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             Friday, October 20, 2000, Vol. 2, No. 205


AGRICULTURE DEPT: Durum Farmers to Get Money Soon; Legal Fees Undecided
ANTI-ABORTIONISTS: Case Won for Every Woman Who Has Been Deterred
BREAST IMPLANT: Arguments on Future Silicon Claims Vs Dow Corning Ensues
BROOKTROUT INC: Implicated in Interspeed Fraud, Schiffrin & Barroway Say
BROOKTROUT, INC: Rabin & Peckel Files Securities Suit in Massachusetts

BROOKTROUT, INC: Schatz & Nobel Announces of Securities Suit Filed in MA
BROOKTROUT, INC: The Pomerantz Firm Files Securities Lawsuit in MA
COPLEY PHARMACEUTICAL: 10th Cir OKs Fee Slicing Arrangement in MDL Suit
DOJ: Reps. Object to Legislative Provisions for Ban on Overtime Payments
FORD MOTOR: Recall of Firestone Tires Cut Ford Profits by 7 Percent

INFORMATION ARCHITECTS: Announces Dismissal of Securities Suit in NC
NHL: PA Ap Ct Says League and Teams Not Responsible for Eaglesonís Fraud
PILOT NETWORK: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Lawsuit in California
RICHMOND HOUSING: Homeless Disabled Man Files Bias Suit
RITE AID: Dept of Labor Investigates Matters Related to 401(k) Plan

RITE AID: Lawsuits Challenge Overrides by Pharmacists for Cash Purchases
RITE AID: Stockholders May File 4th Amended Complaint in PA in November
RITE AID: Yet to Decide on Response to Derivative Complaints in Delaware
SOTHEBY'S HOLDINGS: Judge OKs Former Chairman's Access to Information
THOMAS & BETTS: Berman DeValerio Reminds of Lead Role Date Approaching


AGRICULTURE DEPT: Durum Farmers to Get Money Soon; Legal Fees Undecided
More than $41 million owed in a federal crop insurance dispute could be
paid to durum farmers next week - 19 months after they sued the federal
Agriculture Department. But wrangling over legal fees for their attorneys

Attorneys for the USDA and its Risk Management Agency protest the $1.3
million request from Sarah Vogel, who represented the farmers. The
government lawyers claim the fee - 3 percent of the total amount owed -
is unfair to the farmers. "Such a huge windfall - more than a million
dollars over and above what would be needed to compensate them - is
unjustified and inequitable," wrote Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Crooks,
of Fargo, and Justice Department lawyers Michael Jay Singer and Frank

Vogel counters that the farmers who brought the lawsuit agree with the
payment, which will be covered by more than $1.9 million in interest
earned on the owed funds. She also argues the government should have no
say in how much she gets paid. "It's not their money, it's not their
arrangement," she said.

Government lawyers say Vogel and attorney Courtney Koebele should be paid
a total of $230,020, based on their legal fees and documentation of the
hours they worked on the case.

Even 1 percent or 2 percent of the principal would be a better deal for
farmers than the 3 percent now set out, the government contends.

Vogel said she expects U.S. District Judge Rodney Webb to issue a written
order on the question of the legal fees at some point after a federal
court hearing Monday.

Paul Wiley and more than two dozen other plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in
federal court in March 1999, claiming the government unfairly changed the
formula under which the farmers were to be paid insurance claims on lost
durum crops.

The crop insurance policy at issue in the lawsuit is called crop revenue
coverage, which offered durum growers protection against both poor yields
and low prices. After offering the insurance, the government cut 77 cents
per bushel from what the farmers expected to receive from their insurance
policies. The farmers sued and demanded to be paid according to the
original formula. The government refused and said it had the right to
deny payment when the risk of loss was excessive.

Webb ruled in the farmers' favor in September 1999. The government
appealed his decision, but Congress passed a law that directed the money
be freed to the farmers. The law took effect Oct. 1

Documents detailing the lawsuit and a preliminary payment plan were
mailed to about 8,000 farmers who held the crop revenue policies. Any
objections brought by farmers will be considered at Monday's hearing.

Vogel said 58 people have called a toll-free number set up to take
questions on the case, and three written comments that were essentially
positive had been received by the deadline early this week.

Webb could decide to go forward with the preliminary payment plan, which
calls for checks to be sent no later than Oct. 27, Vogel said.

The farmers will receive an average of $5,000 when checks are cut. The
government is not objecting to a request from the farmers who are named
as plaintiffs to receive extra for the time and money they spent to bring
the lawsuit. Those additional payments would range from $2,500 to
$50,000. (The Associated Press State & Local Wire, October 18, 2000)

ANTI-ABORTIONISTS: Case Won for Every Woman Who Has Been Deterred
The issue of how the federal anti-racketeering law may be used against
militant abortion opponents has reached the federal appellate level in
two courts.

Either case could provide the opportunity for the courts to say whether
free speech rights include the aggressive activities of abortion
opponents, who have found themselves being treated like organized crime
families, the original target of the anti-racketeering law known as
RICO-the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Protesters
in other arenas, such as animal rights, could also be affected by the

The two cases were argued last month only two days apart. They differ
greatly in many respects. But in both, defense attorneys are challenging
the use of RICO by relying heavily on the First Amendment.

Appellants also dispute the district courts' interpretation of
anti-abortion activities as extortion, which qualified them as crimes
covered by RICO.

One case was argued on Sept. 14 in the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In that case, the National Organization for Women and two abortion
clinics had won $85,927 in a class action against the Pro-Life Action
League and Operation Rescue on behalf of every woman in the country who
has been deterred in her attempt to enter an abortion clinic.

The case was the first to charge anti-abortionists with racketeering. It
is based on the sit-ins, blockades and other tactics used by abortion
opponents at clinics in the late 1980s and early 1990s. NOW Inc. v.
Scheidler, No. 99-3076.

Appellants in its western counterpart, which was argued Sept. 12 in the
9th Circuit, are 12 individuals, the American Coalition of Life
Activists, and Advocates for Life Ministries, which operated a Web site
listing the names, addresses, telephone numbers and other information on
hundreds of doctors who performed abortions.

Planned Parenthood and a group of doctors last year won $109 million, the
largest judgment ever against anti-abortion groups, by applying RICO and
the 1994 Freedom of Access to the Clinic Entrances statute, which, unlike
RICO, allows punitive damages. Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette
v. American Coalition of Life Activists, No. 99-35320.

Using RICO, juries in both cases awarded damages based on economic loss
to the plaintiffs, specifically the bulletproof vests and other security
measures that the clinics and doctors claimed they were forced to buy for

Some legal experts see the application of RICO in these cases as an
inappropriate expansion of the anti-racketeering law. Many warn of a
chilling effect, if not an outright threat, to all sorts of causes,
including Greenpeace, animal rights, civil rights and anti-war protests.
The trial judge in Scheidler remarked that Congress is the proper forum
for complaints that RICO would have crushed the civil rights movement of
the 1960s. It has already been used against other political crusaders,
such as animal rights groups.

"When RICO was passed, the ACLU and others expressed concern over the
broad definition of predicate crimes," says Operation Rescue attorney
Walter M. Weber of the American Center for Law and Justice. Of Scheidler,
he says, "The theory the plaintiffs went to the jury on is that whenever
you stop someone from exercising their rights by getting in the way, you
are committing extortion, the idea being that property includes
everything of value, including abstract rights. So every unlawful protest
activity is extortion, and if it happens more than once, it's

                     The Meaning of 'Extortion'

The U.S. Supreme Court already has taken up Scheidler once, when the
district court dismissed the lawsuit in 1994 on the ground that RICO
requires an economic motive. The court disagreed, but left unanswered the
questions of First Amendment protection and the meaning of "extortion."

"A sit-in is not protected activity, but we're claiming it's not
extortion," Weber says. "Trespassing is not protected either, but it's
not extortion." To Fay Clayton, lead counsel for NOW, what constitutes
extortion in the 7th Circuit is clear: "When you use force or violence to
force others to give up protected property rights, that's extortion
because it interferes with the right to do business."

Clayton, of Chicago's Robinson Curley & Clayton, says that she does not
consider the First Amendment to be the issue the appellants say it is.
"We're just concerned about unlawful acts," she says. "The Supreme Court
has made it very clear the First Amendment applies in RICO like
everything else. The First Amendment is alive and well."

In the 9th Circuit, the free speech issue seems more pronounced. During
last month's arguments, the judges wondered aloud at what point speech
becomes a threat. The Planned Parenthood case involves no allegations of
physical confrontation, only the publication of the Web site lists and
some "Wanted" posters distributed by the defendant groups.

Defense attorney Christopher Ferrara of the American Catholic Lawyers
Association argued that no explicit or immediate threats were used in any
of the group's materials. Although the Web site named doctors, it did not
call for violent acts against them, he said. Furthermore, he said, the
publishers were not responsible for the shootings and other violent acts
that followed the publication. Three of the doctors listed on the site
were subsequently killed.

The Web site, called "The Nuremberg Files," also listed car license-plate
numbers of the doctors and the names of some of their spouses and
children. Lines were drawn through the names of doctors who had been
killed. The names of the injured were shaded in gray.

                            Protected Speech?

In 1990, the 9th Circuit said that threats "should be considered in light
of their entire factual context, including the surrounding events and the
reaction of the listeners."

Maria T. Vullo, who argued the appeal for the plaintiffs, says the trial
judge who issued an injunction against the defendants concluded they were
not engaging in protected speech.

Conspiring to commit illegal acts isn't protected by the First Amendment,
she noted.

Vullo, a member of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York,
says her case has faced some of the same challenges as Scheidler: whether
profit must be a motive under RICO, protected speech and the definition
of extortion. Those issues, and the actions of the trial court, yielded
about 30 arguments for the anti-abortion groups to offer to the 9th
Circuit last month.

As the first plaintiff to obtain a civil jury verdict under the clinic
access statute, Planned Parenthood was able to obtain punitive damages
and an injunction, on which the appellate courts are divided. The law
bans the use of force or the threat of force against anyone seeking or
performing an abortion.

The statute, which applies only to anti-abortion activities, could
replace RICO in such cases in the future. But Vullo says the
anti-racketeering law was a natural fit.

"It's pretty easy," she says, "to show that the anti-abortion activists
are part of a criminal enterprise." (Fulton County Daily Report, October
19, 2000)

BREAST IMPLANT: Arguments on Future Silicon Claims Vs Dow Corning Ensues
The Nevada claimants, along with the Texans representing the rights of
children exposed to silicone, have filed supplemental briefs in the Dow
Corning bankruptcy. They assert that a recent decision by the Sixth
Circuit supports the bankruptcy court's ruling that future claims against
Dow Corning's parent companies should be allowed. In re Dow Corning:
Supplement to Nevada Claimants' Opening Brief, No. 99-75924 (E.D. Mich.,
Aug. 18, 2000); In re Dow Corning: Children Claimants' Supplement to
Appellants' Opening Brief , No. 99-75925 (E.D. Mich., Aug. 21, 2000).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decertified the class in
In re Telectronics Pacing Systems Inc., No. 99-3476-80 (6th Cir., July
19, 2000), finding that a mass tort non-opt out class action compromised
certain claimants constitutional rights; see Breast Implant LR, Aug. 21,
2000, P. 8.

The claimants in the Dow Corning bankruptcy contend that their due
process rights will also be violated if those women who voted against the
Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization are not permitted to sue Dow's
parents, The Dow Chemical Co. and Corning Inc. In December, U.S.
Bankruptcy Judge Arthur J. Spector issued his controversial opinion,
which held that those claimants who voted against the plan could still
sue the parent companies.

In response, the debtor and its corporate shareholders have filed their
own appeals asserting that third-party releases are within the bankruptcy
court's authority and are a condition precedent to the plan's

According to certain Class 5 Texas claimants, Dow Corning's
reorganization plan also infringes on the children's Fifth and 14th
Amendment constitutional rights by limiting the period in which they
could file claims against the breast implant manufacturer to 15 years.

This effectively makes them a mandatory class, say the appellants, and
these children (even if they voted against the plan) will have no
recourse outside of the "draconian structure" of the litigation facility
if Judge Spector's opinion is not affirmed.

According to the briefs opposing the ruling, the parent companies argue
they should be released because they have contributed substantially to
Dow's reorganization and will fund a large part of the litigation
facility once the appeals are concluded.

The Texas claimants argue that the Telectronics holding, which followed
the precedent established in Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., 527 U.S. 815
(1999), prohibits any bar that would prevent them from seeking a remedy
against solvent tortfeasors. They assert that mandatory opt-in
requirements are unconstitutional.

The Telectronics court said: The Supreme Court in Ortiz also articulated
several constitutional considerations compromised in a non-opt-out class
action regarding a mass tort. Both Seventh Amendment jury trial rights
and the Fifth Amendment due process principal regarding the right to "a
day in court" are implicated in aggregating individual claims sounding in

The Texas claimants also contend that there is a long latency period for
silicone-induced disease in children and that some of the potential
victims exposed to silicone in breast milk are still unborn. There is a
significant number of future claimants whose rights will be cut off by
the requirement to litigation or negotiate their claims in the litigation
facility, they assert.

The Nevada claimants have joined with the Texas claimants in bringing
this opinion to the attention of Judge Denise Page Hood who is currently
deciding the numerous appeals to the reorganization plan. They assert the
Sixth Circuit rejected arguments similar to those made by Dow in its
fight for plan confirmation.

Telectronics had threatened to file for bankruptcy protection if further
litigation was allowed. According to the Nevada claimants, the Sixth
Circuit rejected these arguments and concluded that even if Telectronics
had to file for bankruptcy protection, "This would leave open for
adjudication the liability of the parent companies."

The children claimants are represented by Alan S. Levin of Reno, Nev. The
Nevada claimants are represented by John A. White Jr., also of Reno.

     Dow Corning & Creditors Respond to Future Claims Assertion

In response to the assertions that a recent Sixth Circuit opinion applies
to the disputes over Dow Corning's reorganization plan, the breast
implant manufacturer and the Official Committee of Tort Claimants argue
the limited fund class-action settlement addressed in In re Telectronics
should not be applied to bankruptcy proceedings. In re Dow Corning:
Response of Dow Corning Corp . and the Official Committee of Tort
Claimants to Supplemental Submissions of Certain Children and Nevada
Claimants , No. 99-75924 (E.D. Mich., Aug. 28, 2000); see previous story.

The circuit court decertified the class of approximately 40,000
individuals in In re Telectronics Pacing Systems Inc., No. 99-3476-80
(6th Cir., July 19, 2000), and rejected the proposed settlement with the
manufacturer of the allegedly defective pacemakers. The court found that
the settlement terms violated Ortiz v. Fibreboard Corp., 527 U.S. 815
(1999), and its prohibition against "mandatory" classes.

According to Dow Corning, the claimants in the Telectronics settlement
would not have had the limited opt-out right provided in Ortiz, much less
the full protected right to a jury trial in Dow's Amended Joint Plan of
Reorganization. Under Dow Corning's plan, a litigation facility will be
established where breast implant recipients who do not settle may pursue
their claims.

Moreover, Dow Corning says the Telectronics settlement did not allow for
full payment to claimants. The $57 million settlement fund would have
been spread among 17,000 class members and their attorneys, says Dow,
even though a non-binding summary jury trial awarded class members
between $150,000 and $3 million each for the defective pacemakers.

In contrast, the Eastern District of Michigan bankruptcy court
specifically found that there is more than ample cushion for the women
filing against Dow Corning, says the company, and that all claims will be
paid in full.

Therefore, the release of Dow's parent companies, The Dow Chemical Co.
and Corning Inc., does not prejudice the claimants, the debtor argues,
because any separate damages claims against the third-party shareholders
will be unnecessary.

After the plan was confirmed, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur J. Spector
issued his controversial opinion holding that those women who voted
against the plan could still pursue their claims against Dow's parent

Dow asserts that although third-party releases are disfavored in
bankruptcy, their plan falls within the exceptions established in In re
A.H. Robins Co., 880 F. 2d 709 (4th Cir., 1989). According to the debtor,
the releases are permitted when the following factors are met:

  -- Substantially all claims will be paid;

  -- The plan was approved by the majority of those voting;

  -- The third-party parent companies have made substantial
      contributions to the reorganization;

  -- The release is essential to the reorganization; and

  -- There is a close connection between the cases against the third-
      party and the debtor.

The Dow plan satisfies these elements, asserts the debtor, and the $400
million fund set aside for opt-out claims is sufficient to pay any
non-settling claimants; see Breast Implant LR, May 8, 2000, P. 4.

"Objector's submissions are inappropriately argumentative," says Dow. The
implant manufacturer contends the Telectronics court's discussion of
bankruptcy is dicta, which merely acknowledge the ordinary rule that
discharge of a debtor in bankruptcy would leave third-party liability
"open for adjudication."

Dow Corning is represented by George Tarpley and David Ellerbe of
Sheinfeld, Maley & Kay in Dallas.

The Official Committee of Tort Claimants is represented by Kenneth H.
Eckstein and Jeffrey S. Trachtman of Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel in
New York; Dennis S. Meir and Alfred S. Lurey of Kilpatrick Stockton in
Atlanta; Patrick L. Hughes of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and
Hand in Houston; and Edward Blizzard and Dianna Pendleton of Blizzard &
McCarthy in Houston. (Breast Implant Litigation Reporter, September 18,

BROOKTROUT INC: Implicated in Interspeed Fraud, Schiffrin & Barroway Say
According to a statement issued on October 19 by the law firm of
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, earlier this year, investors represented by
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP filed a class action lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of all
purchasers of the common stock of Interspeed, Inc. (Nasdaq: ISPD) from
September 24, 1999 through October 6, 2000, inclusive, and Interspeed's
September 24, 1999 Initial Public Offering (the "Class Period"), and
Brooktrout, Inc. (Nasdaq: BRKT)

Interspeed is subsidiary of Brooktrout. The complaint alleges that both
Interspeed and Brooktrout's financial statements were false and
misleading during the Class Period due to improper accounting practices.
In addition, the complaint alleges that Brooktrout had knowledge of its
subsidiary's improper accounting practices which it turned a blind eye to
which allowed Brooktrout to improperly record revenue as well. In
addition to being a named defendant in this action, Brooktrout's public
stockholders have initiated securities fraud actions against Brooktrout
to recover damages under the federal securities laws.

Contact: Marc A. Topaz, Esq., or Robert B. Weiser, Esq., 888-299-7706,
(toll free) or 610-667-7706, or info@sbclasslaw.com, both of Schiffrin &
Barroway, LLP.

BROOKTROUT, INC: Rabin & Peckel Files Securities Suit in Massachusetts
A class action complaint has been filed in the United States District
Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of all persons or
entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Brooktrout, Inc.  common
stock (Nasdaq: BRKT) between February 3, 2000 and October 6, 2000,

The Complaint alleges that Brooktrout and certain of its officers
violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by making a series of
materially false and misleading statements concerning Brooktrout's
financial results during the Class Period. In particular, it is alleged
that Brooktrout's financial results during the first three quarters of
fiscal 2000 included improperly recognized revenue from the Company's
majority owned subsidiary, Interspeed, Inc., and require restatement. The
Complaint alleges that as a result of these false and misleading
statements the price of Brooktrout common stock was artificially inflated
throughout the Class Period causing plaintiff and the other members of
the Class to suffer damages.

Contact: Rabin & Peckel LLP, New York Joseph V. McBride or Elana M.
Bourkoff 800/497-8076 or 212/682-1818 Fax: 212/682-1892

BROOKTROUT, INC: Schatz & Nobel Announces of Securities Suit Filed in MA
A class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court
for the District of Massachusetts on behalf of all persons who bought
common stock in Brooktrout, Inc. between February 3, 2000 and October 6,
2000. The Defendants in this class action lawsuit are Brooktrout, Eric R.
Giler, President of Brooktrout, Stephen Ide, Senior Vice President of
Brooktrout, and Robert C. Leahy, Vice President of Finance and Operations
and Treasurer of Brooktrout.

The class action complaint alleges that the Defendants committed
securities fraud by issuing false and misleading statements concerning
its consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter and year-end
1999 and for the first two quarters of 2000. These statements were false
and misleading because they included improperly recognized revenues from
Interspeed, Inc, a subsidiary of which Brooktrout is the majority owner.
A class action lawsuit has been commenced by Interspeed shares holders
for securities fraud after Interspeed announced on October 6, 2000 that
it anticipated its unaudited results for the first three quarters of 2000
would be restated due to improper revenue recognition. Plaintiff seeks to
recover damages on behalf of all Class members. If you purchased stock in
Brooktrout between February 3, 2000 and October 6, 2000, and wish to act
as a lead plaintiff, you may move the Court to serve in that capacity not
later than December 12, 2000. If you wish to discuss your rights as lead
plaintiff or as a class member, you may wish to contact Schatz & Nobel,
P.C. at the following toll-free number: (800) 797-5499, or by e-mail at

Contact: Andrew M. Schatz, Jeffrey S. Nobel, Patrick A. Klingman, Robert
W. Cassot, all of Schatz & Nobel, P.C., 800-797-5499, SN06106@aol.com

BROOKTROUT, INC: The Pomerantz Firm Files Securities Lawsuit in MA
Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP (http://www.pomerantzlaw.com)
has filed a class action lawsuit against Brooktrout, Inc. (Nasdaq: BRKT)
and three of the Company's senior executives. The case was filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts on behalf
of all those persons or entities who purchased the common stock of
Brooktrout during the period between February 3, 2000 through October 6,
2000, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges that Brooktrout and its executives violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by
allegedly issuing a series of false and misleading statements during the
Class Period concerning, among other things, the Company's financial
results, the strength of the Company's balance sheet and overall
financial condition, and its ability to meet growth targets and analyst

In particular, the Complaint alleges that Brooktrout's statements
regarding its consolidated financial results for the fourth quarter and
year-end 1999 and for the first three quarters of 2000 were materially
false and misleading because they included improperly recognized revenues
from the company's majority owned subsidiary, Interspeed, Inc (Nasdaq:

When the Company announced to the market on October 6, 2000 that it
anticipates that its unaudited results for the interim periods will be
restated due to incorrect recognition of certain revenue, and that two
high level executives of the Company had been fired, the price of
Brooktrout's common stock fell more than 25%.

Contact: Andrew G. Tolan, Esq. of Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross
LLP, 888-476-6529 ((888) 4-POMLAW) or agtolan@pomlaw.com.

COPLEY PHARMACEUTICAL: 10th Cir OKs Fee Slicing Arrangement in MDL Suit
Chicago Some lawyers breathed a sigh of relief and others gasped for air
when they learned of a ruling by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
in the Copley Pharmaceutical Inc., albuterol products liability
litigation.Circuit Judges Robert H. Henry and Mary Beck Briscoe, and
District Judge Milton I. Shadur of the Northern District of Illinois,
sitting by designation, issued the order and judgment in Saul v.
Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, an unpublished opinion.

Albuterol is the generic name for a bronchodilator, a medication used to
open air passages in patients with such lung problems such as asthma and
chronic bronchitis. In the case, some patients were affected by albuterol
manufactured by Copley Pharmaceutical, Inc., that had been contaminated
by bacteria, Peter J. Brodhead, a member of the Cleveland, Ohio, firm
Spangenberg Shibley & Liber, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys in the
case, told American Lawyer Media News Service.Ultimately, several
patients died, in what Brodhead termed a rare consequence of the
contamination. Many others contracted pneumonia and other protracted
infections and needed to be hospitalized.

Attorney Lewis J. Saul, of Washington, D.C., and Paul Rheingold of the
New York firm of Rheingold Valet Rheingold & Shkolnik, filed a class
action on behalf of the more than 10,000 patients affected by the
contaminated medicine, court records indicate. Many similar cases filed
by lawyers across the country against Copley were eventually consolidated
in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming by a multidistrict litigation (MDL)
order. The case was assigned to District Judge Clarence A. Brimmer.

                      Bring on the Lawyers

The consolidated cases involved some of the top mass-tort practitioners
in the country on both sides of the aisle. Because of the schedule Judge
Brimmer ordered, the case, which was filed in January 1994, was ready for
full-blown discovery by October of that year. Lawyers were ensconced in
Boston and New York City for depositions that lasted, on and off, until
May 1995, Brodhead said.The case eventually went to a jury trial in
Cheyenne, Wyo., that lasted for 42 days. Litigation teams from both sides
were holed up in motel rooms like soldiers in trench warfare, returning
from court to face boxes of exhibits and pages of daily copy. Three or
four days before the trial was expected to conclude, Sheila Birnbaum of
New York City's Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, worked out a
settlement, Brodhead said. The case was settled for $ 150 million, with $
19.5 million, or 13 percent, going to the many attorneys on the
plaintiffs' team. Judge Brimmer ordered these attorneys fees "to be
allocated amongst themselves by class counsel."

                        Splitting the Money

When the dust cleared, Saul was awarded $ 700,000 for 2,409.6 hours, an
average $ 290.50 an hour, while Brodhead was awarded $ 2,391,580 for
2,180.5 hours, an average $ 1,096.80 an hour a difference of more than $
800 per hour. Other attorneys received awards between and, in some cases
below, the two poles, court records indicate.

On June 2, 1999, Judge Brimmer approved the fee allocation by the
plaintiffs' steering committee. Several attorneys appealed. The 10th
Circuit panel approved Judge Brimmer's method of allocating the fee in
accordance with the relevant factors expressed in the 5th Circuit
decision in Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express. The 10th Circuit
previously had followed this formula in Brown v. Phillips Petroleum
Co.But when it came to applying the Johnson case to the facts presented,
Judge Brimmer did not follow a precise recipe, court records
indicate.Referring to the factor of "experience, reputation and ability,"
Judge Brimmer said Brodhead was admitted in 1979, but Saul was not
admitted until 1990, when in fact he was admitted in 1980.

Judge Brimmer said "time and labor, novelty and difficulty, preclusion of
other employment, amount involved and results obtained, experience
(admitted 1979) and reputation of Brodhead, as well as the undesirability
of the case and nature and length of the relationship" supported the
award. The panel approved Judge Brimmer's fee allocation. In deciding fee
allocations in cases where many lawyers have been involved, to differing
degrees and performing different aspects, the best solution is if the
attorneys can agree, Brodhead said. When they disagree, the judge must
determine "who (partner, associate or paralegal) did what (pretrial
office work, depositions, trial work, settlement negotiations or other
work)," he added. "There is a difference between trial and deposition
work [and other types of work in such cases], especially when traveling.
Almost every hour my firm billed was mine, except for very specific
aspects of pharmaceutical research. I had to give up a lot of other work,
and spent months on end of 'premium time' on the case," Brodhead said.

As the panel pointed out, Saul did not try the case, and about 75 percent
of the time billed by his firm was for work performed by junior
associates and paralegals. Furthermore, "after the initial stages, his
involvement significantly diminished," the panel said. Most importantly,
his involvement after the MDL order did not encompass "novel and complex
issues of law," compared to depositions by Brodhead and another attorney
that involved "complex scientific issues, including bacteriology,
manufacturing, pulmonology and chemistry." "None of this is to say that
the district court's allocation of fees was necessarily perfect. However,
our task is not to independently assess the merit of each attorney's
performance and fine-tune individual fee awards. Instead, our job is to
determine whether the district court abused its discretion. "While the
district court's calculation was necessarily imprecise, it cannot be
described as exceeding the bounds of permissible choice. All in all, the
district court fairly and skillfully performed the unenviable job of
allocating a fixed amount of money among 19 attorneys," the panel wrote.
The panel affirmed the decision, and remanded the case with directions to
Judge Brimmer to disburse any amounts remaining in the fund.After ALM
faxed him a copy of the order, Saul did not return telephone calls asking
for his comments on the ruling. This article originally appeared on
Law.com/il. (The Legal Intelligencer, October 18, 2000)

DOJ: Reps. Object to Legislative Provisions for Ban on Overtime Payments
Reps. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) and James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.) wrote
the Office of Management and Budget this week to object to legislative
provisions folded into the Justice Department's fiscal 2001 spending

One provision would require any judgment in the overtime pay suit to be
paid out of Justice's account for employee salaries and expenses. If
Justice loses the suit, "this provision could cut funds available for DOJ
salaries and expenses by as much as one-third, which could cause
reductions in force that would seriously impair the ability of the
department," Davis and Moran said in their letter.

Another provision "attempts to impose a permanent ban on overtime
payments to DOJ attorneys," which the letter says is contrary to current
personnel laws.

Davis and Moran sent their letter to OMB Director Jacob "Jack" Lew and
urged the administration to insist that the provisions be stripped out of
the spending bill. The letter did not say who put the provisions in the

The class-action lawsuit against the Justice Department seeks more than $
500 million in damages for uncompensated overtime work. The department
contends its lawyers are "professionals" who accept the fact that they
will often work more than 40 hours a week to perform their duties. (The
Washington Post, October 19, 2000)

FORD MOTOR: Recall of Firestone Tires Cut Ford Profits by 7 Percent
The controversial recall of Firestone tires on millions of Ford Explorer
sport-utility vehicles has cost the automaker $ 500 million -- so far.
The expense of replacing those tires caused Ford Motor Co. to report its
first decline in quarterly profits since 1996.

But Chief Financial Officer Henry Wallace said "the priority this quarter
was to get the Firestone recall settled. We still hope to resolve that by

The world's second-largest automaker said it earned $ 888 million in
July, August and September, down more than 7 percent from the third
quarter of 1999, when it made $ 959 million. If not for the
Firestone-related costs, the Dearborn-based automaker would have made
more than $ 1 billion and probably set a new Ford record for
third-quarter profits.

The cost of the Firestone recall will not be felt just by Ford's owners,
the company's shareholders. It will also mean less money for the
156,000-plus hourly and salaried employees at Ford who have grown
accustomed to ever-growing profit-sharing and bonus checks.

Ford executives were not able to say exactly how much less on Wednesday,
or whether the cost of the Firestone recall will reduce North American
profits enough to result in smaller profit-sharing checks this winter.

Thanks to a strong first half of the year, profits at Ford's auto-H
making operations in the United States, Canada and Mexico are still up 6
percent through the first nine months of 2000. Company-wide sales also
rose in the third quarter to $ 40.06 billion, up 8 percent from $ 37.2
billion a year ago. The company earned 53 cents a share for the 3-month
period ending Sept. 30, down from 78 cents a share a year ago, but in
line with Wall Street expectations.

Experts who follow the industry for major investors had lowered their
predictions for Ford profits back in September when the company first
hinted at the looming Firestone bill.

Even with the Firestone costs, Ford still topped the third-quarter
profits of its prime rival, General Motors Corp., by $ 59 million.
"They're still in real good shape compared with their competitors.
Without those Firestone costs it would have been a real standout quarter
for Ford," said Michael Bruynesteyn, an auto industry expert with
Prudential Securities Inc. in New York.

Again, it was brisk truck and sport-utility sales in the United States
that drove Ford's profits, as the company sold 603,000 of those vehicles
in the United States this quarter, 7,000 more than a year ago.

GM, by comparison, sold 30,000 fewer trucks and sport utilities in the
United States than a year ago. GM's third-quarter profits were down 5.5
percent from a year ago.

Sport-utilities and trucks typically are more profitable than cars. The
importance of them to Ford's bottom line, especially a hot-seller like
the Explorer that can usually sell without incentives, explains the
company's aggressive defense of the Explorer and insistence the Firestone
recall is "a tire issue and not a car issue."

Wallace said he expected more recall costs in the fourth quarter, but
hoped to offset that expense by increasing production of compact Ranger
pickups for the rest of the year.

The company intentionally made about 23,000 fewer Rangers and 15,000
fewer Explorers last quarter to free up more new tires to replace the
recalled 15-inch Firestone tires.

The other Firestone-related costs Ford hasn't yet tallied, and which may
take years to total, are potential damages and settlements for the
100-plus personal injury and class-action suits filed against the
automaker due to accidents on Explorers equipped with Firestone tires.

Firestone has estimated its recall costs at around $ 350 million. Without
giving details, Ford has said Firestone will cover some of the
automaker's costs. "I suspect the exact amount Firestone picks up will be
the subject of intense negotiations and-or some litigation," said analyst

Wallace said idling three Ford truck plants for three weeks to free up
replacement tires cost the automaker about $ 250 million, or roughly half
the total cost associated with the recall.

The other $ 250 million was from shipping and distributing new tires,
buying new tire molds for tiremakers and the cost of numerous
recall-related print and TV advertisements.

The tire recall overshadowed Ford's results in North America, where the
company saw profits fall to $ 782 million, down 17 percent from $ 946
million a year ago.

From a Wall Street perspective, the Firestone costs weren't unexpected.
Auto industry experts were more concerned about the company's persisting
problems in overseas operations, especially in Europe where the company
lost $ 221 million, far more than expected.

Like GM, Ford is losing sales and money in Western Europe, especially
Britain and Germany, the region's two biggest markets. Ford's quarterly
sales in Britain dropped 15 percent while sales in Germany were down 8
percent. Ford also lost $ 77 million in its Canadian-Mexican operations
and $ 64 million in South America. "Volkswagen is really hurting Ford and
GM in Germany and across Europe," said John Casesa, an auto analyst with
Merrill Lynch Inc. "Ford has very deep problems in Europe and even though
they've put forward a credible team with a credible plan to fix it, it's
a concern that it hasn't improved yet."

Besides Firestone, Ford also had a $ 106-million charge related to the
valuation of Land Rover inventory. Ford purchased Land Rover earlier this
year. Ford Credit reported earnings of $ 386 million, up 22 percent from
$ 317 million a year ago. Profit at Hertz, in which Ford has an
81-percent stake, rose $ 4 million to $ 143 million.

For the first nine months of the year, Ford has profits of $ 4.3 billion
compared to $ 4.79 billion for the same period a year ago. (Detroit Free
Press, October 19, 2000)

INFORMATION ARCHITECTS: Announces Dismissal of Securities Suit in NC
Information Architects Corp. (Nasdaq: IARC) announced on October 19 that
the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina has
dismissed the class action lawsuit against the company and certain
current and former officers.

The lawsuit resulted from the consolidation of four class action lawsuits
filed between May 14, 1999 and July 13, 1999.

Information Architects(R) (www.ia.com) offers Internet Infrastructure
Content Delivery Solutions with its patented XML and RDF-based
SmartCode(R) technology. The technology is implemented in Java and is
based on the SmartCode Content Delivery Matrix composed of metadata
"nodes" that locate, route and transform distributed content. This
enables rapid creation of complex data aggregation, transformation,
re-branding, and syndication solutions, often without any coding.
SmartCode XML and XPath-based visual tools enable you to collect content
from pre-existing distributed sources and applications, and dynamically
syndicate it onto any channel or device, including cell phones, PDA's,
desktops, etc. Information Architects is a member of the World Wide Web
Consortium and is committed to building state-of-the-art products based
on open standards.

NHL: PA Ap Ct Says League and Teams Not Responsible for Eaglesonís Fraud
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia agreed with a lower court's
decision that the NHL and its teams were not responsible for the actions
of Alan Eagleson, the former head of the NHL Players' Association who
served six months in prison for fraud.

Former NHL players Dave Forbes, Rick Middleton, Brad Park, Ulf Nilsson
and Doug Smail filed a class action lawsuit against the NHL and all its
teams in 1995 on behalf of about 1,000 NHL players who played during
Eagleson's tenure.

The players alleged that the NHL teams knew Eagleson was using his
control of international hockey and NHL disability insurance funds to
enrich himself, but allowed him to continue unrestrained. (The Atlanta
Journal and Constitution, October 19, 2000)

PILOT NETWORK: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Lawsuit in California
Milberg Weiss (http://www.milberg.com/pilot/)has announced that a class
action has been commenced in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California on behalf of purchasers of Pilot Network
Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:PILT) publicly traded securities during the period
between April 27, 2000 and October 17, 2000.

The complaint charges Pilot and certain of its officers and directors
with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Pilot provides
comprehensive security services over the Internet. The Company provides
secure access and gateway services, secure hosting and electronic
commerce services, and secure extranet and virtual private networking
services. Pilot's protected services include e-commerce and e-business
services, Internet access and gateways, and extranet/VPN.

On 10/18/00, Pilot announced that: (i) its CFO, who had joined the
Company just three weeks prior, had resigned; (ii) its Vice President of
Financial Planning had resigned; (iii) it would not meet analysts'
expectations for the September quarter; and (iv) it was conducting a
formal investigation into its revenue recognition practices.

Contact: Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP William Lerach,
800/449-4900 wsl@mwbhl.com

RICHMOND HOUSING: Homeless Disabled Man Files Bias Suit
A homeless man with disabilities has sued the Richmond Housing Authority
in federal court, accusing the agency of discrimination by closing the
waiting list for certain housing to the disabled but keeping it open for
seniors. Leon Victoria, 49, said at a news conference on Wednesday that
he was turned down four times by the housing agency in the past six
months in his attempts to get an apartment. Each time, officials told him
that the only available housing was for seniors 62 years and older. "I
know it sounds strange, but I'm not in it for the money," Victoria said
of his lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. "I
like money, but I want a roof over my head."

The lawsuit, which Victoria seeks to be certified as a class action,
accuses the agency of violating state and federal fair housing laws
andthe Americans With Disabilities Act. The suit also seeks an
courtinjunction that would open up the waiting list to the disabled.

At issue are three Housing Authority complexes designated for seniorsor
the disabled: Friendship Manor, the Hacienda and Nevin Plaza, totaling
about 350 units.

In May 1999, Ingram, in a letter to Richmond Mayor Rosemary Corbin and
Housing Authority commissioners, said the agency would close the waiting
lists a month later to disabled people while allowing senior citizens
above the age of 62 to apply. Ingram said she was seeking the approval of
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to place younger,
disabled residents atthree other developments designated for families. In
doing so, the Housing Authority wanted to achieve a balance of seniors
and disabled people onthe waiting lists, she said. "Currently we have a
need to increase our pool of senior applicants," Ingram wrote in the
letter, a copy of which was included with the lawsuit. She said federal
regulations and the agency's "administrative plan" allowed her to "open
or close the waiting list."

But attorneys for Victoria, Fred Nisen and Charis Moore of Protection &
Advocacy, Inc. of Oakland, said the Housing Authority never got
HUD'sapproval and therefore is in violation of state and federal laws.
"They will not rent to people with disabilities, only seniors," said
Nisen, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair. Victoria said he almost
felt like giving up after years of sleeping in the back of his truck and
cars, and under freeway overpasses. D. Scott Chang, a Belmont attorney
who is also representing Victoria, said members of Housing Rights, Inc.
posed as disabled people in April and called the Housing Authority,
saying they were disabled and wanted to apply for units. An employee
responded that the waiting list was closed for persons with disabilities
and that applicants had to be at least 62 years old, the lawsuit said.
(The San Francisco Chronicle, October 19, 2000)

RITE AID: Dept of Labor Investigates Matters Related to 401(k) Plan
The U.S. Department of Labor has commenced an investigation of matters
relating to the Company's employee benefit plans, including its principal
401(k) plan, which permitted employees to purchase the Company's common
stock. Purchases of the Company's common stock under the plan were
suspended in October 1999. The Company is cooperating fully with the
Department of Labor.

These federal investigations are ongoing and the Company cannot predict
their outcomes. If the Company were convicted of any crime, certain
contracts and licenses that are material to its operations may be
revoked, which would have a material adverse effect on results of
operations and financial condition. In addition, substantial penalties,
damages or other monetary remedies assessed against the Company could
also have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of
operations, financial condition and cash flows.

RITE AID: Lawsuits Challenge Overrides by Pharmacists for Cash Purchases
Purported federal class actions lawsuits have been filed against the
Company in Alabama and California and purported state class actions have
been filed against the Company in New Jersey, New York, Oregon, and
Pennsylvania. In all of the class actions the plaintiffs allege that the
Company's former practice of allowing its pharmacists the discretion to
charge non-uniform prices through the use of positive overrides for cash
purchases of prescription drugs was unlawful and none of those class
actions specify damages.

The Company has asserted in court filings that its imposition of positive
overrides was a legitimate utilization of non-uniform pricing similarly
engaged in by many other sectors of retail commerce. The Company filed
motions to dismiss each of the uncertified class action complaints for
failure to state a claim for which relief could be granted. The Company's
arguments have prevailed in each of the cases in which a court decision
has been rendered thus far, other than the California case.

On December 27, 1999, the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Alabama dismissed the federal RICO claims against the Company
with prejudice and the plaintiffs later filed an appeal with the Eleventh
Circuit. That appeal is currently pending. On May 21, 2000, an Oregon
state court judge granted the Company's motion to dismiss the purported
class action there with prejudice. On June 27, 2000, a New Jersey state
court dismissed that class action there. On August 16, 2000, a
Pennsylvania state court dismissed that class action with prejudice. A
motion to dismiss the state class action in New York is currently

The Company believes that all of the positive override lawsuits are
without merit under applicable state consumer protection laws and/or
state or federal RICO statutes. As a result, the Company intends to
continue to vigorously defend each of the pending actions and does not
anticipate, if fully adjudicated, that any of the lawsuits will result in
an award of damages and/or civil penalties. However, the Company cannot
give assurance on the outcome for each of the actions and a ruling
against the Company could have a material adverse effect on the financial
position and operations of the Company as well as necessitate substantial
additional expenditures to cover legal costs as it pursues all available

The Company is being investigated by multiple state attorneys general for
its reimbursement practices relating to partially-filled prescriptions
and fully-filled prescriptions that are not picked up by ordering
customers. The Company is supplying similar information with respect to
these matters to the Department of Justice. The Company believes that
these investigations are similar to investigations which were, and are
being, undertaken with respect to the practices of others in the retail
drug industry. The Company also believes that its existing policies and
procedures fully comply with the requirements of applicable law and
intends to fully cooperate with these investigations. The Company cannot,
however, predict their outcomes at this time.

RITE AID: Stockholders May File 4th Amended Complaint in PA in November
The Company, its former chief executive officer Martin Grass, its former
president Timothy Noonan, its former chief financial officer Frank
Bergonzi, and its former auditor KPMG LLP, have been sued in a number of
actions, most of which purport to be class actions, brought on behalf of
stockholders who purchased the Company's securities on the open market
between May 2, 1997 and November 10, 1999. All of these cases have been
consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, where plaintiffs have filed a third amended complaint and
have been given leave of court to file a fourth amended complaint on or
before November 11, 2000.

The complaints assert claims against defendants under Sections 10, 18 and
20 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, various state
securities laws and common law, based upon the allegation that the
Company's financial statements for its 1997, 1998 and 1999 fiscal years
fraudulently misrepresented its financial position and results of its
operations for those periods, among other allegations.

If any of these cases were to result in a substantial monetary judgment
against the Company, or are settled on unfavorable terms, the Company's
results of operations, financial position and cash flows could be
materially adversely affected.

RITE AID: Yet to Decide on Response to Derivative Complaints in Delaware
Certain of the Company's former officers (Martin L. Grass, Timothy J.
Noonan and Frank Bergonzi), certain of its current and former directors
(Alex Grass, Philip Neivert, Franklin C. Brown, Leonard I. Green, Leonard
N. Stern and Nancy A. Lieberman), its former auditor, KPMG LLP, and Rite
Aid as nominal defendant, have been sued by Company shareholders
derivatively on behalf of the Company in derivative actions brought in
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the
Chancery Court of the State of Delaware. The derivative complaints
purport to assert claims on behalf of the Company against the defendants
for violation of duties asserted to be owed by such defendants to the
Company, based upon allegations similar to those contained in the
complaints in the securities cases described above. The time for
defendants to respond to the derivative complaints has not yet run. The
Company has made no determination yet as to how it will respond to the
derivative complaints and is unable to predict the ultimate outcome of
this litigation.

The company tells investors that f any of these cases result in a
substantial monetary judgment against the Company or is settled on
unfavorable terms, the Company's results of operations, financial
position and cash flows could be materially adversely affected.

SOTHEBY'S HOLDINGS: Judge OKs Former Chairman's Access to Information
Alfred Taubman, the former chairman of Sotheby's and a target of the
government's investigation into auction-house collusion, won a judge's
approval on October 18 for access to information described as crucial to
his case. "There's too much foot-dragging in this case," said the judge,
Lewis A. Kaplan of Federal District Court in Manhattan, who rejected two
motions to delay the turnover of records produced in a class-action
lawsuit brought by customers of Sotheby's and its archrival, Christie's.

Buyers and sellers say they were cheated by the two auction houses, which
have acknowledged coordinating commission fees that were charged to
customers. The two houses agreed to settle the case last month by paying
plaintiffs a total of $512 million but have not signed legal papers
solidifying the deal.

Mr. Taubman and his lawyers have sought documents and other information
that was provided to Christie's and prosecutors by a former chief
executive of Christie's, Christopher M. Davidge, who came forward late
last year with accounts of collusive behavior.

Joseph Linklater, a lawyer for Mr. Davidge, moved unsuccessfully to block
the turnover of Mr. Davidge's material as a possible risk to his Fifth
Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. (The New York Times,
October 19, 2000)

THOMAS & BETTS: Berman DeValerio Reminds of Lead Role Date Approaching
Thomas & Betts Corporation (NYSE: TNB) shareholders have until October 29
to file court papers requesting lead plaintiff status in a securities
fraud lawsuit against the company, Berman DeValerio & Pease LLP
(www.bermanesq.com) said on October 18.

The class action seeks damages on behalf of anyone who acquired Thomas &
Betts common stock between February 15, 2000 and August 21, 2000 (known
as the "Class Period"). The complaint is filed in United States District
Court for the Western District of Tennessee as Civil Action No.

The complaint accuses Thomas & Betts of employing irregular accounting
practices that will force the company to restate its financial reports
for 1999 and possibly for the first quarter of 2000. When word of these
actions became public, the stock lost more than 30% of its value.

Contact: Berman DeValerio & Pease LLP Jennifer L. Finger, Esq. (800)
516-9926 bdplaw@bermanesq.com


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by Bankruptcy
Creditors' Service, Inc., Princeton, NJ, and Beard Group, Inc.,
Washington, DC. Theresa Cheuk, Managing Editor.

Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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