CAR_Public/040315.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
             Monday, March 15, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 52

                         Headlines                            

3M: PA Court Denies Certification of Transparent Tape Lawsuit
9/11 LITIGATION: EPA Faces NY Suit Over Post-Attack Air Quality
ADCO USA: Recalls Uneviscerated Fish For Clostridium Toxin Risk
AMERICAN MEDICAL: Settles Benefits Rating Lawsuit In AL Court
AQUILA INCORPORATED: Faces Gas Futures Securities Suit in NY

AUTONATION INC: Reaches Consensus On Proposed Pact In TADA Suit
BALTIMORE GAS & ELECTRIC: Amended Contracts Suit Removed To CA
BALTIMORE GAS & ELECTRIC: Certification Hearing Set April 16
CALIFORNIA: SEC Obtains Injunction, Asset Freeze In Ponzi Scheme
CONSECO INC: SEC Probe Reveals Ex-Execs Guilty Of Stock Fraud

CONSECO INC: SEC Issues Cease-Desist Order For Accounting Fraud
CORPORATE RECEIVABLES: IL Court Certifies Debt Collection Suit
DUKE POWER CO: Grand Jury Ends Probe Into Regulatory Reporting
EATON VANCE CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Suit In NY Court
ECONNECT: SEC Announces Sentencing Of Ex-Rep In Stock Fraud Case

GEORGIA: Court Finds For Defendant In School Segregation Lawsuit
GREAT LAKES REIT: Faces Shareholder Suit in IL Court Over Merger
HAMILTON SHEA: SEC Files Admin. Proceedings In Fraud Case
IMCLONE SYSTEMS: Files Suit V. Founder For $26M In Unpaid Taxes
MARTHA STEWART: Sentencing To Depend On Complex Federal Rules

MERL HOLDINGS: Federal Jury Convicts Ex-CEO For Accounting Fraud
MICROWAVE POPCORN: Vapors From Bags Probed Amid Disease Links
MUTUAL FUNDS: SEC Proposes Fund Manager Disclosures Amid Scandal
NEVADA: Las Vegas Lawsuit Claims Toxic Dust Hurt Waste Workers
PATINA OIL: Faces Lawsuit Filed by Colorado Royalty Owners

PENNSYVANIA: Court Grants Partial Judgment In Non-Union Fee Suit
PITNEY BOWES: Unit's Lease Contract Subject of Lawsuits
PREMCOR REFINING: Lawsuit Seeking Certification Moved to S.D. IL
PREMCOR REFINING: Port Arthur TX Residents Seek Damages
PREMCOR REFINING: Wants MTBE Lawsuits Consolidated in New York

PREMCOR REFINING: 'Blue Island' Lawsuits Consolidated in IL
QUICKLOGIC CORPORATION: Approval of Proposed Settlement Pending
QUICKLOGIC CORPORATION: Tower Shareholders Bring Suit in S.D. NY
SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: MA High Court Rules In Favor Of Gay Weddings
SONIC AUTOMOTIVE: Appeals Court Affirms TADA Suit Certification

SPRINT CORPORATION: Sets Aside $50M to Settle NY Securities Suit
SPRINT CORPORATION: Execs Face Suit for Alleged ERISA Violations
STEROID LEGISLATION: FDA To Crack Down On Supplemental Androgen
STEROID LEGISLATION: Lawmakers Seek Tougher Testing In Baseball
STOP 'N' CASH: Faces Civil Suit Over Payday Loan Interest Rates

TEXAS: Concerned Parties Reach $5M Settlement In Tulia Drug Case
TRANSMETA CORPORATION: Execs Settle Shareholders Suit for $5.5M
TRI-STATE CREMATORY: Families To Share In $40 Million Suit Pact
WASHINGTON: House Approves Hike Of Broadcast Indecency Fines

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

EL PASO CORP: Berman DeValerio Files Securities Suit in S.D. TX
FLEETBOSTON: Spector Roseman Files Securities Suit in MA Court
ITT EDUCATIONAL: Lasky & Rifkind Launches Securities Suit in IN
JANUS CAPITAL: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in CO
PIMCO FUNDS: Spector Roseman Commences Securities Suit in NJ

SIEBEL SYSTEMS: Bernard M. Gross Launches Securities Suit in CA
SIEBEL SYSTEMS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in CA
SPX CORP: Cohen Milstein Commences Securities Suit in W.D. NC


                            *********


3M: PA Court Denies Certification of Transparent Tape Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania denied Certification of a lawsuit brought against
3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company), on behalf of
Plaintiff Bradburn Parent/Teachers Store, Inc. who directly
purchased invisible and transparent tape from Defendant from
October 2, 1998 until the present.

The conduct of Defendant which forms the basis of this lawsuit
was the subject of a prior lawsuit in this Court, LePage's, Inc.
v.. 3M, Civ. A. No. 97- 3983. In that suit, a competing supplier
of transparent tape, LePage's, Inc., sued Defendant alleging,
inter alia, unlawful maintenance of monopoly power in violation
of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 2. After a nine-week
trial, the jury found in favor of LePage's on its unlawful
maintenance of monopoly power claim, and awarded damages of
$22,828,899.00, which were subsequently trebled to
$68,486,697.00. The Court subsequently denied Defendant's Motion
for Judgment as a Matter of Law with respect to this claim.

A panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit initially reversed the Court's Order upholding the
jury's verdict and directed the Court to enter judgment for
Defendant on LePage's' unlawful maintenance of monopoly power
claim. Upon rehearing en banc, the Third Circuit vacated the
panel decision and reinstated the jury verdict against Defendant
on LePage's' unlawful maintenance of monopoly power claim.
      
The Complaint in this matter alleges one count of monopolization
in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 2. The
Complaint alleges that Defendant unlawfully maintained its
monopoly in the transparent tape market through its bundled
rebate programs and through exclusive dealing arrangements with
various retailers. The Complaint asserts that, as a result of
Defendant's conduct, Plaintiff and other members of the proposed
Class have "suffered antitrust injury." The damages period in
this case runs from October 2, 1998 until the present. Plaintiff
seeks declaratory relief, permanent injunctive relief, treble
compensatory damages, attorney's fees, costs and interest.

   
9/11 LITIGATION: EPA Faces NY Suit Over Post-Attack Air Quality
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. initiated a class action
complaint in the District Court for the Southern District of New
York on behalf of residents, students, and office workers in
Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn who have been exposed to hazardous
substances in the interior of their residences, schools, and
work places as a result of the collapse of the World Trade
Centers on September 11, 2001, against the United States
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and:

     (1) Christine Todd Whitman,

     (2) Marianne L. Horinko, and

     (3) Michael Leavitt  

Plaintiffs assert claims against defendants for violations of
their substantive rights to be free from bodily injury
guaranteed them under the U.S. Constitution, and for violation
of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Complaint alleges that
defendants violated the law when they made materially misleading
statements regarding the safety of air quality in Lower
Manhattan shortly after September 11, 2001; failed to follow
federal laws mandating that EPA take lead responsibility for the
cleanup of buildings and residences in response to terrorist
attacks; delegated all responsibility for the cleanup to the
City of New York which was ill-equipped to handle the situation;
failed to properly supervise and oversee the cleanup efforts by
the City of New York; referred the public to cleanup guidelines
issued by the City of New York which were contrary to EPA
standards and grossly inadequate to properly cleanup the
hazardous substances; failed to properly assess the complete
geographic scope of the hazard, and failed to remediate the
problems through their voluntary cleanup program.

As a result of defendants' actions, plaintiffs and class members
have been exposed to hazardous substances for over two years,
and have suffered and will continue to suffer physical bodily
injury. Accordingly, plaintiffs request that defendants perform
representative testing of all residences, schools, and office
buildings in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn; implement a complete
professional cleanup of such buildings where needed, and fund a
medical monitoring program which includes testing and preventive
screening for conditions resulting from exposure to World Trade
Center dust.


ADCO USA: Recalls Uneviscerated Fish For Clostridium Toxin Risk
---------------------------------------------------------------
ADCO USA, Inc., of 239 North 9th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211, in
cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is
recalling 200 packages of uneviscerated fish since the product
may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum Spores, which can
cause Botulism, a serious and potentially fatal food-borne
illness. No illnesses have been reported to date.

Coral Brand Steamed Indian Mackerel was discovered by New York
State Department of Agriculture and Markets Food Inspectors
during a routine inspection. Samples analyzed confirmed that the
fish had not been eviscerated prior to processing.

The sale of this type of fish is prohibited under New York
Agriculture and Markets regulations because Clostridium
botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the
viscera than any other portion of the fish. Uneviscerated fish
has been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning. Symptoms of
botulism include blurred or double vision, general weakness,
poor reflexes, difficulty swallowing and respiratory paralysis.

Coral Brand Steamed Indian Mackerel is packaged two fish in
woven bamboo basket inside a plastic bag (approx. 1 lb.) with
12.2005 code date. The recalled product was sold in Florida,
South Carolina and Wisconsin.

Consumers who have Coral Brand Steamed Indian Mackerel are
advised not to eat it, but should return it to the place of
purchase. Consumers with questions should contact the company at
718-963-1010.


AMERICAN MEDICAL: Settles Benefits Rating Lawsuit In AL Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
American Medical Security Group, Inc. and plaintiffs'
representatives have reached an agreement of understanding to
certify and settle a class-action lawsuit, Gadson v. AMS,
pending in the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Alabama,
PRNewswire reports.

The lawsuit, filed in 2001, involves issues relating to the
rating methodology formerly used by the company on group health
benefit plans marketed to individuals in Alabama and Georgia.
AMS has not used the disputed rating methodology since 1999 in
Alabama and 2002 in Georgia. Under terms of the agreement, there
is no admission or implication of liability or wrongdoing on the
part of AMS. Also, all claims of participating class members
will be dismissed and the litigation terminated in exchange for
consideration from AMS valued at approximately $9 million.

The company believes it is adequately reserved for the cost of
the settlement, including related attorney fees. It also
believes a portion of the amount should be covered by insurance,
although any potential insurance recovery is not currently
reflected as an asset on the company's balance sheet.

The settlement would preclude future lawsuits related to this
issue by participating class members in both Alabama and
Georgia. The agreement between AMS and the class plaintiffs is
expected to be presented for preliminary court approval in the
near future.


AQUILA INCORPORATED: Faces Gas Futures Securities Suit in NY
------------------------------------------------------------
In August and November 2003, two class action lawsuits brought
on behalf of entities which bought and sold natural gas futures
and options contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange during
the years 2000 through 2002 were filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York.

The suits are against numerous defendants, including the
company's subsidiary, Aquila Merchant, and seek damages for
alleged violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and for
allegedly aiding and abetting such violations.

Plaintiffs claim that, during the referenced time period,
the defendants reported false and misleading trading information
to trade publications, including inflated volume and price
information, resulting in monetary losses to the plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs seek class action certification, actual damages in
unspecified amounts, costs, attorneys' fees and other
appropriate relief.


AUTONATION INC: Reaches Consensus On Proposed Pact In TADA Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
In August 2003, an understanding on a proposed settlement was
reached in regards three class action lawsuits brought against
the Texas Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) and
approximately 700 new vehicle stores in Texas that are members
of the TADA, including many of the Company's Texas dealership
subsidiaries, alleging that The three actions allege that since
January 1994 Texas dealers have deceived customers with respect
to a vehicle inventory tax and violated federal antitrust and
other laws as well.

In April 2002, in two actions (which have been consolidated) the
state court certified two classes of consumers on whose behalf
the action would proceed. In October 2002, the Texas Court of
Appeals affirmed the trial court's order of class certification
in the state action and the Company and the other dealership
defendants are appealing that ruling to the Texas Supreme Court.

In March 2003, the federal court conditionally certified a class
of consumers in the federal antitrust case. The Company and the
other dealership defendants are appealing the ruling.


BALTIMORE GAS & ELECTRIC: Amended Contracts Suit Removed To CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
On February 6, 2004, a putative amended class action brought
against defendant power suppliers, including Company
subsidiaries Constellation Power Source, Inc., (CPS) and High
Desert Power Project, LCC, on behalf of California electricity
consumers, was removed to the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California. The lawsuit alleges that
defendants violated California's Unfair Competition Law in
connection with certain long-term power contracts that the
defendants negotiated with the California Department of Water
Resources in 2001 and 2002

On December 19, 2003, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in
Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco, naming
for the first time CPS and High Desert as additional defendants
in the lawsuit. Notwithstanding the amended long-term power
contracts and the releases and settlement agreements negotiated
at the time of such amendments, the plaintiff seeks to have the
Court certify the case as a class action and to order the
repayment of any monies that were acquired by the defendants
under the long-term contracts or the amended long-term contracts
by means of unfair competition in violation of California law.


BALTIMORE GAS & ELECTRIC: Certification Hearing Set April 16
------------------------------------------------------------
Oral Arguments on certification of a lawsuit filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Maryland against the Company,
et al., on behalf of approximately 150 past and present
employees, alleging racial discrimination at Calvert Cliffs
Nuclear Power Plant, is scheduled for April 16, 2004.

The amount of damages is unspecified, however the plaintiffs
seek back and front pay, along with compensatory and punitive
damages. Besides Baltimore Gas & Electric (BG&E), Constellation
Energy Group, Constellation Nuclear, and Calvert Cliffs Nuclear
Power Plant are also named defendants.

The lawsuit is styled Miller, et. al v. Baltimore Gas and
Electric Company, et al.


CALIFORNIA: SEC Obtains Injunction, Asset Freeze In Ponzi Scheme
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) obtained a
preliminary injunction in a multi-million dollars securities
fraud scheme perpetrated by seven Southern California
defendants:  

     (1) Mx Factors, LLC of Riverside;

     (2) BBH Resources, LLC of Palm Springs;

     (3) JTL  Financial Group, LLC of Corona;

     (4) Richard  M. Harkless, 59, of Riverside;

     (5) Daniel J. Berardi, Jr., 40, of Palm Springs;

     (6) Thomas Hawkesworth, 49, of Rancho Mirage; and

     (7) Randall W. Harding, 43, of Corona.  

The defendants have raised at least $33.5 million to date from
the sale of Mx Factors' notes. Also, U.S. District Judge
Virginia A. Phillips of the U.S. District Court for the Central  
District of California granted additional relief that the  
Commission sought, including issuing orders freezing assets,  
appointing a permanent receiver over Mx Factors, BBH Resources,  
and JTL Financial, and requiring Mx Factors and Harkless to
repatriate assets from abroad.
     
The Commission's complaint, filed on Feb. 26, 2004, in federal
court in Riverside, alleges that the defendants fraudulently
induced at least 247 investors nationwide and in Mexico to
invest in Mx Factors' notes, which purportedly pay a
"guaranteed" return of 12% in 60 or 90 days. Mx Factors claims
that it will use the investor funds to provide its clients  -  
construction contractors, wholesalers, and  manufacturers  -
with accounts receivable financing, secured by the client's  
assignment of its accounts receivable.  The defendants also
represent that investor funds are safe because at least 70% of
the receivables are backed or funded by the government.
     
According to the complaint, these representations are false.  Mx
Factors has actually been operating a Ponzi scheme, and at least
$19.9  million in new investor funds has been used to pay
existing investors. At least $5.64  million has been
misappropriated

     (i) to finance a crab fishing business,  

    (ii) to pay the personal expenses of Harkless, Berardi,       
         and Hawkesworth, including mortgage payments and credit
         card bills, and  

   (iii) to fund overseas bank accounts

Additionally, the complaint alleges that BBH, Berardi, and
Hawkesworth have skimmed $1.3 million in investor funds by
failing to turn them over to Mx Factors.  The complaint further
alleges that BBH Resources and JTL Financial have each received
undisclosed sales commissions of at least 12%. In its lawsuit,
the Commission obtained an order freezing each of the
defendants' assets, an order appointing a permanent receiver
over Mx Factors, BBH Resources, and JTL Financial, an order
requiring Mx Factors and  Harkless  to  repatriate  assets  from  
abroad,  and  preliminarily enjoining all of the defendants from
future violations of the securities registration  and  antifraud
provisions -- and  preliminarily  enjoining defendants  BBH  
Resources,  JTL Financial,  Berardi,  Hawkesworth, and Harding   
from  future  violations  of  the  broker-dealer  registration
provisions  -- of the federal securities laws, Sections 5(a),  
5(c) and 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b)
and 15(a) of Securities  Exchange  Act  of  1934  and  Rule  
10b-5 thereunder. The Commission also seeks permanent
injunctions, and other relief, including disgorgement and civil
penalties against all defendants.    


CONSECO INC: SEC Probe Reveals Ex-Execs Guilty Of Stock Fraud
-------------------------------------------------------------
According to results of a 19-month probe released Wednesday by
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC, two former top
executives at Conseco ordered the company's accounting staff to
falsify records to show the company earned almost $368 million
more than it actually did in 1999, Knight-Ridder/ Tribune
Business News reports.

Former Conseco CFO Rollin Dick and former treasurer James Adams
"manipulated computer models" to inflate the value of interest-
only securities and the company's reported earnings throughout
1999, said the report. The investigation focused on the Carmel-
based insurer's accounting practices during months leading up to
the spring of 2000 -- in particular how it tallied interest-only
securities and servicing rights within Conseco Finance, a
consumer finance unit no longer owned by Conseco that is best
known for mobile home loans.

The findings indicate Dick and Adams also ordered accounting
staff to falsify records to avoid writing down the true value of
Conseco Finance's interest-only securities for each quarter of
1999, the SEC said. As a result, Conseco later reduced its net
income for 1999 by 61.7 percent, from $962.7 million to $595
million. The $367.7 million discrepancy is believed to be the
ninth-largest earnings restatement in U.S. history. Both men
also ordered staff to overstate Conseco Finance's earnings for
the first three quarters of 1999 after preliminary numbers were
prepared. Many of those alterations either lacked supporting
documentation or were inconsistent with Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles (GAAP), the SEC said.

On March 31, 2000, Conseco disclosed it was reviewing the
errors, and on April 14, it acknowledged the revised figures in
its 1999 annual report. Two weeks later, Dick and former Conseco
CEO Stephen C. Hilbert were forced to resign from the firm.
Adams was fired in September 2002 by then-CEO Gary Wendt after
Adams failed to repay $26 million in company-backed stock loans.
Both Dick and Adams are being sued by Conseco to repay such
loans, of which Dick owes about $97 million.

As part of a settlement with the SEC, Conseco -- while neither
admitting nor denying the SEC's findings -- agreed to a "cease
and desist" order against ongoing or future violations. No fines
or monetary penalties were imposed, and no additional
restatements of past financial statements are required, the
company said in a prepared statement. Company spokesman Jim
Rosensteele said late Wednesday the settlement is not related to
investigations by the New York attorney general's office and the
SEC into Conseco's former variable annuities business. He said
Conseco had no further immediate comment.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission outlined the
accounting inaccuracies that Conseco made, according to the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Conseco neither admits nor
denies the SEC's findings. In its report, the SEC credits
independent auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers with discovering the
irregularities in March 2000 and reporting them to Conseco's
board of directors. The SEC did not indicate whether charges
would be filed against Dick, 72, Zionsville, or Adams, 43,
Carmel.


CONSECO INC: SEC Issues Cease-Desist Order For Accounting Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an Order
Instituting Cease-and-Desist Proceedings, Making Findings, and
Imposing a Cease-and-Desist Order Pursuant to Section 21C of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against Carmel, Indiana based
Conseco, Inc. The Commission ordered Conseco to cease and desist
from violating the reporting, record-keeping and internal
controls provisions of the federal securities laws.   

The Commission found that throughout 1999 and early 2000,
Conseco and its wholly owned subsidiary, Conseco Finance
Corporation, made materially false and misleading statements
about their earnings and income in Commission filings and in  
public statements made announcing their financial results.   
During this period, Conseco and Conseco Finance overstated their
net income and operating income by more than $500 million. The
Commission found that this massive overstatement occurred
because the companies' then Chief Financial Officer (Rollin M.
Dick) and Chief Accounting Officer (James S. Adams) conducted a  
fraudulent accounting scheme to avoid huge write downs to
certain assets held by Conseco Finance and the associated
charges to earnings. The Commission also found that Dick and
Adams made a number of unsupported and improper adjustments to
the books and records of these companies in order to increase
earnings.  

The Commission ordered Conseco to cease and desist from
committing or causing any violations and any future violations  
of Sections 13(a), 13(b)(2)(A), 13(b)(2)(B), and 13(b)(5) of the
Securities Exchange  Act  of 1934, and Rules 12b-20, 13a-13 and
13b2-1  thereunder. Conseco consented to the issuance of the
Order without admitting or denying the Commission's findings.

In a separate action, the Commission filed a civil fraud
complaint against Dick and Adams relating to this scheme. The
Commission's action, filed in federal district court in
Indianapolis, Indiana, charged Dick and Adams with violating the
antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws and with
aiding and abetting Conseco and Conseco Finance's violations.  


CORPORATE RECEIVABLES: IL Court Certifies Debt Collection Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, Eastern Division granted certification of a lawsuit
brought against Corporate Receivables, Inc., on behalf of
Plaintiff Jose Robles, et al., for violations of the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act.

Plaintiff bases his complaint on three separate debt collection
letters. In his complaint, Plaintiff alleges that the second and
third letters were sent within thirty days of the initial
validation letter, thus rendering the thirty day validation
language of the first letter ineffective. Specifically,
Plaintiff complains that the second letter, which was sent  
thirteen days after the initial validation letter, made it
appear that the validation period referenced in Letter 1 had
expired by admonishing Plaintiff that Defendant had not received
a response or suitable resolution of the debt it was attempting
to collect. Plaintiff further avers that the third letter, which
was sent twenty-nine days after Letter 1, stated that
Plaintiff's silence was interpreted as a refusal to pay which
reinforced Defendant's message that the time to dispute the debt
had passed, when in fact it had not. Therefore, Plaintiff
alleges that the statements in Letters 2 and 3, individually or
collectively, would confuse the unsophisticated consumer by
creating a false sense of urgency as to whether the thirty-day
(i.e., from the date of receipt of the initial validation letter
or Letter 1) validation period had already expired and whether
the consumer must act immediately or would have the full thirty
days to dispute the validity of the alleged debt.
      
Plaintiff seeks to certify a class of all Illinois residents
which Defendant sought to collect consumer debts from the period
July 2, 2001 through July 2, 2002, allegedly owed to Household
Bank (SB), N.A., by sending Letters 2 and 3 (or similar letters)
within thirty days of Letter 1 (or similar initial validation
letters). The class Plaintiff seeks to certify consists of 102
individuals from whom Defendant attempted to collect said
consumer debts.


DUKE POWER CO: Grand Jury Ends Probe Into Regulatory Reporting
--------------------------------------------------------------
Duke Power Company announced Thursday that a federal grand jury
investigation into it's regulatory reporting has ended with no
charges against the company or its employees, the Associated
Press reports.

The Charlotte-based electric utility, which is a unit of Duke
Energy Corp., said the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western
District of North Carolina informed it late Wednesday that a
grand jury had ended its probe after concluding that no action
was warranted. "We are pleased that this review is complete and
that this issue is now behind us," Ruth Shaw, president of Duke
Power told the AP. She said the grand jury reviewed over 110,000
pages of Duke Power documents.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission and Duke Power agreed to
a $25 million settlement in October 2002 after an independent
auditor determined accounting changes had led to $124 million in
unreported profits. The accounting changes came to light after
they were reported to regulators by a Duke accountant in 2001.
That prompted an external audit that led to the settlement
agreement.

In February 2003, a federal grand jury in Charlotte began
examining the books of the utility. The grand jury examined the
North Carolina and South Carolina utility commissions' 2002
audit of Duke Power's regulatory reporting from 1998 to 2000,
the company said in a statement. Duke Power, with about 2
million customers in the Carolinas, denied all along that the
accounting changes were designed to deliberately hide profits.
In early trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Duke Energy
shares were down 2 cents at $21.58.


EATON VANCE CORPORATION: Faces Securities Fraud Suit In NY Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
On February 11, 2004, a complaint was filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York against
the Company, Eaton Vance Management and Boston Management and
Research, and Lloyd George Investment Management Limited and
Orbimed Advisors LLC, on behalf of Paul Bellikoff, an alleged
shareholder of one of the Funds.

The complaint, framed as a class action and as a derivative suit
on behalf of the Funds, alleges that the Investment Advisers
improperly used assets of the Funds to make payments to brokers
to encourage sales of Fund shares and failed to disclose such
payments to investors, and that the Trustees breached their
fiduciary duties to the Funds by permitting such payments. Based
on these allegations, the complaint charges that the defendants
violated the Investment Company Act of 1940 and breached their
fiduciary duties to the Funds and their shareholders, and that
the Investment Advisers violated the Investment Advisers Act of
1940.

The complaint seeks unspecified damages and rescission by the
Funds of their contracts with the Investment Advisers. The
Company and its subsidiaries believe that the complaint is
without merit and are vigorously contesting the lawsuit.


ECONNECT: SEC Announces Sentencing Of Ex-Rep In Stock Fraud Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that on
March 1 the Honorable Nora M. Manella, U.S. District Judge for
the Central District of California, sentenced Thomas S. Hughes,
56, of Rancho Palos Verdes, California, to 97 months in federal
prison. Hughes pleaded guilty on Aug. 11, 2003, to three counts
of securities fraud and one count of criminal contempt.

Hughes was charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central
District of California with orchestrating a fraudulent
securities scheme. Specifically, Hughes was accused of issuing  
false and misleading public statements in July 2002 - press
releases and  Web site content - that artificially inflated the
price of eConnect, whose  stock was  then  publicly quoted on
the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board. The press releases and Web
site content falsely claimed that eConnect had received a  $20
million investment in "AA" asset-backed bonds, that eConnect  
had begun a stock repurchase program of its shares, and that
eConnect  had  received  a  $964,000 purchase order  for  its  
principal product, suggesting that a legitimate company had a
relationship to the company that actually placed the order.  

In reality, the indictment alleged:   

     (1) the bonds were not "AA" rated or registered so that  
         they could be traded publicly;

     (2) there was no stock repurchase program; and

     (3) there was no relationship between the company  that  
         placed the $964,000 purchase order and the legitimate
         company identified in the press release. Hughes was
         also charged with criminal contempt of a permanent  
         injunction against him obtained by the Commission in  
         April 2000 in the case SEC v. eConnect and Thomas S.
         Hughes, Civil Action Number CV-00-2959 MMM (RCx) CDCA,
         Lit. Rel. No. 16481).

In a related proceeding, the Commission obtained emergency
relief against Hughes and others, including an asset freeze, in  
Los Angeles federal court on Aug. 8, 2002, alleging that Hughes
and others violated the  federal securities laws based upon the
scheme described above. On Sept. 4, 2003, Judge Manella entered
judgment against Hughes pursuant to his consent.  The court
ordered Hughes to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $120,000,
and permanently enjoined him from future violations
of the insider transactions reporting provisions of the federal
securities laws, Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act  
of 1934 and Rule 16a-3 thereunder. The Court also prohibited
Hughes from acting as an officer or director of a publicly-
traded company. The Commission's complaint charged Hughes with
violations of Sections  10(b) and 16(a) of the Exchange Act and
Rules 10b-5 and 16a-3 thereunder.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Securities  
and Exchange Commission, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los
Angeles, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which received
assistance from NASD Regulation, Inc.


GEORGIA: Court Finds For Defendant In School Segregation Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Georgia, Thomasville Division found for the Defendant in a
lawsuit brought against the City of Thomasville School District,
by the Thomasville County branch of the NAACP (National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People), on behalf of
black children enrolled at schools in city school district,
alleging that district operated racially segregated school
system in violation of the equal protection clause and Title VI
of the federal Civil Rights Act.

Plaintiffs, on behalf of black children attending the public
elementary, middle, and high schools operated by the City of
Thomasville School District, filed this lawsuit in 1998.  They
contend that the District operates and maintains a racially
segregated school system that deprives black students of their
constitutional right to equal protection as guaranteed by the
Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. In
addition, Plaintiffs contend that the District's actions violate
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

It is undisputed that the District operated a de jure racially
segregated public school system in 1954 when the United States
Supreme Court declared such systems unconstitutional in Brown v.
Board of Education.  It is also undisputed that prior to the
filing of this lawsuit, no litigation had ever been instituted
pursuant to Brown and its progeny challenging the alleged
segregation of the District's schools.  Consequently, there has
been no opportunity for any court to determine whether the
District has eliminated the vestiges of its previous de jure
segregated system.
      
Plaintiffs maintain that subsequent to Brown the District never
effectively desegregated its school system and that the District
failed to eliminate the vestiges of its previous de jure
racially segregated school system.  Plaintiffs further contend
that the District's school system is still racially segregated
today, fifty years after racially segregated schools were
declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. As a result of
this segregation, Plaintiffs argue that black children who
attend the District's schools are not being provided with the
same educational opportunities as similarly situated white
children.
     
The District contends that it first began desegregating its
public schools in 1965, that the Office of Civil Rights within
the United States Department of Health, Education & Welfare
approved its desegregation plan in 1970, and that, as of 1975,
its public schools were effectively desegregated with no    
vestiges of the previous segregated system. The District
strongly disputes Plaintiffs' contention that it presently
engages in purposeful discrimination resulting in racial
segregation.  The District further maintains that any current
racial imbalances within its school system are the result of
demographic patterns or other factors beyond the District's
control.


GREAT LAKES REIT: Faces Shareholder Suit in IL Court Over Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
On January 23, 2004, a lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of
Cook County, Illinois, as a purported class action on behalf of
the Company's shareholders, asserting claims against the
Company's trustees and the Company for alleged breach of
fiduciary duties in connection with the proposed merger with
Transwestern and the sales contracts for the portfolio of
medical office buildings and the Minnesota properties.

The lawsuit claims that the transactions improperly favored the
Company's trustees and Transwestern at the expense of the
interests of the Company and its public shareholders. The
Company believes the claims asserted in this lawsuit are without
merit and intends to vigorously defend the lawsuit.


HAMILTON SHEA: SEC Files Admin. Proceedings In Fraud Case
---------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an Order
Instituting Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to Section
15(b)(6) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making
Findings, and Imposing Remedial Sanctions against Robert B.
Dimarco, Jr. The Order finds that on June 26, 2001, DiMarco  
pled guilty to one count of  conspiracy  to  commit securities,
mail and wire fraud in violation of Tile 18  United  States
Code, Section 371, before the U.S. District Court for  the
Middle District of Florida, arising out of his association with
The Hamilton Shea Group Inc., a broker-dealer registered with
the Commission.

The count of the criminal information to which DiMarco pled  
guilty alleged that DiMarco:

     (1) used undisclosed nominee accounts to control and  
         manipulate the prices of securities,

     (2) filed false documents with the Commission that
         concealed his part ownership of Hamilton Shea,  and
     
     (3) directed brokers to make false and misleading  
         statements to the public in connection with the sale of
         the securities

On Nov.1, 2002, DiMarco was sentenced to a term of five years
probation and was ordered to make restitution in the amount of
$300,000. Based on the above, the Order bars DiMarco from
association with any broker or dealer and from participation in
any offering of a penny stock. DiMarco consented to the issuance
of the Order without admitting or denying any of the allegations
in the administrative proceeding.


IMCLONE SYSTEMS: Files Suit V. Founder For $26M In Unpaid Taxes
---------------------------------------------------------------
ImClone Systems sued its imprisoned founder for $26 million
Wednesday, saying the company was forced to pay income taxes for
Samuel Waksal because he did not, the Associated Press reports.

ImClone alleges Waksal - a longtime friend of Martha Stewart -
cashed in $63 million in options and other stock-purchase rights
in 1999 and 2001 that he received as compensation. The
pharmaceutical company says it did not withhold taxes because it
expected Waksal to take care of his own tax obligations.
ImClone says in court papers it wants the return of the $4.5
million, as well as another $16.6 million to be paid as federal
taxes, plus interest. The company is also seeking $5 million for
related auditing fees.

Waksal, 56, is serving a seven-year sentence in federal prison
after admitting he tipped his daughter to sell her ImClone
shares based on advance word of a negative government report
related to the company's cancer drug, Erbitux. That tip led to
the arrest of Stewart, who was convicted last week of lying to
federal investigators who suspected she sold her ImClone stock
because she heard the Waksals were planning to sell theirs.
Until recently, Waksal had been represented by Mark Pomerantz.
On Wednesday, an employee of the lawyer said he no longer
represents Waksal. It could not immediately be determined who
Waksal's new attorney is.


MARTHA STEWART: Sentencing To Depend On Complex Federal Rules
-------------------------------------------------------------
Federal guidelines, adopted in 1987 and altered nearly every
year since, will determine whether Martha Stewart spends any
time behind bars or is allowed to serve at least part of her
sentence in her own well-appointed home, the Associated Press
reports.

The home-decorating entrepreneur and her former stockbroker,
Peter Bacanovic, were convicted Friday of lying to investigators
about why Stewart sold 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems stock.
Stewart was convicted of four crimes that, under the law, carry
a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. But because of the
guidelines, there was never a risk Stewart would serve even
close to that much time.

The specific crimes - conspiracy, obstruction of justice and
twice making false statements - fall under Level 12, which means
a judge could sentence her to 10 to 16 months in prison.
In a Level 12 sentence, at least half must be served in prison.
But the judge could allow Stewart to spend the other half
confined to her home, probably wearing an ankle bracelet or
other electronic monitor. Then again, federal probation
officials or U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum could
decide that Stewart caused "substantial interference with the
administration of justice" by lying about the stock sale.
That would bump the crimes up to Level 15, punishable by up to
two years in prison. Anything higher than Level 12 eliminates
the chance that Stewart can serve any part of her sentence in
home confinement. "It's huge for her," David Beneman, an expert
on the guidelines who practices law in Portland, Maine, told the
AP. "If she is at Level 13 or higher, she's stuck in prison."

On the flip side, if Stewart's lawyers convince the judge she
played only a minor role in the conspiracy - also unlikely,
outside attorneys say - she could be dropped to Level 10.
That carries six months to a year, but gives judges the power to
let convicts serve all of the time in home confinement. Experts
say it is highly unlikely the judge would give Stewart a
sentence without any prison time. Congress passed the guidelines
to cut down on high variations in the sentences different
federal courts would issue for the same crimes. But some judges
have publicly expressed their disapproval, saying the guidelines
infringe on their discretion. One Manhattan judge, John Martin,
retired last year partly because he said he was upset about the
guidelines.

In Stewart's case, the judge can push the sentence even higher
if she finds Stewart played an "aggravating role" in the
conspiracy, a finding lawyers say is unlikely because she and
Bacanovic had relatively equal roles. At Stewart's sentencing
June 17, her lawyers will get the chance to argue for a sentence
lower than the preset range, and the government will argue for
higher - a sort of lightning round at the end of the case.


MERL HOLDINGS: Federal Jury Convicts Ex-CEO For Accounting Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
Following a two-week trial, a federal jury in Trenton, New
Jersey found for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on
all counts in an accounting fraud, insider trading and false
filing case against Ed Johnson, the former Chief Executive
Officer, Chairman of the Board, and President of MERL Holdings
Inc.com.  

In its complaint, the Commission had alleged that Johnson
inflated the assets and financial results of MERL in two      
registration statements filed by the company with the  
Commission and disseminated to the public. According to the
complaint, which was filed on Nov. 18, 2002, Johnson
orchestrated a fraudulent scheme in which:   

     (1) MERL improperly consolidated a purported subsidiary in
         its 1997 and 1998 financial statements;  

     (2) MERL artificially inflated the value of certain assets
         and a customer list recorded in its financial
         statements;

     (3) MERL filed with the Commission two registration
         statements which contained textual sections that
         materially mischaracterized the financial health  of  
         the company;  

     (4) MERL falsely represented that none of its officers or
         directors  had  been involved in any legal proceedings  
         material to an evaluation of their ability or
         integrity, when Johnson had been criminally convicted
         in 1990 for willful misapplication of  funds;  and
     
     (5) Johnson benefited from his fraudulent scheme by
         avoiding losses or becoming unjustly enriched by
         selling MERL stock and using material nonpublic    
         information concerning the company's accounting
         irregularities.

The Court will hold further proceedings concerning remedies. The
Commission seeks to enjoin Johnson permanently from violating  
Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the
Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and seeks
civil monetary penalties against Johnson. The Commission further
seeks to bar Johnson permanently from serving as an officer or
director of any public company and also seeks under Section 603  
of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 to bar him permanently from
any future participation in the offering of any penny stock.  
Finally, the Commission seeks disgorgement, prejudgment interest
and penalties from Johnson for his insider trading.


MICROWAVE POPCORN: Vapors From Bags Probed Amid Disease Links
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the first direct study of chemicals contained in one of the
nation's most popular snack foods, the EPA's Indoor Environment
Management Branch at Research Triangle Park, N.C., is examining
the type and amount of chemicals emitted from microwave popcorn
bags following reports linking exposure to vapors from butter
flavoring in microwave popcorn to a rare lung disease contracted
by factory workers in four states, the Associated Press reports.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has
said it suspects the chemical diacetyl caused the illnesses.
However, health officials insist people who microwave popcorn
and eat it at home are not in danger. Further research would be
needed to determine any health effects of those chemicals and
whether consumers are at risk, Jacky Rosati, an EPA scientist
involved in the study, told the AP. "Once we know what chemicals
are and the amounts, somebody else can look at the health
effects," Rosati said Wednesday.

About 50 brands, batches and flavors of microwave popcorn - from
super-buttery to sugary sweet "kettle corn" - are being tested,
she said. "Obviously, we are looking at diacetyl because it is a
known compound that will come off this popcorn. But we're not
looking at that alone," Rosati said. Rosati started the study
after hearing a presentation on popcorn workers who became sick
at the Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. plant in Jasper, Mo.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has
linked diacetyl to the respiratory illnesses found in workers
who mix the microwave popcorn flavorings. Investigators believe
the chemical becomes hazardous when it is heated and there is
repeated exposure to large quantities over a long time.
Thirty former workers at the Jasper plant have suing two butter
flavoring manufacturers.

The Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association based in
Washington, D.C., said the flavor ingredients in microwave
popcorn pose no threat to consumers. The Food and Drug
Administration, which regulates food additives, also considers
butter flavoring to be safe for consumer use. United States
consumers bought $1.33 billion worth of microwave popcorn in
2000, said Ann Wilkes, spokeswoman for the Snack Food
Association.


MUTUAL FUNDS: SEC Proposes Fund Manager Disclosures Amid Scandal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Amid share trading scandals in the $7.5 trillion fund industry,
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Thursday
proposed that mutual funds disclose more information about their
portfolio managers, including potential conflicts of interest,
Reuters News reports.

The SEC voted 5-0 to send the proposal out for public comment,
with a final vote later by the commission. It proposed that
funds identify portfolio managers by name, title, experience and
role; describe how their pay is set, but not the pay itself; and
give dollar ranges of shares held personally by managers in the
funds they manage. The proposal also calls for disclosure of
other accounts managed by portfolio managers, such as hedge
funds or pension plans, and description of "any conflicts of
interest that may arise" as a result of handling more than one
fund at a time.

There may be up to 15,000 portfolio managers covered by the
proposal, said SEC Investment Management Director Paul Roye.
SEC Chairman William Donaldson said the commission, in working
toward a final rule, would try to balance the personal privacy
rights of portfolio managers against the rights of fund
investors to know who is handling their money and how.

Over the past six months, government investigators have shown
that some mutual fund managers have allowed improper market
timing and illegal late trading to occur in their funds. In some
instance, managers have conducted questionable trading in funds
under their own management, investigators have said.


NEVADA: Las Vegas Lawsuit Claims Toxic Dust Hurt Waste Workers
--------------------------------------------------------------
A former tunnel worker at the nation's nuclear waste dump in the
Nevada desert sued government contractors Thursday, claiming the
companies deliberately exposed employees to toxic dust at the
Yucca Mountain project, the Associated Press reports.

The civil lawsuit, filed in state court in Las Vegas, seeks
class action status and unspecified damages. It claims the
companies knew workers and visitors were exposed to dangerous
levels of silica and other toxic dust during tunneling from 1992
to 1996. "This lawsuit will expose an outrageous fraud against
the work force and even the visitors at Yucca Mountain, one
that's already killing people," plaintiff Gene Griego, who
worked as a tunnel supervisor at the Yucca Mountain site, told
the AP. Griego, a nonsmoker who lives in Las Vegas, was
diagnosed last year with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The lawsuit names Bechtel Corp. and its Nevada subsidiaries on
the Yucca Mountain project, as well as Bechtel SAIC Corp. of
Delaware. A Bechtel spokesman declined comment on the suit
Thursday. Also named: Kiewit Group of Delaware; Parsons
Brinckerhoff Construction of Delaware and subsidiaries;
Morrison-Knudson, now known as Washington Group International of
Delaware; and TRW Automotive Holdings of Delaware and
subsidiaries.

The Energy Department developed the Yucca site and gained Bush
administration and congressional approval in 2002 to bury 77,000
tons of the nation's most radioactive waste at the site, 90
miles northwest of Las Vegas. The agency plans to apply to the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission by the end of the year for a
license to operate the waste site. Energy Department spokesman
Joe Davis said Thursday that because the DOE was not named as a
party to the lawsuit, it would not comment.

Silicosis is a chronic, progressive and incurable lung disease
that can develop years after long-term exposure to silica dust.
It can be debilitating or even fatal. In January, Yucca Mountain
project managers began a lung disease screening program for
current and former workers, saying up to 1,500 of them may have
inhaled airborne silica. Last month, the Energy Department began
investigating whether documents were altered to misrepresent
potentially hazardous dust levels at the site.


PATINA OIL: Faces Lawsuit Filed by Colorado Royalty Owners
----------------------------------------------------------
A recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court limiting the
deductibility of certain post-production costs to be borne by
royalty interest owners has resulted in uncertainty of these
deductions insofar as they relate to the Colorado operations of
Patina Oil & Gas Corporation.

The Company has been named as a party to a related lawsuit which
plaintiff seeks to certify as a class action.  The Company filed
a response to the lawsuit and intends to vigorously defend the
action.  Any potential liability from this claim cannot
currently be reasonably estimated, and no provision has been
accrued for this matter in the Company's financial statements.  

For more information, contact Patina Oil & Gas Corporation by
Mail: 1625 Broadway Ste 2000, Denver CO 80202 or by Phone:
(303)-592-8500


PENNSYVANIA: Court Grants Partial Judgment In Non-Union Fee Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania granted Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary
Judgment of a lawsuit brought against the Pennsylvania State
Corrections Officers Association, on behalf of Non-union
correction workers Leroy Robinson and Jay Dino, et al.,
alleging violations of their First Amendment speech rights by
collecting a fair share fee without prior notice justifying the
fee.
       
Plaintiffs claim that defendant, the Pennsylvania State
Corrections Officers Association, exclusive bargaining
representative for the employees, violated their First Amendment
rights by collecting a "fair share fee" without prior notice
justifying the fee.  The Association contends that it was
excused from offering such notice because, as a new
organization, it lacked a history of expenditures on which
to base a fair share fee calculation. The question presented is
whether a "new union" exception exists to the constitutional
requirement that unions provide notice to nonunion employees
explaining the basis of a fair share fee prior to collection.  

The Association was formed in 2001 to serve as the collective
bargaining representative for employees of state correctional
and forensic facilities. During that year, the Commonwealth of
Pennsylvania decertified the incumbent collective bargaining
unit and certified the Association as the new exclusive
representative for the employees. Shortly thereafter, the
Commonwealth and the Association executed a new collective
bargaining agreement governing terms and conditions of
employment for these individuals.

One provision of the agreement required the Commonwealth to
deduct "fair share fees" from nonunion employees and to remit
these fees to the Association to finance its bargaining
activities. Officials of the Association, after reviewing the
expenditures of its predecessor, determined that a fee of one
percent of nonunion employees' gross pay was appropriate to meet
the Association's expenses. The Association neither notified
employees that the fee would be charged nor disclosed the method
used to calculate the one percent fee.  The Commonwealth began
deducting the fee from salaries of nonunion employees in
December 2001, remitting these amounts to the Association.  
      
In June 2002, plaintiffs filed a complaint on behalf of all
nonunion employees required to pay the fair share fee, claiming
that collection of the fee without prior notice of the method of
calculation violates the First Amendment rights of nonunion     
employees. Defendants filed an answer admitting that the fair
share fee had been deducted from nonunion employees' salaries
without such notice but denying that this resulted in a
constitutional violation.

On March 15, 2003, the Association issued to nonunion employees
a notice of a change in the fair share fee.  The notice listed
the categories of expenses incurred by the Association in
previous years and distinguished between expenditures related to
non-ideological activities (chargeable to nonunion employees)
and those related to ideological activities (not chargeable to
these employees). Based on audited financial statements from
previous years, the union set the new fair share fee at 1.17% of
gross salary. The notice also advised individuals that they
could challenge the computation of the fee before an independent
arbitrator and that all deductions would be held in escrow
pending resolution of the objections.
      
In July 2003, plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on
the issue of whether collection of fair share fees before March
15, 2003, violated the First Amendment rights of nonunion
employees. Plaintiffs seek an order declaring a constitutional
violation and directing defendants to account for and disgorge
all fees collected from nonunion employees during this period.


PITNEY BOWES: Unit's Lease Contract Subject of Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------
Pitney Bowes Inc. is a defendant in several purported class
actions related to the program its wholly owned subsidiary,
Pitney Bowes Credit Corporation (PBCC), offers to some of its
leasing customers to replace the leased equipment if it is lost,
stolen or destroyed.  Each of these actions alleges generally
that the PBCC program is mischaracterized in the lease contract
and is not properly communicated to the customers.

Based on the only currently pending class certification motions,
in California and Alabama, it appears that plaintiffs are
requesting class-wide relief on their breach of contract claims
only and that the class-wide damages sought are reimbursement of
the fees paid. The complaints also seek to enjoin PBCC from
offering the program in the future. The currently pending
purported class actions are:

(1) Boston Reed v. Pitney Bowes, et al. (Superior Court of
    California, County of Napa, filed January 16, 2002) (class
    and representative action purportedly on behalf of
    California customers, February 1998 to the present; the
    summary judgment motion is ready for decision);

(2) Harbin, et al. v. Pitney Bowes, et al. (Montgomery, Alabama
    Circuit Court, filed March 19, 2002) (class action
    purportedly on behalf of Alabama customers, dating from
    March 1996 to the present; the motion for summary judgment
    was denied in February 2004 but the court has granted the
    company the right to seek an immediate appeal of key aspects
    of that decision; the class certification motion is ready
    for decision with either party having the right to an
    immediate appeal of an adverse decision);

(3) McFerrin Insurance v. Pitney Bowes, et al. (District Court,
    Jefferson County, Texas, filed May 29, 2002) (class action

    amended to be on behalf of a purported national class in
    September 2003);

(4) Comsentech, Inc., et al. v. Pitney Bowes Credit Corporation
    (United States District Court, Western District of
    Louisiana, filed March 31, 2003) (class action purportedly
    on behalf of Louisiana customers, with no date limitation
    disclosed);

(5) Cred-X v. Pitney Bowes, et al. (Circuit Court, Kanawha   
    County West Virginia, filed November 19, 2003) (class action
    purportedly on behalf of West Virginia customers with one
    claim purportedly on behalf of a national class of
    customers, with no date limitation disclosed).

In addition to these purported class actions, there are several
individual actions brought on behalf of Mississippi customers.

"We have previously prevailed at the summary judgment stage in
two similar litigations, including one federal court decision
affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit," Pitney Bowes Inc. said in a latest SEC filing.

For more information, contact Pitney Bowes Inc. by Mail: World
Headquarters 61-11, One Elmcroft Road, Stamford CT 06926 or by
Phone: (203) 356-5000


PREMCOR REFINING: Lawsuit Seeking Certification Moved to S.D. IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
In July 2003, approximately 12 residents of the Village of
Hartford, Illinois filed a lawsuit against Premcor Refining
Group, Inc. and a prior owner of the Hartford refinery alleging
personal injury and property damage due to releases from the
refinery and related pipelines.

The plaintiffs are seeking class certification and unspecified
damages.  The case, entitled Sparks, et al. v. The Premcor
Refining Group, Inc., et al. has been removed to the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.

For more information, contact Premcor Refining Group Inc. by
Mail: 8182 Maryland Ave, C/O Milton Burmaster, St Louis MO
63105-3721 or by Phone: (314) 854-9696


PREMCOR REFINING: Port Arthur TX Residents Seek Damages
-------------------------------------------------------
In June 2003, approximately 700 residents of Port Arthur, Texas
filed a lawsuit against Premcor Refining Group, Inc. and five
other companies alleging personal injuries and property damage
from emissions from refining and chemical facilities in the
area.

The plaintiffs are seeking class certification, unspecified
damages and the establishment of a trust fund for health
concerns. The case is entitled Marion L Aaron, et al. Premcor
Refining Group Inc. et al. and is filed in Judicial District
Court of Jefferson County, Texas.

For more information, contact Premcor Refining Group Inc. by
Mail: 8182 Maryland Ave, C/O Milton Burmaster, St Louis MO
63105-3721 or by Phone: (314) 854-9696


PREMCOR REFINING: Wants MTBE Lawsuits Consolidated in New York
--------------------------------------------------------------
During the fourth quarter of 2003 and continuing, Premcor
Refining Group, Inc. has been named in approximately 35 cases,
along with dozens of other companies, filed in approximately 12
states concerning the use of methyl-tertiary butyl ether, or
MTBE.

The cases contain allegations that MTBE is defective. The cases
are in various procedural stages with defendants attempting to
remove the cases to federal court and consolidate them in the
Southern District of New York under the rules for Multi-District
Litigation, or MDL. The cases are before the Judicial Panel on
MDL Docket No. 1358, In Re: Methyl-Tertiary Butyl Ether Products
Liability Litigation.  

For more information, contact Premcor Refining Group Inc. by
Mail: 8182 Maryland Ave, C/O Milton Burmaster, St Louis MO
63105-3721 or by Phone: (314) 854-9696


PREMCOR REFINING: 'Blue Island' Lawsuits Consolidated in IL
-----------------------------------------------------------
In October 1994, Blue Island refinery of Premcor Refining Group,
Inc. experienced an accidental release of used catalyst into the
air. In October 1995, a class action, Rosolowski v. Clark
Refining & Marketing, Inc., et al., was filed against the
company seeking to recover damages in an unspecified amount for
alleged property damage and personal injury resulting from that
catalyst release.

The complaint underlying this action was later amended to add
allegations of subsequent events that allegedly diminished
property values.  In June 2000, the Blue Island refinery
experienced an electrical malfunction that resulted in another
accidental release of used catalyst into the air.  Following the
2000 catalyst release, two cases were filed purporting to be
class actions, Madrigal et al. v. The Premcor Refining Group
Inc. and Mason et al. v. The Premcor Refining Group Inc. Both
cases seek damages in an unspecified amount for alleged property
damage and personal injury resulting from that catalyst release.

These cases have been consolidated for the purpose of conducting
discovery, which is currently proceeding.  All three cases are
pending in Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

For more information, contact Premcor Refining Group Inc. by
Mail: 8182 Maryland Ave, C/O Milton Burmaster, St Louis MO
63105-3721 or by Phone: (314) 854-9696


QUICKLOGIC CORPORATION: Approval of Proposed Settlement Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
A putative securities class action was filed on October 26, 2001
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
against some investment banks that underwrote QuickLogic's
initial public offering, QuickLogic and some of QuickLogic's
officers and directors.  This lawsuit is now captioned In re
QuickLogic Corp. Initial Public Offering Sec. Litig., Case
No.01-cv-9503.

The complaint alleges excessive and undisclosed commissions in
connection with the allocation of shares of common stock in
QuickLogic's initial and secondary public offerings and
artificially high prices through "tie-in" arrangements, which
required the underwriters' customers to buy shares in the
aftermarket at pre-determined prices in violation of the federal
securities laws.  Plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of
damages on behalf of persons who purchased QuickLogic's stock
pursuant to the registration statements between October 14, 1999
and December 6, 2000.  On April 19, 2002, plaintiffs filed an
amended complaint.

Various plaintiffs have filed similar actions asserting
virtually identical allegations against over 300 other public
companies, their underwriters, and their officers and directors
arising out of each company's public offering. These actions,
including the action against QuickLogic, have been coordinated
for pretrial purposes and captioned In re Initial Public
Offering Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92.  Defendants in these
cases filed an omnibus motion to dismiss on common pleading
issues.

In October 2002, QuickLogic's officers and directors were
voluntarily dismissed without prejudice. On February 19, 2003,
the court denied in part and granted in part the motion to
dismiss filed on behalf of defendants, including QuickLogic. The
court's order did not dismiss any claims against QuickLogic. As
a result, discovery may proceed.  

A proposal to settle the claims against all of the issuers and
individual defendants in the coordinated litigation was
conditionally accepted by the company in June 2003. The
completion of the settlement is subject to a number of
conditions, including Court approval.  Under the settlement, the
plaintiffs will dismiss and release all claims against
participating defendants in exchange for a contingent payment
guaranty by the insurance companies collectively responsible for
insuring the issuers in all the related cases, and the
assignment or surrender to the plaintiffs of certain claims the
issuer defendants may have against the underwriters. Under the
guaranty, the insurers will be required to pay the amount, if
any, by which $1.0 billion exceeds the aggregate amount
ultimately collected by the plaintiffs from the underwriter
defendants in all the cases.

For more information, contact QuickLogic Corporation by Mail:
1277 Orleans Dr, Sunnyvale CA 94089-1138 or by Phone:
(408) 990-4000


QUICKLOGIC CORPORATION: Tower Shareholders Bring Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
On July 3, 2003, a putative securities class action was filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by
shareholders of Tower against Tower, several of its directors,
and several of its investors, including QuickLogic.  

QuickLogic was named solely as an alleged control person.
Although the case is in its earliest stages, QuickLogic
Corporation believes it has meritorious defenses and intends to
defend the case vigorously.

For more information, contact QuickLogic Corporation by Mail:
1277 Orleans Dr, Sunnyvale CA 94089-1138 or by Phone:
(408) 990-4000


SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: MA High Court Rules In Favor Of Gay Weddings
----------------------------------------------------------------
The gay-marriage debate has roiled in states and cities from
California to tiny New Palz, N.Y., but none with as much at
stake as Massachusetts, the first state whose highest court has
ruled that gays have a constitutional right to wed, the
Associated Press reports.

On this much, advocates on both sides agree: Just how
Massachusetts lawmakers volley the Supreme Judicial Court's
mandate to begin issuing gay marriage licenses May 17 could be a
bellwether for the issue's national course. "The fact that this
is the first place - the first test is always the most
important," said Rep. Liz Malia, D-Boston, one of three openly
gay legislators.

Lawmakers failed to agree last month on a proposed amendment
that banned gay marriage but allowed civil unions, and that same
compromise - deemed not good enough by many on both sides - was
again in play. Nationally, much has developed since last month's
deadlock. San Francisco started issuing marriage licenses to gay
couples, a legally questionable move soon followed by cities
both large and small. As thousands rushed to wed, President Bush
urged Congress to move swiftly to enact a federal ban on same-
sex marriages.

But nowhere have lawmakers been faced with a message as strong
as the one Massachusetts' highest court sent in November. The
court's order sparked a legislative scramble to amend the state
constitution to ban gay marriages. But the earliest the
constitution could be amended is 2006. Whatever action lawmakers
take should not bear too much weight nationally because it still
must clear several legislative hurdles before reaching voters,
said Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and
Lesbian Political Caucus. "So for at least two and a half years,
gay people will be able to marry, and that's what has upset non-
Massachusetts folks the most," Isaacson said.

Reaching any accord has been difficult, with lawmakers as
divided as the general public on an issue that is inextricably
linked to tradition, religion and sexuality. Lawmakers suspended
their last constitutional convention Feb. 12 after two days of
emotional debate ended with three failed attempts at passing a
proposed ban.

The liberal "progressive" faction, accustomed to making futile
speeches for higher taxes and more social spending, met
Wednesday to determine how to best utilize its block of votes:
Should they support the current amendment to legalize civil
unions as the better of two evils? Oppose it because of the ban?
Or vote strategically, supporting it to move the process along,
only to withdraw their support when the final vote arrives?
House Republicans, meanwhile, who hold 23 seats in the 160-
member chamber, also could deliver a powerful block. Most voted
against a proposal similar to the one currently before the
Legislature, helping to derail it.

While House Speaker Thomas Finneran and Senate President Robert
Travaglini continue to predict a new version will pass, the
number of competing factions within the Legislature left the
outcome of uncertain. "There are splits everywhere. There are
splits among the progressives, the moderates, our opponents,"
Isaacson said.

While there was growing speculation that a combination of
fatigue and pragmatism would lead to compromise, legislators
said they learned one important lesson from round one of the
debate - that nothing is predictable. "There's still a lot of
intrigue out there. There's still a lot of questions," said
Senate Minority Leader Brian Lees, a Republican whose name is on
the current amendment.


SONIC AUTOMOTIVE: Appeals Court Affirms TADA Suit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
Several Texas dealership subsidiaries of Sonic Automotive, Inc.
have been named in three class action lawsuits brought against
the Texas Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) and new vehicle
dealerships in Texas that are members of the TADA. Approximately
630 Texas dealerships are named as defendants in two of the
actions, and approximately 700 Texas dealerships are named as
defendants in the other action.

The three actions allege that since January 1994, Texas
automobile dealerships have deceived customers with respect to a
vehicle inventory tax and violated federal antitrust and other
laws.  In two of the actions, the Texas state court certified
two classes of consumers on whose behalf the actions would
proceed. The Texas Court of Appeals has affirmed the trial
court's order of class certification in the state actions.

"Our dealership subsidiary defendants and the other Texas
dealership defendants are appealing that ruling to the Texas
Supreme Court.  The federal court has conditionally certified a
class of consumers in the federal antitrust case.  Our
dealership subsidiary defendants and the other Texas dealership
defendants are also appealing that ruling to the U.S. Court of
Appeals, Fifth Circuit," Sonic Automotive, Inc. said in its
latest SEC disclosure.   

"If the TADA matters are not settled, we intend to vigorously
defend ourselves and assert available defenses.  In addition, we
may have rights of indemnification with respect to certain
aspects of the TADA matters.  However, an adverse resolution of
the TADA matters may result in the payment of significant costs
and damages, which could have a material adverse effect on our
future results of operations and cash flows," the company said.   

For more information, contact Sonic Automotive, Inc. by Mail:
5401 East Independence Blvd, P.O. Box 18747, Charlotte NC 28212
or by Phone: (704) 532-3354


SPRINT CORPORATION: Sets Aside $50M to Settle NY Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
In early March, 2004, six purported class action lawsuits
relating to the recombination of the tracking stocks were filed
against Sprint Corporation and its directors by PCS common
stockholders.  One suit was filed in the Supreme Court of the
State of New York, which is that state's trial court; the
remaining five were filed in the District Court of Johnson
County, Kansas.  The actions allege breach of fiduciary duty in
connection with the approval of the recombination, and seek
injunctive relief or monetary damages.  

In December 2003, the respective courts approved the settlements
in the derivative action filed in 2000 by Amalgamated Bank, an
institutional shareholder, and in the securities class action
filed in 2001 by New England Healthcare Employees Pension Fund
and other institutional shareholders. The derivative complaint
alleged that the individual defendants breached their fiduciary
duties to Sprint and were unjustly enriched by making
undisclosed amendments to Sprint's stock option plans, by
failing to disclose certain information concerning regulatory
approval of the proposed merger of Sprint and WorldCom, and by
overstating Sprint's earnings for the first quarter of 2000.

The class action lawsuit alleged violations of the federal
securities laws based on similar allegations. The derivative
settlement included the adoption of certain corporate governance
enhancements, certain restrictions on stock and options by
individual defendants, and an award of attorneys' fees to
plaintiff's counsel in the form of Sprint stock.

The securities class action settlement provided for the payment
of a total of $50 million to the plaintiff class. Sprint has
recognized $40 million in insurance recoveries related to this
action. Sprint does not expect to recover any additional
insurance related to this action.

For more information, contact Sprint Corporation by Mail: P.O.  
Box 11315, Kansas City MO 64112 or by Phone: (913) 624-3000


SPRINT CORPORATION: Execs Face Suit for Alleged ERISA Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
In April and May 2003, three putative class action lawsuits were
filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas by
individual participants in the Sprint Retirement Savings Plan
and the Centel Retirement Savings Plan for Bargaining Unit
Employees against Sprint Corporation, the plan committees, and
various current and former officers of Sprint.

In November 2003, a consolidated amended complaint was filed,
naming additional officers and directors and Fidelity
Management, the plan trustee, as defendants.  In December, two
additional complaints, making identical allegations, were filed
and then also consolidated.

The lawsuits allege that defendants breached their fiduciary
duties to the plans and violated the ERISA statutes by including
FON and PCS stock among the more than thirty investment options
offered to plan participants, and seek to recover any decline in
the value of FON and PCS stock during the class period.   

For more information, contact Sprint Corporation by Mail: P.O.  
Box 11315, Kansas City MO 64112 or by Phone: (913) 624-3000


STEROID LEGISLATION: FDA To Crack Down On Supplemental Androgen
---------------------------------------------------------------
The government will crack down on the steroid-like supplement
made famous by baseball's Mark McGwire, telling companies
Thursday to quit selling androstenedione unless they can prove
it's not dangerous, the Associated Press reports.

Commonly called andro, the product is a steroid precursor - the
body uses it to make testosterone. That means it poses the same
health risks as directly using an anabolic steroid, the Food and
Drug Administration is expected to say in warnings telling 23
manufacturers to cease their production.


STEROID LEGISLATION: Lawmakers Seek Tougher Testing In Baseball
---------------------------------------------------------------
As a warning to baseball player's associations Wednesday, Sen.
John McCain said that either Baseball institutes a more
stringent drug-testing policy, such as the one in place by the
NFL, or Congress will step in and make changes, the Associated
Press reports. "Your failure to commit to addressing this issue
straight on and immediately will motivate this committee to
search for legislative remedies," Sen. McCain said.

McCain, the Senate Commerce Committee chairman, challenged union
head Donald Fehr to make changes. Fehr said he couldn't agree to
changes in the collective bargaining agreement. "I can tell you,
and the players you represent, the status quo is not
acceptable," said McCain, Arizona Republican. "And we will have
to act in some way unless the major league players' union acts
in the affirmative and rapid fashion."

Home runs have been hit at a record pace in the past decade, and
players have gotten larger and stronger. Former MVPs Jose
Canseco and Ken Caminiti have said the use of steroids was
widespread. In his State of the Union address, President Bush
appealed to sports leagues and athletes to end the use of
performance-enhancing drugs. On Thursday, the White House is
expected to endorse legislation criminalizing the use of certain
performance-enhancing drugs that currently are available without
prescriptions.

The San Francisco Chronicle, quoting information it said was
provided to federal investigators, reported last week that
steroids were given to Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary
Sheffield. Bonds, Giambi and Sheffield have denied using
steroids. That report came out of a grand jury investigation of
the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative in San Francisco. Last
month, two company executives, along with Bonds' personal
trainer and a track coach, were charged with illegally supplying
steroids to athletes. The suspicion that some of the game's
greats are using steroids has loomed over spring training,
prompting McCain to schedule a hearing and invite Fehr, baseball
commissioner Bud Selig, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFL
players' union chief Gene Upshaw.

Baseball's current labor contract, agreed to in 2002, called for
anonymous drug tests last year. Five to 7 percent of those tests
came back positive for steroids, a level which triggered testing
with penalties this year. But the program has been criticized
because players are tested only twice each season - both tests
are given within a period of a week - and the penalties are far
weaker than those in Olympic sports.

Under baseball's policy, a player doesn't face a one-year
suspension until failing five tests. The NFL has a year-round
random testing program for players and imposes immediate
suspensions on those who test positive. Selig said baseball
owners want stronger testing. Selig said he hopes to make the
sport's policy for players with minor league contracts apply to
those with major league contracts: a year-round testing plan,
with an immediate 15-game suspension for a first violation.

After the hearing, Fehr issued a statement explaining why
players should refuse additional tests, as suggested by some
reporters. "Any player is free to go to his own physician and
request a test for anything," he said. "When, however, a player
is asked to take a drug test by a third party, particularly a
member of the media, there is an inherent element of coercion in
the request. Notwithstanding the player's right to say no, he
fully understands, as does the reporter making the inquiry, that
a refusal will be taken by many as suggesting the player fears
the result, even though no such inference fairly should be
drawn. In addition, acceding to the request will put pressure on
other players to do the same thing."


STOP 'N' CASH: Faces Civil Suit Over Payday Loan Interest Rates
---------------------------------------------------------------
An Ontario woman has launched a civil suit against Stop 'N'
Cash, claiming it charges excessively high interest and fees on
the loans it provides through its franchised stores, AP/ CP
reports.

The suit was filed by Peggy Jane Davis of Leamington, Ont., who
claims to have paid effective annual interest rates well above
the legal maximum of 60 per cent on dozens of payday loans
obtained from a Stop 'N' Cash franchise in Windsor, Ont. The
claim, which has not been tested in court, alleges that Stop 'N'
Cash violates the criminal code by charging a "sham" insurance
premium on top of the 48 per cent annual interest it charges.

Class action suits have been filed by other plaintiffs against
National Money Mart Co., Cash Money Cheque Cashing Inc., Unicash
Franchising Inc. - all alleged to provide loans at high interest
rates just below the legal limit plus additional fees.

Davis is represented by Sutts, Strosberg LLP, a Windsor, Ontario
based law firm specializing in class action lawsuits. The firm
also filed a suit last August against National Money Mart on
behalf of Margaret Smith of Windsor. The latest suit seeks to
represent all persons who obtained payday loans from any Stop
'N' Cash store in Ontario on or after Jan. 1, 1998. Davis seeks
damages in the amount of all the payday loans advanced to the
class members or, alternatively, restitution in the total amount
of interest paid by the class members to Stop 'N' Cash plus $25
million in punitive damages.

Stop 'N' Cash, which has stores in Calgary, Abbotsford, B.C.,
and Saint John, N.B., couldn't be reached for comment.


TEXAS: Concerned Parties Reach $5M Settlement In Tulia Drug Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiff attorney Jeff Blackburn said Wednesday that more than
40 people snared in a now-discredited drug sting in the Texas
Panhandle town of Tulia will share $5 million as part of a
settlement, the Associated Press reports.

The agreement with the nearby city of Amarillo also ends the
multi-agency task force that ran the sting operation. It was
cheered by the NAACP and attorneys representing those arrested
in what many believe was a racially motivated operation.

"The settlement that was reached is truly historic," Blackburn
told The Associated Press. "It represents the first example of a
responsible city government putting an end to irresponsible task
force system of narcotics enforcement."

All but one of the 46 people arrested - most of them black -
will receive some portion of the $5 million. One defendant died
before going to trial and is not included in the settlement,
Blackburn said. A claims administrator will determine how the
funds will be apportioned. The settlement also will disband the
multi-agency task force that oversaw the only undercover agent
involved in the busts, Tom Coleman, whose methods and testimony
have been questioned.

Coleman, who is white, said he bought drugs from the defendants,
but he worked alone and used no audio or video surveillance. No
drugs or money were found during the arrests. Mediation is
ongoing with others named in the lawsuit - 26 counties and three
cities that were involved with the Panhandle Regional Narcotics
Trafficking Task Force. Swisher County officials earlier
approved a $250,000 settlement for those imprisoned based on
Coleman's testimony in exchange for the defendants promising not
to sue the county. Coleman no longer is an officer.

Coleman, who testified at trials that he bought cocaine from the
defendants, is scheduled to stand trial May 24 on perjury
charges related to testimony he gave during evidentiary
hearings. Former state Judge Ron Chapman, who was brought out of
retirement to preside over a review of the cases, said in a
report that Coleman was "the most devious, nonresponsive witness
this court has witnessed in 25 years on the bench in Texas."
After their arrests, some of the first defendants who went to
trial received lengthy sentences, one as much as 90 years. That
prompted other defendants to take plea agreements for lesser
terms out of fear of lengthy sentences. Gov. Rick Perry granted
pardons to 35 of those convicted.


TRANSMETA CORPORATION: Execs Settle Shareholders Suit for $5.5M
---------------------------------------------------------------
Beginning June 2001, Transmeta Corporation, its directors, and
certain of its officers were named as defendants in several
putative shareholder class actions that were consolidated in and
by the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California as In re Transmeta Corporation Securities Litigation,
Case No.C01-02450WHA.

The complaints purported to allege a class action on behalf of
persons who purchased Transmeta common stock between November 7,
2000 and July 19, 2001, and alleged violations of Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended,
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Sections 11 and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

In March 2002, the Court granted in part and denied in part
Defendants' motions to dismiss the consolidated amended
complaint. In May 2002, the Court granted in part and denied in
part defendants' motion to dismiss the second amended complaint,
and denied plaintiffs' motion for leave to file a third amended
complaint. In June 2002, defendants answered the second amended
complaint as to the sole surviving claim. In July 2002,
defendants filed a motion for summary judgment relating to that
claim. In July 2002, plaintiffs moved for class certification
and initiated discussion of a proposed settlement.

"The Company and the individual defendants believe that the
complaints are without merit and deny any liability, but because
they also wish to avoid the continuing waste of management time
and expense of litigation, they entered into an agreement in
October 2002 to settle all claims that might have been brought
in this action for approximately $5.5 million, all of which
monies have been fully funded by defendants' director and
officer liability insurance," Transmeta Corporation said in its
recent SEC filing.

In March 2003, after proper class notice and hearings, the
Court approved the settlement and entered judgment for
defendants, dismissing the action. In April 2003, a plaintiff's
law firm that was not selected by the Court to serve as class
counsel filed a notice of appeal relating to certain Court
orders addressing that firm's applications to the Court for
attorney's fees. In August 2003, on appellant's own motion, the
Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal.

For more information, contact Transmeta Corporation by Mail:
3940 Freedom Circle, 415-413-1880 Santa Clara CA 95054 or by
Phone: (408) 919-3000


TRI-STATE CREMATORY: Families To Share In $40 Million Suit Pact
---------------------------------------------------------------
The families of more than 300 people whose bodies were found
strewn across the grounds of a Georgia crematory will receive
nearly $40 million in a settlement announced Thursday with the
business and 58 funeral homes across the South, the Associated
Press reports.

The funeral homes agreed to pay $36 million and the insurer for
Tri-State Crematory $3.5 million. The Marsh family, which
operates the crematory, also agreed to preserve two acres as a
tribute to the dead. Robert Darroch, an attorney for the
families of the dead, said of the settlement: "Hopefully this
gives them a chance to get past this and heal."

The families brought a federal class-action lawsuit in 2002
after crematory operator Ray Brent Marsh was arrested and
accused of dumping 334 bodies instead of cremating them.
Investigators say he gave families cement dust instead of their
loved ones' ashes. The funeral homes in Georgia, Tennessee and
Alabama had sent the bodies to the crematory between 1988 and
2002.

Letha Shropshire of LaFayette, Ga., whose mother's body was
found on the property, said the lawsuit was not about money.
"It's just holding the Marsh family and the funeral homes
accountable," she said. Marsh still faces 787 state felony
charges. The settlement came near the end of a trial in the
lawsuit. Elizabeth Smith, a juror on the case, said she would
have "most definitely" ruled in the plaintiffs' favor if a
settlement had not been reached.


WASHINGTON: House Approves Hike Of Broadcast Indecency Fines
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved
legislation to crack down on television and radio broadcasters
who violate rules limiting indecency by sharply raising fines,
Reuters news reports.

The House bill would give the Federal Communications Commission
the authority to fine broadcasters as much as $500,000 per
violation and apply such large penalties against those on-air
personalities who willfully violate the rules.

Presently the agency can only fine broadcast stations up to
$27,500 per violation and have to warn the individuals who break
the rules before a penalty can be imposed.


                  New Securities Fraud Suits


EL PASO CORP: Berman DeValerio Files Securities Suit in S.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo initiated the
class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Texas, on behalf of all investors who
bought El Paso common stock from March 31, 2003 through and
including February 17, 2004, against defendants El Paso, and:

     (1) Ronald L. Kuehn, Jr.,

     (2) Douglas L. Foshee, and

     (3) D. Dwight Scott

The lawsuit claims that the defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the rules
and regulations promulgated thereunder, including U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 10b-5. According
to the complaint, the defendants materially misrepresented El
Paso's financial condition during the Class Period, causing the
company's stock to trade at artificially high prices.  

Specifically, El Paso reported strong proved global oil and
natural gas reserves. Proved reserves are defined as those that
can be extracted from known fields under existing economic and
operating conditions and represent a key metric in assessing an
oil company's future growth. All along, however, El Paso's
seemingly strong financial prospects were the direct result of
the defendants having artificially inflated the company's proved
reserves and, correspondingly, its potential future revenue
stream, the lawsuit says.

The truth about El Paso's finances began to emerge after the
markets closed on February 17, 2004. The company shocked the
investing public by announcing that an independent review of the
company's proved oil and gas reserves revealed that, as of
January 1, 2003, El Paso overstated such reserves by a
staggering 41%, or 3.64 trillion cubic feet. The company further
revealed that, as a direct result, it expects to take a pre-tax
charge of approximately $1 billion for the fourth quarter of
fiscal year 2004. On the heels of these revelations, El Paso's
common stock fell 17.6% from a closing price of $8.81 on
February 17, 2004 to a close of $7.26 on February 18, 2004.

For more information, contact Bryan A. Wood or Jeffrey C. Block,
by Mail: One Liberty Square, Boston, MA 02109, by Phone:
(800) 516-9926, or by E-mail: law@bermanesq.com.


FLEETBOSTON: Spector Roseman Files Securities Suit in MA Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, on behalf of purchasers, redeemers and holders of
shares of Columbia Family of Mutual Funds between February 13,
1999 through January 14, 2004, inclusive.

The following Columbia Funds are subject to this lawsuit:

     (1) Columbia Acorn Fund (Nasdaq: LACAX, LACBX, LIACX,
         ACRNX)
   
     (2) Columbia Acorn Select (Nasdaq: LTFAX, LTFBX, LTFCX,
         ACTWX)
    
     (3) Columbia Acorn USA (Nasdaq: LAUAX, LAUBX, LAUCX, AUSAX)

     (4) Columbia Asset Allocation Fund (Nasdaq: LAAAX, LAABX,
         LAACX, GBAAX, GAAAX, GAATX)

     (5) Columbia Balanced Fund (Nasdaq: CBLAX, CBLBX, CBLCX,
         CBLDX, CBALX)
    
     (6) Columbia Common Stock Fund (Nasdaq: CMSAX, CMSBX,
         CCSCX, CMSDX, CMSTX)

     (7) Columbia Disciplined Value Fund (Nasdaq: LEVAX, LEVBX,
         LEVCX, GEVBX, GALEX, GEVTX)

     (8) Columbia Dividend Income Fund (Nasdaq: LBSAX, LBSBX,
         LBSCX, GEQBX, GEQAX, GSFTX)

     (9) Columbia Growth & Income Fund (Nasdaq: CFGAX, CFGBX,
         CFGDX, LGISX)
    
    (10) Columbia Growth Fund (Nasdaq: CGWAX, CGWBX, CGWCX,
         CGWDX, CGWGX, CLMBX)
    
    (11) Columbia Growth Stock Fund (Nasdaq: CGSAX, CGSBX,
         CGSCX, SRFSX)

    (12) Columbia Large Cap Core Fund (Nasdaq: LCCAX, LCCBX,
         LCCCX, GGRBX, SGIEX, SMGIX)

    (13) Columbia Large Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq: LEGAX, LEGBX,
         LEGCX, GBEGX, GAEGX, GEGTX)

    (14) Columbia Large Company Index Fund (Nasdaq: LLIAX,
         LLIBX, LLICX, ILCIX)
    
    (15) Columbia Liberty Fund (Nasdaq: COLFX, CCFBX, CTCCX,
         CTCFX)

    (16) Columbia Mid Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq: CBSAX, CBSBX,
         CMCCX, CBSDX, CBSGX, CBSTX, CLSPX)

    (17) Columbia Mid Cap Value Fund (Nasdaq: COLGX, COGBX,
         CSVCX, LSVSX)

    (18) Columbia Real Estate Equity Fund (Nasdaq: CREAX, CREBX,
         CRECX, CREDX, CREEX)

    (19) Columbia Small Cap Fund (Nasdaq: LSMAX, LSMBX, LSMCX,
         GBSMX, SSCEX, SMCEX)
    
    (20) Columbia Small Cap Growth Fund (Nasdaq: CMSCX)
    
    (21) Columbia Small Cap Value Fund (Nasdaq: CSMIX, CSSBX,
         CSSCX, CSCZX)

    (22) Columbia Small Company Equity Fund (Nasdaq: LSEAX,
         LSEBX, LSECX, GERBX, GASEX, GSETX)

    (23) Columbia Small Company Index Fund (Nasdaq: LBIAX,
         LBIBX, LBICX, ISCIX)

     (24) Columbia Strategic Investor Fund (Nasdaq: CSVAX,
          CSVBX, CSRCX, CSVDX, CSVFX)

     (25) Columbia Tax-Managed Aggressive Growth Fund (Nasdaq:
          LTMAX, LTAGX, LTACX, LTAZX)

     (26) Columbia Tax-Managed Growth Fund (Nasdaq: STMAX,
          CTMBX, CTMCX, LMGZX)
    
     (27) Columbia Tax-Managed Growth Fund II (Nasdaq: LTGAX,
          LTIIX, LTGCX, LTGZX)
    
     (28) Columbia Tax-Managed Value Fund (Nasdaq: SRVAX, CTMVX,
          LTVCX, LTMZX)
    
     (29) Columbia Technology Fund (Nasdaq: CTCAX, CTCBX, CTHCX,
          CTCDX, CMTFX)
    
     (30) Columbia Thermostat Fund (Nasdaq: CTFAX, CTFBX, CTFDX,
          COTZX)
    
     (31) Columbia Utilities Fund (Nasdaq: CUTLX, CUTBX, CUTFX,
          LUFZX)
    
     (32) Columbia Young Investor Fund (Nasdaq: LYIAX, LYIBX,
          LYICX, SRYIX)
    
     (33) Columbia Acorn International Fund (Nasdaq: LAIAX,
          LIABX, LAICX, ACINX)

     (34) Columbia Acorn International Select Fund (Nasdaq:
          LAFAX, LFFBX, LFFCX, ACFFX)

     (35) Columbia Europe Fund (Nasdaq: NEUAX, LNEBX, LNECX,
          LNEZX)
    
     (36) Columbia European Thematic Equity Fund (Nasdaq: LSREX)
    
     (37) Columbia Global Equity Fund (Nasdaq: CGUAX, CGUBX,
          CGUCX)
    
     (38) Columbia Global Thematic Equity Fund (Nasdaq: LSRGX)

     (39) Columbia International Equity Fund (Nasdaq: LIEAX,
          LIEBX, LIECX, GBIEX, GAIEX, GIETX)

     (40) Columbia International Stock Fund (Nasdaq: CISAX,
          CISBX, CSKCX, CISDX, CMISX)

     (41) Columbia Newport Asia Pacific Fund (Nasdaq: NWAPX,
          LNABX, LNACX, LAPSX)

     (42) Columbia Newport Japan Opportunities Fund (Nasdaq:
          NJOAX, NJOBX, NJOCX, LNJZX)

     (43) Columbia Newport Greater China Fund (Nasdaq: NGCAX,
          NGCBX, NGCCX, LNGZX)
    
     (44) Columbia Newport Tiger Fund (Nasdaq: CNTAX, CNTBX,
          CNTDX, CNTTX, CNTZX)
    
     (45) Columbia Contrarian Income Fund (Nasdaq: CHINX, LCIBX,
          LCICX, LCIZX)
    
     (46) Columbia Corporate Bond Fund (Nasdaq: LBCAX, LBCBX,
          LBCCX, GCBTX)
    
     (47) Columbia Daily Income Company Fund (Nasdaq: CDIXX)
    
     (48) Columbia Federal Securities Fund (Nasdaq: CFSAX,
          CFSOX, CFSCX, LFSZX)

     (49) Columbia Fixed Income Securities Fund (Nasdaq: CFIAX,
          CFIBX, CISCX, CFIDX, CFISX)

     (50) Columbia Floating Rate Advantage Fund (Nasdaq: XSFRX,
          XSFBX, XLACX, XLAZX)
    
     (51) Columbia Floating Rate Fund (Nasdaq: XLFAX, XLSBX,
          XLFCX, XLFZX)
    
     (52) Columbia High Yield Fund (Nasdaq: CHGAX, CHGBX, CHDCX,
          CHGDX, CMHYX)
    
     (53) Columbia High Yield Opportunity Fund (Nasdaq: COLHX,
          COHBX, CHYCX, LHYZX)
    
     (54) Columbia Income Fund (Nasdaq: LIIAX, CIOBX, CIOCX,
          SRINX)
    
     (55) Columbia Intermediate Bond Fund (Nasdaq: LIBAX, LIBBX,
          LIBCX, SRBFX)

     (56) Columbia Intermediate Government Income Fund (Nasdaq:
          LIGAX, LIGBX, LIGCX, GGIBX, GALBX, GIBTX)

     (57) Columbia Money Market Fund (Nasdaq: CMMXX, CMBXX,
          CMCXX, LMZXX)

     (58) Columbia Quality Plus Bond Fund (Nasdaq: LQPAX, LQPBX,
          LQPCX, GBHQX, GAHQX, GHQTX)

     (59) Columbia Short Term Bond Fund (Nasdaq: CTBAX, CTBBX,
          CSHCX, CTBDX, CTBGX, CTBTX, CUGGX)

     (60) Columbia Strategic Income Fund (Nasdaq: COSIX, CLSBX,  
          CLSCX, LSIZX)
    
     (61) Columbia US Treasury Index Fund (Nasdaq: LUTAX, LUTBX,
          LUTCX, IUTIX)
    
     (62) Columbia California Tax-Exempt Fund (Nasdaq: CLMPX,
          CCABX, CCAOX)
     (63) Columbia Connecticut Intermediate Municipal Bond
          (Nasdaq: LCTAX, LCTBX, LCTCX, GCBBX, GCBAX, SCTEX)

     (64) Columbia Connecticut Tax-Exempt Fund (Nasdaq: COCTX,
          CCTBX, CCTCX)

     (65) Columbia Florida Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund
          (Nasdaq: LFIAX, LFIBX, LFICX, SFTEX)

     (66) Columbia High Yield Municipal Fund (Nasdaq: LHIAX,
          CHMBX, CHMCX, SRHMX)

     (67) Columbia Intermediate Tax-Exempt Bond Fund (Nasdaq:
          LITAX, LITBX, LITCX, GIMBX, GIMAX, SETMX)

     (68) Columbia Managed Municipals Fund (Nasdaq: LMMAX,
          LMMBX, LMMCX, SRMMX)

     (69) Columbia Massachusetts Intermediate Municipal Bond
          Fund (Nasdaq: LMIAX, LMIBX, LMICX, GMBBX, GMBAX,      
          SEMAX)

     (70) Columbia Massachusetts Tax-Exempt Fund (Nasdaq: COMAX,
          CMABX, COMCX)
   
     (71) Columbia Municipal Money Market Fund (Nasdaq: CXMXX,
          CMNXX, CMXXX, CMZXX)

     (72) Columbia National Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: CNLAX,
          CNLBX, CNBCX, CNLDX, CLNMX)

     (73) Columbia New Jersey Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund
          (Nasdaq: LNIAX, LNIBX, LNICX, GNJBX, GNJAX, GNJTX)

     (74) Columbia New York Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund
          (Nasdaq: LNYAX, LNYBX, LNYCX, GBNYX, GANYX, GNYTX)

     (75) Columbia New York Tax-Exempt Fund (Nasdaq: COLNX,
          CNYBX, CNYCX)

     (76) Columbia Oregon Municipal Bond Fund (Nasdaq: COEAX,
          COEBX, CORCX, COEDX, CMBFX)

     (77) Columbia Pennsylvania Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund
          (Nasdaq: LPIAX, LPIBX, LPICX, GTPAX)

     (78) Columbia Rhode Island Intermediate Municipal Bond Fund
          (Nasdaq: LRIAX, LRIBX, LRICX, GRBBX, GRBAX, GRITX)

     (79) Columbia Tax-Exempt Fund (Nasdaq: COLTX, CTEBX, COLCX)
    
     (80) Columbia Tax-Exempt Insured Fund (Nasdaq: CEXIX,
          CEIBX, CEINX)

The Complaint charges FleetBoston Financial Corporation,
Columbia Management Group, Inc., Columbia Management Advisors,
Inc., Columbia Wanger Asset Management, L.P., the Columbia
Funds, and the Doe Defendants with violations of the Securities
Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment
Company Act of 1940, and with common law fiduciary duties.

Specifically, the Complaint alleges that during the Class Period
the defendants engaged in illegal and improper trading
practices, which caused financial injury to the Shareholders of
the Columbia Mutual Funds. According to the Complaint, the
Defendants surreptitiously permitted certain favored investors,
to illegally engage in "market timing" of the Columbia Mutual
Funds whereby favored investors were permitted to conduct short-
term, "in and out" trading of mutual fund shares, despite
explicit restrictions on such activity in the Columbia Family of
Mutual Funds' prospectuses.

For more information, contact Robert M. Roseman, by Phone:
888-844-5862 (toll free), by E-mail: classaction@srk-law.com, or
visit the firm's Web site: http://www.srk-law.com.


ITT EDUCATIONAL: Lasky & Rifkind Launches Securities Suit in IN
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd. initiated a lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, on behalf
of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired publicly traded
securities of ITT Educational Services, Inc. between April 17,
2003 and February 24, 2004, inclusive, against defendants ITT
Educational, and:

     (1) Rene R. Champagne,

     (2) Omer E. Waddles, and

     (3) Kevin M. Modany

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. Specifically the complaint alleges that
during the Class Period ITT Educational issued numerous press
releases and filings with the SEC, highlighting the Company's
improving financial performance and demand for its educational
programs. In addition, ITT Educational also highlighted that the
majority of its revenues are derived from government sponsored
Title IV programs.

According to the complaint, however, these statements were
materially false and misleading because they failed to disclose
that ITT Educational had systematically falsified records
relating to enrollment, graduation and job placement rates in
order to artificially inflate its reported operational and
financial performance, that a material portion of the Company's
revenues were derived through fraudulent business practices
based upon false statistics submitted to the government.

On February 25, 2004, the Company issued a press release
announcing it had been served with a search warrant and related
grand jury subpoenas at its headquarters location and 10 of its
77 schools. In reaction to this announcement, shares of ITT
Educational fell dramatically, falling from $57.40 per share on
February 24, 2004 to close at $38.50 on February 25, 2004,
representing a one day decline of 33% on extremely heavy volume.
On March 9, 2004, ITT Educational announced the SEC had begun an
inquiry in to the matter and disclosed an investigation that was
ongoing for nearly 17 months that had not previously been
disclosed and deemed not material by the Company.

For more information, contact (800) 495-1868 to speak with an
advisor.


JANUS CAPITAL: Milberg Weiss Commences Securities Suit in CO
------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss initiated a class action lawsuit in the United
States District Court for the District of Colorado, on behalf of
an institutional investor on behalf of purchasers of Janus
Capital Group Inc. common stock during the period between
January 30, 2001 and September 3, 2003.

The complaint alleges that the true facts, which were known by
each of the defendants but concealed from the investing public
during the Class Period, were as follows:

     (i) upon disclosure of defendants' improper "market timing"
         activities, the Company's top clients would (and
         ultimately did) terminate the Company as their
         investment manager, thereby eviscerating shareholder     
         wealth and the Company's forward projections;

    (ii) defendants failed to provide adequate disclosure in the
         Company's fund prospectuses regarding market timing by
         certain plan participants;

   (iii) defendants failed to halt market timing activity by one
         group of Janus shareholders, which was financially
         harmful to Janus' long-term shareholders;

    (iv) defendants permitted portfolio fund managers to engage
         in market timing and short-term trading activity in the
         Janus funds they managed and for which they were in
         possession of material non-public information;

     (v) defendants failed to take meaningful action to halt the
         fund managers' unethical activities;

    (vi) defendants failed to disclose the fund managers'
         unethical and economically harmful activity;

   (vii) defendants permitted certain shareholders to engage in  
         activity that:

          (a) violated the policy disclosed in the fund
              prospectuses;

          (b) violated other shareholders' expectations as to
              how that policy would be applied; and

          (c) caused harm to the performance and value of the
              Janus funds and to the ultimate return of long-
              term shareholders;

  (viii) defendants permitted fund managers to engage in
         activity that violated the policy against market timing
         and short-term trading disclosed in the prospectuses;

    (ix) the Company's income was being eroded due to, among
         other things, increased transaction costs associated
         with high levels of the trading discussed above;

     (x) defendants' acts generated unwanted taxable capital
         gains distributions where fund managers were forced to
         liquidate holdings to meet redemption needs; and

    (xi) defendants' acts disrupted stated portfolio management
         strategies.

As a result of the defendants' false statements, Janus' stock
price traded at inflated levels during the Class Period,
increasing to as high as $43.20 per share. In September 2003,
Janus disclosed that one of its officers had resigned amid the
allegations that Janus was involved in improper mutual fund
trading. In fact, the officer was named in New York Attorney
General Eliot Spitzer's complaint of September 3, 2003, which
initiated the investigation of the mutual fund industry.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman, Peter E. Seidman,
or Andrei V. Rado, by Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl.,
New York, NY, 10119-0165, by Phone: (800) 320-5081, or visit the
firm's Web site: http://www.milberg.com.


PIMCO FUNDS: Spector Roseman Commences Securities Suit in NJ
------------------------------------------------------------
Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey, on behalf of purchasers, redeemers and holders of
shares of PIMCO Mutual Funds, between February 13, 1999 through
February 17, 2004, inclusive.

The following PIMCO Funds are subject to this lawsuit:

     (1) PIMCO All Asset Fund (Sym: PASAX, PASBX, PASCX, PAAIX,
         PAALX)

     (2) PIMCO Asset Allocation Fund (Sym: PALAX, PALBX, PALCX)

     (3) PIMCO CA Intermediate Muni Bond Fund (Sym: PCMBX,
         PCIMX)

     (4) PIMCO CA Muni Bond Fund (Sym: PCAAX, PICMX)

     (5) PIMCO CCM Capital Appreciation Fund (Sym: PCFAX, PFCBX,
         PFCCX, PAPIX)

     (6) PIMCO CCM Mid-Cap Fund (Sym: PFMAX, PFMBX, PFMCX,
         PGMIX)

     (7) PIMCO CommodityRealReturn Strategy Fund (Sym: PCRAX,
         PCRBX, PCRCX, PCRIX)

     (8) PIMCO Diversified Income Fund (Sym: PDVAX, PDVBX,
         PDICX, PDIIX)

     (9) PIMCO Emerging Markets Bond Fund (Sym: PAEMX, PBEMX,
         PEBCX, PEBIX)

    (10) PIMCO Foreign Bond Fund (Sym: PFOAX, PFOBX, PFOCX,
         PFORX)

    (11) PIMCO GNMA Fund (Sym: PAGNX, PGGNX, PCGNX, PDMIX)

    (12) PIMCO Global Bond II Fund (Sym: PAIIX, PBIIX, PCIIX,
         PGBIX)

    (13) PIMCO High Yield Fund (Sym: PHDAX, PHDBX, PHDCX, PHIYX)

    (14) PIMCO International StocksPlus TR Strategy Fund (Sym:
         PIPAX, PIPBX, PIPCX)

    (15) PIMCO Investment Grade Corporate Bond Fund (Sym: PIGIX)

    (16) PIMCO Long-Term U.S. Govt. Fund (Sym: PFGAX, PGGBX,
         PFGCX, PGOVX)

    (17) PIMCO Low Duration Fund (Sym: PTLAX, PTLBX, PTLCX,
         PLDTX)

    (18) PIMCO Low Duration II Fund (Sym: PLDTX)

    (19) PIMCO Low Duration III Fund (Sym: PLDIX)

    (20) PIMCO Moderate Duration Fund (Sym: PMDRX)

    (21) PIMCO Money Market Fund (Sym: PYAXX, PYCXX, PKCXX,
         PMIXX)

    (22) PIMCO Municipal Bond Fund (Sym: PMLAX, PNFBX, PMLCX,
         PFMIX)

    (23) PIMCO NACM Flex-Cap Fund (Sym: PNFAX, PNFBX, PNFCX)

    (24) PIMCO NACM Global Fund (Sym: NGBAX, NGBBX, NGBCX)

    (25) PIMCO NACM Growth Fund (Sym: NGWAX, NGWBX, NGWCX

    (26) PIMCO NACM International Fund (Sym: PILAX, PILBX,
         PILCX)

    (27) PIMCO NACM Pacific Rim Fund (Sym: PPRAX, PPRBX, PPRCX,
         NAPRX)

    (28) PIMCO NACM Value Fund (Sym: PVUAX, PVUBX, PVUCX)

    (29) PIMCO NFJ Dividend Value Fund (Sym: PNEAX, PNEBX,
         PNECX, NFJEX)

    (30) PIMCO NFJ Large-Cap Value Fund (Sym: PNBAX, PNBBX,
         PNBCX)

    (31) PIMCO NFJ Small-Cap Value Fund (Sym: PCVAX, PCVBX,
         PCVCX, PSVIX)

    (32) PIMCO NY Muni Bond Fund (Sym: PNYAX)

    (33) PIMCO PEA Growth Fund (Sym: PGWAX, PGFBX, PGWCX, PGFIX)

    (34) PIMCO PEA Growth and Income Fund (Sym: PGRAX, PGRBX,
         PGNCX, PMEIX)

    (35) PIMCO PEA Innovation Fund (Sym: PIVAX, PIVBX, PIVCX,
         PIFIX)

    (36) PIMCO PEA Opportunity Fund (Sym: POPAX, PQNBX, POPCX,
         POFIX)

    (37) PIMCO PEA Renaissance Fund (Sym: PQNAX, PGNBX, PQNCX,
         PRNIX)

    (38) PIMCO PEA Target Fund (Sym: PTAAX, PTABX, PTACX, PFTIX)

    (39) PIMCO PEA Value Fund (Sym: PDLAX, PDLBX, PDLCX, PDLIX)

    (40) PIMCO RCM Biotechnology Fund (Sym: RABTX, RBBTX, RCBTX)

    (41) PIMCO RCM Global Healthcare Fund (Sym: RAGHX, RBGHX,
         RCGHX)

    (42) PIMCO RCM Global Small-Cap Fund (Sym: RGSAX, RGSBX,
         RGSCX, DGSCX)

    (43) PIMCO RCM Global Technology Fund (Sym: RAGTX, RBGTX,
         RCGTX, DRGTX)

    (44) PIMCO RCM International Growth Equity Fund (Sym: RAIGX,
         RBIGX, RCIGX, DRIEX)

    (45) PIMCO RCM Large-Cap Growth Fund (Sym: RALGX, RBLGX,
         RCLGX, DRLCX)

    (46) PIMCO RCM Mid-Cap Fund (Sym: RMDAX, RMDBX, RMDCX,
         DRMCX)

    (47) PIMCO RCM Tax-Managed Growth Fund (Sym: PMWAX, PMWBX,
         PMWCX, DRTIX)

    (48) PIMCO Real Return Fund (Sym: PRTNX, PRRBX, PRTCX,
         PRRIX, PARRX, PRRRX)

    (49) PIMCO Real Return Fund (Sym: PRRIX)

    (50) PIMCO Real Return II Fund (Sym: PIRRX)

    (51) PIMCO Real Estate Real Return Strategy Fund (Sym:
         PETAX, PETBX, PETCX)

    (52) PIMCO Short Duration Municipal Income Fund (Sym: PSDAX,
         PSDCX, PSDIX)

    (53) PIMCO Short-Term Fund (Sym: PSHAX, PTSBX, PFTCX, PTSHX)

    (54) PIMCO Stocks PLUS Fund (Sym: PSPAX, PSPBX, PSPCX,
         PSTKX)

    (55) PIMCO Stocks PLUS Total Return Fund (Sym: PTOAX, PTOBX,
         PSOCX, PSPTX

    (56) PIMCO Total Return Fund (Sym: PTTAX, PTTBX, PTTCX,
         PTTRX)

    (57) PIMCO Total Return II Fund (Sym: PMBIX

    (58) PIMCO Total Return III Fund (Sym: PTSAX)

    (59) PIMCO Total Return Mortgage Fund (Sym: PMRAX, PMRBX,
         PMRCX, PTRIX)

The Complaint charges Allianz Dresdner Asset Management of
America L.P., PIMCO Advisors Distributors, LLC, Pacific
Investment Management Company LLC, PEA Capital LLC, Pacific
Company LLC, Edward J. Stern, Canary Capital Partners, LLC,
Canary Investment Management, LLC, Canary Capital Partners, Ltd.
(collectively "Canary"), and the Doe Defendants with violations
of the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, the Investment Company Act of 1940, and with common law
breach of fiduciary duties.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that during the Class Period
the defendants engaged in illegal and improper trading
practices, which caused financial injury to the shareholders of
the PIMCO Mutual Funds. According to the Complaint, the
Defendants surreptitiously permitted certain favored investors,
including Canary, to illegally engage in "market timing" of the
PIMCO 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 PIMCO Mutual Funds' prospectuses.

For more information, contact Robert M. Roseman, by Phone:
888-844-5862 (toll free), or by E-mail: classaction@srk-law.com.


SIEBEL SYSTEMS: Bernard M. Gross Launches Securities Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bernard M. Gross, P.C. initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of all persons who purchased the common
stock of Siebel Systems, Inc. between October 1, 2001 and July
17, 2002, seeking remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of
1934, against defendants, SIEBEL SYSTEMS, INC. and:

     (1) Thomas M. Siebel,

     (2) Kenneth A. Goldman, and

     (3) R. David Schmaier

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the Exchange Act
by issuing material misrepresentations between October 1, 2001
and July 17, 2002, artificially inflating the price of Siebel
Systems shares. More specifically, the Company misrepresented
that its business and future prospects by overstating customer
acceptance of its new product offerings -- including Siebel 7
CRM -- and failed to disclose that "independent" Customer
Satisfaction Surveys which persuaded investors that a vast
majority of the Company's customers would purchase products from
the Company in the future were in fact carried out by an
affiliated company and could not be relied upon.

On July 17, 2002, the last day of the class period, Siebel
announced its second quarter June 30, 2002 earnings reporting a
precipitous drop in revenues of more than 15% and a 33%
shortfall in earnings compared to consensus analyst forecasts.
The Company also confirmed the continuing slide I demand for
Siebel Systems' products by slashing revenue forecasts for the
remainder of 2002 by an additional 25% -- or $600,000,000 below
guidance provided by defendants just six months prior. In
unusually heavy volume of 65 million shares traded, Siebel
Systems share prices dropped $2.13 on July 18 to close at $9.61.

For more information, contact Susan R. Gross or Deborah R.
Gross, by Mail: 1515 Locust Street, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA
19102, by Phone: 866-561-3600 (toll free) or 215-561-3600, or by
E-mail: susang@bernardmgross.com or debbie@bernardmgross.com.


SIEBEL SYSTEMS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of purchasers of Siebel Systems, Inc.
publicly traded securities during the period between October 1,
2001 and July 17, 2002, inclusive.

The complaint charges Siebel Systems and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. The complaint alleges that during the Class Period,
defendants issued false and misleading statements to the
marketplace that artificially inflated the price of Siebel
Systems shares. In particular, the Company misrepresented its
business and future prospects by overstating customer acceptance
of its new product offerings -- including Siebel 7 CRM -- and
failed to disclose that "independent" customer satisfaction
surveys which persuaded investors that a vast majority of the
Company's customers would purchase products from the Company in
the future were in fact carried out by an affiliated company and
could not be relied upon.

On July 17, 2002, Siebel announced its second quarter June 30,
2002 earnings reporting a precipitous drop in revenues of more
than 15% and a 33% shortfall in earnings compared to consensus
analyst forecasts. The Company also confirmed the continuing
slide in demand for Siebel Systems' products by slashing revenue
forecasts for the remainder of 2002 by an additional 25% -- or
$600,000,000 below guidance provided by defendants just six
months prior. In unusually heavy volume of 65 million shares
traded, Siebel Systems share prices dropped $2.13 on July 18 to
close at $9.61.

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: 1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706,
or by E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com.


SPX CORP: Cohen Milstein Commences Securities Suit in W.D. NC
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, P.L.L.C. initiated a lawsuit
in the United States District Court for the Western District of
North Carolina, on behalf of purchasers of the securities of SPX
Corporation between July 28, 2003 and February 26, 2004,
inclusive,  against defendants SPX and certain of its officers
and directors, including:

     (1) John B. Blystone,

     (2) Patrick J. O'Leary,

     (3) Ronald L. Winowieck,

     (4) Christopher J. Kearney, and

     (5) Lewis M. Kling

The lawsuit alleges violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. The Complaint alleges that defendants issued false and
misleading projections of the Company's fiscal year 2003
earnings per share. The complaint further alleges that
Defendants emphasized increased free cash flow and earnings per
share throughout the Class Period. Defendants failed to disclose
that these results were only made possible through a last minute
one-time gain resulting from a legal settlement, and were not
reflective of the deteriorating underlying business operations
of the Company. As a result, defendants' Class Period statements
were materially false and misleading as to the profitability of
its current organic operations and the Company's future
earnings. SPX stock plummeted 21%, on usually high trading
volume of 16 million shares, from its February 26, 2004 close of
$53.30 per share to a close of $42.00 on February 27, 2004.

Throughout the Class Period, defendants issued public statements
assuring investors that SPX was on track to meet its earnings
per share projections, when in fact, defendants knew the
Company's financial growth had materially declined. While the
investing public was shielded from the truth of the Company's
poor earnings prospects, in January and February 2004 Defendant
and CEO Blystone sold significant portions of his own SPX
holdings, amounting to over $41 million in SPX stock. On
February 27, 2004 defendants filed the 2003 Form 10-K with the
SEC, revealing the true financial condition of SPX, and that the
Company was only able to meet its EPS projections through
inclusion of a one-time gain.

For more information, contact Steven J. Toll or Hadiya Alemu, by
Mail: 1100 New York Avenue, N.W., West Tower - Suite 500,
Washington, D.C. 20005, by Phone: (888) 240-0775 or
(202) 408-4600, or by E-mail: stolldc@cmht.com or
halemu@cmht.com.


                            *********


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

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.  


                            *********


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