CAR_Public/040202.mbx           C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Monday, February 2, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 22

                        Headlines

ADECCO SA: Impact of Accounting Trouble Growing, Stocks Tumble
AMERICAN VANGUARD: High Court Yet To Rule on Writ of Certiorari
AMERICAN VANGUARD: Discovery Yet To Commence in DBCP Injury Suit
AMERICAN VANGUARD: Non-Settling Plaintiffs To Continue Lawsuit
ARIBA INC.: CA Court To Hear Dismissal Motions For Stock Lawsuit

ARIBA INC.: Court Hears Motion Seeking Derivative Suit Dismissal
BLUEBERRY FIRMS: Processor Fears Bankruptcy Amid Credit Freeze
BRIDGESTONE: Request For Stay Granted In Steeltex Tire Lawsuit
CALIFORNIA GROCERS: Rights Group Seeks Plaintiffs For Wage Suit
CATHOLIC CHURCH: Boston Diocese Reaches Settlement of Foley Case

CATHOLIC CHURCH: CA Dioceses File Request To Organize Sex Suits
DAVID & GOLIATH: Radio Host Urges Stores To Drop Clothing Line
DOW CHEMICAL: Judge Denies Interview Request In Pollution Suit
INDIANA: Lawyers File Suit Challenging Punch-Card Voting System
INDIANA: Appeals Court Orders Hearing On Jail Phone Rates Suit

LORUS INVESTMENTS: GA Court Enters Judgement in Securities Suit
MARTHA STEWART: Opening Statements in Investor Fraud Trial Made
NAUTILUS DIRECT: Recalls Fitness Machines Due To Injury Hazard
NOMURA SECURITIES: NY Court Enters Final Judgment V. Stockbroker
PHILADELPHIA: Nightclub Owners Settle Lawsuit Over Pier Collapse

PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Suit Dismissal Affirmed by Appeals Court
REPUBLIC INSURANCE: Appeals Court Remands Suit To FL State Court
ROCKY POINT BROKER: SEC Lodges Proceeding For Securities Fraud
SONY CORPORATION: Court Upholds False Advertising Suit Ruling
SPS TEMPORARIES: EEOC Files Suit For Race, Gender Discrimination

STATE FARM: Appeals Court Reverses Certification For LA Lawsuit
TERRORIST ATTACK: 9/11 Victims Seek Extension of Report Due Date
UNITED STATES: Government To Commence Airline Background Checks
UTAH: Reaches Settlement With Miners In 1996 Hospital Lawsuit
WL WARE: SEC Commences Emergency Action To Halt Affinity Fraud

WORLD AIRWAYS: Passengers File Suit In NY Court For Flight Delay

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

EDWARD D. JONES: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Stock Lawsuit in MO
ROYAL DUTCH: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
ROYAL DUTCH: Schiffrin & Barroway Launches Securities Suit in NJ
SCUDDER FUNDS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY

                        *********


ADECCO SA: Impact of Accounting Trouble Growing, Stocks Tumble
--------------------------------------------------------------
The world's largest temp agency Adecco SA has not revealed a lot
about the accounting irregularities plaguing its Long Island-
based North American unit, but the impact is starting to show as
the Company's stock price has tumbled in value,
Newsday reports.

More than two weeks ago, the Company revealed the accounting
irregularities in its unit, but clamped down on all public
discussion of its difficulties.  Some analysts say that stance
is hurting shareholders by allowing speculation to swirl.

Since January 12, when Adecco first announced the existence of
"material weaknesses" in financial controls at its North
American operation in Melville, its shares have lost more than a
third of their value on the New York Stock Exchange, where they
are traded as American depository receipts, or ADRs.  Customers
are growing nervous, and at least one Wall Street analyst
speculating that the trouble could lead the Swiss concern to
relocate its North American headquarters from Long Island, where
more than 500 people work.

An executive for Manpower Inc. told reporters in Europe that
some customers are thinking of shifting their business to
competitors, and the company's biggest shareholder, Swiss
businessman Klaus Jacobs, has called for its current top
executive, Jerome Caille, to step down if he cannot rapidly
restore public confidence, Newsday reports.

An analyst at Merrill Lynch, Andrew Ripper, told Newsday in a
recent research report that to improve profitability, Adecco may
relocate its general staffing headquarters from Melville.
Merrill and Mr. Ripper declined to answer questions about the
report, and several other analysts said they see no reason for
such a move.

Meanwhile, the Company faces eight class actions filed on behalf
of Adecco's shareholders, alleging the company inflated its
stock price by misrepresenting its finances.

"It's a disaster," Ronald Wildmann, who follows Adecco for Bank
Leu in Zrich, Switzerland, told Newsday.  He thinks the company
has made a mistake by following its lawyers' instructions to
clam up.  "It's going to cost them a lot of money at the end."

"I'd like to tell you everything, but because of regulation in
the U.S., I can't say anything so far," Julio Arrieta, who
resigned January 16 as chief executive of Adecco's U.S.
operations, when reached at his home last week, told Newsday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney's
office for the Southern District of New York are investigating
Adecco accounting, the company said.  Representatives of the SEC
and U.S. Attorney declined to comment.  Mr. Arrieta's
predecessor, Michael Linton, who was chief executive for two
months in 2002, didn't return phone calls, Newsday reports.
Debbie Pond-Heide, president of Adecco North America from 1996
to May 2002, said she wasn't "at liberty to discuss anything."


AMERICAN VANGUARD: High Court Yet To Rule on Writ of Certiorari
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Supreme Court has yet to rule on the writ of
certiorari filed in relation to the complaint against American
Vanguard Corporation and:

     (1) Dole Food Co.,

     (2) Dole Fresh Fruit,

     (3) Dole Fresh Fruit International,

     (4) Pineapple Growers Association of Hawaii,

     (5) Shell Oil Company,

     (6) Dow Chemical Company,

     (7) Occidental Chemical Corporation,

     (8) Standard Fruit Company,

     (9) Standard Fruit & Steamship,

    (10) Standard Fruit Company De Costa Rica,

    (11) Standard Fruit Company De Honduras,

    (12) Chiquita Brands,

    (13) Chiquita Brands International,

    (14) Martrop Trading Corporation, and

    (15) Del Monte Fresh Produce

Two suits were initially filed in the in the Circuit Court,
First Circuit, state of Hawaii and in the Circuit Court of the
Second Circuit, State of Hawaii.  "Patrickson, et.al. v. Dole
Food Co., et.al" alleges damages sustained from injuries caused
by Plaintiffs' exposure to dibromochloropropane (DBCP) while
applying the product in their native countries.  The suits were
later consolidated.

The ten named Plaintiffs are citizens of four countries -
Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Equador.  The Plaintiffs were
banana workers and allege that they were exposed to DBCP in
applying the product in their native countries.  The case was
also filed as a class action on behalf of other workers so
exposed in these four countries.

For the last five years, the focus of the case has been on
procedural issues.  The defendants moved to dismiss under the
doctrine of "forum non conveniens."  Under this doctrine, the
foreign Plaintiffs would have to sue in their own countries
rather than using the United States courts.  The Plaintiffs wish
to keep the cases in the United States and have them remanded to
state court.  The Plaintiffs also contend that the federal court
does not have jurisdiction.

In September 1998, the court granted defendants' motion to
dismiss based on the grounds of "forum non conveniens."  A
number of conditions were imposed including consent to
jurisdiction in the four foreign countries for the ten named
Plaintiffs, use of discovery taken in the United States, the
requirement that the Plaintiffs file suits in their home
countries by December 9, 1998, and the agreement by defendants
to pay any judgment, if any, that might be entered in the
foreign countries.  The court order also provided that the
Plaintiffs could return to the United States if the foreign
countries refused to accept jurisdiction.  The court then
dismissed the case on March 8, 1999.

The Plaintiffs subsequently appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court
of Appeal.  Oral arguments were heard in the Ninth Circuit on
August 9, 2000.  The Ninth Circuit issued its decision on May
30, 2001, holding that the federal court did not have
jurisdiction.  A petition for writ of certiorari (a writ of a
superior court to call up the records of an inferior court or
quasi-judicial body) was filed in United States Supreme Court on
October 5, 2001.  Oral argument was held on January 22, 2003.  A
decision will not likely be issued for several months.

The Plaintiffs' attorneys reported that the ten Plaintiffs filed
suit in their home countries by December 9, 1998.  The suit in
Guatemala was served on AMVAC in March 2001, however no
defendant has been required to answer.  Suits in the other
countries have not been served.  No discovery has taken place on
the individual claims of the Plaintiffs.  However, AMVAC product
did not reach two of the four countries involved.


AMERICAN VANGUARD: Discovery Yet To Commence in DBCP Injury Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Discovery has yet to commence in the lawsuits filed against
American Vanguard Corporation and other defendants in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi,
Southern Division.  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Coahoma Chemical Co. Inc.,

     (2) Shell Oil Company,

     (3) Dow Chemical Co.,

     (4) Occidental Chemical Co.,

     (5) Standard Fruit Co.,

     (6) Standard Fruit and Steamship Co.,

     (7) Dole Food Co., Inc.,

     (8) Dole Fresh Fruit Co.,

     (9) Chiquita Brands, Inc.,

    (10) Chiquita Brands International, Inc. and

    (11) Del Monte Fresh Produce, N.A.

The complaints are entitled:

     (i) Edgar Arroyo-Gonzalez v. Coahoma Chemical Co., In., et
         al,

    (ii) Amilcar Belteton-Rivera v. Coahoma Chemical Co., Inc.,
         et al,

   (iii) Eulogio Garzon-Larreategui v. Coahoma Chemical Co.,
         Inc., et al,

    (iv) Valentin Valdez v. Coahoma Chemical Co., Inc., et al
         and

     (v) Carlos Nicanor Espinola-E v. Coahoma Chemical Co.,
         Inc., et al.

Each case alleged damages sustained from injuries caused by
Plaintiffs' (who are former banana workers and citizens of
various Central American countries) exposure to
dibromochloropropane (DBCP) while applying the product in their
native countries.

The federal court granted defense motions to dismiss in each
case pursuant to the doctrine of "forum non conveniens."  On
January 19, 2001, the court issued an unpublished decision,
finding that there was jurisdiction in federal court, but
remanded just one case back to the trial court to determine if a
stipulation which limited the Plaintiff's recovery to fifty
thousand dollars was binding.

If the stipulation is binding, that case will be remanded to
state court.  If the stipulation is not binding, that case will
be dismissed along with the others, requiring the Plaintiffs to
litigate in their native countries.  No discovery has taken
place on the individual claims of these Plaintiffs.  However,
Company product was not used in at least two of the countries
involved.  Without discovery, it is unknown whether any of the
Plaintiffs was exposed to the Company's product or what statute
of limitation defense may apply.  The Company said in a
regulatory filing that it intends to contest the cases
vigorously.  It is too early to provide an evaluation of the
likelihood of an unfavorable outcome at this time.


AMERICAN VANGUARD: Non-Settling Plaintiffs To Continue Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs who have not reached a settlement with American
Vanguard Corporation will continue their complaints initially
pending in the Judicial District Court for the Parish of St.
Charles, State of Louisiana entitled:

     (1) Pedro Rodrigues et. al v. Amvac Chemical Corporation
         et. al,

     (2) Andres Puerto, et. al v. Amvac Chemical Corporation,
         et. al and

     (3) Eduardo Soriano, et. al v. Amvac Chemical Corporation
         et. Al

Other named defendants are:

     (i) Dow Chemical Company,

    (ii) Occidental Chemical Corporation,

   (iii) Shell Oil Company,

    (iv) Standard Fruit,

     (v) Dole Food,

    (vi) Chiquita Brands,

   (vii) Tela Railroad Company,

  (viii) Compania Palma Tica, and

    (ix) Del Monte Fresh Produce

These suits were filed in 1996, they were not served until
November 1999.  The complaints allege personal injuries from
alleged exposure to dibromochloropropane (DBCP).  Punitive
damages are also sought.  The Plaintiffs are primarily from the
countries of the Philippines, Costa Rica, Honduras, and Equador.

In November 1999, the cases were removed to the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The
Plaintiffs filed a motion to remand the cases back to the state
court in December 1999.  In February 2000, the Plaintiffs'
attorneys withdrew their motion to remand the cases to state
court without prejudice, stating that they would wait for an
appellate court determination on similar issues in the
Mississippi and Texas cases.  The cases remain in a holding
pattern, pending resolution of various jurisdictional issues in
the other banana workers' suits.

The early focus of these cases will be on procedural issues. Dow
Chemical Company, Shell Oil Company and Occidental Chemical
Corporation contend that the vast majority of these Plaintiffs
were included in the settlement of some fifteen thousand
Plaintiffs in another similar suit.  In January 2002, the court
requested clarification from the parties of the number of claims
that have not been settle.  In September 2002, the plaintiffs'
attorneys finally evaluated their list of plaintiffs who had
settled previously.  They agreed that the plaintiffs who settle
with Dow, Shell, and Occidental were now only proceeding against
the grower defendants.

The plaintiffs who had not settled previously would continue
with the suit against all defendants, including the Company.
This process is currently pending.  No discovery has taken place
on the individual claims of the Plaintiffs.  It is unknown
whether any of the Plaintiffs claim exposure to the Comnpany's
product and whether their claims are barred by applicable
statutes of limitation.  The Company intends to contest the
cases vigorously.  It is too early to provide an evaluation of
the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome at this time.


ARIBA INC.: CA Court To Hear Dismissal Motions For Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California is set to hear the motion to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against Ariba, Inc. and certain of
its current and former officers and directors, on March 29,2004.

The suit, styled "In re Ariba, Inc. Securities Litigation, Case
No. C-03-00277 JF," purports to be on behalf of purchasers of
the Company's common stock in the period from January 11, 2000
to January 15, 2003.  The suit brings claims under the federal
securities laws, specifically Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Exchange Act, relating to the Company's announcement that it
would restate certain of our consolidated financial statements,
and, in the case of two complaints, relating to its acquisition
activity and related accounting.

Specifically, the suit alleges that certain of its prior
consolidated financial statements contained false and misleading
statements or omissions relating to the Company's failure to
properly recognize expenses and other financial items, as
reflected in the then proposed restatement.  Plaintiffs contend
that such statements or omissions caused the stock price to be
artificially inflated.  Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages as
well as other relief.

The court has also appointed a lead plaintiff, and approved the
lead plaintiff's selection of counsel.  The consolidated
complaint also adds a claim pursuant to Section 14(a) of the
Exchange Act, based on the allegations and claims described
above and adds a claim pursuant to Section 14(a) of the Exchange
Act, based on the allegation that the Company failed to disclose
certain payments and executive compensation items in its January
24, 2002 Proxy Statement.  On November 17, 2003, defendants
filed a motion to dismiss the action for failure to state a
claim.


ARIBA INC.: Court Hears Motion Seeking Derivative Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of California for the County of Santa Clara
heard Ariba, Inc.'s demurrer seeking the dismissal of the
consolidated shareholder derivative suit filed against certain
of its current and former officers and directors and against the
Company as nominal defendant.

The consolidated suit was filed by shareholders purporting to
assert, on the Company's behalf, claims for:

     (1) breach of fiduciary duties,

     (2) aiding and abetting,

     (3) violations of the California insider trading law,

     (4) abuse of control,

     (5) gross mismanagement,

     (6) waste of corporate assets,

     (7) unjust enrichment, and

     (8) contribution and indemnification

Specifically, the claims were based on the Company's acquisition
activity and related accounting implemented by the defendants,
the alleged understatement of compensation expenses as reflected
in the Company's then proposed restatement, the alleged insider
trading by certain defendants, the existence of the restatement
class action litigation, in which the Company is alleged to be
liable to defrauded investors, and the allegedly excessive
compensation paid by the Company to one of its officers, as
reflected in the Company's then proposed restatement.  The
complaints sought the payment by the defendants to the Company
of damages allegedly suffered by the Company, as well as other
relief.

The suit was renamed "In re Ariba, Inc. Shareholder Derivative
Litigation, Lead Case No. CV 814325, and appointed lead
plaintiffs' counsel.  Pursuant to that order, plaintiffs filed
an amended consolidated derivative complaint on May 28, 2003.
The amended consolidated complaint restates the allegations,
causes of action and relief sought as pleaded in the original
complaints, and adds allegations relating to the Company's April
10, 2003 announcement of the restatement of certain financial
statements and also adds a cause of action for breach of
contract.  On October 28, 2003, the Company filed a demurrer,
joined by the individual defendants, seeking dismissal of the
action for failure to comply with applicable pre-litigation
demand requirements.


BLUEBERRY FIRMS: Processor Fears Bankruptcy Amid Credit Freeze
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jasper Wyman & Son, one of the three Maine-based wild blueberry
processors found guilty of antitrust violations in a class
action, might "almost certainly" be forced into bankruptcy if
the Maine Supreme Court does not dissolve attachments on Company
assets before February 20, the Associated Press reports.

Edward Flanagan, a Company officer, said in an affidavit that
the $56 million jury award last November in the class action has
already led to a freeze in the Company's line of credit by its
banks.  He raised the prospect of a bankruptcy filing in the
defendants' collective motion for an expedited appeal.  "Without
a line of credit, Wyman's cannot continue in business," he said.

Officials of Wyman's, Cherryfield Foods Inc. and Allen's
Blueberry Freezer of Ellsworth on Tuesday resume settlement
negotiations with representatives of the 500 blueberry growers
who brought the antitrust case nearly four years ago.

Because its bank credit has dried up, the Company has been
unable to advance payments for chemicals for its growers, the
affidavit said.  The company "has informed them that they are
responsible for the purchase of chemicals themselves." Wyman's,
Cherryfield Foods, Allen's and Merrill's Blueberry Farms of
Ellsworth handle about 95 percent of Maine's blueberries each
year.  Each works with dozens of small growers, who in some
cases rely on the processor to finance their production costs.
In the case of Wyman's, the company has been required to "use
any payments on receivables to pay down the existing debt and,
accordingly, current cash does not provide a source of funding
for materials necessary for the upcoming harvest."

Superior Court Justice Joseph Jabar, who presided over the 11-
day trial in Rockland, earlier this month denied the processors'
motion to have the attachments of the processors' property
dismissed.  The supreme court has scheduled arguments on the
attachments on February 13 and would have to rule quickly to
satisfy Jasper Wyman & Son.  The court will hear an appeal of
the jury's verdict a month later.

The processors' motion suggests that "some or all of the
defendants will be forced to file for bankruptcy no later than
February 22."  Attorneys for the growers placed amended
attachments of the processors' assets in Knox, Waldo, Hancock
and Washington counties in early January to secure the $56
million award.

The growers' lawyers suggest that a Chapter 11 bankruptcy may
"permit business to go forward in the normal course," with the
"financially insecure defendants" supervised by a federal
bankruptcy judge.  "We suggest that the only real risk faced by
these defendants in filing for bankruptcy is that their
financial operations would become an open book and subject to
judicial and governmental scrutiny," attorney William Robitzek
wrote in a response to the processors' motion for an expedited
appeal, AP reports.


BRIDGESTONE: Request For Stay Granted In Steeltex Tire Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Constituting a major development in the 18-month old national
class action lawsuit brought against Bridgestone, Inc. and
Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. for alleged defects in the Steeltex
tire series, plaintiffs' law firm Lisoni & Lisoni finalized an
agreement with Bridgestone, Inc. to temporarily exempt the
Japan-based corporation as a defendant in the lawsuit pending
completion of litigation against Bridgestone/Firestone.  In the
next week, the firm reported it will file documents with the
California Superior Court to validate the agreement.

Lisoni & Lisoni, a Pasadena, CA-based law firm, filed the
national class action lawsuit in August 2002 on behalf of
consumers who contend that the Firestone Steeltex R4S, R4SII and
A/T tires are unsafe due to defective design and manufacturing
and are allegedly causing numerous deaths and injuries
nationwide.  In addition, the law firm filed a petition with the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requesting it
reopen its earlier investigation of Steeltex tires.

According to lead plaintiff legal counsel Joseph L. Lisoni, the
firm was approached by Bridgestone of Japan's attorneys in
December, requesting the Japanese tire manufacturer be allowed
to temporarily extricate itself from the lawsuit.  In making the
request Bridgestone stipulated that if the plaintiffs do not
receive a satisfactory judgment from Bridgestone/Firestone North
American Tire, LLC, Bridgestone of Japan could be brought back
into the lawsuit. According to Lisoni, after two months, an
agreement was reached and consummated with the signing of
documents today.

Commenting on the motivation for both parties to enter into the
agreement, Mr. Lisoni remarked in a statement, "I believe that
as the litigation has evolved, Bridgestone did not like what it
discovered in respect to the quality and reliability of the
Steeltex tires manufactured by its wholly-owned American
subsidiary, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, LLC. I
also believe Bridgestone is very concerned with both the
escalating reports of injuries and deaths from alleged defects
in the design and manufacture of the Steeltex tires. Finally,
coming in the wake of the recent Texas class action settlement
which dealt with the Wilderness tire series, Bridgestone
probably does not want its already damaged Bridgestone brand
name to suffer even further loss of credibility in the worldwide
tire purchasing market."

As to the plaintiffs' own motivation for entering into the
agreement, Mr. Lisoni emphasized that the firm is pleased not to
have to "fight this battle" on two fronts with both the Japanese
and American corporations.  "Even more importantly," he
stressed, "this enables us to focus 100 percent of our resources
on the company that we believe is most responsible for the
failure of the Steeltex tires - Bridgestone/Firestone," he said.

Mr. Lisoni said the next major court action for the class action
lawsuit will take place on February 25, 2004 when a hearing will
be held in the Riverside Branch of the California Superior Court
in Indio, CA on a motion by Lisoni & Lisoni to have the lawsuit
certified as a national class action.

Noting that the class action membership includes Steeltex tire
owners from every state or territory of the United States, he
said: "The number of people being injured or suffering property
damage is growing daily as we receive new reports of allegedly
defective tires from consumers. As there are still nearly 30
million Steeltex tires out there on the road, it is imperative
they be recalled."

Lisoni reported that the lawsuit's website
www.firestonesteeltexclassaction.com has received nearly 11,000
requests for information to date. He added that
Bridgestone/Firestone has recently admitted that it has over
2,000 tires with tread separations that were received from
consumers stored in its Akron, OH and Marengo, IN facilities.
"Given that 71 vehicles now come factory equipped with Steeltex
tires and 34 states have already reported tread separations on
their ambulances and other emergency recovery vehicles, this
will probably be the largest class action lawsuit in the history
of the United States," he pointed out.


CALIFORNIA GROCERS: Rights Group Seeks Plaintiffs For Wage Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
is seeking plaintiffs to join a federal class action against
several California grocery chains and their subcontractors over
unpaid wages, the Associated Press reports.

The 2002 lawsuit alleges the grocery chains supervised the
janitors' work schedules directly and knew they were not being
paid proper wages and benefits for the time they were putting
in, but continued to employ them through staffing agencies
anyway.  About 500 individuals have signed up to join the class
action, which is set to go to trial June 15.

Thousands of janitors who worked at Vons, Ralphs, Albertsons and
Pavilions stores between 1994 and January 2003 could potentially
join the case, which names the chains and several temporary
staffing agencies as defendants, officials with MALDEF told AP.
The group encouraged individuals to contact its office if they
believe they were underpaid and could be eligible to join the
case.  MALDEF has until April 19 to submit a final list of class
members to the court.

"It's extremely important that people come forward," said
Hernaldo Baltodano, one of the attorneys representing the
janitors.

"The supermarkets knew they were entering into contracts that
could not possibly comply with federal labor laws," said Hector
Villagra, MALDEF regional counsel.

The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act requires covered employees be
paid time-and-a-half for all hours worked over 40 in a single
week. It also mandates that employers maintain records of
employees' wages, hours and employment conditions.  Mr. Villagra
said many workers were paid in cash or personal checks and did
not have income taxes or Social Security contributions deducted
from their pay.

Officials with Ralphs and Albertsons told AP Tuesday the
companies do not discuss pending litigation.  Calls to Safeway,
which operates the Vons and Pavilions chains, were not
immediately returned.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: Boston Diocese Reaches Settlement of Foley Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Archdiocese of Boston reached an undisclosed settlement in
the case of Rev. James D. Foley, who carried on a 13-year sexual
relationship with Rita Perry, fathered two children with her and
abandoned her as she was dying, Reuters reports.

One of the most shocking cases to stem from the clergy sexual
abuse scandal two years ago, the case emerged in December 2002
The story of passion and death emerged in December 2002, after a
judge forced the church to turn over some 11,000 pages of
internal personnel files as part of the widening scandal over
abusive priests.

In 1993, Rev. Foley requested an extension of his posting at a
parish in Sudbury, Massachusetts.  While looking over his
personal file, church leaders discovered that Rev. Foley
fathered two children with Ms. Perry, who had been hospitalized
for a year for severe depression.

According to James and Emily Perry, Ms. Perry's children, they
discovered for the first time when they read Rev. Foley's file
that not only did Rev. Foley believed he was possibly their
biological father but that top church officials, including
Cardinal Bernard Law, knew this but keep it secret for nearly a
decade.

They also discovered that Rev. Foley had been in their home when
their mother fainted in August 1973, and that he left her
unconscious and in need of immediate medical assistance right
before her death.  His file said she died of a drug overdose.

"He had abandoned her when she needed him most," Ms. Perry's
children told Reuters.  "Our family, for the previous 29 years,
believed she had died alone, as a result of suicide."  The
children sued Rev. Foley and the archdiocese last year, where he
was ordered to take a paternity test.

According to Rev. Foley's file, Cardinal Law also remarked that
the priest's behavior was so egregious that he should spend the
rest of his life in a monastery doing penance.  However, Rev.
Foley was treated at a center for troubled priests and nuns in
Canada and later returned to the Boston area and took up work at
a Salem, Massachusetts parish.

Rev. Foley was removed from ministry after his file was made
public in 2002.  The Rev. Christopher Coyne, a spokesman for the
archdiocese, declined to provide information about current
Foley's current whereabouts, Reuters states.

"Father Foley breached the trust placed in him by our mother and
took advantage of her for his own sexual gratification," James,
Christopher and Emily Perry said in a statement in which the
settlement was announced.  "It was not Father Foley's breach of
his vows of celibacy that was so abhorrent and which caused our
mother and our family so much pain, it was his misuse of his
power as a priest which was a violation of all tenets of human
decency."

Cardinal Law's successor, Archbishop Sean O'Malley, said in a
statement that he "sincerely regrets" not only that a sexual
relationship existed between an archdiocesan priest and Rita
Perry, but that the cleric was involved "in the tragic
circumstances of her death," Reuters reports.  Neither the
family nor the church would discuss the financial terms of the
settlement.


CATHOLIC CHURCH: CA Dioceses File Request To Organize Sex Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Six California Catholic dioceses asked the State Judicial
Council to coordinate all pending sexual abuse lawsuits in the
Santa Clara County Superior Court, in an effort to streamline
legal proceedings, The Press Democrat reports.  The dioceses
are:

     (1) Santa Rosa,

     (2) San Francisco,

     (3) Monterey,

     (4) Oakland,

     (5) Stockton and

     (6) San Jose

Lawyers noted that they are not requesting that the cases be
consolidated, simply handled by the same court.  If granted, the
move would allow nine pending cases against the Santa Rosa
diocese to be sent to Santa Clara County, along with as many as
150 cases from the participating six dioceses, Dan Galvin, Santa
Rosa diocese attorney, told the Press Democrat.

Mr. Galvin said the dioceses requested Santa Clara County
because of its central location and ability to handle complex
cases.  Having one or two judges handle the numerous cases
should result in more consistent standards.  The aim would be to
have a judge help mediate the cases to a settlement.  If a case
couldn't be settled, it could return to the county of origin for
trial, he said.

The Santa Rosa diocese has paid $8.6 million in settlements to
sexual abuse victims.  A total of 59 people have claimed abuse
by priests in the diocese.  None of the current cases involve
allegations of recent abuse.


DAVID & GOLIATH: Radio Host Urges Stores To Drop Clothing Line
--------------------------------------------------------------
Some protesters are pressuring retail chains to drop a line of
girls' clothes and accessories manufactured by David & Goliath
of Clearwater, Florida, which have cartoon captions like "Boys
Are Stupid - Throw Rocks At Them," the Associated Press reports.

Fathers-rights talk show host Glenn Sacks has urged listeners of
"His Side," a weekly Los Angeles radio show sympathetic to
fathers rights movements, to contact retailers and urge them to
stop retailing the merchandise.  At least three retail chains,
Seattle-based Bon-Macy's, California-based Tilly's, and Claire's
Stores, Inc., an international chain, say they will no longer
carry the contested items.

The clothing line's chief designer Tood Goldman intended the
cartoonish graphics on the merchandise to be "humorously anti-
boy."  "I have a very quirky, sarcastic sense of humor," Mr.
Goldman told AP in a telephone interview.  "Most people just
love the cartoons.  If a few people don't like them, they don't
have to buy them."

At Mr. Sacks' urging, his listeners contacted retailers by e-
mail and other means, urging them to stop selling the
merchandise.  Bon-Macy's spokeswoman Kimberly Reason told AP
about a dozen products ranging from boxer shorts to baseball
caps were pulled from the chain's stores in five Western states
because they displayed one of three captions: "Boys Are Stupid,"
"Boys Are Smelly," and "Boys Have Cooties."

Tilly's, which operates 32 stores in Southern California,
responded immediately to the complaints by withdrawing all "Boys
Are Stupid" items and canceling pending orders, senior vice
president Sam Mendelsohn told AP.  "I agree with what the people
said," Mr. Mendelsohn said.  "It was a problem and we were not
aware of it."

Claire's Stores, which operates more than 2,800 stores in North
America, Europe and Japan, determined after an internal review
that its branches were carrying only a few items - including
cosmetic bags and lip balm - with the "Boys Are Stupid"
graphics, AP reports.  "We've canceled all pending orders that
bear any of the slogans that people found offensive," company
spokeswoman Marisa Jacobs said.

Mr. Sacks, in a telephone interview, said reaction to the
protest campaign had been largely positive, although some people
have suggested he was overreacting.  "I'm sorry if I sound like
a humorless zealot, but I just don't see the humor in it," Mr.
Sacks told AP. "My 11-year-old son, whatever the joke is, he
just doesn't understand it, either."

Mr. Sacks argued that the merchandise promotes anti-male
violence and that many marketers have developed a "moral blind
spot toward disparaging males," while wary of offending women
and minorities.

Mr. Goldman thinks the idea that he's promoting violence is
ridiculous.  "If you look at the violence in rap songs, in video
games - that's what they should be concentrating on, not a
cartoon T-shirt," he told AP.

Like many targets of consumer protests, Mr. Goldman said the
controversy about his products has boosted sales, especially
over the Internet.  "It's the best advertisement I can ask for,"
he said. "We're one of the hottest junior lines out there."


DOW CHEMICAL: Judge Denies Interview Request In Pollution Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Michigan Circuit Court refused to allow Dow Chemical Co. to
interview 40 more residents along the Tittabawassee River
relating to a dioxin-related lawsuit filed against the Company,
The Saginaw News reports.

173 residents have filed a suit against the Company, charging it
with polluting their properties with a toxin derived from
chlorine manufacturing and other industrial processes.  Company
attorneys asked to interview more than the 50 court-approved
residents last week, saying that putting residents under oath is
the only way to flush out court-ordered documents and
information that many litigants have not provided.

Attorney for the plaintiffs Jan P. Helder called Circuit Judge
Leopold P. Borrello's ruling a "significant victory" for his
clients.  "Dow is not going to be able to harass these
plaintiffs, at least through the class certification phase," Mr.
Helder told Saginaw News.

Judge Borrello ordered Mr. Helder to provide written
confirmation that he has turned over all documents pertinent to
the lawsuit.  He also asked that residents verify that their
responses to Dow's information requests are accurate and
complete.  The deadline is Monday.

Judge Borrello also postponed the class certification hearing
for the suit, saying that the Company's late finish with the
interviews, combined with further wrangling over documents,
makes the original February hearing date unrealistic.  The
hearing is scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 6.

"I'm not going to drag this out," Judge Borrello said, Saginaw
News reports.  "But I need to be fair as far as the time
constraints (for each party)."

Dow spokesman Scot Wheeler said he hopes the decision will end
the squabbles over document sharing.  He said the issue should
have ended on December 5 - the court-mandated deadline for
disclosing all lawsuit-related information.  Mr. Wheeler also
said Dow learned of documents that its attorneys never received,
of records that contained false information and of residents who
had burned or deleted lawsuit-related documents, Saginaw News
reports.

"What we learned through taking the depositions on these 40
people is that we could not rely on their interrogatory
responses," Dow attorney Douglas Kurtenbach told Saginaw News.
"There is no way to tell whether we have received a full
response from the other 120 or 130 plaintiffs unless we can
depose some of them."


INDIANA: Lawyers File Suit Challenging Punch-Card Voting System
---------------------------------------------------------------
The State of Indiana faces a class action, challenging the
constitutionality of push-card voting systems in the state of
Indiana, such as those that led to Florida's presidential
recount, The Star Press reports.

Indianapolis attorney Bill Groth filed the suit on behalf of two
voters in Marion County Circuit Court.  The suit seeks to force
Indiana to ban and replace all punch-card systems, which are
currently used in 35 Indiana counties, in time for the May 2002
primary elections.

While the Indiana Constitution requires 'fair and equal'
elections, Mr. Groth said there is nothing 'equal' about a
voting system proven to have a higher error rate in recording
votes than other types of equipment.  Critics say uncounted
votes might have changed the results in the presidential race.
The suit names as defendants Secretary of State Sue Anne
Gillroy, also the state's chief elections officer; the co-
directors of the state's elections division, and the Indiana
Election Commission.

Ms. Gilroy spoke in favor of legislation that would provide low-
interest loans and grants to counties to help pay for upgraded
voting systems.  The bill, which would decertify punch-card
voting machines in 2004, would cost an estimated $8 million to
$16 million depending on the kind of systems the counties adopt.

State Rep. B. Patrick Bauer, chairman of the budget-writing
House Ways and Means Committee, urged caution, saying the state
might not have enough money to pay for such a change this year.
"We have another session next year, we have another year to look
at the financial picture," Rep. Bauer, D-South Bend, told The
Star Press.

Delaware County Clerk Karen Wenger told The Star Press she
believed local use of the punch-card voting machines produced
accurate vote counts so long as the system was well-maintained.
Ms. Wenger said a recent study of 1996 ballots indicated that if
voting machines were properly maintained, few ballots would be
uncountable due to hanging chads.

She added that John Cranor, a political science professor from
Ball State University, had been studying 1996 county ballots for
other reasons and found that only a handful of the 45,000
ballots cast that year had hanging chads.  "I don't think
there's any perfect voting system, but if the system is well-
maintained, there's no problem with punch-card voting," she
said.

Ms. Gilroy said she agrees with the lawsuit's goal. In fact, she
said bulky lever machines used in some counties can also be
inaccurate and they also need to be replaced.  The cost of
replacing both types of voting systems has been estimated at $30
million.


INDIANA: Appeals Court Orders Hearing On Jail Phone Rates Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a Marion County court
to hear a lawsuit alleging exorbitant fees are charged for
collect telephone calls placed by inmates in the Marion County
Jail, The Indianapolis Star reports.

The suit, filed in 2000 in Marion County Circuit Court on behalf
of 25 plaintiffs, alleges that former Marion County Sheriff Jack
Cottey entered into a contract with Ameritech, now SBC, that
sets telephone rates at an exorbitant level.  The current price
for a 30-minute call from Marion County jails is $4.75, and
inmates are allowed to make only collect telephone calls.

In 2002, the Sheriff's Department generated $2.1 million in
collect call revenues.  Most of it goes toward jail
improvements.  The contract also allowed Mr. Cottey to receive a
one-time $262,000 signing bonus.

The suit was dismissed four months later by then-Judge William
T. Lawrence.  The appeals court disagreed with Judge Lawrence
that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission should hear the
case.  The Marion Circuit Court must now hear it, or it could be
appealed to the State Supreme Court.

Plaintiffs' attorney Lawrence M. Ruben called the telephone call
payments kickbacks, the Star stated.  "They are taking
inordinate sums of money from the people who pay the phone
bills," Mr. Ruben said.  "The monetary amount we seek will be
based on the number of collect phone calls that were made. It
could be in the tens of millions."

Defense attorney Jeffrey S. McQuary told the Star his office was
reviewing the decision and considering several options.  "This
is an extremely important case, and we want to make sure we make
the right decisions," he said.


LORUS INVESTMENTS: GA Court Enters Judgement in Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Honorable Marvin H. Shoob, U.S. District Judge for the
Northern District of Georgia, entered a Final Judgment as to
defendants J. Scott Eskind, Lorus Investments, Inc. and Capital
Management Fund, Limited Partnership, enjoining them from
further 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 thereunder, and enjoining Mr. Eskind and Lorus from
violating or aiding and abetting violations of Section 206 of
the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

Mr. Eskind, Lorus and Capital consented to the entries of the
judgment without admitting or denying any of the allegations of
the Commission's complaint.  Further, the court ordered joint
and several disgorgement and prejudgment interest against
defendants in the respective amounts of $3,661,786 and $808,403.
The court ordered each defendant to pay a civil penalty of
$120,000.  Defendants were also ordered to transfer to the court
appointed special master $94,584.64 currently held in brokerage
accounts frozen by previous court order.  Mr. Eskind was also
ordered to comply with a prior order of the Commission barring
him from association with an investment adviser.

The Commission's complaint, filed on September 3, 2002, alleged
that Mr. Eskind was a recidivist violator who was preliminarily
enjoined in June 1997 and permanently enjoined on January 12,
1998, from violating the antifraud provisions of the federal
securities laws.  Mr. Eskind was subsequently barred by the
Commission from association with any investment adviser.

That case was based upon allegations of fraudulent conduct by
Mr. Eskind which included misappropriating investors' funds,
failing to disclose that Mr. Eskind had been suspended by the
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 1991, and inducing at least
five investors to invest at least $500,000 in what was falsely
represented to the investors to be a specified limited
partnership.   The complaint further alleged that subsequent to
being enjoined, and continuing until the filing of the
complaint, Mr. Eskind raised at least $3 million through sales
of limited partnership units in Capital.  Capital purportedly
does business by trading in securities through initial or
secondary public offerings.  The sales materials misrepresented
to investors Eskind's broker-dealer experience, and did not
disclose his 1991 NYSE suspension, the Commission's 1997 civil
action or the Commission's 2000 order barring him from
association with an investment adviser.

The complaint alleged that investors were told that IRA accounts
had been opened for them at a trust company which serves as an
IRA custodian and that investors had received statements from
Lorus indicating their funds in those accounts.  In fact, no
such accounts were opened. The sales materials falsely stated
that a major law firm provided legal representation for Lorus.
Finally, the complaint alleged that Lorus is an investment
adviser and Mr. Eskind's continuing association with Lorus was a
violation of the Commission's 2000 order.

The suit is styled "SEC v. J. Scott Eskind, Lorus Investments,
Inc., and Capital Management Fund, Limited Partnership, USDC for
the Northern District of Georgia, Civil Action No. 1:02-CV-2429-
MHS."


MARTHA STEWART: Opening Statements in Investor Fraud Trial Made
---------------------------------------------------------------
The controversial and much publicized investor fraud trial of
lifestyle trendsetter Martha Stewart began with federal
prosecutors charging her with lying to cover up a potential
stock trading scandal and save her reputation and the huge stake
she held in her own company, Reuters reports.

Ms. Stewart faces five counts including obstruction of justice
and securities fraud, so far, the most famous celebrity to face
trial since the crackdown on white-collar corruption began two
years ago.  She allegedly saved about $51,000 by selling Inclone
stock on December 27, 2001 - just before a negative government
report about a highly touted ImClone cancer drug sent the stock
plummeting, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (January
21,2004) states.

Ms. Stewart has asserted that she and her broker, Peter
Bacanovic of Merrill Lynch & Co., had a standing agreement to
sell when the stock fell to $60.  Mr. Bacanovic faces five
counts of his own and will stand trial with her.  Prosecutors,
however, assert that ImClone founder Sam Waksal, a personal
friend of Ms. Stewart, informed her of the impending
developments.

In her opening statement, federal prosecutor Karen Patton
charged Ms. Stewart and Mr. Bacanovic of constructing a scheme
"to lie to investigators and come up with a cover-up" relating
to her sale of ImClone stock.  Ms. Seymour added that Ms.
Stewart's reputation and the stock price of her multimedia
company would have been severely damaged if the truth surfaced
about the secret tip.

Ms. Seymour alleged that Ms. Stewart tried to mislead investors
about the trade in order to halt the growing storm of negative
publicity, and that she stood to lose some $30 million if her
company's stock price collapsed.  "All of this was designed to
lift that dark cloud hanging over her reputation ... she was
determined to put her own interest in front of investors," she
told the Jury, Reuters reports.

Ms. Stewart's attorney Robert Morvillo countered that such
charges are based on nothing more than speculation and guesswork
and are not backed by any evidence.  "There will be no direct
evidence introduced by the government that Martha Stewart
conspired to obstruct anything," he asserted.  "No witness will
appear in this courtroom during the trial to say 'Martha told me
to do something unlawful."'

Mr. Morvillo described Ms. Stewart as a businesswoman who fought
to build a successful lifestyle and media corporation, Reuters
reports.  "Martha Stewart has worked most of her life to improve
quality of life for others," he said, then later added that he
was not asking the jurors for "any special treatment because
Martha Stewart is famous."

Mr. Bacanovic's lawyer also opened for his client, saying the
claims are without merit.  "The government is wrong, they have
rushed to judgment to bring a case against Martha Stewart,"
lawyer Richard Strassberg said, according to Reuters.  "He has
been falsely accused."

Mr. Strassberg said that Bacanovic, who was one of Merrill's top
brokers, only made $450 commission from the trade and he would
never have risked his career for that amount.  "He had no
incentive to break the rules," he said.


NAUTILUS DIRECT: Recalls Fitness Machines Due To Injury Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nautilus Direct (doing business as Bowflex), of Vancouver,
Washington, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC), is voluntarily recalling about 420,000
Bowflex fitness machines to address two safety issues. First,
while being used in the incline position, the machine's
backboard bench can unexpectedly collapse and break, posing a
risk of injury to the user. Second, the "Lat Tower," can rotate
forward and fall during use, posing a risk of injury to the
user.

Nautilus Direct and CPSC have received at least 70 reports of
the backboard benches breaking, resulting in at least 59 back,
neck and shoulder injuries. Nautilus Direct has received at
least 18 reports of the "Lat Tower" rotating forward and
falling, resulting in at least 14 back, neck, shoulder, teeth,
nose and head injuries, some of which required stitches.

The recalled fitness machines are the Bowflex Power Pro XL, XTL
and XTLU systems with the "Lat Tower" attachment. The "Lat
Tower" attaches to the back of the bench, and has pull-down
pulleys attached. The name "Bowflex" and the model name are
printed on the front of the machine. The machine has 10 to 14
resistance rods that extend about 48-inches high and a backboard
bench that is about 36-inches long. The recalled fitness
machines were made in China, Taiwan and the U.S.A.

Infomercials and specialized retail stores nationwide sold the
fitness machines from January 1995 through December 2003 for
between $1,200 and $1,600.

Consumers are urged to stop using the backboard bench in the
incline position and "Lat Tower" on the fitness machines
immediately and contact Nautilus Direct toll-free at
(888) 424-3020 anytime to receive a free repair kit that will
address both issues. Nautilus is contacting owners of affected
machines by direct mail where the name is known to the firm. For
more information, consumers can log on to the company's Web site
at http://www.bowflex.com.


NOMURA SECURITIES: NY Court Enters Final Judgment V. Stockbroker
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
entered final judgment against Ronald W. Pinto, former
registered representative with Nomura Securities International,
Inc.

The Commission had charged Mr. Pinto with defrauding New York
Life Insurance Company, Inc. by giving commission kickbacks and
gratuities to two former New York Life employees.  In exchange,
the two former employees directed securities trades on behalf of
New York Life to Mr. Pinto, sometimes at prices favorable to
Nomura and disadvantageous to New York Life.

Mr. Pinto consented to the final judgment without admitting or
denying the allegations in the Commission's complaint.  The
judgment permanently restrains and enjoins Mr. Pinto from
violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities,
Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

The judgment orders Mr. Pinto to pay $1,800,000 in disgorgement,
which is deemed satisfied by his earlier payment of that amount
to New York Life in a private settlement.  The judgment also
orders Mr. Pinto to pay a $500,000 civil penalty.

On January 28, the Commission also instituted and settled
administrative proceedings against Mr. Pinto.  Mr. Pinto
consented to an order, based on the entry of final judgment
against him in the Commission's civil enforcement action and on
his prior criminal conviction, that bars him from association
with any broker-dealer.

Mr. Pinto had pleaded guilty to criminal charges of securities
fraud arising from the same scheme.  In November 2002, the
criminal court sentenced him to serve twenty-one months in
prison.  The criminal court did not order restitution in view of
Pinto's $1,800,000 settlement payment to New York Life.

With this settlement, the Commission's has concluded this action
against three of the five original defendants.  The two former
New York Life employees who had received kickbacks and
gratuities settled the Commissions claims against them in
November 2003.  Both also pleaded guilty to criminal securities
fraud charges and are serving their sentences.  The Commission
also charged that two other registered representatives, at
different broker-dealers, gave kickbacks or gratuities to one or
both of the former New York Life employees in exchange of a flow
of New York Life securities trades and favorable prices.

The Commission's civil action against those two registered
representatives continues.  One has pleaded guilty to criminal
charges and is serving her sentence.  The other was not
criminally charged.

The suit is styled "SEC v. Anthony Dong-Yin Shen, Srinivas
Anumolu, Ronald W. Pinto, Deborah J. Breckenridge, and Dominick
J. Savino, 01 Civ. 2438."


PHILADELPHIA: Nightclub Owners Settle Lawsuit Over Pier Collapse
----------------------------------------------------------------
Owners of the Heat nightclub in Philadelphia reached a $29.6
million settlement relating to the claims over the collapse of
the Philadelphia pier on May 18,2000, causing the nightclub's
patrons to spill into the Delaware river, the Associated Press
reports.

Three women died and forty people were injured during the
collapse.  The patrons filed several suits later, alleging that
the pier had been in a dangerous condition for years and an
inspector had warned of imminent collapse.

Pier owner Michael Asbell and club operator Eli Karetny have
denied either having known that the pier was in imminent danger
or having been warned of imminent collapse.  The suit named as
main defendants Portside Investors, Mr. Asbell's firm, and HMS
Ventures Inc., which operated the club.

The settlement, which included other defendants, was finalized
over the last week.  Lead plaintiffs' attorneys Thomas R. Kline
and Robert J. Mongeluzzi told AP the settlement was expected to
resolve all claims, as the families of the three women killed
will each be paid $7.4 million and the remaining $7.4 million
will be distributed through an arbitration process to the 40
people injured.

John F. Ledwith, the lawyer for Karetny, Hamilton and HMS
Ventures, confirmed that a settlement was being finalized, AP
states.


PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Suit Dismissal Affirmed by Appeals Court
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals of California, Fourth
District affirmed a ruling by the U.S. Superior Court of San
Diego County, dismissing a lawsuit brought against Planned
Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), et al., on behalf of
Agnes Bernardo, et al., seeking injunctive relief under
California's Unfair Competition Law and the False Advertising
Law.

Agnes Bernardo, Pamela Colip and Saundra Duffy-Hawkins brought
suit against Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)
and Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties
(PPSDRC), alleging that PPFA's and PPSDRC's Internet Web sites
www.plannedparenthood.org.html and www.planned.org.html
respectively, contained "unlawful, unfair, confusing, and
misleading statements/advertisements" that caused women to make
critical health care decisions without full, complete, and
accurate information about:

     (1) the safety of abortion,

     (2) the safety of abortion vis-a-vis childbirth, and

     (3) the scientific/medical literature that Ms. Bernardo
         claims establishes a link between induced abortion and
         breast cancer

Planned Parenthood filed a special motion to strike Bernardo's
complaint under Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16,
California's anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuits against public
participation) statute, which was specifically enacted to
provide both a summary disposition and mandatory attorney fees
and costs to prevailing defendants in such actions. Planned
Parenthood argued that Bernardo's action was a strategic lawsuit
against public participation (SLAPP) prohibited by California's
anti-SLAPP statute.

The court found that Bernardo's lawsuit was a SLAPP, granted
Planned Parenthood's motion, and dismissed the action.  The
court awarded reasonable attorney fees to Planned Parenthood in
the amount of $77,835.25. Bernardo has filed two appeals, which
have been consolidated for purposes of disposition.


REPUBLIC INSURANCE: Appeals Court Remands Suit To FL State Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court of Appeals of Florida, Third
District affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded a
lawsuit brought against the Republic Insurance Company, in
Circuit Court for Miami, Dade County, on behalf of Arthur and
Valerie Heikes, et al., alleging excessive insurance premiums on
homeowner policies that plaintiffs purchased.

The gravamen of the complaint, filed by the Heikes in November
1994, avers that the plaintiffs were buyers of homes constructed
by General Development Corporation (GDC), and purchasers of
homeowner's insurance policies from Florida Insurance Concepts
(FIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of GDC. FIC placed insurance
policies on each of the plaintiffs' properties through various
insurance companies including Vanguard Insurance Company,
Merrimack Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and Republic.

The complaint alleges that each homeowners' insurance policy
sold to the class plaintiffs through FIC had excessive insurance
premiums because it was calculated on an inflated value or
replacement value of the homes.

The trial court certified the class in February 1999, and
incorporated into its order a list of class members based on a
response to a request for production, a computer printout
provided by Republic, of the insureds. Republic appealed the
order certifying the class, but the Court affirmed.

Following the affirmation, the parties engaged in settlement
discussions. At that time plaintiffs' counsel indicated that he
was unclear about which policies on the printout were issued by
Vanguard and which were issued by Republic. On May 11, 2000, the
Heikes served an interrogatory requesting a breakdown of the
Republic and Vanguard insureds, to which Republic responded that
code "2" were Vanguard insureds and code "1" were insured by
Republic. This information showed that out of a certified class
of 2,370, 2,168 of  the class members, including the Heikes,
were not insured by Republic.

Thereafter Republic moved for summary judgment on grounds that
since, among others, the class representatives and a majority of
the class members were not insured by Republic, no valid cause
of action against Republic existed. The trial court granted
summary judgment in Republic's favor. The Heikes' motion for
rehearing was denied, and a final judgment was entered.
Plaintiffs appealed.


ROCKY POINT BROKER: SEC Lodges Proceeding For Securities Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Order
Instituting Administrative Proceeding Pursuant to Section 15(b)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings, and
Imposing Remedial Sanctions against Michael J. Louis.

As set forth in the Order, Mr. Louis agreed to be barred from
association with any broker or dealer.  Mr. Louis was associated
with the Rocky Point, New York branch of American Investment
Services, Inc., a registered broker-dealer.

On July 11, 2003, a final judgment was entered by default
against Mr. Louis, permanently enjoining him from future
violations of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Sections
10(b), 15(a) and 15(c) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5
thereunder, in the civil action entitled "SEC v. Von Christopher
Cummings, et al., Civil Action Number C2 02 629, in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.  Mr. Louis was
also ordered to pay disgorgement of $159,500, plus prejudgment
interest thereon, and a $120,000 civil penalty.


SONY CORPORATION: Court Upholds False Advertising Suit Ruling
-------------------------------------------------------------
The California Court of Appeals for Los Angeles upheld a lower
court's refusal to dismiss a false advertising lawsuit filed
against Sony Corporation, by moviegoers who saw one of its films
based on a fake blurb put on its advertisements, The Daily
Variety reports.

Plaintiffs Omar Rezec and Ann Belknap filed the suit after they
bought tickets to see "A Knight's Tale," which had blurbs
written by David Manning, a purported critic for the Ridgefield
Press in Connecticut.  In May 2001, Newsweek magazine discovered
that Mr. Manning didn't exist.  Mr. Manning's fabricated quotes
were used in advertising for at least four films for Sony's
Columbia Pictures.

The Company, owner of the third-largest U.S. film studio by box
office sales, sought dismissal under California's anti-SLAPP, or
Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, law, which was
created to prevent chilling of free speech.  The lower court
ruled that ads are commercial speech and not fully protected by
the First Amendment.

The appeals court rejected Sony's argument that its ads were
protected speech because the films themselves are noncommercial
speech.  "Sony's position would shield all sorts of mischief,"
Judge Robert Mallano wrote in a 2-1 decision dated Tuesday, the
Variety reports.  "For example, a film could be advertised as
having garnered 'Three Golden Globe Nominations' when it had
received none."

Susan Tick, a spokeswoman at Sony's Culver City-based studios,
declined an immediate comment, Variety states.

In a dissent that called the suit "the most frivolous case with
which I have ever had to deal," Judge Rueben Ortega said the
complaint should be dismissed because the quotations by unknown
critic Manning consisted of opinion and wouldn't have deceived
the average consumer.


SPS TEMPORARIES: EEOC Files Suit For Race, Gender Discrimination
----------------------------------------------------------------
SPS Temporaries, one of New York's largest temporary employment
agencies, faces a class action filed by the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission, alleging that it discriminated against
race, sex and other characteristics, Buffalo News reports.

Robert Rose, trial lawyer for the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC), announced the filing of the suit, which
charged the Company with complying with requests from its
clients to provide temporary workers of a certain race or
gender.  The suit further alleges that the Company destroyed
documents showing it coded applicants based on race, sex and
national origin during the EEOC's investigation.

The lawsuit also charges that Jamestown Container Cos. requested
white men as temporary workers and Whiting Door Manufacturing
Corporation in Akron requested male workers.  A third unnamed
company settled with the EEOC, Mr. Rose told Buffalo News.

Jamestown Container and Whiting Door released separate prepared
statements saying they do not discriminate and will defend
themselves in court.  SPS in a prepared statement "acknowledged
there were some minor issues with the paperwork" and after
talking with the EEOC corrected the problems, Buffalo News
states.

"It is our hope that we can reach an amicable settlement with
the EEOC so that we can continue employing the thousands of
people throughout Western New York, providing the business
community with much needed workers that are so vital to the
regional economy," according to the statement.

The EEOC's two-year investigation began when James Sciandra, 49,
of the Town of Tonawanda, filed a complaint that he had to
complete a medical questionnaire before being hired and was not
given work because he disclosed he had carpal tunnel syndrome in
his wrists.  The EEOC reviewed 20,000 employment applications,
Elizabeth Cadle, director of the Buffalo office, told Buffalo
News.

The EEOC settled a lawsuit filed in 2000 against another
temporary employment agency, EGW Temporaries, 1700 Clinton St.
EGW agreed to pay $285,000 but denied any wrongdoing. Three
companies that requested temps agreed to pay a total of $50,000.


STATE FARM: Appeals Court Reverses Certification For LA Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit
reversed and remanded a ruling by the Twenty-Fourth Judicial
District Court, Parish of Jefferson, certifying a lawsuit
brought against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
and Oasis Horticultural Services, Inc., on behalf of Robert
Defraites, et al.

On August 2, 2002, plaintiff Robert Defraites, filed the instant
class petition naming as defendants Oasis Horticultural
Services, Inc. and its liability insurance carrier, State Farm
Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, alleged that on July 1,
2002, his vehicle was damaged in an automobile accident with a
vehicle owned and operated by Oasis and its employees
and insured by State Farm. Defraites alleged that his vehicle
sustained both damage in cost of repairs and a diminished value
attributable to the vehicle's involvement in the accident.
Plaintiff further alleged that although State Farm paid for the
costs to repair his vehicle, they failed to pay for the
vehicle's diminished value. Defraites stated in the petition
that he made a claim for diminution in value of the vehicle with
State Farm, and State Farm failed to initiate loss adjustment
for this item of damages within fourteen days of the
notification of loss. Plaintiff argues that State Farm violated
the provisions of La. R.S. 22:658(A)(3) and (4), and was
therefore liable for the amount of diminution in value sustained
by plaintiff as well as damages in the form of penalties
pursuant to La. R.S. 22:1220(C).

In addition to his claim for individual damages, plaintiff also
requested that the claim be certified as a class action on
behalf of all similarly situated persons who have made or will
henceforth make third party property automobile damage claims
against State Farm and its insureds for damages sustained
wherein State Farm failed to pay losses for diminution in value.
Plaintiff also sought a defendant class to be comprised of the
past and future State Farm insureds that are targets of the
vehicular property damage claims asserted by members of the
putative class.

On September 30, 2002, plaintiff filed a motion to certify the
action as a class action.  On October 21, 2002, defendants filed
exceptions, affirmative defenses and answer to plaintiff's
petition. Thereafter, the parties conducted discovery on
plaintiff's request to certify the class, and on December 20,
2002, defendants brought a motion for summary judgment to
dismiss plaintiff's individual claims of diminution in value on
the basis that plaintiff failed to submit evidence to show he
was entitled to this item of damages. On the same date,
defendants also brought a motion for partial summary judgment to
dismiss plaintiff's class action demands based on defendants'
claims that the requirements of a class action cannot be
satisfied as a matter of law. By judgment dated February 5,
2003, the trial court denied both of these motions.

On March 25, 2003, plaintiff filed a memorandum for
certification of plaintiff and defendant classes with
attachments. Defendants filed an opposition to this memorandum
on April 8, 2003. On April 16-17, 2003, the trial court
conducted a hearing on plaintiff's motion for class
certification. The record was left open to allow for depositions
and post-hearing memoranda.

By order rendered on June 5, 2003, the trial court granted
plaintiff's motion to certify both a plaintiff and defendant
class, and held that all issues raised by the pleadings in this
action will be tried on a class-wide basis as pertains to each
class. Although defendants filed a request for written reasons,
no reasons for judgment were assigned by the trial court. A
suspensive appeal was granted by the trial court in this matter
on July 7, 2003.

Defendants appeal on the basis that the trial court erred in
certifying this action as a class pursuant to the provisions of
La. C.C.P. art. 591, et seq. Plaintiff has   answered the appeal
seeking damages and costs against defendants for the filing of
a frivolous appeal.


TERRORIST ATTACK: 9/11 Victims Seek Extension of Report Due Date
----------------------------------------------------------------
Relatives of September 11 victims asked Thursday that the
deadline for a commission investigating the attacks to produce a
final report be extended to next January to limit the influence
of election-year politics, the Associated Press reports.

The commission is scheduled to finish its work on May 27. But
panel members this week asked Congress for a two-month
extension, citing a need for full analysis of reams of documents
about the disaster.

The relatives' organization, Voices of Sept. 11, said even more
time is necessary. "An extension of two months places this
commission in the middle of politics," the group said. "To do so
is an insult to the dead." The organization said the panel "is
turning away valuable, vital, relevant information regarding 9-
11 because of time constraints. With all the whistleblowers
coming forward, they need more than two months to fully
investigate these claims."

Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said
Thursday they plan to introduce legislation next week that will
set a Jan. 10, 2005, deadline for the report. "An extension
until after the November elections is warranted to ensure a
comprehensive and thorough investigation in a nonpartisan
environment," McCain said.

The Bush administration and Republican House leaders oppose any
extension, saying the longer the process takes the more
politicized it becomes.

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
States was established by Congress to study the nation's
preparedness before Sept. 11 and its response to the attacks,
and to make recommendations for guarding against similar
disasters.

The 10-member, bipartisan group held a two-day hearing this week
that highlighted a series of government missteps in customs and
aviation security that allowed many of the 19 hijackers to elude
detection.

The commission said it plans to meet in the coming weeks with
national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and is trying to set
up interviews with President Bush as well as officials from the
Clinton administration.


UNITED STATES: Government To Commence Airline Background Checks
---------------------------------------------------------------
Officials at the Department of Homeland Security say that a
government plan to check all airline passengers' backgrounds
before they board a plane could be implemented by this summer,
the Associated Press reports.

The program, labeled Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening
System (CAPPS II), would screen all passengers by checking that
information against commercial and government databases.  Each
passenger would be given one of three color-coded ratings.
Suspected terrorists or violent criminals would be designated
"red" and forbidden to fly.  Passengers who raised questions
would be classified "yellow" and would receive extra security
screening.  Most would be "green" and simply go through routine
screening.

Homeland Security Undersecretary Asa Hutchinson told AP that the
program is such an urgent priority that the government will
order airlines to provide background information on their
customers to test the program.  He said he wanted to begin
testing by spring.  "The information that is given by a
passenger to the airlines is important for us to have - in terms
of name, address, date of birth - so we can properly assure the
safety of a particular flight," he said.

Three weeks ago, the government started implementing US-VISIT, a
program that allows US authorities to check people instantly
against terrorist watch lists and a national criminal database.
The system is in place at 115 airports and a dozen seaports, and
70 people have already been stopped from entering the country
after fingerprinting and photographing.  Though none was a
terrorist suspect, Mr. Hutchinson said the program proved its
ability to spot people trying to use fraudulent immigration
documents to gain entry.

Privacy advocates have criticized CAPPS II because it allegedly
infringes on civil liberties and might wrongly label people as
security threats.  U.S. airlines have been reluctant to
cooperate with the government because of those concerns and
possible backlash from passengers.  Northwest Airlines, JetBlue
Airways and Delta Air Lines already have come under fire for
sharing passenger information with the government without
letting customers know.  They were criticized for voluntarily
passing information in violation of their privacy policies.

Jim May, president of the Air Transport Association, the major
airlines' trade group, told AP it's imperative that protections
for passengers be in place before the government issues any
directives to make the procedure mandatory.  He questioned
whether that can happen fast enough to allow full implementation
this summer.

Mr. Hutchinson said the government will work with airlines to
deal with their uneasiness but will compel them to participate.
"We expect at this point the airlines will want a clear rule or
directive from the government before they'd release
information," he said.  European airlines already have agreed to
provide data, he added.


UTAH: Reaches Settlement With Miners In 1996 Hospital Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The State of Utah reached a settlement for a 1996 class action
filed by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and four
individual miners, charging the state with being negligent after
it failed to establish a hospital for miners' using proceeds
from 100,000 acres of trust lands deeded to Utah specifically to
provide care for disabled miners, Knight-Ridder/ Tribune
Business News reports.

The mandate to create a miners' hospital dates to the 1894
Enabling Act that paved the way for statehood, and Congress
followed through with the first 50,000 acres two years later
when Utah joined the union.  The suit alleges the state never
fulfilled its pledge to develop a miners' hospital.

Starting in 1957, the Legislature diverted revenue from the
miners' trust lands to rehabilitation services at the university
medical center.  The miners' lawsuit argued this universal use
of the funding violated the "constitutional trust" that required
the funds to be used solely for the intended beneficiaries,
namely disabled miners.

Under the settlement, the university will append the name
"Miners Hospital" to the rehabilitation center and to develop
expertise in dealing with infirmities that commonly afflict
miners.  The hospital will provide two free yearly screenings
for each miner, conduct clinics two days a month (probably in
Orem) specifically for disabled miners and hold free seminars
annually in Price and Magna to address miners' health concerns.
Under Phillip Bryant, the miners' hospital also is required to
dedicate a half-dozen staff members to handling miners' cases,
to reserve two parking spots for miners and create an atmosphere
that will make them feel welcome to seek treatment.

"There's a future now, a chance for people to have detection
early," Debra Dull, who traveled from Emery County to Salt Lake
City to attend the court hearing with her father, Michael
Svetich, an 82-year-old retired coal miner from Helper, told the
Tribune Business News.  Mr. Svetich suffers from black lung
disease, technically known as pneumoconiosis, and asbestosis,
another respiratory malady spawned by breathing coal dust, and
was one of the miners who joined the UMWA's 1996 lawsuit.

Fred Lupo, president of the UMWA local that includes Utah, said
the settlement "shows all miners that the union is there to
support them," The Tribune Business News reports.


WL WARE: SEC Commences Emergency Action To Halt Affinity Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed an emergency action
to halt an affinity fraud conducted by Orlando-based W.L. Ware
Enterprises and Investments, Inc. and its principal, Warren L.
Ware, that has raised at least $16.5 million.

According to the SEC's Complaint, the affinity fraud targeted
African Americans and Christians, and has been ongoing since at
least 2000.  Also on January 27, Judge G. Kendall Sharp, U.S.
District Judge for the Middle District of Florida, issued
various emergency orders against the defendants, including
temporary restraining orders, asset freezes, and other emergency
relief.

The SEC's complaint alleges that Ware Enterprises and Mr. Ware
falsely guarantee investors 10% monthly interest payments on
their investments for the first ten months followed by a 5%
perpetual monthly return.  According to the SEC's complaint, Mr.
Ware entices potential investors portraying the Company as a
"private clientele group investment firm" whose Dreamkeeper
Program is "engineered for the not so wealthy to have a chance
to make the same type of percentages on their money that the
wealthy have been enjoying for centuries."

The defendants also falsely represent that Ware Enterprises has
over $100 million in assets, when, according to the SEC's
complaint, its bank account records actually reflect balance of
only $2 million.

The SEC's complaint also alleges that, although Ware Enterprises
and Mr. Ware claim to generate returns for investors by making
investments in, among other things, commercial and residential
real estate, small businesses, and the "markets of the world,"
in reality, the defendants conducted a typical Ponzi scheme by
using new investors' investments to make interest payments to
existing investors.

The SEC's complaint charges Ware Enterprises and Mr. Ware with
violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of
1933, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and
Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Mr. Ware with violating Sections
206(1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
Those sections and rules prohibit certain transactions in
securities not registered with the Commission, prohibit fraud in
the offer and sale, and in connection with the purchase and
sale, of securities, and prohibit investment advisers from
defrauding clients.

The suit is styled, "SEC v. W.L. Ware Enterprises, Inc., et al.
and Warren L. Ware, Case No. 6:04 CV-112 ORL-18-JGG."


WORLD AIRWAYS: Passengers File Suit In NY Court For Flight Delay
----------------------------------------------------------------
On January 26, 2004, passengers on flights operated by World
Airways Inc. through their lawyers, Echeruo, Counsel, Attorneys
at Law, LLP and Madu, Edozie & Madu P.C., filed a Class Action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York, on behalf of a class of all persons who
purchased tickets for travel from the United States to Nigeria
between November 4, 2003 and January 31, 2004 and were not
transported to their destinations on schedule by World Airways.

The action arose from World Airways decision to completely cease
flight operations to Nigeria, abandoning passengers with round
trip tickets and leaving the majority of them stranded in Lagos,
Nigeria for over three (3) weeks. World Airways was operating
the flights in conjunction with Ritetime Aviation and Travel
Services, Inc and blames its disruption of service on a
contractual dispute with Ritetime. According to name plaintiff
Dr. Obiora Anyoku, a New York-based physician, "World Airways
conduct was outrageous. How can any decent company leave over
1,000 people stranded in a foreign country and simply ignore its
responsibility. We have jobs and families to go back to, and
children returning to school." Another name plaintiff McLord
Obioha, a New York based journalist, said: "We suffered a great
deal at the Lagos airport. World Airways did not even provide us
with food, water or accommodation. It was hell. I can guarantee
that this form of maltreatment would not have been accorded
passengers of non-African descent."

World Airways, a Nasdaq traded company (WLDA), provides long-
range passenger and cargo air transportation. World Airways
reported revenue for the nine months ended September 2003 of
$352.6 million.

The Class Action Complaint alleges that World Airways violated
U.S. Federal laws and regulations governing air transportation.
These laws and regulations clearly and specifically address the
issues of travel originating in the United States and mandate
that airlines honor all international round trip tickets for
such flights. These laws were instituted to prevent airlines and
travel agencies alike, from taking advantage of passengers and
to protect against scenarios such as the current predicament of
the plaintiffs in this Class Action. "World Airways appears to
have engaged in a repeated pattern of violating Federal law.
They cannot escape their responsibility to their passengers and
their own wrongful conduct by pointing to Ritetime. This was a
lucrative route for World Airways, the second largest source of
revenue for them, their passengers deserved better." said Ike O.
Echeruo, Esq., an attorney representing the plaintiffs.

The Complaint also alleges that World Airways and its co-
defendants committed fraud and were engaged in a corrupt
enterprise in violation of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Statute (RICO). "The plaintiffs have
sustained significant damages and World Airways will be held
accountable," said John Edozie, Esq., an attorney representing
the plaintiffs.

For more information, contact Ike O. Echeruo, by Mail: 230 Park
Ave., Suite 864, New York, NY 10169, by Phone: (212) 295-2189,
Fax: (212) 295-2121, or by E-mail: iecheruo@counsel-law.com.


                  New Securities Fraud Cases

EDWARD D. JONES: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Stock Lawsuit in MO
---------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri, on behalf of all who purchased or otherwise acquired
shares or ownership units of Lord Abbett & Co., American Funds,
Federated Investors, Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Hartford
Mutual Funds Inc., Putnam Investments Family of Mutual Funds,
and Van Kampen Investments Family of Mutual Funds, between
January 25, 1999 and January 9, 2004, inclusive, against Edward
D. Jones & Co. L.P., and:

     (1) John W. Bachmann,

     (2) Douglas E. Hill,

     (3) Michael R. Holmes,

     (4) Richie L. Malone,

     (5) Steven Novik,

     (6) Darryl L. Pope, and

     (7) Robert Virgil Jr.

The lawsuit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. More specifically, the complaint alleges that
defendants failed to disclose and/or indicate, during the Class
Period, that:

     (i) Edward Jones brokers entered into "revenue sharing"
         agreements with seven Mutual Fund companies;

    (ii) Edward Jones exclusively trained its brokerage staff to
         sell the seven Mutual Funds that entered into "revenue
         sharing" agreements with Edward Jones;

   (iii) Edward Jones discouraged its brokers from contacting
         and selling other mutual funds where no "revenue
         sharing" agreement had been made with Edward Jones; and

    (iv) Edward Jones brokers and representatives received extra
         compensation when they sold any of the seven Mutual
         Funds to Class Members.

The full extent of defendants' fraudulent scheme was finally
revealed on January 9, 2004, when The Wall Street Journal
published an article that disclosed Edward Jones' scheme. More
specifically, the article stated that when training its brokers
in fund sales, Edward Jones gave them information almost
exclusively about the seven "preferred" Mutual Funds. Bonuses
for brokers depend in part on selling the preferred Mutual
Funds, and Edward Jones generally discouraged contact between
brokers and sales representatives from rival funds. But while
revenue sharing and related incentives were familiar to industry
insiders, Edward Jones did not tell customers about any of these
arrangements.

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


ROYAL DUTCH: Cauley Geller Commences Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey, on behalf of all purchasers who purchased the
American Depository Receipts of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company
and/or The Shell Transport and Trading Company, PLC between
December 3, 1999 and January 9, 2004, inclusive, against Royal
Dutch and Shell Transport, and:

     (1) Shell Petroleum N.V.,

     (2) the Shell Petroleum Limited,

     (3) Maarten van der Bergh,

     (4) Judy Boynton,

     (5) Malcolm Brinded,

     (6) S.L. Miller,

     (7) Harry J.M. Roels,

     (8) Paul D. Skinner,

     (9) M. Moody-Stuart,

    (10) Jeroen van der Veer, and

    (11) Philip R. Watts

The lawsuit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b- 5 promulgated
thereunder. Between December 3, 1999 and January 9, 2004, the
defendants issued a series of material misrepresentations to the
market concerning the Company's financial standing. More
specifically, the defendants' statements during the Class Period
were materially false and misleading because they failed to
disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts,
among others:

     (i) that Royal Dutch/Shell had overstated its proved oil
         and gas reserve figures by 20%;

    (ii) that Royal Dutch/Shell accomplished the overstatement
         by including in its proved oil and gas reserves
         figures, when its venture partners did not, estimates
         from the Gorgon Joint Venture in Australia and the
         Nigerian Projects in Africa when such projects did not
         meet industry and SEC standards for proved reserves;

   (iii) that the inclusion of Gorgon Joint Venture in Australia
         and the Nigerian Projects in Africa and other projects
         was accomplished through the booking of its proved oil
         and gas reserve figures on the basis of initial letters
         of intent rather than on the basis of when such
         projects had been contracted; and

    (iv) as a result, Royal Dutch/Shell's true market value was
         materially overstated at all relevant times.

On January 9, 2004, Royal Dutch/Shell announced that, following
internal reviews, some proved hydrocarbon reserves would be
recategorized. The total non recurring recategorization,
relative to the proved reserves as stated at December 31, 2002,
represented 3.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent of proved
reserves, or 20% of proved reserves at that date. Over 90% of
the total change is a reduction in the proved undeveloped
category; the balance is a reduction in the proved developed
category. Additionally, the Company stated that of the
recategorization, two thirds (2.7 billion barrels) relates to
crude oil and natural gas liquids, and one third (1.2 billion
boe or 7.2 trillion standard cubic feet) to natural gas.
Moreover, Royal Dutch/Shell indicated that the FAS69
standardized measure of discounted future cash flows associated
with the proved reserves would be impacted.

On news of this shares of Shell Transport fell 6.9%, or $3.12
per share, on heavy volume to close at $41.69 per share on
January 9, 2004. Additionally, shares of Royal Dutch fell 7.8%,
or $4.15 per share, on heavy volume to close at $48.61 per share
on January 9, 2004.

For more information, contact Samuel H. Rudman, or David A.
Rosenfeld, Client Relations Department: Jackie Addison, Heather
Gann or Chandra West, by Mail: P.O. Box 25438, Little Rock, AR
72221-5438, by Phone: (toll free) 1-888-551-9944, Fax:
1-501-312-8505, or by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com.


ROYAL DUTCH: Schiffrin & Barroway Launches Securities Suit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey,
on behalf of all purchasers who purchased the American
Depository Receipts of Royal Dutch Petroleum Company and/or The
Shell Transport and Trading Company, PLC between December 3,
1999 and January 9, 2004, inclusive, against defendants Royal
Dutch and Shell Transport, and:

     (1) Shell Petroleum N.V.,

     (2) the Shell Petroleum Limited,

     (3) Maarten van der Bergh,

     (4) Judy Boynton,

     (5) Malcolm Brinded,

     (6) S.L. Miller,

     (7) Harry J.M. Roels,

     (8) Paul D. Skinner,

     (9) M. Moody-Stuart,

    (10) Jeroen van der Veer, and

    (11) Philip R. Watts

The lawsuit alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b- 5 promulgated
thereunder. Between December 3, 1999 and January 9, 2004, the
defendants issued a series of material misrepresentations to the
market concerning the Company's financial standing. More
specifically, the defendants' statements during the Class Period
were materially false and misleading because they failed to
disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts,
among others:

     (i) that Royal Dutch/Shell had overstated its proved oil
         and gas reserve figures by 20%;

    (ii) that Royal Dutch/Shell accomplished the overstatement
         by including in its proved oil and gas reserves
         figures, when its venture partners did not, estimates
         from the Gorgon Joint Venture in Australia and the
         Nigerian Projects in Africa when such projects did not
         meet industry and SEC standards for proved reverses;

   (iii) that the inclusion of Gorgon Joint Venture in Australia
         and the Nigerian Projects in Africa and other projects
         was accomplished through the booking of its proved oil
         and gas reversed figures on the basis of initial
         letters of intent rather than on the basis of when such
         projects had been contracted; and

    (iv) as a result, Royal Dutch/Shell's true market value was
         materially overstated at all relevant times.

On January 9, 2004, Royal Dutch/Shell announced that, following
internal reviews, some proved hydrocarbon reserves would be
recategorized. The total non recurring recategorization,
relative to the proved reserves as stated at December 31, 2002,
represented 3.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent of proved
reserves, or 20% of proved reserves at that date. Over 90% of
the total change is a reduction in the proved undeveloped
category; the balance is a reduction in the proved developed
category. Additionally, the Company stated that of the
recategorization, two thirds (2.7 billion barrels) relates to
crude oil and natural gas liquids, and one third (1.2 billion
boe or 7.2 trillion standard cubic feet) to natural gas.
Moreover, Royal Dutch/Shell indicated that the FAS69
standardized measure of discounted future cash flows associated
with the proved reserves would be impacted.

On news of this shares of Shell Transport fell 6.9%, or $3.12
per share, on heavy volume to close at $41.69 per share on
January 9, 2004. Additionally, shares of Royal Dutch fell 7.8%,
or $4.15 per share, on heavy volume to close at $48.61 per share
on January 9, 2004.

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


SCUDDER FUNDS: Stull Stull Commences Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Stull Stull & Brody, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, on behalf of all purchasers of
the securities of the Scudder family of funds, as described
below, which are managed by Deutsche Bank from January 22, 1999
through January 12, 2004, inclusive.

The following Scudder Funds are part of this class action:

     (1) Scudder 21st Century Growth Fund   (Sym: SCNAX, SCNBX,
         SCNCX)

     (2) Scudder Aggressive Growth Fund   (Sym: KGGAX, KGGBX,
         KGGCX)

     (3) Scudder Blue Chip Fund   (Sym: KBCAX, KBCBX, KBCCX)

     (4) Scudder Capital Growth Fund (Sym: SDGAX, SDGBX, SDGCX,
         SDGRX, SDGTX)

     (5) Scudder Dynamic Growth Fund   (Sym: KSCAX, KSCBX,
         KSCCX)

     (6) Scudder Flag Investors Communications Fund   (Sym:
         TISHX, FTEBX, FTICX, FLICX)

     (7) Scudder Global Biotechnology Fund   (Sym: DBBTX, DBBBX,
         DBBCX)

     (8) Scudder Gold & Precious Metals Fund   (Sym: SGDAX,
         SGDBX, SGDCX)

     (9) Scudder Growth Fund   (Sym: KGRAX, KGRBX, KGRCX)

    (10) Scudder Health Care Fund   Sym: SUHAX, SUHBX, SUHCX)

    (11) Scudder Large Company Growth Fund   (Sym: SGGAX, SGGBX,
         SGGCX, SCQRX)

    (12) Scudder Micro Cap Fund   (Sym: SMFAX, SMFBX, SMFCX,
         MGMCX, MMFSX)

    (13) Scudder Mid Cap Fund   (Sym: SMCAX, SMCBX, SMCCX,
         SMCRX, BTEAX, BTCAX)

    (14) Scudder Small Cap Fund   (Sym: SSDAX, SSDBX, SSDCX,
         SSDRX, BTSCX)

    (15) Scudder Strategic Growth Fund   (Sym: SCDAX, SCDBX,
         SCDCX, SCDIX)

    (16) Scudder Technology Fund   (Sym: KTCAX, KTCBX, KTCCX,
         KTCIX)

    (17) Scudder Technology Innovation Fund   (Sym: SRIAX,
         SRIBX, SRICX)

    (18) Scudder Top 50 US Fund   (Sym: FAUSX, FBUSX, FCUSX)

    (19) Scudder Contrarian Fund   (Sym: KDCAX, KDCBX, KDCCX,
         KDCRX)

    (20) Scudder-Dreman Financial Services Fund   (Sym: KDFAX,
         KDFBX, KDFCX)

    (21) Scudder-Dreman High Return Equity Fund   (Sym: KDHAX,
         KDHBX, KDHCX, KDHRX, KDHIX)

    (22) Scudder-Dreman Small Cap Value Fund (Sym: KDSAX, KDSBX,
         KDSCX, KDSRX, KDSIX)

    (23) Scudder Flag Investors Equity Partners Fund   (Sym:
         FLEPX, FEPBX, FEPCX, FLIPX)

    (24) Scudder Growth & Income Fund   (Sym: SUWAX, SUWBX,
         SUWCX, SUWRX, SUWIX)

    (25) Scudder Large Company Value Fund   (Sym: SDVAX, SDVBX,
         SDVCX)

    (26) Scudder-RREEF Real Estate Securities Fund (Sym: RRRAX,
         RRRBX, RRRCX, RRRSX, RRRRX)

    (27) Scudder Small Company Stock Fund   (Sym: SZCAX, SZCBX,
         SZCCX)

    (28) Scudder Small Company Value Fund   (Sym: SAAUX, SABUX,
         SACUX)

    (29) Scudder Tax Advantaged Dividend Fund   (Sym: SDDAX,
         SDDBX, SDDCX, SDDGX)

    (30) Scudder Flag Investors Value Builder Fund   (Sym:
         FLVBX, FVBBX, FVBCX, FLIVX)

    (31) Scudder Focus Value+Growth Fund   (Sym: KVGAX, KVGBX,
         KVGCX)

    (32) Scudder Lifecycle Mid Range Fund   (Sym: BTLRX)

    (33) Scudder Lifecycle Long Range Fund   (Sym: BTILX, BTAMX)

    (34) Scudder Lifecycle Short Range Fund   (Sym: BTSRX)

    (35) Scudder Pathway Conservative Portfolio (Sym: SUCAX,
         SUCBX, SUCCX)

    (36) Scudder Pathway Growth Portfolio (Sym: SUPAX, SUPBX,
         SUPCX)

    (37) Scudder Pathway Moderate Portfolio   (Sym: SPDAX,
         SPDBX, SPDCX)

    (38) Scudder Retirement Fund Series V  (Sym: KRFEX)

    (39) Scudder Retirement Fund Series VI   (Sym: KRFGX)

    (40) Scudder Retirement Fund Series VII   (Sym: KRFGX)

    (41) Scudder Target 2010 Fund   (Sym: KRFBX)

    (42) Scudder Target 2012 Fund   (Sym: KRFCX)

    (43) Scudder Target 2013 Fund   (Sym: KRFDX)

    (44) Scudder Total Return Fund   (Sym: KTRAX, KTRBX, KTRCX,
         KTRGX)

    (45) Scudder Emerging Markets Growth Fund   (Sym: SEKAX,
         SEKBX, SEKCX)

    (46) Scudder Emerging Markets Income Fund   (Sym: SZEAX,
         SZEBX, SZECX)

    (47) Scudder European Equity Fund (Sym: DBEAX, DBEBX, DBECX,
         MEUEX, MEUVX)

    (48) Scudder Global Fund   (Sym: SGQAX, SGQBX, SGQCX, SGQRX)

    (49) Scudder Global Bond Fund   (Sym: SZGAX, SZGBX, SZGCX)

    (50) Scudder Global Discovery Fund   (Sym: KGDAX, KGDBX,
         KGDCX)

    (51) Scudder Greater Europe Growth Fund   (Sym: SERAX,
         SERBX, SERCX)

    (52) Scudder International Fund   (Sym: SUIAX, SUIBX,
         SUICX)

    (53) Scudder International Equity Fund   (Sym: DBAIX, DBBIX,
         DBCIX, BEIIX, BEITX, BTEQX)

    (54) Scudder International Select Equity Fund (Sym: DBISX,
         DBIBX, DBICX, DBITX, MGINX, MGIVX, MGIPX)

    (55) Scudder Japanese Equity Fund   (Sym:  FJEAX, FJEBX,
         FJECX)

    (56) Scudder Latin America Fund   (Sym: SLANX, SLAOX, SLAPX)

    (57) Scudder New Europe Fund   (Sym: KNEAX, KNEBX, KNECX,
         KNEIX)

    (58) Scudder Pacific Opportunities Fund   (Sym: SPAOX,
         SBPOX, SPCCX)

    (59) Scudder Worldwide 2004 Fund   (Sym: KWIVX)

    (60) Scudder Fixed Income Fund   (Sym: SFXAX, SFXBX, SFXCX,
         SFXRF, MFINX, MFISX)

    (61) Scudder High Income Plus Fund (Sym: MGHYX, MGHVX,
         MGHPX)

    (62) Scudder High Income Fund   (Sym: KHYAX, KHYBX, KHYCX,
         KHYIX)

    (63) Scudder High Income Opportunity Fund   (Sym: SYOAX,
         SYOBX, SYOCX)

    (64) Scudder Income Fund   (Sym: SZIAX, SZIBX, SZICX)

    (65) Scudder PreservationPlus Fund   (Sym: BTPIX, BTPSX)

    (66) Scudder PreservationPlus Income Fund (Sym: PPIAX,
         PPLCX, DBPIX)

    (67) Scudder Short Term Bond Fund   (Sym: SZBAX, SZBBX,
         SZBCX

    (68) Scudder Short Duration Fund   (Sym: SDUAX, SDUBX,
         SDUCX, MGSFX)

    (69) Scudder Strategic Income Fund   (Sym: KSTAX, KSTBX,
         KSTCX)

    (70) Scudder US Government Securities Fund   (Sym: KUSAX,
         KUSBX, KUSCX)

    (71) Scudder California Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KCTAX,
         KCTBX, KCTCX)

    (72) Scudder Florida Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KFLAX,
         KFLBX, KFLCX)

    (73) Scudder High Yield Tax-Free Fund   (Sym: NOTAX,
         NOTBX, NOTCX, NOTIX)

    (74) Scudder Intermediate Tax/AMT Free Fund   (Sym: SZMAX,
         SZMBX, SZMCX)

    (75) Scudder Managed Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: SMLAX,
         SMLBX, SMLCX, SMLIX)

    (76) Scudder Massachusetts Tax-Free Fund   (Sym: SQMAX,
         SQMBX, SQMCX)

    (77) Scudder Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: MGMBX, MMBSX)

    (78) Scudder New York Tax-Free Income Fund   (Sym: KNTAX,
         KNTBX, KNTCX)

    (79) Scudder Short Term Municipal Bond Fund   (Sym: SRMAX,
         SRMBX, SRMCX, MGSMX, MSMSX)

    (80) Scudder EAFE r Equity Index Fund   (Sym: BTAEX, BTIEX)

    (81) Scudder Equity 500 Index Fund   (Sym: BTIIX)

    (82) Scudder S&P 500 Stock Fund   (Sym: KSAAX, KSABX, KSACX)

    (83) Scudder Select 500 Fund  (Sym: OUTDX, OUTBX, OUTBX,
         OUTRX

    (84) Scudder US Bond Index Fund (Sym: BTUSX )

    (85) Scudder Cash Reserves Fund

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period the
defendants engaged in illegal and improper trading practices, in
concert with certain institutional traders, which caused
financial injury to the shareholders of the Scudder Mutual
Funds. According to the Complaint, the Defendants
surreptitiously permitted certain favored investors, including
the Doe Defendants, to illegally engage in "timing" of the
Scudder Mutual Funds whereby these favored investors were
permitted to conduct short-term, "in and out" trading of mutual
fund shares, despite explicit restrictions on such activity in
the Scudder Mutual Funds' prospectuses.

For more information, contact Tzivia Brody, by Mail: 6 East 45th
Street, New York, NY 10017, by Phone: 1-800-337-4983, Fax:
212/490-2022, or E-mail: SSBNY@aol.com.


                        *********

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