CAR_Public/041115.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Monday, November 15, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 226

                          Headlines

AES CORPORATION: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set January 28, 2005
AMERICAN ELECTRIC: OH Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuits
AMERICAN ELECTRIC: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Gas Futures Suit
ANNUITY AND LIFE: Suit Settlement Hearing Set January 21, 2005
AVISTA CORPORATION: WA Court Allows Securities Suit To Proceed

AXT INC.: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
BEBE STORES: Working To Settle Overtime Wage Suits in CA Courts
BSQUARE CORPORATION: Submits Stock Suit Settlement To NY Court
CANADIAN PACIFIC: ND Derailment Case To Remain in Federal Court
COACHMEN RV: Recalls Motor Homes For Filter Defect, Fire Hazard

DOLLAR FINANCIAL: Reaches Settlement For One Wage Lawsuit in CA
DOLLAR FINANCIAL: Canada Court Reverses Denial of Stay in Suit
ELECTRONIC ARTS: CA Lawyer Says Workers Readying Overtime Suit
FLEXSYS: Faces Rubber Chemical Antitrust Suits in Various Courts
FLEXSYS: Canadians Launch Two Rubber Chemical Antitrust Lawsuits

GEORGIA: Morris James Sr. Convicted Of Defrauding Elderly Blacks
GORDON TRUCKING: Reaches $235T Settlement in WA Sexual-Bias Suit
ISRAEL: Attorney Threatens To File U.S. Lawsuit V. Banks, State
KPNQWEST N.V.: Plaintiffs Launch Second Amended Securities Suit
LIONBRIDGE TECHNOLOGIES: NY Court Seeks More Info on Suit Pact

MAINE: Judge Extends Tenure Of AMHI Court Official To January 31
MERCK & CO.: IL, IN Men Commence Complaint Over Recalled VIOXX
MICROSOFT CORPORATION: CA Court Extends Deadline For Settlement
NATIONWIDE LIFE: IL Court Stays Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuit
NATIONWIDE LIFE: Asks MS Court To Dismiss Policyholder Lawsuit

NATIONWIDE LIFE: Plaintiffs Appeal AZ Securities Suit Dismissal
NATIONWIDE LIFE: Plaintiffs Appeal Annuity Holder Suit Dismissal
NATIONWIDE LIFE: Plaintiffs Oppose Summary Judgment in CT Suit
NATIONWIDE LIFE: PA Court Dismisses in Part RICO Violations Suit
NEXPRISE INC.: Submits Settlement Approval Motion To NY Court

NORTH CAROLINA: Lawsuit Over Board's Uniform Policy Dismissed
PLAINS RESOURCES: Reaches Pact for Breach of Fiduciary Duty Suit
PRIME GROUP: Part of Defendant Class In Winstar Real Estate Suit
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: CO Court Mulls Securities Suit Dismissal
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: ERISA Fraud Suit Certification Sought Anew

QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Securities Suit Remanded To CO State Court
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: CO Court To Hear Stock Suit Certification
QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Fights Ruling Vacating Settlement Approval
REMEDIA LTD.: Consumer Council Describes Deal As Insufficient
SOLUTIA INC.: Dismissal of CA Shareholder Fraud Lawsuit Sought

STATE AND COUNTY: Misled Senior Property Owners, TX Court Rules
UNICAPITAL CORPORATION: Settlement Hearing Set January 26, 2005
UNION OIL CO.: CA Consumer Group Launches Lawsuit Over Patents
UNITED STATES: ATLA Head Appeals For End To Vitriol V. Lawyers
VIRGINIA: Free Clinic Set To Receive Share Of Medco Settlement

WEST CORPORATION: Remand of Lawsuit To Ohio State Court Sought

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

AON CORPORATION: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Lawsuit in IL
ASPEN TECHNOLOGY: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Suit in MA
JAKKS PACIFIC: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
JAKKS PACIFIC: Wolf Popper Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in NY
MEDQUIST INC.: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NJ

MERCK & CO.: Scott + Scott Lodges ERISA Fraud Lawsuit in NJ
ST. PAUL TRAVELERS: Rosen Law Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in MN
STAR GAS: Pomerantz Haudek Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CT
SWIFT TRANSPORTATION: Charles J. Piven Lodges Stock Suit in AZ

                         *********

AES CORPORATION: Lawsuit Settlement Hearing Set January 28, 2005
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Indiana - Indianapolis Division will hold a fairness hearing for
the proposed settlement in the matter CRAIG IMLER, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. AES
CORPORATION, DENNIS W. BAKKE, ROGER W. SANT, and BARRY J. SHARP
(Cause No. 1:03-CV-00194-LJM-WTL) and STANLEY L. MOSKAL and
BARBARA A. MOSKAL, for themselves and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. AES CORPORATION, DENNIS W. BAKKE, ROGER W.
SANT, and BARRY J. SHARP (Cause No. 1:03-CV-0284-LJM-WTL) on
behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of
common stock of The AES Corporation, AES options or AES Bonds
between July 27, 2000 through and including November 8, 2002,
excluded from the Class are persons who acquired newly issued
shares of AES common stock on March 27, 2001, pursuant to the
Agreement and Plan of Share Exchange between AES and IPALCO
Enterprises, Inc. dated as of July 15, 2000 (but only with
respect to claims arising from their acquisition of such newly
issued AES shares).

The Court will hold a Settlement Fairness Hearing at 2:00 p.m.
on Friday, January 28, 2005, at the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Indiana, 105 U.S. Courthouse, 46
East Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

For more details, contact Gilardi & Company, LLC by Mail: P.O.
Box 990, Corte Madera, CA 94976-0990 or by Phone: (800) 447-7657
OR Maya Saxena, Esq. of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP by
Mail: 5355 Town Center Road, Suite 900, Boca Raton, FL 33486 or
by Phone: (561) 361-5000 OR Peter D. Bull, Esq. of Bull &
Lifshitz, LLP by Mail: 18 East 41st Street, New York, NY 10017
or by Phone: (212) 213-6222 OR Brian Robbins, Esq. of Robbins
Umeda & Fink, LLP by Mail: 1010 Second Avenue, Suite 2360, San
Diego, CA 92101 or by Phone: (619) 525-3990.


AMERICAN ELECTRIC: OH Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Columbus, Ohio dismissed the
consolidated class action filed against American Energy Power
Company, Inc., certain of its executives, the members of its
board of directors and certain investment banking firms.

The suit alleges that the Company failed to disclose that
alleged "round trip" trades resulted in an overstatement of
revenues, that the Company failed to disclose that our traders
falsely reported energy prices to trade publications that
published gas price indices and that the Company failed to
disclose that it did not have in place sufficient management
controls to prevent "round trip" trades or false reporting of
energy prices.  The plaintiffs sought recovery of an unstated
amount of compensatory damages, attorney fees and costs.

Also, in the first quarter of 2003, a lawsuit making essentially
the same allegations and demands was filed in state Common Pleas
Court, Columbus, Ohio against the Company, certain executives,
members of the Board of Directors and its independent auditor.
The Company removed this case to federal District Court in
Columbus and the Court denied plaintiff's motion to remand the
case to state Court.

In September 2004, the U.S. District Court Judge dismissed the
cases and expressly denied the plaintiffs' request for an
opportunity to file amended complaints with new or revised
allegations.  Plaintiffs did not appeal this decision.


AMERICAN ELECTRIC: NY Court Refuses To Dismiss Gas Futures Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York denied American Electric Power Company, Inc. and other
defendants' motion to dismiss the class action filed by
Cornerstone Propane Partners against them, seeking class
certification and alleging unspecified damages from claimed
price manipulation of natural gas futures and options on the
NYMEX from January 2000 through December 2002.  American Energy
Services, Inc. (AEPES) was also named in the suit.

Several suits were initially filed against a number of companies
including AEP and AEPES making essentially the same claims as
Cornerstone Propane Partners and also seeking class
certification.  On December 5, 2003, the Court issued its
initial Pretrial Order consolidating all related cases,
appointing co-lead counsel and providing for the filing of an
amended consolidated complaint.  In January 2004, plaintiffs
filed an amended consolidated complaint.


ANNUITY AND LIFE: Suit Settlement Hearing Set January 21, 2005
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
will hold a fairness hearing for the proposed settlement in the
matter SHERRY SCHNALL, Individually and On Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated v. ANNUITY AND LIFE RE (HOLDINGS), LTD., XL
CAPITAL, LTD., LAWRENCE S. DOYLE, FREDERICK S. HAMMER, JOHN F.
BURKE, WILLIAM W. ATKIN, BRIAN O'HARA, AND MICHAEL P. ESPOSITO,
JR. (Civil Action No. 02 CV 2133 (EBB)) on behalf of all persons
who purchased the common stock of Annuity and Life Re
(Holdings), Ltd. ("ANR") during the period between March 15,
2000 and November 19, 2002, inclusive, and were damaged thereby.

The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 9:00 a.m. on Friday,
January 21, 2005, at the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut, United States Courthouse, 141 Church
Street, New Haven, CT 06510.

For more details, contact David R. Scott, Esq. of SCOTT + SCOTT,
LLC by Mail: 108 Norwich Avenue, P.O. Box 192 Colchester, CT
06415 or by Phone: (860) 537-5537 OR Beth Kaswan, Esq. of
MILBERG WEISS BERSHAD & SCHULMAN LLP by Mail: One Pennsylvania
Plaza, New York, NY 10119-0165 by Phone: (212) 594-5300 OR
Annuity and Life Re (Holdings), Ltd. Securities Litigation
c/o The Garden City Group, Inc. - Claims Administrator by Mail:
P.O. Box 9000 #6254, Merrick, NY 11566-9000 or by Phone:
(800) 298-3208.


AVISTA CORPORATION: WA Court Allows Securities Suit To Proceed
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Washington refused to dismiss the consolidated securities class
action filed against Avista Corporation, styled "In re Avista
Corp. Securities Litigation."  The suit also names as
defendants:

     (1) Thomas M. Matthews, the former Chairman of the Board,
         President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company,

     (2) Gary G. Ely, the current Chairman of the Board,
         President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company,
         and

     (3) Jon E. Eliassen, the former Senior Vice President and
         Chief Financial Officer of the Company

On August 19, 2003, the plaintiffs filed their consolidated
amended class action complaint, alleging violations of the
federal securities laws in connection with alleged misstatements
and omissions of material fact pursuant to Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The plaintiffs allege that the Company did not have adequate
risk management processes, procedures and controls.  The
plaintiffs further allege that the Company engaged in unlawful
energy trading practices and allegedly manipulated western power
markets.

The plaintiffs assert that alleged misstatements and omissions
regarding these matters were made in the Company's filings with
the Securities and Exchange Commission and other information
made publicly available by the Company, including press
releases.  The class action complaint asserts claims on behalf
of all persons who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise
acquired the Company's common stock during the period between
November 23, 1999 and August 13, 2002.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss this complaint in October
2003 and the plaintiffs filed an answer to this motion in
January 2004.  Arguments before the Court on the motion were
held on March 19, 2004.  On April 15, 2004, the Court called for
additional briefing on what effect, if any, the FERC (Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission) proceedings have on this case.  On
July 30, 2004, the Court denied the Company's motion to dismiss
this complaint, holding, among other things, that the FERC
proceedings may ultimately have some evidentiary value relevant
to the disclosure issues raised in this case, but they do not
preclude the resolution of those issues by the Court.  In
November 2004, the Company filed its answer to the complaint
denying the plaintiffs' allegations.


AXT INC.: Shareholders Launch Securities Fraud Suit in N.D. CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
AXT, Inc. faces a securities class action filed in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California,
styled "City of Harper Woods Employees Retirement System v. AXT,
Inc. et al., No. C 04 4362 MJJ."

The lawsuit names the Company and its CEO, China Operations, as
defendants, and is brought on behalf of a class of all
purchasers of the Company's securities from February 6, 2001
through April 27, 2004.  The complaint alleges that the
Company's announced financial results during this period were
false and misleading.  No specific amount of damages is claimed.


BEBE STORES: Working To Settle Overtime Wage Suits in CA Courts
---------------------------------------------------------------
bebe stores, inc. is working to settle the class actions filed
against it in California State Courts, alleging violations of
the state's overtime wage law.

The first suit is pending in the Superior Court of the State of
California, County of San Mateo, filed by three of its former
employees and designated as case No. CIV435794.  The suit
alleges that they were misclassified as exempt employees under
California law.  The plaintiffs purport to bring this action on
behalf of a class of former and present California bebe store
managers and co-managers.  Plaintiffs are seeking compensatory,
statutory and injunctive relief.

The parties have reached a conditional settlement agreement.
The matter was conditionally certified as a class action for
purposes of settlement only, and the Court has given preliminary
approval of the class-wide settlement.

A former employee sued the Company on January 20, 2004 in the
Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Diego
(case No. GIC824505), alleging unpaid wages and unfair business
practices.  The plaintiff purports to bring the action on behalf
of a class of California employees who hold or have held the
position of co-manager or others similarly designated.  The
lawsuit seeks compensatory, statutory and injunctive relief.

If the class settlement in the San Mateo Superior Court action
is given final approval, this individual plaintiff will have the
option of participating in the class settlement or continuing to
pursue those claims not covered by the class settlement.

A former employee sued bebe on August 2, 2004 in the Superior
Court of the State of California, County of Sacramento (case No.
04AS03109) alleging unlawful wage payment and unfair
competition.  The plaintiff purports to bring the action on
behalf of a class of California employees who hold or at anytime
within the past four years have held a salaried store management
position.  The lawsuit seeks compensatory, statutory and
injunctive relief.

If the class settlement in the San Mateo Superior Court action
is given final approval, this individual plaintiff will have the
option of participating in the class settlement or continuing to
pursue those claims not covered by the class settlement.


BSQUARE CORPORATION: Submits Stock Suit Settlement To NY Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
BSquare Corporation submitted to the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York the settlement of
the consolidated securities class action filed against it,
certain of its current and former officers and directors, and
the underwriters of its initial public offering.

In Summer and early Fall 2001, four purported shareholder class
action lawsuits were filed, purporting to be class actions filed
on behalf of purchasers of the Company's common stock during the
period from October 19, 1999 to December 6, 2000.  The
complaints against the Company have been consolidated into a
single action and a Consolidated Amended Complaint, which was
filed on April 19, 2002 and is now the operative complaint.

The plaintiffs allege that the underwriter defendants agreed to
allocate stock in the Company's initial public offering to
certain investors in exchange for excessive and undisclosed
commissions and agreements by those investors to make additional
purchases of stock in the aftermarket at pre-determined prices.
Plaintiffs allege that the prospectus for the Company's initial
public offering was false and misleading in violation of the
securities laws because it did not disclose these arrangements.
The action seeks damages in an unspecified amount.

The action is being coordinated with approximately 300 other
nearly identical actions filed against other companies.  On July
15, 2002, the Company moved to dismiss all claims against it and
the Individual Defendants.  On October 9, 2002, the Court
dismissed the Individual Defendants from the case without
prejudice based upon Stipulations of Dismissal filed by the
plaintiffs and the Individual Defendants.  On February19, 2003,
the Court denied the motion to dismiss the complaint against the
Company.

On October 13, 2004, the Court certified a class in six of the
approximately 300 other nearly identical actions and noted that
the decision is intended to provide strong guidance to all
parties regarding class certification in the remaining cases.
Plaintiffs have not yet moved to certify a class in the
Company's case.

The Company has approved a settlement agreement and related
agreements which set forth the terms of a settlement between the
Company, the plaintiff class and the vast majority of the other
approximately 300 issuer defendants.  Among other provisions,
the settlement provides for a release of the Company and the
Individual Defendants for the conduct alleged in the action to
be wrongful.  The Company would agree to undertake certain
responsibilities, including agreeing to assign away, not assert,
or release certain potential claims the Company may have against
its underwriters.  It is anticipated that any potential
financial obligation of the Company to the plaintiffs pursuant
to the terms of the settlement agreement and related agreements
will be covered by existing insurance.  Therefore, the Company
does not expect that the settlement will involve any payment by
the Company.


CANADIAN PACIFIC: ND Derailment Case To Remain in Federal Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
A personal injury lawsuit against Canadian Pacific Railway in
connection with a January 2002 anhydrous ammonia spill in Minot,
North Dakota, will remain in federal Court despite the
railroad's objection, Chief Judge Daniel L. Hovland of the U.S.
District Court in Bismarck has decided, the In-Forum reports.

Three Minot residents filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves
and other affected residents one week after a Canadian Pacific
freight train derailed on the edge of Minot and released roughly
290,000 gallons of the farm fertilizer. The toxic fumes from the
spill killed one man and injured more than 1,600 people.

According to Mike Miller, the Fargo attorney whose firm
represents the three plaintiffs and roughly 900 other Minot
residents, his clients had asked the Court in September to
certify the case as a class action, a move that could bring
15,000 to 20,000 Minot residents into the lawsuit.

However, Canadian Pacific opposed the motion, arguing in part
that the federal Court had no jurisdiction because the
individual injury claims didn't meet the $75,000 threshold for
federal Court.

Judge Hovland, who has yet to decide whether to grant the
lawsuit class action status wrote in his ruling that even when
minor injuries occur, damages are not limited to medical
expenses under North Dakota law and adding that it's up to the
jury to evaluate and assess damages in light of the
circumstances.

Mr. Miller stated that his clients wanted the case to remain in
federal Court because it will move forward more quickly and
federal judges have more experience with class action suits. He
also adds that that aside from his suit, individual lawsuits
relating to the spill, including about 100 in Minnesota, have
also been filed.


COACHMEN RV: Recalls Motor Homes For Filter Defect, Fire Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Coachmen RV Company, LLC is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 88 motor homes, namely:

     (1) COACHMEN / CONCORD, model 2004

     (2) COACHMEN / FREEDOM, model 2004

     (3) COACHMEN / FREELANDER, model 2004

     (4) COACHMEN / LEPRECHAUN, model 2004

     (5) COACHMEN / SANTARA, model 2004

On motor homes built on Ford E-series Chassis, the air filter
element material process resulted in an air filter paper element
that can smolder or burn.  This change in filter paper
composition combined with the configuration of the air induction
system, may allow hot carbon particles to contact the air filter
element during certain driving conditions that create hot
particles.  These hot particles may ignite the air filter
element with the potential for air induction system damage or
underhood fire.

Ford is conducting the owner notification and remedy for this
campaign.  Dealers will inspect and replace the air filter
element.  For more details, contact Ford by Phone:
1-800-392-3673, the Company by Phone: 219-825-5821 or the
NHTSA's auto safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


DOLLAR FINANCIAL: Reaches Settlement For One Wage Lawsuit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dollar Financial Group, Inc. agreed to settle one of the four
class actions, filed by the same plaintiffs' law firm, alleging
violations of California's wage-and-hour laws.

The named plaintiffs in these suits, which are pending in the
Superior Court of the State of California, are the Company's
former employees Vernell Woods (commenced August 22, 2000), Juan
Castillo (commenced May 1, 2003), Stanley Chin (commenced May 7,
2003) and Kenneth Williams (commenced June 3, 2003).

Each of these suits seeks an unspecified amount of damages and
other relief in connection with allegations that the Company
misclassified California store (Woods) and regional (Castillo)
managers as "exempt" from a state law requiring the payment of
overtime compensation, that the Company failed to provide
employees with meal and rest breaks required under a new state
law (Chin) and that the Company computed bonuses payable to its
store managers using an impermissible profit-sharing formula
(Williams).

In January 2003, without admitting liability, the Company sought
to settle the Woods case, which the Company believes to be the
most significant of these suits, by offering each individual
putative class member an amount intended in good faith to settle
his or her claim.  These settlement offers have been accepted by
92% of the members of the putative class.  Woods' counsel is
presently disputing through arbitration the validity of the
settlements accepted by the individual putative class members.


DOLLAR FINANCIAL: Canada Court Reverses Denial of Stay in Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal in British Columbia reversed a lower Court's
ruling denying Dollar Financial Group, Inc.'s motion to stay and
compel arbitration for the class action filed against its
Canadian subsidiary, on behalf of Canadian borrowers.

On October 21, 2003, a former customer, Kenneth D. Mortillaro,
commenced an action against the Company's Canadian subsidiary on
behalf of a purported class of Canadian borrowers (except those
residing in British Columbia and Quebec) who, were allegedly
subjected to usurious charges in payday-loan transactions.  The
action, which is pending in the Ontario Superior Court of
Justice, alleges violations of a Canadian federal law
proscribing usury and seeks restitution and damages in an
unspecified amount, including punitive damages.

On November 6, 2003, the Company learned of substantially
similar claims asserted on behalf of a purported class of
Alberta borrowers by Gareth Young, a former customer of the
Company's Canadian subsidiary.  The Young action is pending in
the Court of Queens Bench of Alberta and seeks an unspecified
amount of damages and other relief.

On December 23, 2003, the Company was served with the statement
of claim in an action brought in the Ontario Superior Court of
Justice by another former customer, Margaret Smith.  The
allegations and putative class in the Smith action are
substantially the same as those in the Mortillaro action.  Like
the plaintiff in the MacKinnon action referred to below,
Mortillaro, Smith and Young have agreed to arbitrate all
disputes with the Company.

On January 29, 2003, a former customer, Kurt MacKinnon,
commenced an action against the Company's Canadian subsidiary
and 26 other Canadian lenders on behalf of a purported class of
British Columbia residents who, MacKinnon claims, were
overcharged in payday-loan transactions.  The action, which is
pending in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, alleges
violations of laws proscribing usury and unconscionable trade
practices and seeks restitution and damages, including punitive
damages, in an unknown amount.

On February 3, 2004, the Company's motion to stay the action and
to compel arbitration of MacKinnon's claims, as required by his
agreement with the Company, was denied; the Company appealed
this ruling.  On September 24, 2004, the Court of Appeal for
British Columbia reversed the lower Court's ruling and remanded
the matter to the lower Court for further proceedings consistent
with the appellate decision.


ELECTRONIC ARTS: CA Lawyer Says Workers Readying Overtime Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney Robert C. Schubert, a partner at San Francisco law firm
Schubert & Reed LLP recently initiated legal proceedings to
start a "proposed class action" lawsuit on behalf of a group of
EA employees seeking unpaid overtime from the world's biggest
third-party publisher, GameSpot reports.

According to Mr. Schubert, "We are seeking unpaid overtime for a
good number of [EA] employees who weren't [properly] paid, who
EA contends to be exempt from overtime, but we contend
otherwise."

However, Mr. Schubert also said that until the Court certifies a
class, he couldn't say how many individuals would seek to
participate in the legal action. "We haven't been certified as a
class yet," said Schubert, who admitted that certification "is a
big battle."

While not yet confirmed to be authentic, an e-mail that was sent
to Electronic Arts employees over the summer alerting them to
the lawsuit, which GameSpot received a copy of, frames the
dispute between the proposed class and Electronic Arts as
follows:

"On July 29, 2004, a class action lawsuit was filed against
Electronic Arts Inc. ("EA"). This communication responds to
earlier email communications from EA management regarding the
litigation. The lawsuit alleges that EA improperly classified
some of its employees, including 'animators,' 'modelers,'
'texture artists,' 'lighters,' 'background effects artists' and
'environmental artists' as exempt from overtime, and therefore
failed to pay those employees overtime compensation. Plaintiff's
action seeks statutory penalties, damages, restitution, and
injunctive relief.

"EA denies plaintiff's claim. It is EA's position that it treats
its employees fairly and lawfully, and that it has properly
classified its employees within the meaning of the law. The
plaintiff is seeking to bring this lawsuit on behalf of himself
and to represent a proposed class of current and former EA
employees as a class action. The Court has not yet certified
this case as a class action"

"If the case is certified, members of the class will be notified
as directed by the Court, and may be given the opportunity to be
excluded from the class ("opting out"), or to hire their own
lawyers to represent them. EA will not retaliate against
employees for exercising legal rights, including by
participating in the proposed class action."

According to Mr. Schubert, the most recent action taken by the
Court was the denial of a motion by EA that would have stopped
the certification process in its tracks. E-mails to Electronic
Arts requesting comment had not been returned at press time.


FLEXSYS: Faces Rubber Chemical Antitrust Suits in Various Courts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Flexsys and other past and present rubber chemical producers
continue to face class actions filed on behalf of all indirect
consumers of rubber chemicals for damages sustained as a result
of alleged anti-competitive practices in the sale of rubber
chemicals.

A purported class action on behalf of indirect consumers of
rubber chemicals from numerous states has also been filed in
Florida state Court by the same Massachusetts law firm with
similar allegations being made and similar relief being sought
against Flexsys and other past and present rubber chemical
producers.  In addition to the Massachusetts and Florida cases,
ten state Court actions filed by retail tire purchasers against
Flexsys and other producers of rubber chemicals remain pending
either on appeal or at the trial Court level in preliminary
motion phases.

On July 15, 2004, RBX Industries, Inc. v. Bayer Corp., Flexsys,
et al. was filed against Flexsys and other producers of rubber
chemicals in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Pennsylvania.  Plaintiff alleges that during the
period 1995 through 2001 the defendants conspired through
marketing and sales practices to cause plaintiff to pay supra-
competitive prices and seeks treble damages from the defendants.


FLEXSYS: Canadians Launch Two Rubber Chemical Antitrust Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Flexsys and other rubber chemical producers face two purported
class actions filed in the Province of Quebec, Canada alleging
that collusive sales and marketing activities of the defendants
damaged all persons in Quebec during the period July 1995
through September 2001.

Statutory damages of (CAD) $14.6 along with exemplary damages of
(CAD) $.000025 per person are being sought.  A hearing will be
scheduled to determine which case will be allowed to go forward.


GEORGIA: Morris James Sr. Convicted Of Defrauding Elderly Blacks
----------------------------------------------------------------
Morris James Sr., president of the Montezuma, Georgia-based
National Resource Information Center was convicted of defrauding
elderly blacks by charging them a fee to pursue tax credits and
other phony reparations from the U.S. Treasury and is facing up
to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the 23
counts, the Associated Press reports.

The center claims to sell information to promote education,
growth and success and to help enhance communities. Mr. James,
who had sought the Democratic nomination for Georgia governor in
1998 had appeared before church groups and other organizations
and led people to believe they are entitled to money from the
U.S. Treasury because of a legal action called the Black Farmers
Class Action lawsuit. He also led blacks to believe they were
entitled to refunds of tax payments based on a Black Tax
Rebellion, Black Heritage Tax or a Black Inheritance Tax credit,
none of which is a legitimate program of the U.S. government.

However, a federal jury found that Mr. James and his center of
defrauding victims of $431,000 and thus handed down the 20-year
sentence and $250,000 fine.

Prosecutors stated that several black residents of Mississippi
complained to authorities that they paid one of Mr. James'
representative to prepare their federal tax returns claiming the
black heritage tax credit, but no such credit exists.


GORDON TRUCKING: Reaches $235T Settlement in WA Sexual-Bias Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
As part of a settlement with the Seattle division of the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, Pacific-based Gordon Trucking
has agreed to pay $235,000 for a sexual discrimination lawsuit
filed against the Company, the News Tribune reports.

The EEOC claimed in the suit, which was filed on behalf of a
female employee, that Gordon Trucking discriminated against its
female applicants and employees through a policy that prohibited
female truck drivers from being trained by male instructors
during the mandatory over-the-road driver training.

According to EEOC officials such as a policy, was discriminatory
since new female drivers were required to wait longer than males
to go through mandatory training.

The Company, which runs a fleet of 1,075 trucks in the United
States and Canada, has denied the allegations, stating that the
policy did not result in a significant wait by female trainees.

However, in a move to avoid further litigation the Company has
decided to pay $25,000 to the female driver who brought the
suit, and pay another $125,000 will be paid to women who were
part of the class action suit. While the remaining $85,000 will
become a fund used for training and recruitment, according to an
EEOC statement.


ISRAEL: Attorney Threatens To File U.S. Lawsuit V. Banks, State
---------------------------------------------------------------
Roland Roth, an Israeli attorney representing heirs of bank-
account holders killed in the Holocaust is threatening to bring
a class action suit in a United States Court against Israeli
banks and the state, unless "a just arrangement" can be made to
refund monies deposited by victims, the Ha'aretz, Israel
reports.

The parliamentary committee of inquiry on locating and restoring
unclaimed property belonging to Holocaust victims is expected to
issue a report in the coming weeks on its audit of bank accounts
held by Jews killed in the Holocaust. Auditors of the five
largest banks in Israel has found evidence of 5,000 dormant
accounts belonging to Holocaust victims, in which around NIS 1
billion had been deposited at the time.

However, publication of this report has been held up for 18
months because of the banks' objections, led by Bank Leumi, who
all have rejected most of the committee's findings and maintain
they have no money belonging to Holocaust victims.

Mr. Roth, who says he represents 15 heirs of Holocaust victims,
had recently petitioned the parliamentary committee to hold a
hearing for the victims' heirs, after it had agreed to hold an
additional hearing for the banks before the report is published.
According to sources on the committee, it would accommodate Roth
and Uri Hupert, another lawyer representing heirs of Holocaust
victims, and hold a separate hearing for them immediately after
the bank representatives have their say.

However, Mr. Roth stated that he doubts the Knesset will be able
to reach a just arrangement in this matter, and thus threatened
to bring a class action suit against the banks and the state in
a U.S. Court, as was done in the case of the Swiss banks.


KPNQWEST N.V.: Plaintiffs Launch Second Amended Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed a second amended class action against Qwest
Communications International, Inc. and Willems Ackermans, the
former executive vice president and chief financial officer of
KPNQwest N.V. in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.

The complaint alleges, on behalf of certain purchasers of
KPNQwest securities, that Mr. Ackermans engaged in a fraudulent
scheme and deceptive course of business in order to inflate
KPNQwest revenue and securities.  Mr. Ackermans was the only
defendant named in the original complaint.  On January 9, 2004,
plaintiffs filed an amended complaint adding as defendants the
Company, certain of its former executives who were also on the
supervisory board of KPNQwest, and others.  Plaintiffs seek
compensatory damages and/or rescission as appropriate against
defendants, as well as an award of plaintiffs' fees and costs.


LIONBRIDGE TECHNOLOGIES: NY Court Seeks More Info on Suit Pact
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York requested additional information relating to the
adequacy of the settlement amount for the consolidated
securities class action filed against Lionbridge Technologies,
Inc. and approximately 300 other public companies relating to
their initial public offerings.

A complaint was initially filed against the Company, alleging,
among other things, that the Company's initial public offering
registration statement contained misstatements and/or omissions
regarding the underwriters' alleged conduct in allocating shares
in the Company's initial public offering to the underwriters'
customers.

In March 2002, the Court entered an order dismissing without
prejudice the claims against the Company and its officers and
directors (the case remained pending against the underwriter
defendants).  On April 19, 2002, the plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint naming as defendants not only the underwriter
defendants but also the Company and certain of its officers and
directors.

The amended complaint asserts claims under both the registration
and antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws relating
to, among other allegations, the underwriters' alleged conduct
in allocating shares in the Company's initial public offering
and the disclosures contained in the Company's registration
statement.

The Company understands that various plaintiffs have filed
approximately 1,000 lawsuits making substantially similar
allegations against approximately 300 other publicly traded
companies in connection with the underwriting of their public
offerings.

On July 15, 2002, the Company together with the other issuers
named as defendants in these coordinated proceedings, filed a
collective motion to dismiss the complaint on various legal
grounds common to all or most of the issuer defendants.  In
October 2002, the claims against officers and directors were
dismissed without prejudice.

In February 2003, the Court issued its ruling on the motion to
dismiss, ruling that the claims under the antifraud provisions
of the securities laws could proceed against the Company and a
majority of the other issuer defendants.

In June 2003, the Company elected to participate in a proposed
settlement agreement with the plaintiffs in this litigation.  If
ultimately approved by the Court, would result in a dismissal,
with prejudice, of all claims in the litigation against the
Company and against any other of the issuer defendants who elect
to participate in the proposed settlement, together with the
current or former officers and directors of participating
issuers who were named as individual defendants, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (August 28,2003) stated.

If approved by the Court, the proposed settlement would result
in the dismissal of the securities class action claims filed
against the Company and certain of its officers and directors in
that Court on or about July 24, 2001 (an amended complaint was
filed on April 19, 2002), as well as the securities class action
claims filed in that Court against the other public companies
participating in the proposed settlement.

With respect to this proposed settlement in principle, since the
filing of Lionbridge's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31,
2003, formal settlement documents have been executed by the
parties and filed with the Court.  The plaintiffs in the case
against Lionbridge, along with the plaintiffs in the other
related cases against the other issuer defendants who have
agreed to the proposed settlement, have requested preliminary
approval by the Court of the settlement, including the form of
notice of the proposed settlement that will be sent to members
of the proposed classes in each settling case.  Certain
underwriters who were named as defendants in the settling cases,
and who are not parties to the proposed settlement, have filed
an opposition to preliminary approval of the settlement of these
cases.

In mid-September 2004, the Court requested additional
information concerning the adequacy of the settlement amount and
how plaintiffs intend to allocate any consideration paid under
the settlement among the more than 300 separate class actions
that are included in the settlement, and counsel for the
plaintiffs and for the issuer defendants are in the process of
providing to the Court the information that it has requested.
Consummation of the proposed settlement remains conditioned on,
among other things, both preliminary and final Court approval of
the proposed settlement.  If the Court preliminarily approves
the proposed settlement, it will direct that notice of the terms
of the proposed settlement be published in the newspaper and
mailed to all proposed class members and schedule a fairness
hearing, at which objections to the proposed settlement will be
heard.  Thereafter, the Court will determine whether to grant
final approval to the proposed settlement.


MAINE: Judge Extends Tenure Of AMHI Court Official To January 31
----------------------------------------------------------------
Superior Court Justice Nancy D. Mills extended the appointment
of Court receiver Elizabeth Jones until January 31, which the
judge appointed to run first the Augusta Mental Health Institute
and then its successor, Riverview Psychiatric Center,
MaineToday.com reports.

According to Judge Mills, she granted in the extension so as to
provide Ms. Jones more time to bring the state psychiatric
hospital into compliance with the 1990 Court order that governs
its operations. Judge Mills also issued a ruling on a request by
lawyers representing nearly 4,000 past and present AMHI and
Riverview patients to impose the state's grievance process
contained in the "Rights of Recipients of Mental Health
Services" wherever those patients are housed.

State officials had argued that they had no authority to impose
the grievance procedure on owners of private housing who don't
provide mental health services under contract with the state.

Though the judge agreed to their arguments, she still ordered
that the so-called AMHI consent decree class members be provided
grievance procedures outlined in the 14-year-old consent decree,
which are similar to those used elsewhere in the state system.

State officials signed the agreement in 1990 to settle a class-
action lawsuit brought by Augusta Mental Health Institute
patients about deteriorating conditions at the hospital
following the deaths of several patients. The state was
originally scheduled to comply with the consent decree's
requirements in 1995, however state officials have been held in
contempt three times since then for failing to meet Court
deadlines.

Judge Mills ordered Ms. Jones to take control of the state
hospital last November. She is considering a new plan by state
mental health officials to meet the consent decree's terms after
the judge found their first attempts lacking.  The state
attorney general also has appealed parts of Judge Mills'
rulings, including the imposition of the receiver. The state's
highest Court has not yet acted on the appeal though.


MERCK & CO.: IL, IN Men Commence Complaint Over Recalled VIOXX
--------------------------------------------------------------
Earl Gori of Madison County Illinois and Michael Elward of
Wabash County, Indiana, who are represented by Christopher Byron
and Brian Kalb of Edwardsville recently filed a class action
complaint that is seeking damages from Merck & Co. over it's
marketing of the recently recalled pain reliever, Vioxx, the
Madison County Record reports.

Mr. Gori and Mr. Elward, who are both class plaintiffs and are
seeking up to $75,000, allege that Merck's misrepresentations
and concealment of the true extent of health hazards of Vioxx
allowed them to charge prices for Vioxx that were far in excess
of the fair market value.

Vioxx, which was introduced in the United States back in 1999,
is a Cyclo-Oxygenase-2 (cox2) inhibitor and was used to treat
arthritis and is in the class of drugs called NSAIDs (non-
steroidal anti-inflammatory). Merck pulled Vioxx on September 30
after a study confirmed that it increased the risk of heart
attack and stroke if taken for more than 18 months. Within days,
the first of many class action lawsuits were filed across the
country against Merck & Co.

The two men's class action case, which has been assigned to
Circuit Judge George Moran, involves all people who purchased
Vioxx during or after 1999 for personal, family, or household
purposes who are residents of Illinois or Indiana.

According to the complaint, Mr. Gori purchased Vioxx July
through September in Staunton without knowledge of the facts
regarding the health risks of Vioxx concealed by Merck. The
complaint also states that Mr. Elward purchased Vioxx during
December 2000 through May 2002, in Wabash County, Indiana. They
further claim that because of Merck's failure to disclose the
health risks of Vioxx, they were both unable to discover the
facts until Merck withdrew the products from the market in
September.


MICROSOFT CORPORATION: CA Court Extends Deadline For Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The California Superior Court recently signed a judgment giving
Californians more time to claim their share of the $1.1 billion
settlement in the antitrust suit against Microsoft. Judge Paul
Alvarado extended the deadline for mailing in settlement claim
forms to January 8, 2005.

Last year Microsoft settled antitrust lawsuits that claimed the
Company used its monopoly power to overcharge buyers of its key
software products. More than 14 million California consumers and
businesses are eligible to collect large refunds on past
purchases of Microsoft operating systems and applications
software.

"More than 600,000 claim forms have been received with thousands
more pouring in from across the state," said San Francisco
lawyer Richard Grossman, whose firm Townsend and Townsend and
Crew was lead counsel in the class action case against
Microsoft. "But California consumers and companies doing
business in the state must fill out a simple claim form and mail
it in by January 8, 2005 to get their share."

"Even the smallest businesses are likely to recover thousands of
dollars and the largest businesses will recover millions," said
Grossman. Businesses that participated in Microsoft's volume
license programs need only place a check mark in a box on their
claim forms to collect their substantial settlement benefits.

The $1.1 billion settlement averages refunds of more than 22
percent of the money that businesses and consumers spent on key
Microsoft products during a seven-year period. Those eligible
for the refund include consumers and businesses that purchased
Microsoft operating systems or specified applications software -
either pre-installed on a computer or bought separately -
between February 18, 1995 and December 15, 2001 for use in
California.

Consumers can make a claim for up to five product purchases and
$100 in benefits just by listing their eligible Microsoft
products and signing the claim form. No separate proof of
purchase is required. Those who provide documentation of more
than five purchases of eligible Microsoft products can obtain
even larger recoveries.

After filing a claim, consumers and businesses will be entitled
to cash refunds on the purchase of new desktop computers,
laptops, printers, scanners, monitors, keyboards, pointing
devices and software from any manufacturer, not just Microsoft.

Claim forms may also be obtained immediately online at
http://www.microsoftcalsettlement.comor by calling
1-800-960-5660.


NATIONWIDE LIFE: IL Court Stays Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Illinois stayed the class action filed against Nationwide Life
Insurance Company (NLIC), styled "Woodbury v. Nationwide Life
Insurance Company."

The suit was initially filed in Circuit Court, Third Judicial
Circuit for Madison County, Illinois.  The plaintiff purports to
represent a class of persons in the United States who, through
their ownership of a Nationwide annuity or insurance product,
held units of any Nationwide sub-account invested in mutual
funds which included foreign securities in their portfolios and
which allegedly experienced market timing trading activity.  The
complaint contains allegations of negligence, reckless
indifference and breach of fiduciary duty.  The plaintiff seeks
to recover compensatory and punitive damages in an amount not to
exceed $75,000 per plaintiff or class member.

NLIC removed this case to the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Illinois on June 1, 2004.  The
plaintiffs moved to remand on June 28, 2004.  On July 12, 2004,
NLIC filed a memorandum opposing remand and requesting a stay
pending the resolution of an unrelated case covering similar
issues, which is an appeal from a decision of the same District
Court remanding a removed market timing case to an Illinois
state Court.  On July 30, 2004, the U.S. District Court granted
the Company's request for a stay pending a decision by the
Seventh Circuit on the unrelated case.


NATIONWIDE LIFE: Asks MS Court To Dismiss Policyholder Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Nationwide Life Insurance Company asked the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi to
dismiss the class action filed against it, styled "United
Investors Life Insurance Company v. Nationwide Life Insurance
Company and/or Nationwide Life Insurance Company of America
and/or Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company and/or
Nationwide Life and Annuity Company of America and/or Nationwide
Financial Services, Inc. and/or Nationwide Financial
Corporation, and John Does A-Z."

In its complaint, plaintiff United Investors alleges that the
Company and/or its affiliated life insurance companies caused
the replacement of variable insurance policies and other
financial products issued by United Investors with policies
issued by the Nationwide defendants.  The plaintiff raises
claims for:

     (1) violations of the Federal Lanham Act, and common law
         unfair competition and defamation,

     (2) tortious interference with the plaintiff's contractual
         relationship with Waddell & Reed, Inc. and/or its
         affiliates, Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc., Waddell
         & Reed Financial Services, Inc. and W&R Insurance
         Agency, Inc., or with the plaintiff's contractual
         relationships with its variable policyholders,

     (3) civil conspiracy, and

     (4) breach of fiduciary duty

The complaint seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, pre-
and post-judgment interest, a full accounting, and costs and
disbursements, including attorneys' fees.


NATIONWIDE LIFE: Plaintiffs Appeal AZ Securities Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of the securities class action
filed against Nationwide Life Insurance Company (NLIC) in the
United States District Court for the District of Arizona,
entitled "Robert Helman et al v. Nationwide Life Insurance
Company et al."

The suit challenges the sale of deferred annuity products for
use as investments in tax-deferred contributory retirement
plans.  On April 8, 2004, the plaintiff filed an amended class
action complaint on behalf of all persons who purchased an
individual variable deferred annuity contract or a certificate
to a group variable annuity contract issued by NLIC or
Nationwide Life and Annuity Insurance Company (NLAIC) which were
allegedly used to fund certain tax-deferred retirement plans.
The amended class action complaint seeks unspecified
compensatory damages.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on May 24,
2004.  On July 27, 2004, the Court granted NLIC's motion to
dismiss.  The plaintiff has appealed that dismissal to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


NATIONWIDE LIFE: Plaintiffs Appeal Annuity Holder Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of the class action filed
against Nationwide Life Insurance Company (NLIC) in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
entitled "Edward Miller, Individually, and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, v. Nationwide Life Insurance
Company."

The complaint alleges that in 2001, plaintiff Edward Miller
purchased three group modified single premium variable annuities
issued by the Company.  The plaintiff alleges that the Company
represented in its prospectus and promised in its annuity
contracts that contract holders could transfer assets without
charge among the various funds available through the contracts,
that the transfer rights of contract holders could not be
modified and that NLIC's expense charges under the contracts
were fixed.

The plaintiff claims that NLIC has breached the contracts and
violated federal securities laws by imposing trading fees on
transfers that were supposed to have been without charge.  The
plaintiff seeks compensatory damages and rescission on behalf of
himself and a class of persons who purchased this type of
annuity or similar contracts issued by NLIC between May 1, 2001
and April 30, 2002 inclusive and were allegedly damaged by
paying transfer fees.

The Company's motion to dismiss the complaint was granted by the
Court on October 28, 2003.  The plaintiff has appealed that
dismissal to the United Stated Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit.


NATIONWIDE LIFE: Plaintiffs Oppose Summary Judgment in CT Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs opposed Nationwide Life Insurance Company's motion
for summary judgment in the class action filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Connecticut entitled
"Lou Haddock, as trustee of the Flyte Tool & Die, Incorporated
Deferred Compensation Plan, et al v. Nationwide Financial
Services, Inc. and Nationwide Life Insurance Company."

The plaintiffs first amended their complaint on September 5,
2001 to include class action allegations and have subsequently
amended their complaint three times.  As amended, in the
current complaint the plaintiffs seek to represent a class of
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) qualified
retirement plans that purchased variable annuities from the
Company.

The plaintiffs allege that they invested ERISA plan assets in
their variable annuity contracts and that the Company breached
ERISA fiduciary duties by allegedly accepting service payments
from certain mutual funds.  The complaint seeks disgorgement of
some or all of the payments allegedly received by the Company,
other unspecified relief for restitution, declaratory and
injunctive relief, and attorneys' fees.

On December 13, 2001, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification.  The plaintiffs filed a supplement to that motion
on September 19, 2003.  The Company opposed that motion on
December 24, 2003.  On January 30, 2004, the Company filed a
Revised Memorandum in Support of Summary Judgment.  The
plaintiffs have opposed that motion.


NATIONWIDE LIFE: PA Court Dismisses in Part RICO Violations Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania dismissed in part the class action filed against
Nationwide Life Insurance Company of America, styled "Steven L.
Flood, Luzerne County Controller and the Luzerne County
Retirement Board on behalf of the Luzerne County Employee
Retirement System v. Thomas A. Makowski, Esq., et al."

The Company is a defendant as successor in interest to Provident
Mutual Life Insurance Company, which is alleged to have entered
into four agreements to manage assets and investments of the
Luzerne County Employee Retirement System (the Plan).  In their
complaint, the plaintiffs allege that the Company aided and
abetted certain other defendants in breaching their fiduciary
duties to the Plan.

The plaintiffs also allege that the Company violated the Federal
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by
engaging in and conspiring to engage in an improper scheme to
mismanage funds in order to collect excessive fees and
commissions and that the Company was unjustly enriched by the
allegedly excessive fees and commissions.  The complaint seeks
treble compensatory damages, punitive damages, a full
accounting, imposition of a constructive trust on all funds paid
by the Plan to all defendants, pre- and post-judgment interest,
and costs and disbursements, including attorneys' fees.  The
plaintiffs seek to have each defendant judged jointly and
severally liable for all damages.

The Company, along with virtually every other defendant, has
filed a motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a
claim.  On August 24, 2004, the Court issued an order dismissing
the count alleging aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary
duty and one of the RICO counts.  The Court did not dismiss
three of the RICO counts and a count alleging unjust enrichment.


NEXPRISE INC.: Submits Settlement Approval Motion To NY Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York has taken under admission the motion for preliminary
approval of the settlement for the shareholder class action
filed against Nexprise, Inc. (formerly Ventro Corporation),
styled "Kassin v. Ventro Corp. et al., Index No.01-CV-3450
(SAS)."

The suit names as defendants the Company, several of its
officers and directors, and the underwriters of its initial
public offering.  The class action has been consolidated for
pre-trial purposes with more than one thousand other actions,
filed against more than 300 other issuers of securities,
affiliated individuals and dozens of underwriters of the
securities offerings in "In Re Initial Public Offering
Securities Litigation, 21 MC 92 (SAS)."

The plaintiffs allege that the prospectus for the initial public
offering of the Company's common stock, incorporated in the
Registration Statement on Form S-1 filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission, was materially false and misleading because
it failed to disclose, among other things, that the underwriters
had made secret arrangements for aftermarket purchases of the
securities and made arrangements for excessive and improper
underwriters' compensation in the form of increased brokerage
commissions.

Plaintiffs are claiming damages of an unspecified amount based
on the subsequent decline in the market price of the Company's
shares below their original offering price.  In recent months in
the IPO Allocation Litigation, counsel for the plaintiffs,
liaison counsel for the issuer defendants and counsel for
insurers of the issuer defendants have taken part in continuing
discussions mediated by a former federal district Court judge to
explore a possible settlement of the claims against all of the
issuer defendants, including the Company.

In June 2003, a memorandum of understanding was entered into by
and among the plaintiffs, liaison counsel for the issuer
defendants and counsel for the insurers which would result in
dismissal of the action against the issuers, including the
Company, on terms that would not require any current payment by
the Company and are believed by the Company's board of directors
to carry only a remote risk that any future payment by the
Company would be required.  In addition, the plaintiffs would
release the Company and its officers and directors from the
claims that have been asserted against them in the IPO
Allocation Litigation as a part of the proposed settlement.

On June 30, 2003, the Company's board of directors approved the
memorandum of understanding and authorized the Company to enter
into the proposed settlement. On June 14, 2004, the proposed
settlement was submitted to the Court for its required approval.


NORTH CAROLINA: Lawsuit Over Board's Uniform Policy Dismissed
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Court dispute over mandated uniforms in Nash-Rocky Mount
middle schools was recently concluded with North Carolina
Superior Court Judge Jerry Tillett giving his final judgment in
favor of the Nash-Rocky Mount Board of Education, the Rocky
Mount Telegram reports.

The final judgment, signed on October 31 and filed just recently
with the clerk of Court in Nashville, states the case is
dismissed and cannot be heard again in Superior Court. The
judge, however allowed the plaintiffs to bring a new suit on the
same claim, giving both parties seven days to bring back any
additional information they did not present as part of the
original complaint. Furthermore, the final judgment also stated
that after reviewing the additional information given by both
parties, the Court found the claims had no genuine grounds and
the school board is entitled by law to have the case dismissed.

Judge Tillett ruled on September 7 in favor of the school
board's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, after a group of parents
represented by Robinson filed suit against the school board
asking for a halt to the uniform policy. In accordance with the
September 7 ruling, plaintiff's attorney Charles Robinson filed
a complaint on behalf of the plaintiffs that represents all
parents who may oppose the policy in an effort to bring forth a
class action suit, which was also denied by the judge.

The school board voted 8 to 3 for uniforms in Nash-Rocky Mount
middle schools during a school board meeting June 7, which had
the support of board members Doneva Chavis, Rick Horner, Jim
Lilley, Mary Kay Heling, Joe Edge, McLain Wallace, Evelyn
Bulluck and Chairman Ernie Murray. Board members the Rev. Robert
Bynum, Warren Boone and Bob Jenkins voted against the uniform
policy.


PLAINS RESOURCES: Reaches Pact for Breach of Fiduciary Duty Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plains Resources, Inc. reached a settlement in principle for the
class action filed in the Delaware Chancery Court, New Castle
County, entitled "Alfons Sperber v. Plains Resources, Inc., et
al."

This suit, brought on behalf of a putative class of Plains All
American Pipeline, L.P. common unitholders, asserts breach of
fiduciary duty and breach of contract claims against the
Partnership, Plains AAP, L.P., and Plains All American GP LLC
and its directors, as well as breach of fiduciary duty claims
against the Company and its directors.  The complaint seeks to
enjoin or rescind a proposed acquisition of all of the
outstanding stock of the Company, as well as declaratory relief,
an accounting, disgorgement and the imposition of a constructive
trust, and an award of damages, fees, expenses and costs, among
other things. This lawsuit has been settled in principle,
subject to the preparation and execution of appropriate
settlement documentation and Court approval.


PRIME GROUP: Part of Defendant Class In Winstar Real Estate Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Prime Group Realty Trust has been identified as part of the
defendant class in a lawsuit filed by Winstar Communications,
LLC and Winstar of New York LLC ("Winstar") a number of
commercial real estate companies and a trade association, the
Building Owners and Managers Association of New York (BOMA) in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York.

The suit asserts claims for certain alleged violations of
federal and state antitrust laws and a declaratory judgment that
the defendants are precluded from terminating Winstar's building
access or interfering with Winstar's communications operations
until Winstar is permitted to lawfully discontinue service.  The
suit seeks damages, attorney's fees, and a declaratory judgment.

The claims are premised upon allegations that the real estate
firms, through and with BOMA, colluded and agreed to charge
Winstar disadvantageous and discriminatory fees that were higher
than those charged to the incumbent local telephone companies.
As a result of this alleged collusive conduct, Winstar claims
that it has been damaged in its ability to provide competitive
telecommunications services to customers leasing office space in
the defendants' commercial real estate properties.

The Company is not a named defendant in this litigation, but
Winstar is attempting to have certified a class action of
defendants consisting of all companies having agreements with
Winstar for access to buildings and Winstar has identified the
Company as a member of that defendant class.  In separate
correspondence to the Company, Winstar has alleged potential
damages in excess of $2 billion against the defendant class.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: CO Court Mulls Securities Suit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court of Colorado has yet to rule on
the motion to dismiss the consolidated securities class action
filed against Qwest Communications International, Inc., alleging
violations of federal securities laws.

Since July 27, 2001, 13 putative class action complaints have
been filed against the Company.  One of those cases has been
dismissed. By Court order, the remaining actions have been
consolidated into a consolidated securities action.

On August 21, 2002, plaintiffs in the consolidated securities
action filed their Fourth Consolidated Amended Class Action
Complaint, or the Fourth Consolidated Complaint, which
defendants moved to dismiss.  On January 13, 2004, the Court
granted the defendants' motions to dismiss in part and denied
them in part.  In that order, the Court allowed plaintiffs to
file a proposed amended complaint seeking to remedy the pleading
defects addressed in the Court's dismissal order.

On February 6, 2004, plaintiffs filed a Fifth Consolidated
Amended Class Action Complaint, or the Fifth Consolidated
Complaint.  The Fifth Consolidated Complaint is purportedly
brought on behalf of purchasers of publicly traded securities of
the Company between May 24, 1999 and July 28, 2002, and names as
defendants the Company and:

     (1) former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph P.
         Nacchio,

     (2) former Chief Financial Officers, Robin R. Szeliga and
         Robert S. Woodruff,

     (3) other of Qwest's former officers and current directors
         and

     (4) Arthur Andersen LLP

The Fifth Consolidated Complaint alleges, among other things,
that during the putative class period, the Company and certain
of the individual defendants made materially false statements
regarding the results of Qwest's operations in violation of
section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or the
Exchange Act, certain of the individual defendants are liable as
control persons under section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and
certain of the individual defendants sold some of their shares
of Qwest's common stock in violation of section 20A of the
Exchange Act.

The Fifth Consolidated Complaint further alleges that Qwest and
certain other defendants violated section 11 of the Securities
Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, by preparing and
disseminating false registration statements and prospectuses for
the registration of Qwest common stock to be issued to US WEST
shareholders in connection with the merger of the two companies
(the "Merger"), and for the exchange of $3 billion of Qwest's
notes pursuant to a registration statement dated January 17,
2001, $3.25 billion of Qwest's notes pursuant to a registration
statement dated July 12, 2001, and $3.75 billion of Qwest's
notes pursuant to a registration statement dated October 30,
2001.

Additionally, the Fifth Consolidated Complaint alleges that
certain of the individual defendants are liable as control
persons under section 15 of the Securities Act by reason of
their stock ownership, management positions and/or membership or
representation on the Company's Board of Directors, or the
Board.  The Fifth Consolidated Complaint seeks unspecified
compensatory damages and other relief.  However, counsel for
plaintiffs has indicated that the putative class will seek
damages in the tens of billions of dollars.  On March 8, 2004,
Qwest and other defendants filed motions to dismiss the Fifth
Consolidated Complaint.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: ERISA Fraud Suit Certification Sought Anew
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs filed a new motion for class certification for the
consolidated class action filed against Qwest Communications
International, Inc. in the United States District Court in
Colorado, on behalf of all participants and beneficiaries for
the Qwest Savings and Investment Plan and predecessor plans, or
the Plan from March 7,1999 to the present.

Since March 2002, seven putative class action suits brought
under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
(ERISA), as amended, were filed.  These suits purport to
seek relief on behalf of the Plan.  By Court order, these
putative class actions have been consolidated and a Second
Amended and Consolidated Complaint was filed on May 21, 2003,
referred to as the "consolidated ERISA action."

An eighth case was filed in June 2004, which, although not a
putative class action, purports to seek relief on behalf of the
Plan.  This case contains allegations similar to those in the
consolidated ERISA action, and thus the Company expects it to be
consolidated with that action.

Defendants in the consolidated ERISA action include the Company,
several of its former and current directors, certain of its
former officers, Qwest Asset Management, Qwest's Plan Design
Committee, the former Plan Investment Committee and the former
Plan Administrative Committee of the pre-Merger Qwest 401(k)
Savings Plan.

The consolidated ERISA action alleges, among other things, that
the defendants breached fiduciary duties to the Plan
participants and beneficiaries by allegedly allowing excessive
concentration of the Plan's assets in Qwest's stock, requiring
certain participants in the Plan to hold the matching
contributions received from Qwest in the Qwest Shares Fund,
failing to disclose to the participants the alleged accounting
improprieties that are the subject of the consolidated
securities action, failing to investigate the prudence of
investing in Qwest's stock, continuing to offer Qwest's stock as
an investment option under the Plan, failing to investigate the
effect of the Merger on Plan assets and then failing to vote the
Plan's shares against it, preventing Plan participants from
acquiring Qwest's stock during certain periods, and, as against
some of the individual defendants, capitalizing on their private
knowledge of Qwest's financial condition to reap profits in
stock sales.  Plaintiffs seek equitable and declaratory relief,
along with attorneys' fees and costs and restitution.

In response to motions to dismiss the consolidated ERISA action,
the Court dismissed claims regarding the voting of shares in
favor of the Merger, and denied the remainder of those motions.
Plaintiffs moved for class certification.  The Court denied that
motion, but instructed the plaintiffs to file a modified motion
for class certification.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Securities Suit Remanded To CO State Court
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Colorado granted plaintiffs
motion to remand the class action field against Qwest
Communications International, Inc. on behalf of purchasers of
Qwest's stock between June 28, 2000 and June 27, 2002 and owners
of US WEST stock on June 28, 2000.

On June 27, 2002, a putative class action was filed in the
District Court for the County of Boulder against the Company,
The Anschutz Family Investment Co., Philip Anschutz, Joseph P.
Nacchio and Robin R. Szeliga.  The complaint alleges, among
other things, that the Company and the individual defendants
issued false and misleading statements and engaged in improper
accounting practices in order to accomplish the Merger, to make
Qwest appear successful and to inflate the value of Qwest's
stock.

The complaint asserts claims under sections 11, 12, 15 and 17 of
the Securities Act.  The complaint seeks unspecified monetary
damages, disgorgement of illegal gains and other relief.

On July 31, 2002, the defendants removed this state Court action
to federal district Court in Colorado and subsequently moved to
consolidate this action with the consolidated securities action
identified above.  Plaintiffs moved to remand the lawsuit back
to state Court, which defendants opposed.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: CO Court To Hear Stock Suit Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Denver District Court will hear plaintiffs' motion for class
certification for the securities class action filed against
Qwest Communications International, Inc. and certain current and
former officers and directors on behalf of stockholders of US
WEST, on November 19,2004.

The complaint alleges that the Company had a duty to pay a
quarterly dividend to US WEST stockholders of record as of June
30, 2000.  Plaintiffs further claim that the defendants
attempted to avoid paying the dividend by changing the record
date from June 30, 2000 to July 10, 2000, a claim the Company
denies.

In September 2002, Qwest filed a motion for summary judgment on
all claims.  Plaintiffs filed a cross-motion for summary
judgment on their breach of contract claims only.  On July 15,
2003, the Court denied both summary judgment motions.
Plaintiffs' claims for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of
contract remain pending.  Additionally, Qwest recently filed
motions asking the Court to rule on certain discrete issues of
law affecting the action.  The case is now in the class
certification stage, which Qwest is challenging.  The Court will
also hear Qwest's motions for rulings on certain discrete issues
of law affecting the action on the same date.


QWEST COMMUNICATIONS: Fights Ruling Vacating Settlement Approval
----------------------------------------------------------------
Qwest Communications International, Inc. filed a petition for
reconsideration of a judges panel for the United States Seventh
Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling vacating preliminary approval
for the settlement of the class actions relating to the
installation of fiber optic cable in certain rights-of-way.

Several class actions were filed in various Courts against the
Company on behalf of landowners in Alabama, California,
Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina,
Tennessee and Texas.

Class certification was denied in the Louisiana proceeding and,
subsequently, summary judgment was granted in Qwest's favor.  A
new Louisiana class action complaint has been filed, and Qwest
is challenging class certification.  Class certification was
also denied in the California proceeding, although plaintiffs
have filed a motion for reconsideration.  Class certification
was granted in the Illinois proceeding.  Class certification has
not been resolved yet in the other proceedings.

The complaints challenge Qwest's right to install its fiber
optic cable in railroad rights-of-way and, in Colorado, Illinois
and Texas, also challenge Qwest's right to install fiber optic
cable in utility and pipeline rights-of-way.  In Alabama, the
complaint challenges Qwest's right to install fiber optic cable
in any right-of-way, including public highways.  The complaints
allege that the railroads, utilities and pipeline companies own
a limited property right-of-way that did not include the right
to permit Qwest to install Qwest's fiber optic cable on the
plaintiffs' property.

The Indiana action purports to be on behalf of a national class
of landowners adjacent to railroad rights-of-way over which
Qwest's network passes.  The Alabama, California, Colorado,
Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North
Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas actions
purport to be on behalf of a class of such landowners in those
states, respectively.  The Illinois action purports to be on
behalf of landowners adjacent to railroad rights-of-way over
which Qwest's network passes in Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky,
Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.  Plaintiffs
in the Illinois action have filed a motion to expand the class
to a nationwide class.   The complaints seek damages on theories
of trespass and unjust enrichment, as well as punitive damages.

Together with some of the other telecommunication carrier
defendants, in September2002, Qwest filed a proposed settlement
of all these matters (except those in Louisiana) in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  On
July 25, 2003, the Court granted preliminary approval of the
settlement and entered an order enjoining competing putative
class action claims, except those in Louisiana.  Accordingly,
with the exception of the Louisiana actions, all other right of
way actions were stayed.

The settlement and the Court's injunction were opposed by some,
but not all, of the plaintiffs' counsel and were on appeal
before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  As a result of
those appeals, on October 19, 2004, a panel of judges on the
Seventh Circuit vacated the lower Court's approval of the
nationwide settlement class and the lower Court's stay against
competing putative class actions.  On November 2, 2004, Qwest
and the other defendants filed a petition for reconsideration by
both the appellate panel that made the decision and by all of
the judges on the Seventh Circuit.


REMEDIA LTD.: Consumer Council Describes Deal As Insufficient
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Consumer Council recently complained to the Tel Aviv
District Court that the compromises baby food maker Remedia,
Ltd. reached to deflect class actions after its vitamin-
defective soy formula killed three babies are not sufficiently
deterrent, the Ha'aretz, Israel reports.

According to the council, Remedia's consent to pay mental
anguish compensation of only NIS 500 to NIS 1,300 per family
that used the offending product contravenes Court precedent. The
compensation does not relate to families whose babies were
killed or injured from the product, but to ones whose babies
imbibed the milk substitute without being harmed. The council
further told the Tel Aviv District Court, which has to rule on
the validity of the compromises that according to precedent,
anguish compensation of this kind should be in the range of
thousands of shekels per family, even above ten thousand
shekels.

The compromise Remedia delivered to the Tel Aviv Court for
approval is designed to deflect three consolidated class
actions, which would cost Remedia and the German firm, Humana
Milchunion, which actually made the B1-deficient soy formula,
about NIS 7.25 million. Consumers complaining that Remedia's
labeling, which claimed vitamin B1 to be present in the soy
formula had misled them filed the class actions. The consumers
demanded their money back on the product and compensation for
mental anguish.

The NIS 7.25 million compensation, which the council hopes to
shoot down on the grounds that it fails to achieve its purposes,
was split to give NIS 4 million to families, NIS 2 million to
five public organizations, and NIS 1.1 million to the various
lawyers representing the claimants.


SOLUTIA INC.: Dismissal of CA Shareholder Fraud Lawsuit Sought
--------------------------------------------------------------
Defendants asked the United States District Court in California
to dismiss the consolidated class action filed against Solutia,
Inc. and certain individual defendants on behalf of individuals
who allegedly purchased its stock at inflated prices as a result
of the incorporation of the Company's share of Flexsys'
financial results which were purportedly inflated as a result of
anticompetitive collusion between Flexsys and other rubber
chemical producers during the period December 1998 through
October 2002.

The consolidated action has been automatically stayed with
respect to Solutia by virtue of Section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy
Code but has not been stayed with respect to the individual
defendants.  On July 28, 2004, the Court granted the individual
defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim but
also granting plaintiffs ten days to file an amended complaint.

Plaintiffs have filed an amended complaint and defendants have
again petitioned the Court to dismiss as against the individual
defendants for failure to state a cause of action and plaintiffs
have opposed the motion which remains pending.


STATE AND COUNTY: Misled Senior Property Owners, TX Court Rules
---------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott won a victory for senior
property owners, when a district judge ruled a Collin County
business misled senior property owners.  The case will go to
trial December 7 to determine the amount of penalties it owes
the state, the Atty. General said in a statement.

The Attorney General alleges the for-profit business, State and
County Tax Reduction, and owner Ronald Gene Morgan misled
property owners last December by illegally offering to help them
acquire a property tax freeze using misleading correspondence
that appeared to be official government business.  Such schemes
are prohibited under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
District Judge Nathan White ruled that the defendant was liable
for violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and
Texas Property Code, but the penalties and fees are still in
dispute.

"My office will continue to be on the lookout for those who
would scam our senior citizens in this manner," said Attorney
General Abbott.  "We look forward to trying this defendant
vigorously in Court for causing so much confusion among
homeowners and the local taxing authorities.  Homestead
exemption filings are, and have always been free, through local
tax offices. This was merely an attempt to deprive seniors of
money that rightfully belonged to them. We believe the penalties
are just."

Several thousand solicitation letters the Company mailed to
residents over age 65 were unlawful because they did not contain
required language stating that the correspondence amounted to
advertising for services, not county tax office business.  The
Attorney General has interviewed many senior citizens over age
65 who are prepared to testify and who previously complained
about the business.

At trial, state attorneys will ask the Court to approve
appropriate civil penalties and attorney fees, in view of the
conduct committed by the Company to deceive seniors about
applying for tax freezes in the homestead application process.
Last December, the Attorney General obtained a restraining order
against Mr. Morgan's Company, requiring refunds to all senior
citizens who had answered the deceptive mailings and paid fees.

For more details, contact Angela Hale, Paco Felici, Jerry
Strickland, or Tom Kelley by Phone: (512) 463-2050 or visit the
Website: http://www.oag.state.tx.us.


UNICAPITAL CORPORATION: Settlement Hearing Set January 26, 2005
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Florida - Miami Division will hold a fairness hearing for the
proposed settlement in the matter In Re: Unicapital Corporation
Securities Litigation (CASE NO. 00-2054-CIV-HIGHSMITH (Master
File)) on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired
UniCapital Corporation ("UniCapital") common stock between May
14, 1998, and May 15, 2000, inclusive, and were damaged thereby
(the "10b-5 Class") or purchased or otherwise acquired
UniCapital common stock issued under or traceable to the
UniCapital registration statement/prospectus dated May 14, 1998,
filed in connection with UniCapital's Initial Public Offering
and were damaged thereby (the "IPO Subclass").

The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 2:00 p.m. on
Wednesday, January 26, 2005, at the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, 99 NE
Fourth Street, Miami, FL 33132-2151, in Courtroom 5.

For more details, contact Maya Saxena of Milberg Weiss Bershad &
Schulman LLP by Phone: 5355 Town Center Road, Suite 900, Boca
Raton, Florida 33486 by Phone: (561) 361-5000 OR In re
UniCapital Corporation Securities Litigation c/o Gilardi &
Company, LLC Claims Administrator by Mail: P.O. Box 8040, San
Rafael, CA 94912-8040 by Phone: (800) 447-7657.


UNION OIL CO.: CA Consumer Group Launches Lawsuit Over Patents
--------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Shames, executive director of the Utilities Consumers'
Action Network, a San Diego-based consumer organization filed a
class-action lawsuit against petroleum refiner Unocal and Union
Oil Co. of California seeking a refund for California gasoline
consumers of $450 million in monopoly profits, the North County
Times reports.

According to Mr. Shames, he filed the suit to protect consumers'
interests after a similar suit was filed in late October that he
said might benefit only private parties. His suit claims that
Unocal hid from the California Air Resources Board two key facts
the board needed to know as it pondered gasoline formulations
proposed to meet the state's automobile exhaust standards. One
fact was that patents the Company had applied for potentially
protected the formulations Unocal proposed and the other was
that the Company intended to enforce its patent rights.

Furthermore, Mr. Shames states in his suit that as a result of
their actions, the board adopted standards that exposed other
refiners to having to pay royalties and licensing fees imposed
by Unocal and thus increasing the price of gasoline between
March and October approximately 5.5 cents per gallon.

In reaction to the filing of the suit, a spokesman for Unocal
described it as part of a larger attack on the Company by other
refiners whose objective is to defeat a set of refining patents
covering California's unique formulation of summertime gasoline,
adding that he expects the suit to go nowhere. Unocal public
relations manager Barry Lane even dismissed the thought that
Shames' suit might result in any payments at all saying that "It
might be a credit in the form of lower gas prices for a period
of time, or money to be used for the state's gasoline reserve to
help moderate prices in the future."

"Basically, these are the issues that are being discussed in a
trial before an administrative law judge at the Federal Trade
Commission," he said.


UNITED STATES: ATLA Head Appeals For End To Vitriol V. Lawyers
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Political Action Chair and past President of the country's
largest trial lawyers group, the Association of Trial Lawyers of
America (ATLA), Mary Alexander of San Francisco, reacting to the
repeated criticisms of her organization and trial lawyers in
general in the recent presidential campaign, is asserting that
with the campaign over, "It is time to end the vitriol against
trial lawyers and to let people and especially the media know
what we really do. This is not a partisan issue. We are proud of
what we do, fighting for consumers against large insurance
companies who don't treat them fairly; fighting for the ordinary
person; fighting for the voiceless and the powerless. It's time
to make our message clear."

Ms. Alexander will receive the prestigious Edward I. Pollock
Award from the Consumer Attorneys of California this Saturday,
Nov. 13, at CAOC's annual convention. The award is the oldest
one given by the Association, first doing so in 1982, and is
named for Pollock, former CAOC president and renowned consumer
advocate. The award is being given to Alexander "In Recognition
Of Her Many Years Of Dedication, Outstanding Efforts And
Effectiveness On Behalf Of The Causes And Ideals Of The Consumer
Attorneys Of California".

In an advance copy of her acceptance speech, also quoted above,
Alexander states, "I am proud that both John Edwards and John
Kerry are lawyers and that they gladly pointed to their advocacy
for innocent and otherwise powerless victims as proof of their
concern for every American. As a fellow trial lawyer, Senator
Edwards is one of our biggest allies in Congress, and he
continued to defend us throughout the campaign. His candidacy
stood for consumers in America and for what's right about
America. Attack ads on trial lawyers and John Edwards did not
work. Actually, when asked if the fact that John Edwards was a
trial lawyer helped or hurt the Democratic ticket, 67 percent
said it helped."

Ms. Alexander continues, "In fact -- and many people don't know
this -- President Bush wanted to be a lawyer -- but was rejected
by the University of Texas Law School in 1970. Perhaps some of
the ranting is really just the frustration of rejection!"

Ms. Alexander makes her case further: "According to the Consumer
Federation of America, an estimated 6,000 deaths and millions of
injuries are prevented each year because of the deterrent effect
of product liability lawsuits. Without what you do, Americans
would still be driving on defective tires, asbestos would still
line the walls of schools and homes, and badly designed cribs
would strangle babies."

Ms. Alexander concedes that "with the new makeup of the House
and Senate, our job just got tougher - a lot tougher." She says
that over the past year, "I and other ATLA leaders had to
literally stand at the door of the floor of the U.S. House and
Senate to point out to members that what pending bills that
would have put a cap on damages and curtailed class action
lawsuits would really do is reward the insurance industry and
corporations with higher profits and less accountability and
prohibit juries of regular Americans from holding harmful
interests accountable."

She tells her colleagues, "We all want the bad apples out of our
profession, but I know you share with me the fear that somehow,
despite our best work, Congress could go too far."

Ms. Alexander's award and speech are during the 7 p.m.,
Saturday, Nov. 13, dinner at the San Francisco Marriott, 55 4th
St., in the Yerba Buena Ballroom.


VIRGINIA: Free Clinic Set To Receive Share Of Medco Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Loudoun Free Clinic, which has been plagued by rising
prescription expenses, will soon have a portion of an $830,000
settlement to help defray that cost thanks to a decision by
Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, the Loudoun Connection
reports.

The amount comes from the settlement of a class-action lawsuit
against Medco Health Solutions, the world's largest
pharmaceutical benefits Company that was brought by 20 states.
The suit had alleged that Medco had been failing to pass savings
onto patients after encouraging them to switch to cheaper drugs.

Due to the settlement's distribution, however, the end result of
Medco's actions will mean wider availability of prescription
drugs to the elderly, disabled and uninsured in Virginia. The
$830,000 settlement has been divided between the Virginia
Association of Free Clinics and the Virginia Primary Care
Association, the statewide association for community health
centers.

Mark Cruise, executive director of the Virginia Association Free
Clinics, hopes that while this is the first settlement to
benefit free clinics in Virginia, it's not the last. According
to him, suits against pharmaceutical companies settled in North
Carolina first turned him on to the possibility of reaping the
settlement.


WEST CORPORATION: Remand of Lawsuit To Ohio State Court Sought
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the class action filed against West Corporation
moved for the suit to be remanded to the Court of Common Pleas,
Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

The suit, styled "Brandy L. Ritt, et al. v. Billy Blanks
Enterprises, et al." was filed in January 2001 in the Court of
Common Pleas in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, against two of the
Company's clients.  The suit, a purported class action, was
amended for the third time in July 2001 and West Corporation was
added as a defendant at that time.  The suit, which seeks
statutory, compensatory, and punitive damages as well as
injunctive and other relief, alleges violation of various
provisions of Ohio's consumer protection laws, negligent
misrepresentation, fraud, breach of contract, unjust enrichment
and civil conspiracy in connection with the marketing of certain
membership programs offered by West's clients.

On February 6, 2002, the Court denied the plaintiffs' motion for
class certification.  On July 21, 2003, the Ohio Court of
Appeals reversed and remanded the case to the trial Court for
further proceedings.  The plaintiffs have filed a Fourth Amended
Complaint naming West Telemarketing Corporation as an additional
defendant and a renewed motion for class certification.

One of the defendants, NCP Marketing Group, filed bankruptcy and
on July 12, 2004 removed the case to federal Court.  Plaintiffs
have filed a motion to remand the case back to state Court.  All
defendants have opposed that motion.  In addition, one of the
defendants has moved to transfer the case from the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Ohio to the
Bankruptcy Court in Nevada.  Plaintiffs have objected to the
transfer.

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

AON CORPORATION: Glancy Binkow Lodges Securities Lawsuit in IL
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois on behalf of a class (the "Class")
consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired securities of Aon Corporation ("Aon" or the
"Company")(NYSE:AOC) between October 31, 2002 and October 22,
2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Aon and certain of the Company executive
officers with violations of federal securities laws. Plaintiff
claims that defendants' omissions and material
misrepresentations concerning Aon's operations and financial
performance artificially inflated the Company's stock price,
inflicting damages on investors. Aon is an insurance services
holding Company, comprising insurance brokerage, consulting,
warranty and consumer insurance companies. The Complaint alleges
that, unbeknownst to investors, defendants engineered an illegal
scheme for Aon to steer business to favored insurance companies
in exchange for lucrative contingent commissions. In collusion
with preferred insurance carriers, Aon routinely orchestrated
illusory bidding competitions in which it would designate a
winner first and then urge other favored insurance companies to
submit inflated bids with the understanding that Aon would make
similar favorable arrangements for the "losing" bidders in
subsequent competitions. Aon presented clients with these
inflated quotes to create the appearance of a fair bidding
competition. The complaint alleges defendants failed to disclose
that a material portion of Aon's revenues were derived from
illegal bid rigging and kickback schemes which subjected the
Company to the risk of regulatory penalties, potential criminal
and civil liability, and the loss of goodwill among its clients,
thereby compromising the Company's financial condition and
future business prospects.

On October 14, 2004, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer
issued a press release headlined "Investigation Reveals
Widespread Corruption in Insurance Industry,' announcing his
filing of an action in New York state Court against insurance
broker Marsh & McLennan Cos. and two executives for bid rigging
and for collecting fees to steer business to insurers pursuant
to "contingent commission" agreements. The press release
described wide-anging fraud and improper conduct within the
insurance industry. In response to this announcement, and
widespread media coverage which sent shockwaves throughout the
insurance industry, the price of Aon common stock dropped
dramatically, falling 16% in one day.

On October 15, 2004, The Wall Street Journal reported that Aon
was a target of Mr. Spitzer's probe, having been served with a
subpoena for documents related to its contingent commission
agreements. Numerous similar articles, highlighting the
corruption alleged in Mr. Spitzer's complaint, were subsequently
published, causing Aon's stock price to decline further. On
October 22, 2004, Aon issued a press release announcing that "it
is eliminating its practice of accepting contingent commissions
from underwriters." Aon's stock closed at $19.35 on October 22,
2004, 30% below its closing price prior to the breaking of the
scandal.

For more details, contact Glancy Binkow & Goldberg LLP by Phone:
(310) 201-9150 or (888) 773-9224 by E-mail: info@glancylaw.com
or visit their Web site: http://www.glancylaw.com.


ASPEN TECHNOLOGY: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Suit in MA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Aspen
Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq:AZPN) between August 8, 2000 and
October 29, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts against defendant Aspen and one or
more of its officers and/or directors. The action charges that
defendants violated federal securities laws by issuing a series
of materially false and misleading statements to the market
throughout the Class Period, which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities. No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the law offices of Charles J. Piven,
P.A. by Phone: The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt
Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036
or by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


JAKKS PACIFIC: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of JAKKS
Pacific, Inc. (Nasdaq:JAKK) between February 17, 2004 and
October 19, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York. The action charges that
defendants violated federal securities laws by issuing a series
of materially false and misleading statements to the market
throughout the Class Period, which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities. No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the law offices of Charles J. Piven,
P.A. by Phone: The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt
Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036
or by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


JAKKS PACIFIC: Wolf Popper Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Wolf Popper LLP initiated a securities fraud
lawsuit against JAKKS Pacific, Inc. ("JAKKS") (Nasdaq: JAKK) and
certain of its officers and directors in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York (Civ. No.
04CV8910) on behalf of all persons who purchased JAKKS
securities on the open market from February 16, 2000, through
October 18, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
misrepresented JAKKS's financial results and prospects to public
investors by improperly acquiring toy and videogame licenses
with World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. ("WWE") by paying
illegal kickbacks to WWE employees in return for obtaining said
licenses, resulting in JAKKS reporting materially inflated
financial results to the public.

On October 19, 2004, JAKKS issued a press release announcing
"that it is engaged in discussions with WWE concerning the
restructuring of its toy license. . . . The discussions are an
outgrowth of certain litigation that has been pending between
WWE and a former licensing consultant to WWE and a former
employee of WWE. . . . WWE has raised questions about the
validity of the licenses as a result of certain transactions
between [JAKKS] and that licensing consultant that occurred more
than six years ago."

The foregoing disclosure caused JAKKS's stock price to decline
upon heavy trading volume from its close of $24.15 per share on
October 18, 2004, to its close of $18.81 per share on October
19, 2004, the next trading day -- dropping $5.34, for a 22.11%
decline, causing significant aggregate damage to the investing
public.

Also on October 19, 2004, WWE filed a lawsuit against JAKKS
alleging that it bribed a WWE executive to obtain the right to
produce video games for the WWE. The stock price again declined
from its close of $18.81 per share on October 19, 2004, to its
close of $12.91 per share the next trading day -- dropping
$5.90, for a 31.37% decline, again, causing significant
aggregate damage to the investing public.

For more details, contact Daniel M. Rosenberg, Esq. of Wolf
Popper LLP by Mail: 845 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022 by
Phone: 212-451-9665 or 877-370-7703 by Fax: 212-486-2093 or
877-370-7704 by E-mail: irrep@wolfpopper.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.wolfpopper.com.


MEDQUIST INC.: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of MedQuist,
Inc. (Pink Sheets:MEDQ) between April 23, 2002 and November 2,
2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey against defendants MedQuist, Brian J.
Kearns and Davis A. Cohen. The action charges that defendants
violated federal securities laws by issuing a series of
materially false and misleading statements to the market
throughout the Class Period, which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities. No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the law offices of Charles J. Piven,
P.A. by Phone: The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt
Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036
or by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


MERCK & CO.: Scott + Scott Lodges ERISA Fraud Lawsuit in NJ
-----------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Scott + Scott, LLC initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey on behalf of participants and beneficiaries of the
Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE: MRK) Savings and Security Plan and the
Employee Stock Purchase and Security Plan.

The complaint alleges that defendants Merck & Co., Inc. and
other Plan fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duties under
ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) by, among
other things:

     (1) failing to properly manage the Plans' assets by
         imprudently investing a significant amount of the
         Plans' assets in Merck stock;

     (2) failing to provide complete and accurate information to
         participants and beneficiaries;

     (3) failing to monitor those Defendants who were charged
         with managing the Plans and their assets; and

     (4) failing to avoid conflicts of interest with respect to
         the Plans.

The price per share of Merck slid on Tuesday when the SEC
announced its informal inquiry on Vioxx. The Company also
received a subpoena from the Justice Department. CEO Raymond
Gilmartin and FDA officials must testify before Congress on
November 18, 2004. Finally, Moody's Investment Services lowered
Merck's Aaa rating of its long-term debt down two levels to Aa2.

Merck withdrew Vioxx from the market on Sept. 30, 2004 because
the drug purportedly significantly increased the risk of heart
attacks and strokes in patients taking it longer than 18 months.
After the drug had been withdrawn, the Wall Street Journal
reported that internal Company emails and memos showed that
Merck was aware of the problems with Vioxx as early as March
2000, over 4 years before the drug was withdrawn. Also, earlier
this week, the SEC and the Department of Justice announced that
they were investigating whether Merck misled investors and
federal regulators about the safety of Vioxx. Since Vioxx was
withdrawn from the market, Merck's stock price has dropped over
40% and is currently trading at an 8 1/2 year low.

For more details, contact Scott + Scott, LLC by Phone:
800-404-7770 (EST) or 800-332-2259 (PST) or by E-mail:
MerckERISALitigation@scott-scott.com or nrothstein@scott-
scott.com.


ST. PAUL TRAVELERS: Rosen Law Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in MN
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Rosen Law Firm initiated a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota on
behalf of all persons who purchased the securities of The St.
Paul Travelers Companies, Inc. ("St. Paul" or the "Company")
(NYSE: STA) between January 27, 2000 and October 22, 2004,
inclusive (the "Class Period"), against defendants St. Paul and
certain officers and directors of the Company.

The complaint charges that St. Paul and certain of its officers
and directors violated Section 10b of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 by failing to disclose material information
including the following adverse facts:

     (1) the Company engaged in an improper and unsustainable
         course of business under which it agreed to pay
         "contingent commissions" to insurance brokers to have
         them steer business to St. Paul and protect St. Paul
         from competition;

     (2) the Company's illicit scheme exposed the Company to
         significant regulatory penalties and threatened loss of
         consumer goodwill jeopardizing the Company's ability to
         sustain any performance in its legitimate business
         practices;

     (3) the Company's revenues and earnings would have been
         significantly less had the Company not engaged in such
         unlawful practices;

     (4) and the Company's prospects were at risk because its
         business and revenue could and would not be sustained
         when the public learned of its unlawful practice
         alleged herein.

For more details, contact Laurence Rosen, Esq. of The Rosen Law
Firm by Phone: 866-767-3653 by E-mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com or
visit their Web site: http://www.rosenlegal.com.


STAR GAS: Pomerantz Haudek Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CT
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross LLP
initiated a class action lawsuit against Star Gas Partners, L.P.
("Star Gas" or the "Company") (NYSE:SGU) and two of the
Company's senior officers in the United States District Court
for the District of Connecticut on behalf of all persons or
entities who purchased the securities of Star Gas during the
period between December 4, 2003 through October 18, 2004,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that Star Gas, a diversified home energy
distributor and service provider, specializing in heating oil,
propane, natural gas and electricity, and the Company's Chief
Executive Officer, Irik P. Sevin, and Chief Financial Officer,
Ami Trauber, violated the federal securities laws arising out of
defendants' dissemination of false and misleading statements
concerning the Company's operations, business model, financial
results and growth prospects.

According to the Complaint, defendants caused Star Gas's
securities to trade at artificially inflated levels through the
issuance of false and misleading statements. As a result of this
inflation, Star Gas was able to complete a secondary offering of
1.3 million common units and two note offerings totaling $65
million, raising net proceeds of $95 million during the Class
Period. Specifically, defendants concealed from investors that
the Company was experiencing massive delays in the
centralization of its dispatch system, causing customers to flee
to competitors, that the Company's Petro heating oil division's
process improvement program was not delivering the benefits
claimed by Defendants, and that contrary to prior indications,
the Company could not maintain profit margins in its heating oil
segment.

On October 18, 2004, the Company indicated that results at its
heating oil unit were expected to decline significantly, which
would inhibit it from meeting borrowing conditions under its
working capital credit line. In reaction to this news, shares of
Star Glass dropped dramatically, falling from $21.60 per share
to close at $4.32 the following day.

For more details, contact Andrew G. Tolan, Esq. of the Pomerantz
firm by Phone: 888-476-6529 or by E-mail: agtolan@pomlaw.com.


SWIFT TRANSPORTATION: Charles J. Piven Lodges Stock Suit in AZ
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Swift
Transportation Co., Inc. (Nasdaq:SWFT) between October 16, 2003
and October 1, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
District of Arizona against defendant Swift and one or more of
its officers and/or directors. The action charges that
defendants violated federal securities laws by issuing a series
of materially false and misleading statements to the market
throughout the Class Period, which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities. No class has yet been certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the law offices of Charles J. Piven,
P.A. by Phone: The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt
Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036
or by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.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.

                            *********


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Se¤orin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
prior written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

                  * * *  End of Transmission  * * *