CAR_Public/030602.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
                Monday, June 2, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 107

                           Headlines                            

AG-BAG INTERNATIONAL: Reaches Settlement in Bag Antitrust Suit
AMERICAN SEAFOODS: WA Court Heard Appeals on Crewmembers' Suit
AON CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
CERTEGY CHECK: CA Court Preliminarily Approves Suit Settlement
COMMERCE ONE: NY Court Dismisses in Part Securities Fraud Suit

COMMERCE ONE: Named as Defendant in FL Securities Suit V. CSFB
COMMTOUCH SOFTWARE: Reaches Settlement For Securities Fraud Suit
CONCEPTUAL MARKETING: Recalls 1.1M Metal Blades For Injury Risk
DELTA AIR LINES: 50 Travel Agents Opt Out of NC Antitrust Suit
DELTA AIR LINES: Court Grants Summary Judgment in Antitrust Suit

DELTA AIR LINES: Court Dismisses Travel Agents' Antitrust Suit
DIAMOND TRIUMPH: Faces Unfair Trade Practices Suit Filed in PA
ENRON CORPORATION: Mulls Suing Bankers Over Bad Financial Advice
FIRST UNION: NY Court Consolidates Suits V. Gotham Golf Merger
FIRST UNION: Plaintiffs Ask OH Court To Block Merger With Gotham

LEASECOMM CORPORATION: TX Attorney General Inks Suit Settlement
MCDONNELL DOUGLAS: Judge Gives Final Approval To Partial Accord
MORGAN GROUP: Lodges Lawsuit Over Financing Agreement With GMAC
NETWORK ENGINES: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS: Court Dismisses in Part Securities Suit

NUI CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Launch Consolidated Stock Suit in NJ
ORCHID BIOSCIENCES: NY Court Dismisses in Part Securities Suit
PACER TECHNOLOGY: Stockholders File Suit To Oppose Cyan Merger
PACIFIC CAPITAL: Suit Over IRA Accounts Moved to Federal Court
PACIFIC CAPITAL: Faces Consumer Suit Over RAL Agreements in CA

PHOENIX HOME: Dismissal of NY Lawsuit V. Reorganization Appealed
PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. Ohio
PUBLIC STORAGE: Consumers Commence Suit Over Storage Units in CA
PUBLIC STORAGE: Plaintiffs Appeal Denial of Class Certification
RAMBUS INC.: CA Court Dismisses Suit For Securities Violations

SUPPORTSOFT INC.: NY Court Dismisses in Part Securities Lawsuit
TEXAS: House, Senate Don't Agree Over Medical Malpractice Caps
TEXAS: Special Session To Be Held For Medical Malpractice Bill
TEXAS: Nursing Facility Faces Suit For Putting Residents at Risk
TOM BROWN: Named as Defendant in Suit For Wyoming Royalty Owners

UNITED STATES: Legal Immigrants To Sue Over Delay of Green Card
UNITED STATES: Court Allows Refugee's Deportation To Somalia
VARSITY BRANDS: Stockholders Sue Over Proposed Acquisition in TN


                    New Securities Fraud Cases

ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Rabin Murray Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NY
DIVINE INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Launches Securities Suit in IL


                           *********


AG-BAG INTERNATIONAL: Reaches Settlement in Bag Antitrust Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ag-Bag International Limited reached an end to an ongoing class
action commenced in February 8, 1998, by S&S Forage & Equipment
Company alleging conspiracy to fix prices and sales quotas
involving silage bag manufactures and vendors with plaintiff's
dismissing their complaint in its entirety with prejudice on May
23, 2003.

Ag-Bag International Limited President, Larry Inman, stated,
"This finally brings to a close a long 5 years of tedious
litigation, defense and costs.  We are extremely glad to finally
have this matter behind us with its dismissal."

Ag-Bag International Limited is a northwest company
headquartered in Warrenton, Oregon with a second major facility
located in Blair, Nebraska.  The Company, through its
international operations, manufactures and sells to the
agricultural industry its farm feed management systems for the
high moisture storage of silage and grains.  The Company also
provides services within the area of composting.

For more details, contact Mike Wallis by Phone: 800/334-7432


AMERICAN SEAFOODS: WA Court Heard Appeals on Crewmembers' Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington heard oral arguments on plaintiffs' and defendants'
appeals in the class action filed against American Seafoods
Group, LLC by two former vessel crewmembers alleging that the
Company breached the terms of their crew member agreements,
resulting in the underpayment of the individuals' crew shares
for the 2000 "A" season.

The plaintiffs also claimed that the Company had violated
certain federal requirements that entitle them to be paid the
highest rate of wages paid to similarly rated crew members
aboard other vessels.  On October 11, 2000, the action was
certified as a class action, with the plaintiff class consisting
of all of the crewmembers on all of our vessels during the 2000
"A" season.  The plaintiffs' claim requested damages of
approximately $23 million.

On January 8, 2002, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs
on one of their four specific claims after finding they had
proved that the Company diluted each individual's crew share by
dividing each individual share by a number that was larger than
the number of shares assigned to the whole crew, thereby
depriving the crew members of their full wages.

The court awarded damages in the aggregate amount of $1,607,254
and attorneys' fees and expenses in an aggregate amount to be
determined.  The plaintiffs have requested attorneys' fees of
approximately $600,000.  On April 29, 2002, the court awarded
$383,234 in attorneys' fees and expenses, and an additional
$103,588 to be paid out of the plaintiffs' award at no
additional cost to the Company.

The court further found that the Company's underpayment of crew
shares was not willful.  The court also found that the Company
did not estimate roe prices in good faith for the third fishing
trip of each vessel in the 2000 "A" season.  The court did not
award the plaintiffs any damages with respect to this finding
because the Company had paid the crewmembers a bonus amount in
excess of any damages that resulted from the roe price
estimates.

The plaintiffs have filed a Notice of Appeal in connection with
one of the three claims that the court rejected.  The appealed
claim alleges that the crew contracts did not comply with the
provisions of the applicable statutes, which govern the form,
and content of crewmember contracts.  The Company has filed a
separate Notice of Appeal with respect both to the grant of
attorneys' fees and the award of damages against the Company.  
The court heard oral argument on May 6, 2003.  


AON CORPORATION: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Securities Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class actions filed against Aon
Corporation filed an amended consolidated suit in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,
Eastern Division, on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
Common Stock between May 4, 1999 and August 6, 2002.  The
complaint also names as defendants Patrick G. Ryan, Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer, and Harvey N. Medvin, Executive Vice
President and Chief Financial Officer.

The amended suit contains allegations of violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated under such Act relating to the Company's
press release issued on August 7, 2002.  The plaintiff seeks,
among other things, class action certification, compensatory
damages in an unspecified amount and an award of costs and
expenses, including counsel fees.


CERTEGY CHECK: CA Court Preliminarily Approves Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
California granted preliminary approval to a consumer class
action filed against Certegy Check Services, Inc.

This lawsuit was based on a claim that, during the period August
1992 through December 31, 1996, the Company improperly assessed
a service charge on unpaid checks, which allegedly violated
provisions of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and
California's Unfair Business Practices Act.  The action sought,
among other remedies, a refund of all service charges collected
from California consumers during this period, prejudgment
interest, statutory damages under the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act, and attorneys' fees, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story states.

These amounts in the aggregate could have exceeded $18 million
if the plaintiffs had prevailed in the case.  In November 2002,
the Company entered into a memorandum of understanding with the
plaintiffs providing for a settlement whereby the Company will
pay $3.975 million, net of amounts covered under a Letter of
Agreement with the Company's insurance carriers, to the
plaintiffs in exchange for a full and final release of all
claims asserted.  


COMMERCE ONE: NY Court Dismisses in Part Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York dismissed in part the consolidated securities class
action filed against Commerce One, Inc., several company
officers and directors and the three lead underwriters in the
Company's initial public offering (IPO)

The amended complaint alleges violations of Section 11 and
Section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Section 10(b) of the
Exchange Act (and Rule 10b-5, promulgated thereunder) as a
result of alleged conduct of the underwriters of the IPO to
engage in a scheme to under price the IPO and then artificially
inflate the Company stock price in the aftermarket.  The
complaint seeks unspecified damages on behalf of a purported
class of purchasers of common stock between July 1, 1999 and
June 15, 2001.

Various plaintiffs have filed similar actions asserting
virtually identical allegations against more than 200 other
companies.  The lawsuits against Commerce One and other
companies have been coordinated for pretrial purposes with these
other related lawsuits and have been assigned the collective
caption In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation.

On July 15, 2002, the issuer defendants and individual
defendants filed an omnibus motion to dismiss addressing issues
generally applicable to the defendants as a group.  On October
9, 2002, the district court entered an order dismissing all of
the living individual Company officers and directors from the
case without prejudice.  

On February 16, 2003, the district court entered an order
denying most of the defenses asserted by the defendants in the
omnibus motion to dismiss and allowing most of the case to
proceed.


COMMERCE ONE: Named as Defendant in FL Securities Suit V. CSFB
--------------------------------------------------------------
Commerce One, Inc., along with its Chief Executive Officer and
former Chief Financial Officer, were named as defendants in a
securities class action filed primarily against Credit Suisse
First Boston in the United States District Court, Southern
District of Florida.

In that case, the plaintiff alleges that various investment
banks, issuer companies, and individuals violated securities
laws by engaging in a scheme to under-price initial public
offerings and then artificially inflate prices of those stocks
in the aftermarket.  

It is presently unclear whether or not this latest action will
be transferred and coordinated with the other coordinated
actions in federal court in New York.


COMMTOUCH SOFTWARE: Reaches Settlement For Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Commtouch Software Ltd. settled the shareholder class action
filed on behalf of shareholders against it in early 2001.  The
litigation was initiated against the company and two members of
management in response to the company's announcement that it had
decided to restate earnings for the first three quarters of
2000, alleging violations of the antifraud provisions of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Judge William H. Alsup of the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California, presiding over the
litigation, signed a preliminary order confirming the settlement
terms, which call for the payment of $15 million to shareholders
who are members of the class by virtue of their shareholdings in
the company during the class period (April 19, 2000 through
February 13, 2001).  The settlement terms do not include any
admission or finding of wrongdoing on the part of the company or
individual defendants, who maintained their denials of improper
behavior throughout the proceedings.

Carolyn Chin, Chairman of the Board of Commtouch, commented, "We
are relieved that this unfortunate episode is now behind us, and
we can concentrate all of our attention on our anti-spam
solutions - ASAP!(TM) - and the growth of the business.  We very
much appreciate all those who have stood by us during the
difficult times."

For more details, contact Gary Davis by Phone: 650/864-2290 or
by E-mail: media@commtouch.com


CONCEPTUAL MARKETING: Recalls 1.1M Metal Blades For Injury Risk
---------------------------------------------------------------
Conceptual Marketing & Development, Inc. is cooperating with the
US Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling
approximately 1.1 million metal blades for their model 4650 weed
cutting attachment.  The blades can break off and hit consumers
causing severe impact and laceration injuries.
        
The Company and the commission are aware of 16 reports of blades
breaking, resulting in 12 injuries.  Injuries have ranged from
lacerations requiring stitches to tendon and bone injuries.
        
Only cast aluminum metal alloy blades are included in the
recall.  The blades measure 1/4 inch thick, 1 inch wide and 4
inches long, and are a dull silver color.  Blades that are
either smooth on the bottom or have ridges are included in the
recall.  All of the blades were made in the USA.
        
Home improvement and hardware stores nationwide sold the blades
with the weed cutting attachments, or separately as
replacements, from November 1999 through December 2001.The model
4650 weed cutter with blades sold for about $15 and a set of
three replacement blades sold for about $6.
        
For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (800) 210-9949
between 8 am and 5 pm PT Monday through Friday.


DELTA AIR LINES: 50 Travel Agents Opt Out of NC Antitrust Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fifty travel agents opted out of the class action filed against
several airlines, including Delta Air Lines, Inc. in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
on behalf of all travel agents in the United States, Puerto Rico
and the US Virgin Islands which sold tickets on the defendant
airlines between 1997 and 2002.  The lawsuit alleges that the
airline defendants conspired to fix travel agent commissions in
violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

The plaintiffs have asserted similar individual claims in a
lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California.  The Company is vigorously
defending these lawsuits.  Although the ultimate outcome of
these matters cannot be predicted with certainty, management
believes that the resolution of these actions will not have a
material adverse effect on its condensed consolidated financial
statements.


DELTA AIR LINES: Court Grants Summary Judgment in Antitrust Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of
California granted Delta Air Lines, Inc.'s motion for summary
judgment in the class action filed on behalf of all travel
agencies from which the Company has demanded payment for breach
of the agencies' contractual and fiduciary duties to Delta in
connection with Delta ticket sale transactions from September
20, 1997 to the present.  The lawsuit alleges that the Company's
conduct violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO) and creates liability for
unjust enrichment.

The plaintiff's time to appeal has not yet expired.  The Company
is vigorously defending these lawsuits.  Although the ultimate
outcome of these matters cannot be predicted with certainty,
management believes that the resolution of these actions will
not have a material adverse effect on its condensed consolidated
financial statements.


DELTA AIR LINES: Court Dismisses Travel Agents' Antitrust Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York dismissed without prejudice the class action filed
against several airlines, including Delta Air Lines, Inc., on
behalf of a nationwide class of travel agents.

The suit alleges that the airlines breached their contracts with
and their duties of good faith and fair dealing to US travel
agencies when the airlines discontinued the payment of published
base commissions to US travel agencies at various times
beginning in March 2002.

In April 2003, the court granted the airlines' motion to dismiss
this lawsuit, and granted plaintiff leave to file an amended
lawsuit.  The Company is vigorously defending the suit.  
Although the ultimate outcome of these matters cannot be
predicted with certainty, management believes that the
resolution of these actions will not have a material adverse
effect on the Company's consolidated financial statements.


DIAMOND TRIUMPH: Faces Unfair Trade Practices Suit Filed in PA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Diamond Triumph Auto Glass, Inc. faces a class action filed in
the Court of Common Please of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania on
behalf of its customers.  Plaintiffs allege, among other things,
that the Company violated certain sections of the Pennsylvania
Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law and common
law.  

Plaintiffs allege that this alleged conduct has caused monetary
damages, and are seeking damages in an amount to be determined
at trial.  The Company believes the allegations are without
merit and plans to vigorously contest this complaint.


ENRON CORPORATION: Mulls Suing Bankers Over Bad Financial Advice
----------------------------------------------------------------
Enron Corporation is now considering bringing legal action
against its own principal bankers over the issue of their having
given the company bad financial advice that helped lead to the
downfall of the Houston energy company, The Wall Street Journal
reports.

The latest strategy, laid out in a pair of little-noticed
motions filed in bankruptcy court in Manhattan, reveals not only
the attempt by Enron's chief executive officer Stephen F. Cooper
to settle all the litigation involving Enron and its bankers,
shareholders and creditors, but it also reveals how difficult it
has become for Enron's principal bankers, including J.P. Morgan
Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc., to remove or even distance
themselves from the ruins of Enron's collapse.

Both of the banks, above-named, along with numerous other Enron
advisers, already have been sued by the company's shareholders
for allegedly helping the company hide debt, and they face
investigations from the regulators over such alleged
involvements.

The Enron phenomenon is part of a rising pile of legal problems
for the banking industry.  For example, earlier this month, a
federal judge in New York refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought
by former shareholders of WorldCom Inc., now known as MCI,
against Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and other underwriters of
WorldCom bonds.

A more current example of the banking industry's ongoing legal
problems is the lawsuit brought last Friday by Allied Irish
Banks PLC, which sued Bank of America Corporation and Citigroup
over their dealings with a former trader who notched $691
million of losses for Allfirst Financial Inc., formerly an
Allied unit.

Bankruptcy experts say it is not surprising that the banks would
find themselves targeted, since when it comes to litigation
involving companies in bankruptcy, accounting firms and banks
are regarded as having the deepest pockets around.  Enron's
consideration of potential claims against its bankers is part of
its broad effort to orchestrate a settlement that will involve
the large-pocketed bankers.

In the recent filing, Enron said lawyer H. Lee Godfrey of Susman
Godfrey LLP, had agreed to represent the company "in connection
with the evaluation, investigation, assertion and negotiation of
claims, causes of action, demands and other obligations against"
16 financial institutions.

While it might seem strange for a company accused of fraud to
blame its advisers for its losses, the duty of a company in
Chapter 11 is to recoup as much money as possible for its
creditors.  Federal bankruptcy law allows companies to try to
reclaim money paid out in the months prior to the bankruptcy
filing that benefited one set of creditors at the expense of
another.

Many of the financial institutions that worked for Enron already
are at the center of investigations and litigation over the
controversial financial transactions they helped arrange for the
company, and the special-purpose entities they were involved in
setting up.  Enron shareholders, who are represented by William
S. Lerach of the law firm Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach,
have sued many of them.   Mr. Lerach already has said that he
would look dubiously upon any effort by Enron to assert claims
against its bankers for their financial advice.

"In our view, that is not a legitimate effort," he said.  "It is
an effort by the primary wrongdoer to divert money away from the
true victims of the wrongdoing to itself."

Lawyers involved in the bankruptcy case per se, view Mr.
Cooper's initiative as an effort to take control of the lawsuit
settlement process and to stake a claim to a portion of any
settlement money that Enron shareholders can wring out of the
banks.  Hiring a Texas litigator to represent Enron, these
people say, could help in that process.

"At the end of the day, there is an issue between Mr. Lerach and
the estate and the creditors as to who gets what," said a person
involved in the matter.  "What Mr. Cooper is doing is hiring a
Lerach-type guy to represent the estate.  No bank is going to
settle only with Mr. Lerach or only the estate.  This has
everything to do with getting a global peace and getting this
behind you."

Martin Bienstock, lead bankruptcy lawyer for Enron, did not
elaborate on the potential claims against the banks, except to
explain briefly the theory under which the banks might have
caused harm to Enron.

"In some instances, the people at the company and its board of
directors thought the transactions they were entering into were
appropriate, because they were recommended by some of the
financial institutions that were serving as both lenders and
advisors to the company," Mr. Bienstock has said.

Late last week, New York federal bankruptcy Judge Arthur J.
Gonzalez, who is handling Enron's bankruptcy, and Houston
federal Judge Melinda Harmon, who presides over the
shareholders' class action, ordered the lawyers involved to
attend an unusual "joint status conference."  In their order,
the two judges said only that the hearing "would be beneficial
to the resolution of these cases."


FIRST UNION: NY Court Consolidates Suits V. Gotham Golf Merger
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of New York in New York granted class
certification to a consolidated suit filed against First Union
Real Estate Equity & Mortgage Investments, on behalf of holders
of the Trust's convertible preferred shares.

The first suit was filed in April 2002, alleging that the
proposed transaction with Gotham Golf Corporation was approved
by the Trust's Board of Trustees in violation of fiduciary
duties owed to the holders of the Trust's convertible preferred
shares.  The suit seeks, among other things, unspecified
damages, an injunction of the proposed transaction and the
court's certification of the lawsuit as a class action.  Named
as defendants in the lawsuit were the Trust, its five then
trustees and Gotham Partners, LP.

In November 2002 the court issued an order granting motions for
preliminary injunction.  On December 2002, the court issued an
order re-affirming its preliminary injunction barring the
proposed merger of the Trust with and into Gotham Golf.  The
court's order also extended indefinitely the preliminary
injunction previously granted with respect to the proposed
merger transaction and directed the parties of the lawsuit to
attend a preliminary conference for the purpose of scheduling
discovery.

The Trust filed a notice of appeal of the preliminary injunction
with the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court.  Oral
argument with respect to the appeal was held before a judicial
panel of the Appellate Division - First Department of the New
York Supreme Court on March 11, 2003.  There is no specific
timetable for the appellate court to render its decision.

It is not possible to predict the outcome of the appellate
process with respect to lifting the injunction.  In the event
that the Appellate Division rules that the injunction should not
be lifted, the case will proceed to trial on the merits.  In the
event that the injunction imposed by the trial court were lifted
and dissolved, it is the intention of the Trust and, to the best
of the Trust's knowledge, Gotham Partners and the other Gotham
Partners-affiliated parties to the proposed merger transaction,
to take the steps necessary to consummate the proposed
transaction.  However, any party to the suit may seek leave of
the Appellate Division to appeal to the Court of Appeals of the
State of New York an adverse ruling by the Appellate Division
regarding the injunction granted by the trial court.

In November 2002, First Carolina Investors, Inc., a holder of
preferred shares, filed a separate lawsuit in New York Supreme
Court for New York County, naming the same defendants as in the
first case.  On December 20, 2002, the suits were consolidated
alleging, among others, breach of contract, aiding and abetting
breach of contract, tortuous interference with the contract,
breach of fiduciary duties, aiding and abetting of breach of
fiduciary duties and unconscionability against the defendants.

On April 30, 2003, the trial court granted the plaintiff's
motion to certify the litigation as a class action.  The Trust
regards the lawsuit as being without merit and will vigorously
defend against the asserted claims.


FIRST UNION: Plaintiffs Ask OH Court To Block Merger With Gotham
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs asked the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division to issue a
preliminary injunction blocking the merger of First Union Real
Estate Equity & Mortgage Investments with Gotham Partners, LP.

The suit was filed by a purported holder of the Trust's common
shares, on behalf of itself and the Trust common shareholders as
a class.  Named as defendants in the lawsuit are the Trust,
Gotham Partners, William Ackman and the four current Trustees of
the Trust.  

The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the lawsuit is maintainable
as a class action and certification that the plaintiff, K-A &
Company, Ltd., is the representative of the class.  Among the
allegations asserted are breach of fiduciary duty and aiding and
abetting thereof in connection with the transactions
contemplated by the Merger Agreement.

The relief requested by the plaintiff includes an injunction
preventing the defendants from proceeding with consummation of
the merger, rescission of the merger if it occurs, an accounting
for any profits realized by the defendants as a result of the
actions complained of, an order permitting the creation of a
shareholders' committee composed of the Trust common
shareholders and their representatives to manage the affairs of
the Trust, compensatory damages and the costs and disbursements
of plaintiff's counsel.

On April 10, 2003, the plaintiff filed a motion for a
preliminary injunction seeking an order preventing the
defendants from consummation of the merger. The defendants have
filed a motion requesting the court to stay consideration of the
plaintiff's motion pending a decision on the appeal of the
preliminary injunction entered by the New York Supreme Court for
New York County in a similar suit.  The court has not ruled on
either motion and there is no timetable for a ruling.


LEASECOMM CORPORATION: TX Attorney General Inks Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced a seven-state
settlement today that stops deceptive practices of
Massachusetts-based finance company Leasecomm Corporation and
its parent company Microfinancial, Inc.  These companies finance
a variety of products for small businesses, but they have also
financed many deceptive business opportunities.

The settlement, which also includes the Federal Trade
Commission, corrects problems many consumers reported when they
signed up for business opportunities through vendors.  The
consumers later found that financing for the ventures was done
through leases with Leasecomm and that these could not be
cancelled.  When they complained about the fraudulent nature
of the businesses, Leasecomm pursued collections aggressively
and reported many disputed amounts to credit agencies as
delinquent.

The announcement substantially changes the way Leasecomm
conducts its business.  The company can no longer finance
business opportunities; it must cease collections on many of the
court judgments it obtained against consumers (about 600 in
Texas); and it must allow consumers to defend against collection
suits where they live or where the lease was signed.

"This really amounted to a sham that almost guaranteed a
mountain of debt for the consumer, yet the vendors promised
grand profits leading to financial freedom," said Attorney
General Abbott.  "The pattern of contractual deception to avoid
legal entanglements is just outrageous.  We have laws in this
state to bring such frauds to justice and get relief for those
who were harmed."

Leasecomm financed items such as credit card swiping machines
for point-of-sale purchases and online customer payment systems
(called "virtual terminals").  Consumers often complained that
these items malfunctioned to the point of being useless in
conducting the enterprises for which they had contracted.  
Moreover, the consumers had unwittingly entered into non-
cancelable contracts for up to four years in payment for
the products and the worthless business opportunities.

The business opportunities included Internet web malls,
multilevel marketing, pyramid schemes, medical billing software,
coupon clipping programs and other get-rich-quick schemes that
duped consumers with deceptive contracts.  Leasecomm's "leases"
typically went for up to $4,000 with a four-year payout, and
most often the leases failed to explain what the consumers were
actually paying for.

In one incident, a consumer complained that she went to a
seminar for starting Web-based businesses.  She was given a hard
sell, told to sign many documents, and only later learned that
she had authorized a regular draft from her checking account of
about $65 a month to Leasecomm.  When she got home and called
the vendors, she was told she needed to pay an additional $2,000
for "business coaching."  At that point the vendor told her that
she would be in the vending business.

Another consumer reported Leasecomm taking $89 a month from his
bank account, even though he informed Leasecomm that he never
received working copies of the software he purchased to start
his own business.  The company he originally signed up with also
had moved and left no forwarding phone number.  Despite this,
Leasecomm still insisted that he must direct his complaints to
this defunct business.

Consumers in other states reported similar experiences.  Besides
Texas, other states endorsing today's settlement are
Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, North Dakota, North Carolina
and Kansas, as well as the District Attorney of Ventura County,
California.


MCDONNELL DOUGLAS: Judge Gives Final Approval To Partial Accord
---------------------------------------------------------------
A federal judge gave final approval recently to a partial $36
million settlement in a class action filed against McDonnell
Douglas Corporation, the Associated Press Newswires reports.  US
District Judge Sven Erik Holmes also approved an $8.75 million
payment for plaintiffs' attorney fees, plus $1 million for their
costs and expenses, leaving $26.25 million for the plaintiffs.

The partial settlement resolves all claims in the lawsuit except
the issue of back pay.  Judge Holmes held a hearing on May 7, to
gauge the fairness of the agreement, which was reached during
private mediation in January in San Francisco.  Some of the
plaintiffs argued against the pact at the hearing, but Judge
Holmes said the objections did not establish a basis for
rejecting the settlement.

Judge Holmes found McDonnell Douglas liable on September 5,
2001, for violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act,
when it announced in December 1993, that it was closing its
Tulsa plant.  The class action with 1,074 plaintiffs was filed
in 1994.

Judge Holmes ruled that back pay would not be excluded when
considering damages.  However, plaintiffs' attorneys convinced
the judge that the plaintiffs are dying off as the issue of back
pay continued to elude settlement.  McDonnell Douglas, which
merged with Boeing in 1997, claimed in one of its filings that
back pay "dwarfs every other category of damages."  Thus,
partial settlement emerged as a way to serve all interests.

Plaintiffs' attorney Joseph Farris said each of the plaintiffs
will receive from $5,000 to about $150,000, under the terms of
the partial settlement.


MORGAN GROUP: Lodges Lawsuit Over Financing Agreement With GMAC
---------------------------------------------------------------
Morgan Group Holdings, Inc. on behalf of itself and all other
persons who purchased or acquired its securities during the
period of November 13, 2001 through August 19, 2002, commenced a
class action against:

     (1) Anthony T. Castor III, its Chief Executive Officer
         during the class period,  

     (2) Gary J. Klusman, Chief Financial Officer during the
         class period,  

     (3) Michael Archual, the President of Drive Away, Inc., a
         subsidiary of the Company, during the class period and

     (4) Ernst & Young LLP, the Company's independent auditor
         during the class period

The lawsuit seeks recovery of monetary damages as a result of
the Company's failure to truthfully disclose the status of its
compliance with loan covenants and other provisions contained
within a financing agreement between the Company and GMAC
Commercial Credit LLC (GMAC) and to properly report receivables
due to GMAC pursuant to the Revolving Credit and Security
Agreement governing the Credit Facility.

The lawsuit alleges that as a result of the failure to comply
with the loan covenants contained in the credit agreement during
the relevant period and the subsequent discovery of such
violations, the Company was effectively deprived of credit
sources.  

The lawsuit further alleges that this loss of financing
ultimately forced the Company and its subsidiaries to file for
bankruptcy protection, thereby causing damages to the Company
and all other investors in Company securities during the class
period.  


NETWORK ENGINES: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York refused to dismiss the consolidated securities class
action filed against Network Engines, Inc. and:

     (1) Lawrence A. Genovesi (the Company's Chairman and former
         Chief Executive Officer),

     (2) Douglas G. Bryant (the Company's Chief Financial
         Officer and Vice President of Finance and
         Administration),

     (3) FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc.,

     (4) Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation,

     (5) Goldman Sachs & Co.,

     (6) Lehman Brothers Inc. and

     (7) Salomon Smith Barney, Inc.

The suit alleges that the defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing and selling securities pursuant to
the Company's initial public offering in July 2000 (IPO) without
disclosing to investors that the underwriter defendants had
solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions
from certain investors.  The suit also alleges that the
underwriter defendants entered into agreements with certain
customers whereby the underwriter defendants agreed to allocate
to those customers shares of the Company's stock in the
offering, in exchange for which the customers agreed to purchase
additional shares of the Company's stock in the aftermarket at
pre-determined prices.

The suit alleges that such tie-in arrangements were designed to
and did maintain, distort and/or inflate the price of the
Company's common stock in the aftermarket.  The suit further
alleges that the underwriter defendants received undisclosed
and excessive brokerage commissions and that, as a consequence,
they successfully increased investor interest in the manipulated
IPO securities and increased their individual and collective
underwritings, compensation and revenues.

The suit seeks damages and certification of a plaintiff class
consisting of all persons who acquired shares of the Company's
Common Stock between July 13, 2000 and December 6, 2000.

In July 2002, the Company, Mr. Genovesi and Mr. Bryant joined in
an omnibus motion to dismiss challenging the legal sufficiency
of plaintiffs' claims.  The motion was filed on behalf of
hundreds of issuer and individual defendants named in similar
lawsuits.  

In October 2002, Mr. Genovesi and Mr. Bryant were dismissed from
this case without prejudice. Plaintiffs opposed the motion, and
the court heard oral argument on the motion in November 2002.  
On February 19, 2003, the court issued an opinion and order
denying the motion as to the Company and the case may now
proceed to discovery.  


NUANCE COMMUNICATIONS: Court Dismisses in Part Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California dismissed in part the consolidated securities class
action filed against Nuance Communications, Inc. and certain of
its present and former officers and directors.

The consolidated complaint was filed on behalf of a purported
class of persons who purchased the Company's stock during the
period January 31, 2001 through March 15, 2001, alleging false
and misleading statements and insider trading in violation of
the federal securities laws, specifically Section 10(b), 20(a)
and 20A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and seeks
unspecified damages.

In April 2003, the court granted in part and denied in part
defendants' most recent motion to dismiss.  No trial date has
been set.


NUI CORPORATION: Plaintiffs Launch Consolidated Stock Suit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class actions filed against Nui
Corporation lodged an amended consolidated suit in the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

The suit alleges that the Company and its president and chief
executive officer violated federal securities laws by issuing
false statements and failing to disclose information regarding
the company's financial condition and current and future
financial prospects in its earnings statements, press releases,
and in statements to analysts and others.

The amended complaint, brought on behalf of a putative class of
purchasers of the Company's common stock between November
8, 2001 and October 17, 2002, asserts claims under Section
10(b), including Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Section
20(a) of the Exchange Act against the Company, its president and
chief executive officer, and its chief financial officer.  
Specifically, the amended complaint alleges that the defendants:

     (1) failed to disclose material facts that would impair the
         company's current and future earnings, including the
         allegedly accurate amount and explanation of the
         company's bad debts, a purportedly illegal practice by
         the company in "re-terminating" intrastate calls;
         alleged accounting improprieties in connection with
         purportedly unearned revenue and allegedly inaccurate
         earnings per share information; and

     (2) inflated the company's earnings materially by allegedly
         making misleading statements concerning, and failing to
         properly record, bad debt costs, allegedly attributing
         the company's rising costs to incorrect and immaterial
         factors and purportedly pursuing illegal
         telecommunications billing practices.

The amended complaint seeks unspecified monetary damages on
behalf of the class, including costs and attorneys fees.

Furthermore, on December 23, 2002, a law firm made a public
announcement with respect to a lawsuit purportedly filed in the
Southern District of New York on behalf of a putative class of
purchasers of the Company's  common stock between November 8,
2001 and October 17, 2002 against the Company and John Kean,
Jr., alleging violations under Section 10(b), including Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the Exchange
Act.  

Specifically, the announcement alleges that the company
knowingly or recklessly failed to properly record fixed cost
expenses, accrue necessary pension expenses and reserve adequate
amounts for its self-insured medical benefits in its quarterly
financial statements.

At this time, the company has not been served with the purported
complaint.  Although the company intends to vigorously defend
these lawsuits, it is not possible at this time to determine a
likely outcome.


ORCHID BIOSCIENCES: NY Court Dismisses in Part Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York dismissed in part the consolidated securities class
action filed on behalf of persons purchasing Orchid Biosciences,
Inc.'s stock between May 4, 2000 and December 6, 2000.

The suit alleged violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  

The complaint alleged that, in connection with the Company's May
5, 2000 initial public offering, the defendants failed to
disclose additional and excessive commissions purportedly
solicited by and paid to the underwriter defendants in exchange
for allocating shares of the Company's stock to preferred
customers and alleged agreements among the underwriter
defendants and preferred customers tying the allocation of IPO
shares to agreements to make additional aftermarket purchases at
pre-determined prices.

Plaintiffs claim that the failure to disclose these alleged
arrangements made the Company's registration statement on Form
S-1 filed with the SEC in May 2000 and the prospectus, a part of
the registration statement, materially false and misleading.  
Plaintiffs seek unspecified damages.

On February 19, 2003, the court decided to dismiss the Section
10(b) claims against the Company.  The claims against
individuals officers named as defendants were earlier dismissed
without prejudice, subject to a tolling agreement.  There is
currently a draft settlement agreement in review by defendant
issuers.

The Company has not reserved any amount related to this case as
it believes that the allegations are without merit and it
intends to vigorously defend itself against the plaintiffs'
claims.


PACER TECHNOLOGY: Stockholders File Suit To Oppose Cyan Merger
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pacer Technology faces a class action filed in the Superior
Court of the State of California, for the County of San
Bernardino on behalf of all public holders of the Company's
stock.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Ellis T. Gravette, Jr.,

     (2) Carl E. Hathaway,

     (3) Richard S. Kay and

     (4) John G. Hockin, II

This complaint, which has not yet been served on the Company or,
to its knowledge, on any of the other named defendants, seeks:

     (i) an order from the Court affirming that the action may
         be maintained as a class action and certifying the
         plaintiff as the representative of the public
         shareholders;

    (ii) an injunction to prevent consummation of Cyan's
         proposed acquisition of Pacer and

   (iii) unspecified damages

No action has yet been taken by the Company or its directors
with respect to the Cyan proposal, other than to appoint a
Special Committee of the Board to consider that proposal and any
alternatives to that proposal that may be available to the
Company.  As a result, the Company believes that the allegations
in the complaint are without merit.  If the suit is served, the
Company intends to vigorously defend against it.


PACIFIC CAPITAL: Suit Over IRA Accounts Moved to Federal Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific Capital Bancorp moved the class action filed against it
on behalf of persons who lost funds from their Individual
Retirement Accounts (IRAs) which were invested with Mr. Reed
Slatkin to the United States District Court in Los Angeles,
California.

Mr. Slatkin has pled guilty to having operated a fraudulent
scheme which defrauded hundreds of investors.  The Company is
the custodian of approximately 30 self-directed IRA accounts.  
The participants of the accounts specifically directed the Trust
Division of the Company to invest their IRA funds in a limited
partnership operated by Mr. Slatkin.  The participants each
signed a written investment direction in which they directed the
Company to invest their funds in the Slatkin limited
partnership, stated that they had verified the security of the
investment and the financial strength of the partnership, and
held the Company harmless for any and all claims or loss
resulting from the investment.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensation from the Company for the
loss of funds that were invested in the Slatkin limited
partnership at their direction.  The Company believes that there
is no merit to the claims made in this action and intends to
vigorously defend itself.


PACIFIC CAPITAL: Faces Consumer Suit Over RAL Agreements in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pacific Capital Bancorp faces a class action filed on behalf of
persons who entered into a refund anticipation loan (RAL)
application and agreement with the Company from whose tax refund
the Company deducted a debt owed by the applicant to another RAL
lender.  The lawsuit is pending in the Superior Court in San
Francisco, California.

The Company is a party to a separate cross-collection agreement
with each of the other RAL lenders by which it agrees to collect
sums due to those other lenders on delinquent RALs by deducting
those sums from tax refunds due to its RAL customers and
remitting those funds to the RAL lender to whom the debt is
owed.  This cross-collection procedure is disclosed in the RAL
Agreement with the RAL customer and is specifically authorized
and agreed to by the customer.

The plaintiff does not contest the validity of the debt, but
contends that the cross-collection is illegal and requests
damages on behalf of the class, injunctive relief against the
Company, restitution of sums collected, punitive damages and
attorneys' fees.

The Company believes that there is no merit to the claims made
in this action and intends to vigorously defend itself.


PHOENIX HOME: Dismissal of NY Lawsuit V. Reorganization Appealed
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the Supreme Court of the State of New York
for New York County's dismissal of a class action filed against
Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Company, challenging its
reorganization and the adequacy of the information provided
to policyholders regarding the plan of reorganization.

The plaintiff sought to maintain a class action on behalf of a
putative class consisting of the eligible policyholders of
Phoenix Life as of December 18, 2000, the date the plan of
reorganization was adopted.  Plaintiff seeks compensatory
damages for losses allegedly sustained by the class as a result
of the demutualization, punitive damages and other relief.
The defendants named in the lawsuit also include The Phoenix
Companies, Inc., directors of Phoenix Life, as well as Morgan
Stanley & Co. Incorporated, financial advisor to Phoenix Life in
connection with the plan of reorganization.

A motion to dismiss the claims asserted in this lawsuit has
recently been granted.  The plaintiff has filed a notice of
appeal.  The Company believes the suit is without merit.


PROVIDENT FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. Ohio
----------------------------------------------------------------
Provident Financial Group, Inc. faces a class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Ohio by shareholder Silverback Master Ltd.  The suit also names
as defendants:

     (1) PFGI Capital Corporation,  

     (2) Provident's President Robert L. Hoverson,  

     (3) Provident's Chief Financial Officer Christopher J.
         Carey,

     (4) Allen L. Davis and

     (5) John R. Farrenkopf

The suit, filed on behalf of all purchasers of PRIDES in or
traceable to a June 6, 2002 offering of those securities
registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and
extending to March 5, 2003, is based upon circumstances involved
in a restatement of earnings announced by the Company on March
5, 2003.  It alleges violations of securities laws by the
defendants in the Company's financial disclosures during the
period from March 30, 1998 through March 5, 2003 and in the June
2002 offering.


PUBLIC STORAGE: Consumers Commence Suit Over Storage Units in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Public Storage, Inc. faces a class action filed in California
Superior Court in Orange County on behalf of a putative class of
renters who rented self-storage units from the Company.  
Plaintiff alleges that the Company misrepresented the size of
its storage units and has brought claims under California
statutory and common law relating to consumer protection, fraud,
unfair competition, and negligent misrepresentation.  Plaintiff
is seeking monetary damages, restitution, and declaratory and
injunctive relief.

Based upon the uncertainty inherent in any putative class
action, the Company cannot presently determine the potential
damages, if any, or the ultimate outcome of this litigation.  
The Company is vigorously contesting the claims upon which this
lawsuit is based.


PUBLIC STORAGE: Plaintiffs Appeal Denial of Class Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed California Superior Court for Los Angeles
County's denial of class certification for the suit filed
against Public Storage, Inc. on behalf of California resident
property managers who claim that they were not compensated for
all the hours they worked.  

The named plaintiffs have indicated that their claims total less
than $20,000 in aggregate.  This maximum potential liability
cannot be estimated, but can only be increased if a class is
certified or if claims are permitted to be brought on behalf of
the others under the California Unfair Business Practices Act.  

The plaintiffs' motion for class certification was denied in
August 2002.  This denial does not deal with the claim under the
California Unfair Business Practices Act.  The Company is
continuing to vigorously contest the claims in this case and
intends to resist any expansion beyond the named plaintiffs on
the grounds of lack of commonality of claims.  The Company's
resistance will include opposing the plaintiffs' appeal of the
court's denial of class certification and opposing the claim on
behalf of others under the California Unfair Business Practices
Act.


RAMBUS INC.: CA Court Dismisses Suit For Securities Violations
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California dismissed the securities class action filed against
Rambus, Inc. and certain of its top officers and directors by
the Teachers' Retirement System of Louisiana and Louisiana
Municipal Police Employees' Retirement System.

The complaint alleged that defendants misrepresented that the
Company owned certain enforceable patents when, in fact, Rambus
obtained the patents through fraud.  These allegations were
based upon the evidentiary record developed in a federal lawsuit
in Virginia titled Rambus, Inc. v. Infineon Techs. AG, which
resulted in a jury verdict that Rambus had committed actual
fraud.

On January 29, 2003, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
overturned the jury verdict against Rambus in the Infineon case,
finding that Rambus's conduct did not constitute actual fraud.  
Based on this ruling, lead plaintiffs moved to dismiss the suit
with prejudice.

The dismissal of the suit does not prevent any individual
investor covered by this suit from bringing his own lawsuit
against the Company, so long as the lawsuit is brought within
the time provided by the statute of limitations.

For more details, contact Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann
LLP by Phone: (858) 793-0070 or by E-mail: nikio@blbglaw.com.  


SUPPORTSOFT INC.: NY Court Dismisses in Part Securities Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York dismissed in part the consolidated securities class
action filed against SupportSoft, Inc. and:

    (1) Radha Basu,

    (2) Brian Beattie,

    (3) Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation,

    (4) Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc., and

    (5) FleetBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc.

The complaint alleged, inter alia, that the Company's
registration statement and prospectus dated July 18, 2000 for
the issuance and initial public offering of 4,250,000 shares of
the Company's common stock contained material misrepresentations
and/or omissions, related to alleged inflated commissions
received by the underwriters of the offering.  The lawsuit seeks
unspecified damages as well as interest, fees and costs.

Similar complaints have been filed against 55 underwriters and
more than 300 other companies and other individual officers and
directors of those companies.  All of the complaints against the
underwriters, issuers and individuals have been consolidated for
pre-trail purposes before US District Court Judge Scheindlin of
the Southern District of New York.  Pretrial motions and
discovery were stayed pending a ruling on a motion to dismiss
the claims by defendants.

On February 19, 2003, the court issued an opinion granting
defendants' motion in part, and denying the motions in part.  In
summary, the court ruled that the case may proceed against the
underwriters on the theories alleging violations of section 11
of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the case may proceed against
the Company, Radha Basu and Brian Beattie with respect to a
claim for violation of section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933,
and, subject to a pending motion for reconsideration against Mr.
Beattie with respect to a claim for violation of section 10(b).

The Company has retained Pillsbury Winthrop LLP as its lead
counsel, and tendered notice to its insurance carrier pursuant
to the terms of our insurance policy.  While the Company cannot
predict with certainty the outcome of the litigation, it
believes that the claims against it and its officers are without
merit and intends to defend the lawsuit vigorously.


TEXAS: House, Senate Don't Agree Over Medical Malpractice Caps
--------------------------------------------------------------
The survival of legislation aiming to limit civil liability
lawsuits depends on whether the House will accept the Senate's
higher limits on medical malpractice awards; specifically, the
caps for pain and suffering, Associated Press Newswires reports.

Senator William Ratliff, R-Mount Pleasant, said he will go no
lower in setting caps for pain and suffering awards than
$250,000 per doctor and $750,000 total.  The House version sets
a $250,000 maximum.  This dispute appears to be the "sticking
point" between the two chambers as Senator Ratliff, author of
the Senate version of the bill, says he has gone low enough.

The impasse on the medical malpractice caps has kept the bill
from moving forward as the legislative session approaches its
end on Monday next.  Sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Joseph
Nixon, R-Houston, said the lower cap of $250,000 is needed,
standing alone; the Senate version with its $750,000 total
"guarantee(s) that three doctors are going to get sued in every
case."

Senator Ratliff's refusal to call for a conference committee to
negotiate the difference has frustrated the doctors and business
groups who support Mr. Nixon's plan.  However, Senator Ratliff
said the bill can be saved.

"It doesn't need to die," the Senator said, as he explained that
both versions shield individual doctors from having to pay more
than $250,000.  Mr. Ratliff considers the higher cap for total
damages is necessary so as to rectify the most egregious cases
of negligence.

The malpractice caps are part of a sweeping piece of legislation
that would change the way Texans can pursue civil lawsuits.  The
bill is designed to limit the number of lawsuits filed by making
new rules for class actions by:

     (1) placing limits on which parties pay for damages;

     (2) creating new protections for retailers and
         manufacturers; and

     (3) restricting attorney's fees

The civil liabilities lawsuits and the medical malpractice bills
had started out separately, but a House committee rolled the two
bills into one before moving quickly to approve the combined
bill.  The full House passed the measure over vocal Democratic
opposition.

Senator Ratliff's State Affairs Committee listened to more than
60 hours of testimony from all parties, and this deliberate pace
earned Senator Ratliff praise from all corners on the issue.  
Senator Ratliff's original plan would have removed any award cap
if a jury reached an unanimous verdict.  This was a plan he
reluctantly agreed to abandon, but which he has referred to,
when he said, "I have moved (my position) far more than anybody
else in this building."

The stalemate has led to speculation in the Capitol that
Governor Perry, who supports the House position, would call a
special session if the bill dies or if he is forced to sign the
Senate version into law.


TEXAS: Special Session To Be Held For Medical Malpractice Bill
--------------------------------------------------------------
Governor Rick Perry has confirmed that he will call a special
session as early as next week if the Senate does not move to
reduce the medical malpractice award caps for pain and suffering
to $250,000, the Associated Press Newswires reports.

The leader of the House effort, Rep. Joseph Nixon, R-Houston,
said that the Governor had promised him a special session if the
caps are not approved.  Governor Perry has declared lowering the
medical malpractice rates for doctors an emergency issue for the
legislative session, but the House and Senate have yet to
resolve what is becoming a bitter stalemate over how low to cap
pain and suffering damage awards.

The House plan sets the cap at $250,000 maximum per plaintiff.  
The Senate plan, written by Senator William Ratliff, R-Mount
Pleasant, caps doctor liability at $250,000 for each physician,
with a maximum of $750,000 per plaintiff.  It also sets $500,000
as the maximum for hospitals.

Rep. Nixon said his $250,000 cap is the only way to make
malpractice insurance affordable for doctors.  Medical groups
say skyrocketing costs are forcing doctors to close their
practices or move out of state and that caps would curb
frivolous lawsuits.

Senator Ratliff said that both versions shield individual
doctors from having to pay more than $250,000.  He said he
favors the higher cap for total damages as a way to rectify the
most egregious cases of negligence.  The medical malpractice
issue is part of a larger bill with sweeping changes to the way
civil liability lawsuits are to be filed in Texas.  The bill
would create new liability protections for manufacturers and
retailers while creating new rules for class actions and limits
on which parties pay for damages.

The result of a special session could be that lawmakers would be
forced to start from 'scratch' on a bill that was the subject of
bitter debate for several days in the House and a month of
testimony in the Senate.

The House last week set up a negotiating team to work out their
differences.  Senator Ratliff, so far, has refused, saying he
sees no need because there does not seem to be any ground for
negotiations.
                 

TEXAS: Nursing Facility Faces Suit For Putting Residents at Risk
----------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a lawsuit on behalf of
the state against the operators of a Fort Worth nursing facility
that failed to meet minimum licensing standards and put
residents at serious risk. Inspectors who visited Westhaven
Nursing Center at 1617 West Cannon in Fort Worth found numerous
health and safety violations at the facility during their visits
in the summer of 2001.

One allegation involves the sexual assault of a 58-year-old male
resident by a staff member, who was assisted by another
employee.  The victim was sodomized with objects and verbally
abused while three nurse aides watched; they reportedly failed
to intervene or report the incident.  Weeks later, a 22-year-old
male resident left the facility undetected.  He had recently
been admitted with diagnoses of a closed head injury, seizures,
psychosis and weakness in the left side of his body.

The State's investigation found he had tried to leave once
before, and that staff were aware the door alarm was not working
properly at the time of his disappearance.  Police found the man
dead of hyperthermia (unusually high body temperature) two days
after he left the center.

"These facilities are supposed to be in the business of caring
for our loved ones, not putting them in harm's way," Attorney
General Abbott said.  "At a minimum, we must hold this industry
to the standards set by law.  Anything less is unacceptable."

Acting on a referral from the Texas Department of Human
Services, the attorney general's Elder Law and Public Health
Division filed suit against Haskell-based D&D Investments, Inc.,
owners of Westhaven.  The State seeks civil penalties of $1,000
to $20,000 per day, per violation, of the Texas Health and
Safety Code.  The State suit also asks for attorneys' fees,
court costs and any other relief the court deems appropriate.

"We will use whatever resources the law allows to make these
people pay for their mistakes," Attorney General Abbott said.
"Anyone else who may be doing the same thing would be wise to
bring their facilities into compliance, or they will find
themselves in the same situation."


TOM BROWN: Named as Defendant in Suit For Wyoming Royalty Owners
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Brown, Inc. is a party to an action brought in Sweetwater
County, Wyoming by three overriding royalty interest owners
seeking certification as a class of all non-governmental
entities which are paid royalties or overriding royalties by the
Company in Wyoming.

This action is one of more than a dozen virtually identical
class action lawsuits filed in various Wyoming courts against
producers and operators in Wyoming.  The complaint alleges that
the Company violated the Wyoming Royalty Payment Act by
improperly deducting gas transportation costs in calculating
royalties and overriding royalties on Wyoming production and by
failing to properly itemize all deductions taken on its payee
reports.

The issue in the case is whether transportation of natural gas
off the lease to market is deductible transportation or
nondeductible gathering within the meaning of the Act.

In January 2003, the Wyoming Supreme Court agreed to answer two
certified questions in a separate lawsuit which are what is
meant by the term "gathering" as that term is employed in the
Act in defining nondeductible "costs of production," and when do
the causes of action for recovery of the reporting penalty and
for improper deductions under the Act accrue.

Because of the preliminary nature of these proceedings, it is
not possible to fully determine the ultimate loss exposure or
probable outcome of this litigation.


UNITED STATES: Legal Immigrants To Sue Over Delay of Green Card
---------------------------------------------------------------
More than a dozen legal US residents plan to sue the government
in a class action over delays in receiving their important
papers, such as the green card, Associated Press Newswires
reports.

The Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, of Texas
(Texas Lawyer's Committee) and the Mexican American Legal
Defense and Educational Fund, planned to file the lawsuit in
federal court in McAllen, Texas.  The lawsuit aims to press the
government to do something about the delay.  It is hoped that
the lawsuit will prompt the government to at least issue
temporary documents.

The lawsuit will name as defendants Tom Ridge, Secretary of
Homeland Security, and Eduardo Aguirre Jr., acting director for
the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Executive Director Javier Maldonado, of the Texas Lawyer's
Committee, and other immigration advocates, believe the delay is
linked to national security crackdowns following the September
11, 2001, terrorist attacks.  They also attribute the delay to
the confusion surrounding the absorption of what was the
Immigration and Naturalization Service into the multipurpose
Homeland Security Agency.

One note out of San Antonio told the immigrants that their cases
were "being processed in chronological order" and that "there is
no historical timeframe for background checks to be completed in
any set amount of time."  However, for each of the cases in the
lawsuit, said Mr. Maldonado, the fingerprinting and background
checking had been completed, as required, and a judge,
accordingly, had awarded the legal permanent residency.


UNITED STATES: Court Allows Refugee's Deportation To Somalia
------------------------------------------------------------
A three-judge panel of the Eighth US Circuit Court of Appeal
voted 2 to 1 that the United States can deport a Somali refugee
even though Somalia has no functioning government, the
Associated Press Newswires reports.

This decision overturns a lower court ruling that blocked Keyse
Jama's deportation.  Mr. Jama was ordered deported because of an
assault conviction in 1999, and the appeals court decision could
have implications for other Somalis in Seattle and elsewhere who
face deportation.

"The ruling reaffirms the position we have been taking all
along, that we do have the authority to remove Mr. Jama from the
United States to Somalia," said Tim Counts, a spokesman for the
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Whether the
other country accepts - or can accept - someone who has been
deported is irrelevant, wrote Judge Morris Sheppard Arnold with
support from Judge Pasco Bowman.

"Whether it is politically wise, efficient or considerate of the
United States to remove an alien without prior acceptance of the
alien's destination country is, quite simply, a question that
lies outside our province," Judge Arnold wrote.

As a result of the US District Court rulings in Seattle and
Minneapolis, no Somalis have been deported from the United
States for more than a year.  The Eighth Circuit Court ruling
overturns the District Court ruling in Minneapolis.  The Seattle
rulings are not directly affected by the appellate decision,
because Washington state is covered by the Ninth US Circuit
Court of Appeals based in San Francisco.

Somali leaders responded to the decision with the hope that the
appellate ruling would be overturned.  "We still have faith in
the system and know there is a rule of law," said Osman
Sahardeed, assistant executive director of the Somali Community
of Minnesota.  Minnesota is believed to have the largest Somali
population in the country.

Michelle Garnett McKenzie of the Minnesota Advocates for Human
Rights, and a member of Mr. Jama's legal team, said that if Mr.
Jama agrees, his legal team will appeal, initially by asking for
a rehearing by all 10 judges of the Appeals Court.  If that is
denied, the next step is the Supreme Court.

In 2001, Mr. Jama went to court to stop the deportation
proceedings that began after he pleaded guilty to assault,
thereby losing his legal residency status.  US District Court
Judge John Tunheim in Minneapolis ruled that he could not be
deported because there was no functioning government in Somalia
to accept him.  

US District Court Judge Marsha Pechman of Seattle cited Judge
Tunheim's findings and ruled first for five Somalis and then in
a class action case covering potential Somali deportees
nationwide, that the government could not deport anyone to a
country that lacks a functioning government.  Her ruling did
not, however, apply to Mr. Jama and a few others who had filed
cases individually.


VARSITY BRANDS: Stockholders Sue Over Proposed Acquisition in TN
----------------------------------------------------------------
Varsity Brands, Inc. and its directors face a class action
lawsuit filed with the Chancery Court in Tennessee on May 15,
2003, alleging, among other things, that the defendants breached
their fiduciary and other duties owed to the Company's
stockholders in connection with the acquisition of the company
by its senior management and a wholly-owned subsidiary of an
affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners, LP.

Plaintiffs are seeking, among other things, injunctive relief
and legal fees and expenses.  The company and its directors
believe that the allegations contained in the lawsuit are
without merit and they intend to contest the action vigorously.


                    New Securities Fraud Cases


ALLOU HEALTHCARE: Rabin Murray Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rabin Murray & Frank LLP initiated a securities class action
filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York on behalf of all persons or entities who
purchased or otherwise acquired Allou Healthcare Inc. securities
(AMEX:ALU) during the period June 22, 1998 to April 9, 2003,
both dates inclusive.  The suit names as defendants:

     (1) Victor Jacobs,

     (2) Herman Jacobs,

     (3) David Shamilzadeh,

     (4) Mayer Rispler & Company,

     (5) Arthur Andersen LLP, and

     (6) KPMG LLP

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 by making a series of materially false and
misleading statements concerning the Allou's financial results
during the class period.  In particular, the complaint alleges
that Allou failed to disclose, among other facts, that:

     (i) the Company was materially overstating its accounts
         receivables, resulting in an overstatement of revenues
         and earnings;

    (ii) that Allou was materially overstating its inventory,
         thus inflating its net worth; and

   (iii) the Company's financial statements were not prepared in
         conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting
         Principles.

As a result, the Company's securities price was artificially
inflated during the class period.  On April 24, 2003, however,
the Company filed with the SEC a Form 8-K which admitted that
Allou had overstated it inventory by approximately $35 million
and its accounts receivable by approximately $75-$80 million.

As a result of defendants' false and misleading statements the
price of Allou securities was artificially inflated throughout
the class period, causing plaintiff and the other members of the
class to suffer damages.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Sharon Lee by Phone:
(800) 497-8076 or (212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 by E-
mail: email@rabinlaw.com


DIVINE INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Launches Securities Suit in IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, Eastern Division on behalf of all purchasers of
divine, inc. (Other OTC:DVINQ.PK - News) (formerly listed on
NASDAQ) securities from November 12, 2001 through February 18,
2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges defendants Andrew J. Filipowski (Chief
Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors) and
Michael P. Cullinane (Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice
President) with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

Throughout the class period, defendants issued a series of
material misrepresentations to the market between November 12,
2001, and February 18, 2003, which served to artificially
inflate the price of divine securities.  As alleged in the
complaint, defendants failed to disclose and misrepresented the
following material adverse facts:

     (1) divine was engaged in a scheme of inflating its
         revenues by approximately $65 million by instructing
         employees of its wholly-owned subsidiary, RoweCom, to
         offer discounts to library customers that paid cash in
         advance -- months before payments were due to
         publishers -- even though divine had no plan to pay its
         obligations to publishers;

     (2) divine was fraudulently diverting nearly $74 million
         from RoweCom's operations;

     (3) divine lacked adequate financial and internal controls
         with respect to its RoweCom operations; and

     (4) as a result of the foregoing, divine lacked a
         reasonable basis to project profitability by year-end
         or an ability to maintain its operations without
         bankruptcy protections.

On February 18, 2003, the close of the class period, divine
announced that "despite efforts over the past several months to
minimize operating expenses and various liabilities, its board
of directors has determined that it must seek alternatives to
protect the value and viability of its operations.  As a result,
divine has engaged Broadview International LLC as advisors to
assist in exploring strategic options, which may include asset
divestitures, comparable transactions, and/or the filing of a
voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the United States
Bankruptcy Code."

In response to this announcement, the price of divine stock
declined precipitously.  During the class period, divine
completed two acquisitions, among numerous others -- acquiring
Viant Corporation and Delano Technology Corporation -- using its
common stock as currency.

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


                         *********

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Wednesday's edition of the Class Action Reporter. Submissions
via e-mail to carconf@beard.com are encouraged.

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.  The Asbestos Defendant Profiles is backed by an
online database created to respond to custom searches. Go to
http://litigationdatasource.com/asbestos_defendant_profiles.html

                        *********


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

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

Copyright 2003.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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