities
class action against Transkaryotic Therapies, Inc. (Nasdaq:TKTX),
alleging the biopharmaceutical firm issued false and misleading
statements to the public regarding the chances for approval of a new
drug.

The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, on behalf of all investors who bought Company common
stock from January 4, 2001 through January 14, 2003.

The lawsuit claims Transkaryotic misled the public about its chances of
achieving U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to market
Replagal, an enzyme therapy for the treatment of Fabry disease.  
Shareholders contend that the company knew throughout the class period
that the FDA considered its clinical trial data on Replagal to be
unreliable.

Some of the facts began to emerge on October 2, 2002, nearly two years
after the FDA's findings, when Transkaryotic admitted:

     (1) that the FDA had determined the drug's primary pain reduction
         data was "uninterpretable" and

     (2) that Transkaryotic had decided to rely on other data -
         gathered from cardiac and renal clinical trials - in its FDA
         application.

Six days later, Transkaryotic further acknowledged that the FDA had
also advised the company in early 2001 that it did not consider
Replagal's cardiac or renal data sufficient to support approval.  In
response to the initial announcement, Transkaryotic common stock
plummeted from its closing price of $33.25 per share on October 2, 2002
to $12.75 at the end of the next trading day.

Transkaryotic and the FDA disclosed additional facts on January 14,
2003, during an Advisory Committee hearing.  At that meeting, the FDA
stated its reasons for believing that the pain data was not
interpretable and further, that it had informed Transkaryotic of its
reasoning at least as early as January 2001.  Trading in Transkaryotic
common stock was halted during the Advisory Committee meeting.  It
closed at $6.49 per share on January 15, 2003.

For more details, contact Leslie R. Stern or Nicole S. Robbins by Mail:
One Liberty Square, Boston, MA 02109 by Phone: (800) 516-9926 or
(617) 542-8300 or by E-mail: law@bermanesq.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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Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.  Enid Sterling, Aurora Fatima
Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick, Editors.

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

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