CAR_Public/030918.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
           Thursday, September 18, 2003, Vol. 5, No. 185

                        Headlines                            

ACCOUNTING FIRMS: Three Firms Sued For Overbilling Travel Costs
AGILE SOFTWARE: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Fraud Suit
ALABAMA: Hearing in Contaminated Well Suit Extended to 45 Days
ALLIANCE WHOLESALE: FDA Seizes Possible Unsafe, Mislabeled Drugs
ALLOY INC.: Reaches Settlement For Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY

ALLOY INC.: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Securities Suit in NY
BANC OF AMERICA: SEC Files Cease-and-Desist Proceedings V. Rep
BROWN SHOE: Trial Commences in Suit Over CO Property Pollution
COVERDELL & COMPANY: Certification Sought For MI Consumer Suit
D'ANGELO SANDWICH: Reaches Settlement For Hepatitis A Lawsuit

EAGLE ELECTRONIC: WV Residents Launch Suit Over Defective Outlet
EL PASO: Forges Settlement For California Energy Antitrust Suit
FAY DA: Recalls Almond Sable Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Nuts
FAY DA: Recalls Raisin Bread For Undeclared Baking Ingredients
FAY DA: Recalls Whole Wheat Bread Due to Undeclared Ingredient

FAY DA: Recalls Pullman White Bread Due To Undeclared Ingredient
FIREPOND INC.: Agrees To Settle Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
H&R BLOCK: Continuing Payments For Settlement of TX RALs Suit
H&R BLOCK: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
HOME DEPOT: CA Customers Sue Over Down Payments in Home Projects

IBM CORPORATION: Judge Certifies Suit Over Deskstar Hard Drives
INRANGE TECHNOLOGIES: Agrees To Settle Securities Lawsuit in NY
OPTIO SOFTWARE: Engaged in Settlement Negotiations For NY Suit
PHILIP MORRIS: Says Engle Plaintiffs' Appeals Should be Nixed
PHILIP MORRIS: IL Court To Hear Appeal of $10.1B Damage Award

SCO GROUP: Reaches Settlement For Securities Fraud Lawsuit in NY
SEACHANGE INTERNATIONAL: Asks Court To Dismiss Securities Suit
STATE FARM: Asks For Strict Venue Rules In Madison County Court
STRATOS LIGHTWAVE: Agrees To Settle Securities Fraud Suit in NY
TIVO INC.: Reaches Agreement To Settle Securities Lawsuit in NY

ULTIMATE ELECTRONICS: Asks CO Court To Dismiss Securities Suit
UNITED STATES: Torture Victims Oppose Govt Move To Dismiss Suit

*Business Interests, Bush Govt Push Limits on Class Litigation

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

BANK OF AMERICA: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Stock Suit in C.D. CA
CHECK POINT: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
DVI INC.: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Suit in E.D. PA
STELLENT INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in MN

                        *********

ACCOUNTING FIRMS: Three Firms Sued For Overbilling Travel Costs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Three of the nation's biggest accounting firms face a class
action filed in Arkansas State Circuit Court, alleging they
fraudulently overbilled clients by hundreds of millions of
dollars for travel related expenses, Dow Jones Newswires
reports.  The suit names as defendants:

     (1) PricewaterhouseCoopers,

     (2) KPMG LLP and

     (3) Ernst & Young LLP

The suit comes on the heels of a Department of Justice
investigation of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, The Wall Street
Journal reports.  Documents describing the government's
investigation are contained in the previously unpublicized
lawsuit filed here in October 2001 that could pose both a
public-relations embarrassment and a big legal challenge to the
firms.

Shopping mall operator Warmack-Muskogee Limited Partnership
filed the suit, which alleges that the firms inflated travel-
related expenses that they billed to clients since 1991.  The
firms allegedly billed their clients for the full face amount of
certain travel expenses including airline tickets, hotel rooms
and car-rental expenses, while pocketing undisclosed rebates and
volume discounts they received under contracts with various
airline, car-rental, lodging and other companies.

The suit also alleges the firms colluded with each other to
secure deals with various travel vendors and that the firms
operated under an agreement not to disclose the existence of the
rebates to clients or credit clients fully for the rebates, Dow
Jones Newswires reports.

The defendants in the suit, all of which deny the lawsuit's
allegations, have filed motions asking to dismiss the case as
groundless and to defeat requests that the lawsuit be certified
as a class action, the class for which could include a majority
of the nation's publicly held corporations.  Still, the lawsuit,
for which no trial date has been set, already has proved costly
to the firms.


AGILE SOFTWARE: Reaches Settlement For NY Securities Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Agile Software Corporation reached a settlement for the
securities class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against it, and:

     (1) Bryan D. Stolle,

     (2) Thomas P. Shanahan, and

     (3) several investment banking firms that served as
         underwriters of its initial public offering and
         secondary offering

The amended complaint is brought purportedly on behalf of all
persons who purchased the Company's Common Stock from August 19,
1999 through December 6, 2000.  It alleges liability under
Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, on the
grounds that the registration statement for the offerings did
not disclose that:

     (i) the underwriters had agreed to allow certain customers
         to purchase shares in the offerings in exchange for
         excess commissions paid to the underwriters; and

    (ii) the underwriters had arranged for certain customers to
         purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at
         predetermined prices.

The amended complaint also alleges that false analyst reports
were issued.  No specific damages are claimed.

Similar allegations were made in other lawsuits challenging over
300 other initial public offerings and follow-on offerings
conducted in 1999 and 2000.  The cases were consolidated for
pretrial purposes.  

On February 19, 2003, the court ruled on all defendants' motions
to dismiss.  The court denied the motions to dismiss claims
under the Securities Act of 1933 in all but 10 of the cases.  In
the case involving the Company, these claims were dismissed as
to the initial public offering, but not the secondary offering.  
The court denied the motion to dismiss the claim under Section
10(a) against the Company and 184 other issuer defendants, on
the basis that the complaints in these cases alleged that the
respective issuers had acquired companies or conducted follow-on
offerings after their initial public offerings.

As a consequence, the court denied the motion to dismiss the
Section 20(a) claims against the individual defendants.  The
court dismissed the Section 10(a) claims against the individual
defendants with prejudice.

The Company has decided to accept a settlement proposal
presented to all issuer defendants.  In this settlement,
plaintiffs will dismiss and release all claims against the
Company Defendants, in exchange for a contingent payment by the
insurance companies collectively responsible for insuring the
issuers in all of the IPO cases, and for the assignment or
surrender of certain claims the company may have against the
underwriters.  The individual defendants will not be required to
make any cash payments in the settlement, unless the "pro rata"
amount paid by the insurers in the settlement exceeds the amount
of the insurance coverage, a circumstance which the Company does
not believe will occur.  The settlement will require approval of
the Court, which cannot be assured, after class members are
given the opportunity to object to the settlement or opt out of
the settlement.


ALABAMA: Hearing in Contaminated Well Suit Extended to 45 Days
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hearing in a class action filed over a contaminated well in
Talladega City, Alabama has been continued for 45 days, the
Daily Home Online reports.  The suit was filed in Montgomery
Circuit Court on behalf of city's residents and names as
defendants the city, the Water and Sewer Board and the Alabama
Department of Environmental Management (ADEM).

The suit relates to the Grant Street well in the city, which was
discovered contaminated with levels of a possible carcinogen
called tetrachlorethylene or PCE, a metal degreaser and dry
cleaning fluid.  In 1995, the well was ordered closed but with
the understanding that an aeration tower or similar device would
be built on it to remove the toxic substance before the water is
pumped into the system.  

The well remained closed until the spring of 1998.  It was shut
down again in February 2000.  However, it was reopened in August
2002, and ran regularly until late May 2003, when the city's
Water Board ordered it closed.  Two weeks before it was closed,
the ADEM demanded its closure.

The suit says the defendants were responsible for the possible
damage that the well might inflict on the community.  The ADEM
has required quarterly testing of the well since the summer of
1995, but allegedly failed to notice a pattern of spikes in PCE
levels at that time.  ADEM spokesman Scott Hughes told the Daily
Home that the department overlooked the matter, but added that
he believed inspectors were under the impression that the well
was not being used.

Attorneys for the board filed a motion requesting a dismissal
because the court in Montgomery lacks jurisdiction.  Their
argument, essentially, is that the case should be moved to
Talladega County, where the actions leading to the suit
occurred.  ADEM also asked to be dismissed from the suit, citing
sovereign immunity as a state agency.  Individual ADEM employees
could still be vulnerable, however, the Daily Home reports.

The hearing in the suit was continued, primarily to allow
lawyers time to serve papers on the city of Talladega.  
Plaintiffs' attorney J.L. Chestnut Jr. contended that
Wednesday's hearing and the issues raised in it were
"premature."  

"We haven't served the city, and we haven't had time to start
discovery yet," he told the Daily Home.  He added that his firm
has also not had time to specifically define the class they are
representing.


ALLIANCE WHOLESALE: FDA Seizes Possible Unsafe, Mislabeled Drugs
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seized all drug products
labeled in a foreign language and/or labeled as repacked by
Alliance Wholesale Distributors and/or Local Repack, Inc.,
Richton Park, Illinois.

The FDA acted to prevent these drug products from entering the
US drug distribution system because there is no assurance that
they are safe or effective.  Many of the products received and
repackaged at Local Repack are of unknown origin, and their
storage and handling is unverifiable.

"The FDA sets a gold standard when it comes to the safety of our
drug supply, and we intend to protect American consumers by
keeping it that way," Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D.,
Commissioner of Food and Drugs, said in a statement.  "We will
take action against those who put patients at risk by trying to
import and sell unapproved, mislabeled and counterfeit drugs.
The haphazard and careless handling of these products, which
include many drugs of dubious origin, has no place in the
American pharmaceutical distribution system."

Local Repack has repeatedly failed to comply with current good
manufacturing practice (cGMP) requirements.  Many drugs at Local
Repack's facility are misbranded.  These drugs may also pose a
serious or even life-threatening risk to patients using them.

FDA inspections after an August 1999 warning letter to Local
Repack revealed significant and continuing violations.  The most
recent inspections, conducted from February 20 through March 20,
2003, and June 16, 2003, as well as other recent information
available to FDA, revealed numerous deficiencies, including:

     (1) Local Repack failed to reveal customer complaints to
         FDA during inspections, including complaints where the
         label of the repackaged product did not match the
         actual contents of the package (e.g., the company
         failed to report its recall of product labeled 2mg
         Coumadin even though the product was actually 6mg
         Coumadin);

     (2) Repeated instances where repackaging records were
         purportedly signed by a quality control employee on
         dates he had indicated to FDA personnel were his
         regular days off;

     (3) Quality control records indicating review and approval
         of repackaging operations were signed before the
         operations were even completed;

     (4) Incomplete or missing repackaging records, i.e., the
         company did not document repackaging operations for
         approximately 25% of its orders;

     (5) Duplicate and inconsistent repackaging records for the
         same batch;

     (6) Lack of accounting for both labels and product used in
         repackaging (e.g., in one instance there was no record
         as to the disposition of more than 5,000 Celebrex 200mg
         capsules received by Local Repack);

     (7) Unreliable receiving and distribution records for drug
         products;

     (8) Lot numbers on raw goods not matching lot numbers on
         records for final repackaged products;

     (9) Failure to document lot numbers shipped, making it
         impossible to conduct a recall for specific lots of
         product;

    (10) Numerous empty plastic 5,000 count containers labeled
         as Lipitor 10mg tablets (in Portuguese) and Lipitor
         20mg tablets (in Spanish).  None of the bottles or
         labels were the authentic manufacturer's packaging or
         labeling for US or foreign markets;

    (11) Numerous empty boxes of blister-packs of Lipitor,
         Celebra (Brazilian version of Pfizer's Celebrex) and
         Zyprexa labeled in Portuguese; and

    (12) Inadequate label control - loose labels for various
         products lying around the product area where other
         drugs were being repackaged, creating the danger that
         mislabeled products would be shipped.

The seizure action follows the July 9, 2003, seizure of more
than 4,500 bottles of prescription drugs that were being
repackaged by Local Repack stemming from an investigation of
counterfeit Lipitor.  The bottles ranged in size from 5,000 and
10,000 count bottles of bulk product with foreign language
labels to 90 count bottles of foreign product that had been
repacked and labeled in English for sale to pharmacies across
the US.

Many of the products seized in July were marked with expiration
dates that would have allowed them to be sold after similar US-
approved drugs would have already expired.  For example,
Portuguese-labeled product that Local Repack labeled as Lipitor
had expiration dates well beyond the two-year limit that is
based on stability studies performed as part of the New Drug
Application (NDA) approved in the US for Lipitor.  None of these
products had been shipped to Local Repack in authentic, original
manufacturer's packaging or labeling.

Patrick Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern
District of Illinois, filed the formal Complaint today in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois.


ALLOY INC.: Reaches Settlement For Securities Lawsuit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alloy, Inc. agreed to settle the consolidated securities class
action filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York against it and:

     (1) James K. Johnson, Jr.,

     (2) Matthew C. Diamond,

     (3) BancBoston Robertson Stephens,

     (4) Volpe Brown Whelan and Company,

     (5) Dain Rauscher Wessel and

     (6) Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., Inc.

The complaint, filed on behalf of persons purchasing the
Company's common stock between May 14, 1999 and December 6,
2000, alleges violations of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

In April 2002, plaintiff filed an amended complaint against the
Company, the individual defendants and the underwriters of its
initial public offering.  The amended complaint asserts
violations of Section 10(b) of the `34 Act and mirrors
allegations asserted against scores of other issuers sued by
plaintiffs' counsel.  

Pursuant to an omnibus agreement negotiated with representatives
of the plaintiffs' counsel, Mr. Diamond and Mr. Johnson have
been dismissed from the litigation without prejudice.  In
accordance with the court's case management instructions, the
Company joined in a global motion to dismiss the amended
complaints, which were filed by the issuers' liaison counsel.

By opinion and order dated February 19, 2003, the court denied
in part and granted in part the global motion to dismiss.  With
respect to the Company, the court dismissed the Section 10(b)
claim and let the plaintiffs proceed on the Section 11 claim.  
Accordingly, the remaining claim against the Company will focus
solely on whether the registration statement filed in connection
with its initial public offering contained an untrue statement
of a material fact or omitted to state a material fact required
to be stated therein or necessary to make the statement therein
not misleading.  Although the Company has not retained a damages
expert at this time, the dismissal of the Section 10(b) claim
likely will reduce the potential damages that plaintiffs can
claim.

The Company participated in the Court-ordered mediation with
the other issuer defendants, the issuers' insurers and
plaintiffs to explore whether a global resolution of the claims
against the issuers could be reached.  To this end, a memorandum
of understanding setting forth the proposed terms of a
settlement was signed by counsel to several issuers, including
the Company's counsel, which is not binding upon it.

In a press release dated June 26, 2003, plaintiffs' counsel
announced that the memorandum of understanding had been signed,
and that the process of obtaining the approval of all parties to
the settlement was underway.  The company is participating in
that process.  Any definitive settlement, however, will require
final approval by the Court after notice to all class members
and a fairness hearing.


ALLOY INC.: Plaintiffs File Consolidated Securities Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed an amended securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York against Alloy, Inc. and:

     (1) James K. Johnson, Jr.,

     (2) Matthew C. Diamond and

     (3) Samuel A. Gradess.

Several suits were initially filed on behalf of persons who
purchased the Company's common stock between August 1, 2002 and
January 23, 2003.  The suits alleged violations of Section 10(b)
and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder stemming from a series of allegedly false and
misleading statements made by the Company to the market between
August 1, 2002 and January 23, 2003.

On August 5, 2003, plaintiffs filed a consolidated class action
naming the same defendants, which supersedes the initial
complaint.  Relying in part on information allegedly obtained
from former employees, the consolidated suit alleges, among
other things, misrepresentations of the Company's business and
financial condition and the results of operations during the
period from March 16, 2001 through January 23, 2003, which
artificially inflated the price of Company stock, including
without limitation, improper acceleration of revenue,
misrepresentation of expense treatment, failure to
properly account for and disclose consignment transactions, and
improper deferral of the expense recognition.  The consolidated
complaint further alleges that during the class period the
individual defendants and the Company sold stock and completed
acquisitions using Company stock.  

The defendants must answer or move to dismiss the suit by
September 26, 2003. Management believes that the allegations
against the Company and the individual defendants are without
merit and intends to vigorously defend the action.


BANC OF AMERICA: SEC Files Cease-and-Desist Proceedings V. Rep
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued an order
instituting administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings as
to Theodore Charles Sihpol III.  The Division of Enforcement
alleges that Mr. Sihpol, formerly a registered representative at
Banc of America Securities LLC (BAS), enabled certain hedge fund
customers to engage in "late trading" of mutual funds from 2001
to 2003.  Late trading refers to the practice of placing orders
to buy or sell mutual fund shares after the close of trading at
4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET), but receiving the price based on
the prior net asset value already determined as of 4:00 p.m.
     
The Division of Enforcement alleges that Mr. Sihpol initially
enabled the hedge funds to late trade "manually."  Mr. Sihpol or
a member of his team would prepare and time stamp order tickets
for the hedge funds' "proposed" trades prior to 4:00 p.m. ET.  
The hedge funds would decide whether to carry out the trades
after 4:00 p.m.  At that time, Mr. Sihpol or a member of his
team would either use the order tickets to effect the hedge
funds' trades or would discard the tickets if the hedge funds
decided not to execute the trades.  Mr. Sihpol thus created
false order tickets that made it appear as if the orders had
been received prior to 4:00 p.m. ET.  

The Division of Enforcement also alleges that, in the summer of
2001, BAS installed an electronic direct access system in the
hedge funds' offices that enabled them to enter mutual fund
trades directly into BAS' clearing function until 6:30 p.m. ET.  
The Division of Enforcement alleges that Mr. Sihpol violated
and/or aided and abetted and caused violations of Section 17(a)
of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5, Section 17(a) of the
Exchange Act and Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4, and Rule 22c-1
promulgated under Section 22(c) of the Investment Company Act of
1940.  A hearing will be scheduled before an administrative law
judge to determine whether the allegations contained in the
order are true, to provide Mr. Sihpol an opportunity to dispute
the allegations, and to determine what sanctions, if any, are
appropriate and in the public interest.  The Administrative Law
Judge shall issue an initial decision no later than 300 days
from the date of the service of the order.
     

BROWN SHOE: Trial Commences in Suit Over CO Property Pollution
--------------------------------------------------------------
Trial has started in the class action filed against Brown Shoe
Co., Inc. relating to its groundwater and indoor air at its
owned property in Denver, Colorado and residential neighborhoods
adjacent to and near the property, which have been affected by
solvents previously used at and near the property.

The suit was filed in Colorado State Court against the Company,
a prior operator at the site and two individuals (the two
individuals have subsequently been dismissed from the suit).  
Plaintiffs allege claims for trespass, nuisance, strict
liability, negligence and exemplary damages arising from the
alleged release of solvents that had contaminated the
groundwater and indoor air in the areas adjacent to and near the
site.

In July 2002, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion for class
certification.  In April 2003, the court held hearings on
motions filed by plaintiffs and the co-defendant seeking various
sanctions against the Company alleging certain improper
discovery practices.  Rulings on such hearings are pending.

The trial began September 8, 2003, and is expected to last
approximately 8 weeks.  The plaintiffs are seeking damages of
approximately $68 million for diminution in property values and
remediation damages.


COVERDELL & COMPANY: Certification Sought For MI Consumer Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs asked the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division to grant class
certification to a class action filed against Coverdell &
Company, Monumental Life Insurance Company and other defendants.

The suit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, alleges that
the Company and the other defendants violated the Michigan
Consumer Protection Act and other applicable Michigan laws in
connection with the marketing of Monumental Life Insurance
Company insurance products.  The complaint includes a claim that
the suit should be certified as a class action and the plaintiff
has filed a motion for class certification to which all of the
defendants have filed opposing papers regarding the same.

The court has announced that it will deny the motion for
national class certification, but it has indicated that it would
consider certifying a class of Michigan residents. A hearing has
not yet been held on class certification, and no order has been
issued.


D'ANGELO SANDWICH: Reaches Settlement For Hepatitis A Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
D'Angelo Sandwich Shops has agreed to settle a class action
filed by its customers who were potentially exposed to hepatitis
A, when an employee of the Company was carrying it, the
Providence Journal reports.

Under the settlement, the class members are entitled to receive
immunoglobulin shots against the disease, and $200 each in
settlement money.  Lawyer Steven P. Sabra later clarified the
conditions of the settlement, after several Rhode Island
residents approached him with concerns that the settlement might
not include them

Mr. Sabra clarified that anyone who received the shots after
D'Angelo potentially exposed them to hepatitis A is entitled a
portion of the settlement money.  This includes Rhode Island
residents who had shots, he said, the Providence Journal
reports.  "There was some confusion initially," Mr. Sabra said.

Most of the estimated 1,900 class members received
immunoglobulin shots during a clinic at Charlton Memorial
Hospital in Fall River on November 29 and November 30, 2001.  
The payments will be given to people who were forced to have the
shots after:

     (1) consuming contaminated food at D'Angelo shops in
         Swansea or Seekonk;

     (2) consuming food at Rudy's Country Store, where two
         employees who contracted hepatitis A after eating food
         from D'Angelo's were working with food between November
         5 and November 23, 2001.


EAGLE ELECTRONIC: WV Residents Launch Suit Over Defective Outlet
----------------------------------------------------------------
Several residents of Marshall County, West Virginia filed a
class action against Eagle Electronic Manufacturing Company over
a back plug-in outlet, with faulty springs that could overheat
and cause a fire, WTOV9.com reports.  The suit is pending in
Marshall County Circuit Court.

"One of the allegations is they're not living up to their
intended use," Michael Simon, a lawyer for the case, told WTOV9.  
"The consumer is buying a defective product when they're
purchasing these plug-in, back-wire plugs."

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are encouraging homeowners to look at
their plugs, saying they might not even know what type of plugs
they have.

"These plugs are continually sold to this day," Eric Frankovich,
another lawyer on the case told WTOV9.  "So it's very likely
that many homes will have these plugs in them, even if they're
wired properly. But you don't know if they're wired properly or
not."


EL PASO: Forges Settlement For California Energy Antitrust Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A proposed class action settlement between California business
and residential users of natural gas and electricity and
defendants El Paso Corporation, El Paso Natural Gas Co., and El
Paso Merchant Energy, L.P. (together, "El Paso") would provide
about $1.4 billion to reduce utility rates throughout the state.

In the antitrust lawsuit, El Paso was accused of manipulating
supplies and prices of natural gas during the California energy
crisis of 2000 and 2001, and of conspiring with Southern
California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric to eliminate
competitive pipeline projects.  The defendants have denied all
wrongdoing.

The settlement provides approximately $463 million in up-front
cash and stock, which will be applied to reduce gas and
electricity rates and to reimburse eligible businesses for a
portion of their losses.  Over the next 15-20 years, El Paso
will pay an additional $798 million for these same purposes.  
The settlement also provides for certain changes to El Paso's
business practices designed to help stabilize supplies of
natural gas to California.

"During the energy crisis, Californians were victimized by the
Enrons of the world, whose abuses were made possible by energy
deregulation.  In this settlement, El Paso will pay back many
times what it made trading gas during the energy crisis.  This
is a good deal for California and Californians," Barry
Himmelstein, counsel for the plaintiffs, with Lieff, Cabraser,
Heimann, & Bernstein, LLP of San Francisco, said in a statement.

Class members who do not wish to be included in the settlement
class or bound by the settlement terms must submit a request for
exclusion, post-marked on or before October 14, 2003.  The
address to which exclusion requests should be sent and required
information varies according to whether the class member is a
residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural energy
user.

The Court has scheduled a hearing on November 20, 2003 in the
courtroom of the Honorable J. Richard Haden, Judge of the San
Diego County Superior Court, to determine whether the settlement
with El Paso is fair, adequate, and reasonable and should be
given final approval.

For more details, call the consumer helpline by Phone:
877-205-2720 or visit the Website:
http://www.elpasosettlement.com.


FAY DA: Recalls Almond Sable Cookies For Undeclared Eggs, Nuts
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da Manufacturing Corporation is recalling Almond Sable
Cookies because they may contain undeclared eggs and tree nuts.  
People who have allergies to eggs and tree nuts run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume
this product.

The recalled Almond Sable Cookies, packed in uncoded, clamshell
type, clear-top, plastic containers were sold in Fay Da Bakeries
located in the New York Metropolitan area.  The recall was
initiated after it was discovered through a routine
investigation by New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets Food Inspectors that the product containing eggs and
tree nuts was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the
presence of eggs and tree nuts.  No illnesses have been reported
to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FAY DA: Recalls Raisin Bread For Undeclared Baking Ingredients
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da Manufacturing Corporation is recalling Raisin Bread
because it may contain undeclared eggs and dairy.  People who
have allergies to eggs and dairy run the risk of serious or
life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this
product.

The recalled Raisin Bread packed in uncoded, clear, plastic bags
were sold in Fay Da Bakeries located in the New York
Metropolitan area.  The recall was initiated after it was
discovered through a routine investigation by New York State
Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors that the
product containing eggs and dairy was distributed in packaging
that did not reveal the presence of dairy.  No illnesses have
been reported to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FAY DA: Recalls Whole Wheat Bread Due to Undeclared Ingredient
--------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da is recalling Whole Wheat Bread because it may contain
undeclared dairy.  People who have allergies to dairy run the
risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they
consume this product.

The recalled Whole Wheat Bread packed in uncoded, clear, plastic
bags were sold in Fay Da Bakeries located in the New York
Metropolitan area.  The recall was initiated after it was
discovered through a routine investigation by New York State
Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors that the
product containing dairy was distributed in packaging that did
not reveal the presence of dairy.  No illnesses have been
reported to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FAY DA: Recalls Pullman White Bread Due To Undeclared Ingredient
----------------------------------------------------------------
Fay Da Manufacturing Corporation is recalling Pullman (White)
Bread because it may contain undeclared dairy.  People who have
allergies to dairy run the risk of serious or life-threatening
allergic reactions if they consume this product.

The recalled Pullman (White) Bread packed in uncoded, clear,
plastic bags were sold in Fay Da Bakeries located in the New
York Metropolitan area.  The recall was initiated after it was
discovered through a routine investigation by New York State
Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors that the
product containing dairy was distributed in packaging that did
not reveal the presence of dairy.  No illnesses have been
reported to date in connection with this problem.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-718-456-9331.


FIREPOND INC.: Agrees To Settle Securities Fraud Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Firepond, Inc. reached a settlement for the consolidated
securities class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against it, certain
of its executives and the underwriters of its initial public
offering.

The suit alleges that the underwriters of its initial public
offering, Firepond, and the other named defendants violated
federal securities laws by making material false and misleading
statements in the prospectus incorporated in the Company's
registration statement on Form S-1 filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission in November 1999.

The suit alleges, among other things, that FleetBoston Robertson
Stephens and the other underwriters solicited and received
excessive and undisclosed commissions from several investors in
exchange for which FleetBoston Robertson Stephens and the other
underwriters allocated to these investors material portions of
the restricted number of shares of common stock issued in
connection with the Company's initial public offering.

The complaints further allege that FleetBoston Robertson
Stephens and the other underwriters entered into agreements with
their customers in which FleetBoston Robertson Stephens and the
other underwriters agreed to allocate the common stock sold in
the initial public offering to certain customers in exchange for
which such customers agreed to purchase additional shares of
common stock in the after-market at pre-determined prices.

In July 2003, the Company decided to join in a settlement
negotiated by representatives of a coalition of issuers named as
defendants in this action and their insurers.  Although the
Company believes that the plaintiffs' claims have no merit, they
decided to accept the settlement proposal to avoid the cost and
distraction of continued litigation.  The proposed settlement
agreement is subject to final approval by the court.  


H&R BLOCK: Continuing Payments For Settlement of TX RALs Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block has started payments for the settlement of the class
action filed against it and a major franchisee of its subsidiary
in the District Court of Kleberg County, Texas, related to its
refund anticipation loans (RALs).

The settlement provides a five-year package of coupons class
members can use to obtain a variety of tax preparation and tax
planning services from the Company's subsidiaries.  The
Company's major franchisee, which operates more than half of all
H&R Block offices in Texas, will share a portion of the total
settlement cost.

As a result, the Company recorded a liability and pretax expense
of $41,672, during the second quarter of fiscal year 2003,
which, at the time, represented the Company's best estimate of
its share of the settlement cost for plaintiff class legal fees
and expenses, tax products and associated mailing expenses.  The
settlement was approved by the court as a part of a final
judgment entered on June 24, 2003.  No appeals of the judgment
and award were filed.

Through July 31, 2003, the Company recorded an additional
liability and pretax expense of $3,077 in connection with this
settlement for a total liability and pretax charge of $46,586.  
The Company paid the award of attorneys' fees and expenses to
class counsel on August 22, 2003.  In addition to the liability
that has already been recorded and/or paid, the Company will
reduce revenues associated with tax preparation services as the
coupons are redeemed each year.  Distribution of the coupons
will be made prior to the 2004 tax season.


H&R BLOCK: Asks NY Court To Dismiss Consolidated Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block, Inc. asked the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against it and certain of its
current and former officers and directors.

The plaintiffs seek to represent a class of shareholders who
purchased the Company's stock between November 8, 1997 and
November 6, 2002, and allege that the defendants violated
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder by failing to disclose to
shareholders various cases in which the Company had been sued
regarding the refund anticipation loan (RAL) program, by failing
to set adequate reserves for those cases, and by failing to
disclose the supposed implications of those cases for the future
of the RAL program.


HOME DEPOT: CA Customers Sue Over Down Payments in Home Projects
----------------------------------------------------------------
Home Depot, Inc. faces a class action filed in the Los Angeles
Superior Court in California, charging it with requiring
customers to make unlawfully large down payments on home
improvement projects, Reuters reports.

A California woman filed the suit on behalf of thousands of Home
Depot customers in California who paid more than $500 for home
improvements.  The suit further asserted that the Company
ignored a California law limiting down payments to $1,000 or 10%
of the contract price for home improvements, whichever is less.

Plaintiff's attorney Michael White of Los Angeles told Reuters
he believed the case was the first of its kind.  Damages in the
suit could potentially reach "millions of dollars."  The suit
also names All American Home Center, a corporation that operates
California Home Depot stores, as a defendant.

A Home Depot spokesman said the company wanted to review the
lawsuit before commenting, Reuters reports.


IBM CORPORATION: Judge Certifies Suit Over Deskstar Hard Drives
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Caldwell, Texas court judge granted class action to a lawsuit
filed against IBM Corporation, on behalf of customers in 18
states who bought IBM Deskstar 75 GXP hard drives from March
15,2000 to January 17,2003.  The suit alleges that the disk
drives were faulty, Bloomberg News reports.

The suit asserts that the drives are prone to failure, causing
data loss on the computers of the residents who bought them.  
Problems with the drives drew widespread complaints on Internet
message boards, where customers refer to the drives as
"Deathstar."  The Company has denied the allegations, saying
defect rates for the Deskstar were in line with other products.

"We're pleased to be able to continue prosecuting the case on
behalf of the class," Paul Paradis, a lawyer who represents
computer users, told Bloomberg News.

"The judge has reached no conclusions regarding the merits of
the case," said Joseph Stunkard, an IBM spokesman.  "We
respectfully disagree with the judge's ruling.  We plan to
immediately appeal the judge's decision."


INRANGE TECHNOLOGIES: Agrees To Settle Securities Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Inrange Technologies Corporation agreed to settle the
consolidated securities class action filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York against it
and certain of its officers.

The suit seeks recovery of damages caused by the Company's
alleged violation of securities laws, including section 11 of
the Securities Act of 1933 and section 10(b) of the Exchange Act
of 1934.  The complaint, which was also filed against the
various underwriters that participated in Inrange's initial
public offering (IPO), is identical to hundreds of shareholder
class actions pending in this Court in connection with other
recent IPOs and is generally referred to as In re Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation.

The complaint alleges, in essence that the underwriters combined
and conspired to increase their respective compensation in
connection with the IPO by receiving excessive, undisclosed
commissions in exchange for lucrative allocations of IPO shares,
and trading in Inrange's stock after creating artificially high
prices for the stock post-IPO through "tie-in" or  "laddering"
arrangements (whereby recipients of allocations of IPO shares
agreed to purchase shares in the aftermarket for more than the
public offering price for Inrange shares) and dissemination of
misleading market analysis on the Company's prospects.  The suit
further alleges that Inrange violated federal securities laws by
not disclosing these underwriting arrangements in its
prospectus.  

The court has granted Inrange's motion to dismiss claims under
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 because of
the absence of a pleading of intent to defraud.  The court
granted plaintiffs leave to replead these claims, but no further
amended complaint has been filed.  The court also denied
Inrange's motion to dismiss claims under Section 11 of the
Securities Act of 1933.  The court has also dismissed Inrange's
individual officers without prejudice, after they entered into a
tolling agreement with the plaintiffs.

On July 25, 2003, the Company's Board of Directors conditionally
approved a proposed partial settlement with the plaintiffs in
this matter.  The settlement would provide, among other things,
a release of Inrange and of the individual defendants for the
conduct alleged in the action to be wrongful in the complaint.

The settlement was approved subject to a number of conditions,
including the participation of a substantial number of other
issuer defendants in the proposed settlement, the consent of
Inrange's insurers to the settlement, and the completion of
acceptable final settlement documentation.  Furthermore, the
settlement is subject to a hearing on fairness and approval
by the Court overseeing the IPO Litigations.  


OPTIO SOFTWARE: Engaged in Settlement Negotiations For NY Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Optio Software, Inc. is working to settle the consolidated
securities class action filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against it and
certain of its officers and directors on behalf of persons
purchasing Optio's common stock between December 14, 1999 and
December 6, 2000.

The complaint includes allegations of violations of Section 11
of the Securities Act of 1933 by all named defendants, Section
12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 by the underwriter
defendants, Section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 by the
individual defendants, and Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by
the underwriter defendants.

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

     (1) the underwriters had solicited and received excessive
         and undisclosed commissions from certain investors in
         exchange for which the underwriters allocated to those
         investors material portions of a restricted number of

         Optio shares issued in connection with the Optio
         initial public offering; and

     (2) the underwriters had entered into agreements with
         customers whereby the underwriters agreed to allocate
         Optio shares to those customers in the Optio initial
         public offering in exchange for which the customers
         agreed to purchase additional Optio shares in the
         aftermarket at pre-determined prices.


PHILIP MORRIS: Says Engle Plaintiffs' Appeals Should be Nixed
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Engle plaintiffs have offered no valid legal reasons why
Florida's Third District Court of Appeal should reconsider its
decision earlier this year to overturn the $145 billion judgment
in the case and have the class decertified, according to a legal
brief filed Wednesday by Philip Morris USA and other tobacco
companies.

"The Engle class is trying to achieve by rhetoric what it cannot
accomplish by law," said William S. Ohlemeyer, Philip Morris USA
vice president and associate general counsel.

"In seeking reconsideration, the Engle plaintiffs have offered
no valid legal reasons why the Court should grant them a
rehearing or any reconsideration of its decision to overturn the
judgment and order the trial court in Miami to decertify the
class.  Florida's Third District Court of Appeal made it
abundantly clear in its ruling why the Engle judgment violated
basic principles of due process and fairness, in addition to the
Florida law that should have governed the class action case," he
added.

In its 68-page opinion issued on May 21, the Court set forth in
considerable detail why the Engle case failed to meet virtually
every legal requirement for class certification; it also
reversed the $145 billion punitive-damages award in favor of the
now-decertified class and the compensatory-damage awards
totaling $12.7 million in favor of three individual plaintiffs
whose claims were tried in the second phase of the trial.

In responding to the Engle plaintiffs' request for a rehearing,
Philip Morris USA and other tobacco companies told the appellate
court that, "by making scattershot assertions that everything in
the Court's opinion is erroneous, plaintiffs confirm their
inability to establish that anything in the opinion requires
further review."

The Engle plaintiffs, through lawyers Stanley and Susan
Rosenblatt, were highly critical of the appellate court's
ruling, accusing the judges of racial bias regarding the Engle
jury and alleging that they had engaged in "judicial plagiarism"
by accepting verbatim many of the arguments of the tobacco
companies in their appeals filings.

"Plaintiffs have engaged in professional misconduct by assailing
the Court itself. Throughout their submission, plaintiffs accuse
the Court of 'plagiarism' and judicial 'dishonesty'. Their
accusations are spurious and offensive.

"The opinion on its face shows that the Court exercised
independent judgment, supporting its conclusions with detailed
case citations, case quotations and lengthy excerpts from the
trial record," the companies said in their submission, adding "a
motion for rehearing that insults the Court is not only improper
but sanctionable."

Mr. Ohlemeyer said it is clear that "the Court's decision
reversing the Engle judgment was in line with the country's
legal mainstream, which does not allow class actions in smoking
and health cases.

"The appellate court agreed with over 40 decisions by state and
federal courts across the country that have concluded the law
doesn't allow claims of smokers to be tried as class actions
because each claim must consider the circumstances unique to
each individual," he said.

In its May 21 opinion, the Court criticized the plaintiffs'
lawyer for his conduct throughout the trial, stating: "It is
obvious that the 'runaway' jury award was largely the result of
numerous improper comments by plaintiffs' counsel directing the
jury to disregard limitations on punitive damages. The trial was
book-ended with prejudicial misconduct which incited the jury to
disregard the law because the defendants are tobacco companies."

In a summary of its decision, the Court stated "the fate of an
entire industry and of close to a million Florida residents
cannot rest upon such a fundamentally unfair proceeding."

The Engle case was filed in 1994 as a nationwide class action
consisting of smokers who had contracted diseases associated
with smoking. In 1996, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal
allowed the case to proceed as a statewide class action.
However, the Court reversed the verdicts and ordered the class
decertified after reviewing the results of the trial and other
developments since its 1996 decision.

The Engle case was conducted in two phases, with a third phase
envisioned by Miami Circuit Court Judge Robert P. Kaye if there
were plaintiffs' verdicts in the earlier phases.  Phase One
began on October 19, 1998, and ended on July 7, 1999, when
a six-person jury found that smoking could cause more than 20
diseases or medical conditions; that cigarettes are addictive or
dependence producing; and that tobacco companies could be
assessed punitive damages.

Phase Two began on November 1, 1999, and focused on whether the
tobacco companies were liable to three individual smokers who
had cancer.

On April 7, 2000, the six-person jury found in favor of
plaintiffs Mary Farnan, Frank Amodeo and the estate of Angie
Della Vecchia and awarded a total of $12.7 million in
compensatory damages, setting the stage for the punitive damages
phase. Plaintiff Frank Amodeo was also found by the jury to have
sued too late.  The same six-person jury on July 14, 2000,
returned a plaintiffs' verdict assessing punitive damages of
nearly $145 billion against the cigarette makers.

Judge Kaye subsequently entered an order of final judgment
against the companies despite his own ruling that each of the
estimated 700,000 class members would require individual trials,
setting the stage for the appeal to Florida's Third District
Court of Appeal.


PHILIP MORRIS: IL Court To Hear Appeal of $10.1B Damage Award
-------------------------------------------------------------
Beleaguered tobacco firm Philip Morris was granted a reprieve as
the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to hear its appeal of the
landmark $10.1 billion verdict in a class action charging the
Company with misleading smokers about the dangers of light
cigarettes, the Associated Press reports.  The high court also
slashed the Company's appeal bond to $6 billion, plus future
payments at hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

The class action was initially filed in Madison County Circuit
Court, based on the idea that Philip Morris had committed
consumer fraud by marketing Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights
as lower in tar and nicotine than regular cigarettes, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story states.  

Following a bench trial, Judge Nicholas Byron awarded $7.1
billion in compensatory damages and $3 billion in punitive
damages to an estimated 1.1 million class members in March,
writing in his ruling that "The evidence at trial demonstrates
not only that Marlboro Lights and Cambridge Lights are just as
harmful as their regular counterparts, but that these products
are actually more harmful and more hazardous than their regular
counterparts."  He also ordered Philip Morris to post an initial
$6 billion appeal bond in the case, and pay hundreds of millions
of dollars more over the length of the appeal.  

Philip Morris immediately appealed the decision, which was
"contrary to the Illinois consumer fraud law and conflicts with
federal laws governing the advertising, marketing and sale of
cigarettes," William S. Ohlemeyer, Philip Morris USA vice
president and associate general counsel, asserted.  The Company
also warned that they would have to resort to bankruptcy and
default on its payments for a 1998 $206 billion settlement with
several states.  Philip Morris also argued it was essentially
being deprived of the right to appeal a ruling that it had
misled Illinois smokers into believing light cigarettes are less
harmful than regular brands.

Later, Judge Nicholas Byron ordered Philip Morris to pay only
half of the appeal bond amidst these concerns, and amidst a
petition filed by 33 states signed a friend-of-the-court brief
asking Judge Byron to reduce the bond, as the non-payment would
affect their respective state budgets, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story states.

The plaintiffs then appealed this decision to the Illinois Fifth
Circuit Court of Appeals on the grounds that such modification
impaired the security of the plaintiffs' judgment of $10.1
billion in that the  $6.8 billion bond was not sufficient in
amount, and, that its composition was of such a nature as to
provide even lesser security than the traditional appeal bond.  
The appeals court later ordered Judge Byron to reconsider his
decision to lower the bond, saying he had exceeded his
authority.

The Company then asked the Illinois Supreme Court to prevent the
plaintiffs from attempting to enforce a $10.1 billion judgment
until it decides whether the reduced bond established by the
trial court was proper.  

The high court's orders, issued without written opinions, are
the latest in the post-trial battle in the first smokers'
lawsuit to ever reach trial.  The court assent to hear the
company's appeal also means the case skips the appellate level
and goes directly to the state high court, the Associated Press
reports.

William S. Ohlemeyer, Philip Morris USA vice president and
associate general counsel, told AP the decision "is in the best
interest of all parties involved because it expedites the
ultimate resolution on the merits."

The plaintiffs "look forward to a full Supreme Court review of
the evidence," said Joy Howell, a spokeswoman for attorney
Steven Tillery.

After the ruling, shares of Altria, Philip Morris' parent, rose
to $44.00 on Instinet from their close of $40.46 on the New York
Stock Exchange.


SCO GROUP: Reaches Settlement For Securities Fraud Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
SCO Group, Inc. agreed to settle the consolidated securities
class action filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, certain of its officers and
directors, and the underwriters of the Company's initial
public offering.

The consolidated complaint alleges certain improprieties
regarding the circumstances surrounding the underwriters'
conduct during the Company's initial public offering and the
failure to disclose such conduct in the registration statement
in violation of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

The consolidated complaint also alleges that, whether or not the
Company's officers or directors were aware of the underwriters'
conduct, the Company and those officers and directors have
statutory liability under the securities laws for issuing a
registration statement in connection with the Company's initial
public offering that failed to disclose that conduct.  The
consolidated complaint also alleges claims solely against the
underwriters under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.

Over 300 other issuers, and their underwriters and officers and
directors, have been sued in similar cases pending in the same
court.  In September 2002, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the
individual defendants, but may elect to bring the individual
defendants back into the case at a later date.

The plaintiffs, issuers and the insurance companies have
negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the intent
of settling the dispute between the plaintiffs and the issuers.  
The Company has executed the MOU and has been advised that
almost all (if not all) of the issuers have elected to proceed
under the MOU.  The MOU is still subject to court approval and
the preparation of appropriate settlement agreements.  

If the settlement is approved and appropriate settlement
agreements can be entered into by the parties, and if no cross-
claims, counter claims or third party claims are later asserted,
this action will be dismissed with respect to the Company and
the individual defendants.


SEACHANGE INTERNATIONAL: Asks Court To Dismiss Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Seachange International, Inc. asked the United States District
Court for the District of Massachusetts to dismiss the
consolidated class action filed against it and:

     (1) Morgan Stanley & Co. Incorporated,

     (2) Thomas Weisel Partners LLC,

     (3) RBC Dain Rauscher, Inc.,

     (4) William Styslinger III,

     (5) William Fiedler,

     (6) Martin R. Hoffmann,

     (7) Thomas F. Olson and

     (8) Carmine Vona

In the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants
violated Sections 11 and/or 12(2) of the Securities Act of 1933
and in the case of the individual defendants Section 15 of the
Securities Act, in connection with the stock offering that the
Company completed on January 31, 2002.

The Complaint seeks damages in an unspecified amount, together
with interest thereon, recissory damages, reimbursement of costs
and expenses, and further relief that the court may determine to
be appropriate.  The Company believes that the allegations in
the Complaint are without merit.

On July 18, 2003, the Company and the individual defendants
filed a motion to dismiss all claims in their entirety, with
prejudice.  The lead plaintiff's opposition to the motion to
dismiss was filed on September 12, 2003, and the defendants'
reply memorandum is due by October 3, 2003.   


STATE FARM: Asks For Strict Venue Rules In Madison County Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Some big names in American business are involving themselves in
a seemingly routine motion before the Illinois Supreme Court in
the case of Gridley v. State Farm Insurance, which is a class
action over allegedly fraudulent automobile titles, stemming
from the sale of a car in Louisiana, according to a report by
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The question is not only why are these big names in business
watching Gridley, but why have so many of them filed amicus
curiae - friend-of-the-court - briefs in this lawsuit.  
The motion before the court asks the high court to allow the
lawsuit to be moved out of Madison County, and the watchers of
the case and the filers of the briefs hope that the court in the
course of ruling affirmatively on the change of venue will
formulate rules that "will put the brakes on" what they call
Madison County's "litigation industry."

The companies involved argue that the dispute and all its
parties have no connection with Madison County.  They allege
that the only reason the plaintiffs filed the suit there is that
the county has a national reputation for ruling in favor of
plaintiffs and handing out massive judgments.

"It is no secret that in recent years, Madison County has become
the focus of national attention as plaintiffs have flocked . to
file national class actions at the county court house," the
American Insurance Association alleges in one of the several
friend-of-the court briefs filed with the state Supreme Court.

About 75 class actions were filed in Madison County last year,
and critics say that is a very high figure for a county of its
size.  Some of the suits have drawn national attention because
of the size of their judgment, and in some cases because of the
apparent lack of any obvious connection to Madison County.

Some of these critics believe the state's high court has shown
signs of being impatient with the Madison County controversy and
that the court is ready to tackle the rules relating to venue,
which have become too relaxed over the years.  Some believe
Gridley could be the forum in which the high court's seven
justices strengthen the rules regarding venue; that is, the
issue of where cases are filed, and why.

The Illinois Supreme Court could rule as early as this week on
State Farm's motion to move the case out of Madison County,
which would overrule decisions by circuit and appellate court
judges.  Among the documents the Supreme Court is considering
are a series of friend-of-the-court briefs, mostly from national
companies or business groups, contending that the issue is about
more than automobile titles.

"At bottom, this case is about a burgeoning industry in Madison
County - the litigation industry," claims a brief filed by the
US Chamber of Commerce.  That "industry," the chamber alleges,
"profoundly threatens the interests of business in Illinois and
nationally, and ultimately undermines the economy of the state."

However, plaintiffs' attorneys say the debate is actually about
big business trying to thwart legitimate lawsuits by injured
consumers.  As for venue shopping, some say it is not only
acceptable, but required if an attorney is to get the best
possible outcome for his client.

The case stems from the sale at an auction in 1999, of a four-
door Volvo to Christopher K. Gridley of Denham Springs,
Louisiana.  Five months later, a mechanic discovered signs that
the car had been damaged in a major accident before Mr. Gridley
bought it.  Mr. Gridley and his attorneys contend that a State
Farm office in Louisiana declared the vehicle a total loss from
the earlier accident, but then fraudulently gave it a clean
title and participated in re-selling it as an undamaged car.

Mr. Bordeaux, the Louisiana attorney, said he had found that
similar claims against State Farm and other insurance companies
were being filed elsewhere, forming the basis of a potential
national class action.  Mr. Bordeaux added that since his was a
two-man law firm, he knew his firm needed help to cope with the
growing lawsuit.

Mr. Bordeaux said the case ended up getting filed in Madison
County's Third Circuit after a Kentucky attorney he was working
with brought in the St. Louis firm of Korein, Tillery, which
drew national attention by winning a $10.1 billion judgment
against Philip Morris USA in the class action alleging that
light cigarettes were deceptively advertised by the tobacco
company.

State Farm filed a motion arguing Madison County was not the
proper venue for the suit.  "Every one of the alleged events
took place in Louisiana, and all of the witnesses and records
related to those events likewise are located in and connected
with Louisiana," the company claims in court documents.  It
contends its headquarters is located in Bloomington, in central
Illinois, nowhere near Madison County.

Madison County Judge Philip Kardis denied the company's motion
to move the case.  State Farm appealed to the 5th District
Appellate Court, which also ruled the case would stay in Madison
County.  State Farm then appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court
and is awaiting a ruling from the justices on the question of
whether the case should be moved out of Madison County and into
either the Bloomington area or Louisiana.

The plaintiffs contend in their documents that Madison County is
the proper venue, among other reasons, because two Madison
County residents who have worked for State Farm will be called
to testify about how the company handles salvage titles.  The
plaintiffs also allege that, because State Farm is so prevalent
in the insurance industry, the suit can be filed just about
anywhere.

"Indeed, it is hard to imagine any forum that is inconvenient
for State Farm, given the nationwide scope of its operations,"
the plaintiffs argue in court documents.

The instant case, the Gridley case, comes on the heels of
another venue dispute in which the Supreme Court hinted that it
may become more stringent about venue.  The court ordered that a
lawsuit filed in Madison County, involving a truck collision, be
moved out of the county, because the accident happened in
Macoupin County and the victim was a Greene County resident.

Both the Madison County and 5th District appellate courts said
the case could be heard in Madison County.  However, the Supreme
Court, in overturning them, ruled that Illinois judges, when
deciding venue issues, must take into account where the disputes
occurred; where the parties reside; and other factors beyond the
plaintiff's preference of venue.


STRATOS LIGHTWAVE: Agrees To Settle Securities Fraud Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stratos Lightwave, Inc. reached an agreement to settle the
consolidated securities class action filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York against it,
certain of its directors and executive officers and the
underwriters for the Company's initial public offering.

The suit is substantially identical to numerous other complaints
filed against other companies that went public over the last
several years.  The suit generally alleges, among other things,
that the registration statement and prospectus from the
Company's June 26, 2000 initial public offering failed to
disclose certain alleged actions by the underwriters for the
offering.

The complaints charge the Company and two or three of its
directors and executive officers with violations of Sections 11
and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and/or
Sections 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934, as amended.  The complaints also allege claims solely
against the underwriting defendants under Section 12(a)(2) of
the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

The Company recently agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding,
which reflects a settlement of these class actions as between
the purported class action plaintiffs, the Company and the
defendant officers and directors, and the Company's liability
insurer.

Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding, the
Company's liability insurers will pay certain sums to the
plaintiffs, with the amount dependent upon the plaintiffs'
recovery from the underwriters in the IPO class actions as a
whole.  The plaintiffs will dismiss with prejudice their claims
against the Company and its officers and directors, and the
Company will assign to the plaintiffs certain claims that it may
have against the underwriters.


TIVO INC.: Reaches Agreement To Settle Securities Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
TiVo, Inc. agreed to settle a securities class action filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York against it, certain of its officers and directors and
several of the underwriters involved in the Company's initial
public offering.

The suit was brought on behalf of a purported class of
purchasers of the Company's common stock from September 30,
1999, the time of its initial public offering, through December
6, 2000.  The central allegation in this action is that the
underwriters in the initial public offering solicited and
received undisclosed commissions from, and entered into
undisclosed arrangements with, certain investors who purchased
TiVo common stock in the initial public offering and the after-
market.

The complaint also alleges that the TiVo defendants violated the
federal securities laws by failing to disclose in the initial
public offering prospectus that the underwriters had engaged in
these allegedly undisclosed arrangements.

More than 150 issuers have been named in similar lawsuits.  In
July 2002, an omnibus motion to dismiss all complaints against
issuers and individual defendants affiliated with issuers
(including the TiVo defendants) was filed by the entire group of
issuer defendants in these similar actions.  On October 8, 2002,
TiVo's executive officers were dismissed as defendants in the
complaint.  On February 19, 2003, the court in this action
issued its decision on defendants' omnibus motion to dismiss.

This decision dismissed the Section 10(b) claim as to TiVo but
denied the motion to dismiss the Section 11 claim as to TiVo and
virtually all of the other issuer-defendants.  On June 26, 2003,
the plaintiffs announced a proposed settlement with the Company
and other issuer defendants.  

The proposed settlement provides that the insurers of all
settling issuers will guarantee that the plaintiffs recover $1
billion from non-settling defendants, including the investment
banks who acted as underwriters in those offerings.  In the
event that the plaintiffs do not recover $1 billion, the
insurers for the settling issuers will make up the difference.

Under the proposed settlement, the maximum amount that could be
charged to the Company's insurance policy in the event that the
plaintiffs recovered nothing from the investment banks would be
approximately $3.9 million.  The Company believes that it has
sufficient insurance coverage to cover the maximum amount that
it may be responsible for under the proposed settlement.

TiVo's board of directors approved the proposed settlement at a
meeting held on June 25, 2003.  It is possible that the parties
may not reach agreement on the final settlement documents or
that the court may not approve the settlement in whole or part.  
In the event that the parties do not reach agreement on the
final settlement, the Company believes it has meritorious
defenses and intends to defend this action vigorously; however,
it could be forced to incur material expenses in the litigation,
and in the event there is an adverse outcome, its business could
be harmed.  


ULTIMATE ELECTRONICS: Asks CO Court To Dismiss Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ultimate Electronics, Inc. asked the United States District
Court for the District of Colorado to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against it and three of its
officers and directors.

The Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, the lead plaintiff, filed in
the suit on behalf of purchasers of the company's common stock
during the period between March 13, 2002 and August 8, 2002.  As
initially filed, the complaint sought damages for alleged
violations of Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933, as
amended, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
as amended, Rule 10b-5 promulgated under the Exchange Act, and
Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  The suit also asserts claims
against the company and all of the Company's directors during
the relevant period for alleged violations of Sections 11,
12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act.

The suit asserts that the Prospectus, dated April 30, 2002, for
the company's 2002 public offering of common stock failed to
disclose material facts that were required to be disclosed and
contained false and misleading statements.  The amended
complaint seeks to recover unspecified monetary damages, an
award of rescission or rescissory damages and an award of
attorneys' fees, costs and prejudgment and post-judgment
interest.


UNITED STATES: Torture Victims Oppose Govt Move To Dismiss Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Victims of torture and abuse while in Iraq expressed their
opposition to a move by the Bush administration asking for the
dismissal of a class action they filed last year under the
Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, seeking compensation for what
they suffered, the Indianapolis Star reports.

The act allows lawsuits against nations deemed "terrorist
states."  After the fall of Saddam Hussein, President George W.
Bush signed an order dropping Iraq from the list.

"Their own government has let them down," Daniel Wolf, a
Washington attorney representing the plaintiffs, told The
Indianapolis Star for a story Tuesday.  "They shouldn't be able
to change the rules in the middle of the game."

Richard Clay, 61, was among the 220 plaintiffs who joined the
suit last year.  Mr. Clay worked as an electrical engineer for
M.W. Kellogg, a US company that maintained two Kuwaiti oil
refineries, when the country was invaded by Iraq in 1990.  Iraqi
soldiers took him as hostage, interrogated him and beat him on
the head and knees with wooden sticks and a pistol.  A month
later, Mr. Clay escaped by posing as a doctor for a charitable
organization, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Since then, Mr. Clay said he has trouble walking and suffers
debilitating pain.  He also has undergone physical therapy and
surgery for severe nosebleeds.  His medical problems caused him
to miss 18 months of work, he told the Star.

In lieu of the act, the United States Senate is considering a
bill that would give $262,000 to each victim of terrorists.  The
White House supports the bill.  Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., is the
chairman of the committee but has not taken a position on the
bill.  He told the Star, however, that court settlements could
bankrupt the new Iraqi government and slow US efforts to rebuild
the country.

Critics say $262,000 is not enough to compensate victims such as
Mr. Clay, and argue that American taxpayers should not have to
pay for the actions of Iraqi troops.  "There needs to be a
provision in any legislation that puts the burden ultimately on
Iraq," Mr. Wolf told the Star.  "They have to take
responsibility."


*Business Interests, Bush Govt Push Limits on Class Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Business interests and the Bush administration have been
experiencing frustration over congressional inaction on various
proposals coming before the two houses of Congress from time to
time and purposing to overhaul the tort laws relating to the
class action industry, The Wall Street Journal reports.  
However, a bill being considered in the Senate, aimed at curbing
the more costly class actions, may be the kind of legislation
these entities are seeking.

The House of Representatives has already passed a version of the
measure, which aims to move a large number of high-stakes
liability cases from state to federal courts.  Some experts have
said that the federal courts are less likely to allow class
actions to proceed through the courts because they exact the
meeting of more criteria than do the state courts.  In the last
decade, the volume of class action cases filed has grown
tenfold.

Passage of curtailing class-action legislation has become a high
priority this year for business lobbyists, congressional
Republicans and the White House.  However, the House-passed bill
includes some provisions that could cost Democratic votes in the
closely divided Senate.

One such provision would give defendants in federal court an
automatic right of appeal once a class action is certified and
an automatic stay of judgment when the appeal is granted.  Under
current federal law, the appeal and stay are left to a court's
discretion.

Another House provision would allow the law to apply to cases
retroactively.  This means the same cases would be forced to
refile at the federal level, which could delay that case for
about a year.  An amendment proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein
(D-Calif.) would allow cases with a majority of plaintiffs and
defendant from the same state to remain in that state.

Proponents of the measure now under consideration say one of its
most important provisions would curb the practice of "forum
shopping" in which trial lawyers seek out the jurisdictions that
are considered plaintiff-friendly.

"It is this kind of jackpot justice that must stop," said Senate
Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who co-
sponsored the instant legislation.

Opponents include consumer and public-interest groups, as well
as longtime Democratic Party financial supporters such as trial
lawyers.  These groups counter that the bill is designed to
protect corporations, not consumers.

"To pass legislation because there are one, two, three or four
aberrational cases that have passed at the state level, is
wrong-headed," said Pamela Gilbert, a lawyer with the law firm
of Cuneo, Waldman & Gilbert LLP in Washington, D.C., which
represents plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases


BANK OF AMERICA: Weiss & Yourman Lodges Stock Suit in C.D. CA
-------------------------------------------------------------
Weiss & Yourman initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California against Bank of America Corporation (NYSE:BAC) on
behalf of purchasers of its Nations Funds family of funds,
including the following:

     (1) Nations Convertible (NASDAQ:PACIX),

     (2) Nations International Equity (NASDAQ:NIIAX,
         NASDAQ:NIENX; NASDAQ:NITRX; NASDAQ:NIEQX;
         NASDAQ:NIEPX),

     (3) Nations Emerging Markets (NASDAQ:NEMIX; NASDAQ:NEMAX;
         NASDAQ:NEMCX; NASDAQ:NEKBX) and

     (4) Nations Small Cap (NASDAQ:NMSAX; NASDAQ:NMSCX;
         NASDAQ:NSVAX),

The class period is from May 3, 2001 through July 3, 2003.  The
complaint charges defendants with violations of the Securities
Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  It alleges
that defendants issued false and misleading statements in
Nations Funds' registration statements and prospectuses and, as
a result, plaintiff and the Class were damaged.

For more details, contact Leigh A. Parker by Phone: 800-437-7918
by E-mail: info@wyca.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.wyca.com


CHECK POINT: Spector Roseman Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, PC initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, on behalf of purchasers of the common
stock of Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NasdaqNM:CHKP)
between July 10, 2001 through April 4, 2002, inclusive.
  
The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period thereby
artificially inflating the price of Check Point securities.

It is specifically alleged that throughout the Class Period the
Company issued numerous statements concerning Check Point's
revenue growth, product and marketing initiatives, and
increasing revenues and profits while failing to disclose that
demand for the Company's products was materially declining.  
When this information was belatedly disclosed to the market on
April 4, 2002, shares of Check Point fell over 24% on extremely
heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Robert M. Roseman by Phone:
888-844-5862 by E-mail: classaction@srk-law.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.srk-law.com.


DVI INC.: Wechsler Harwood Commences Securities Suit in E.D. PA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wechsler Harwood LLP initiated a securities class action on
behalf of purchasers of the publicly traded securities of DVI,
Inc. (Other OTC:DVIXQ.PK) (formerly NYSE:DVI) during the period
between November 7, 2001 and June 27, 2003, inclusive in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania against DVI's former Chief Executive Officer,
Michael A. O'Hanlon and DVI's Chief Financial Officer, Steven R.
Garfinkel.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market between November 7, 2001 and
June 27, 2003, thereby artificially inflating the price of DVI's
publicly traded securities.

The complaint alleges that these statements were materially
false and misleading because they failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that the Company had failed to timely write down the
         value of certain assets which had become impaired;

     (2) that the Company's accounting and financial reporting
         policies and procedures for non-systematic (non-
         recurring) transactions were inadequate;

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

     (4) that as a result, the values of the Company's assets,
         net income and earnings per share were materially
         overstated at all relevant times.

The Class Period ends on June 27, 2003.  On that date,
defendants DVI shocked the investing public when it announced
that the SEC had rejected its March 30, 2003 quarterly report
because it had not been reviewed by an independent auditor.  

The Company also disclosed that it was continuing to consider
the need for the accounting change, and, if adopted, its net
income for the third quarter of fiscal 2003, its earnings per
share for the first nine months of fiscal 2003 and its net
income for the fiscal year 2002 would all be drastically
reduced.  

Specifically, the Company's net income for the third quarter of
fiscal 2003 would be reduced by $1.4 million, or 44.47%, its
earnings per share for the nine months ended March 31, 2003
would be reduced by $0.10, or 44.45% and its net income for
fiscal year ended June 30, 2002 would be reduced by $1.395
million or 34.12%.

Investor reaction was swift and negative, with DVI stock falling
from a close of $5.84 on June 26, 2003 to a close of $4.30 on
June 27, 2003, or a single-day decline of more than 26% on very
high trading volume.

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


STELLENT INC.: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in MN
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz LLP initiated a securities class
action on behalf of all persons who acquired securities of
Stellent, Inc. (NasdaqNM:STEL) between October 2, 2001 and April
1, 2002, inclusive in the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota against the Company and:

     (1) Robert F. Olson,

     (2) Vernon J. Hanzlik, and

     (3) Gregg A. Waldon

The complaint charges that Stellent and certain of its officers
and directors violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market during the Class Period, thereby artificially
inflating the price of Stellent securities.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that Defendants improperly
reported revenue from affiliates who were financed by Stellent.  
As a result, Stellent's expected revenue growth was baseless,
and Stellent's reported financial results were materially false
and misleading throughout the Class Period.

This scheme was revealed at the end of the Class Period when
Defendants announced that Stellent's revenues for the quarter
ended March 31, 2002 would be almost 50 percent less than it had
previously forecasted.  In reaction to this news, shares of
Stellent fell almost 13% to close at $8.38 per share.

For more details, contact Ms. Linda Flood, Director of
Shareholder Relations by Mail: 10 East 40th Street, New York,
New York 10016, by Phone: (800) 217-1522 or 212-779-1414 or by
E-mail: STEL@bernlieb.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
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
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                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *