CAR_Public/060103.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Tuesday, January 3, 2006, Vol. 8, No. 2


                            Headlines

ALABAMA: Hispanic Woman Sues Hoover City, Police For Harassment
AMERICAN SEAFOODS: Appeals Court Upholds Suit Summary Judgment
AMERIDEBT INC.: Relief Defendant Settles Investor Fraud Charges
CLEAR CHANNEL: Court Yet To Rule on Lawsuit Certification Appeal
EMERSON RADIO: NJ Court Yet To Rule on Securities Suit Dismissal

EXPEDIA INC.: IAC/InterActiveCorp Securities Suit Still Pending
FEDERAL EXPRESS: Settles 2001 Religious Accommodation Case in NY
FMF CAPITAL: MI Suit Seeks $1.1B in Damages For Dispute Over IPO
H&R BLOCK: Plaintiffs Want RAL Suit Mentioned to New Customers
HAVENS STEEL: MO Judge Allows Ex-Workers to Sue For Stock Losses

HOTELS.COM: Appeals Court Affirms TX Securities Suit Dismissal
HOTELS.COM: TX Court Grants Certification To Consumer Fraud Suit
IAC/INTERACTIVECORP: Consumer Lawsuits Moved To CA State Court
IAC/INTERACTIVECORP: Asks WA Court To Dismiss Consumer Lawsuit
IAC/INTERACTIVECORP: Lawsuits V. Hotels.com Merger Still Pending

ILLINOIS: ACLU, Cook County Goes to Court Over Juvenile Center
KOPPERS INC.: TX Residents Launch Personal Injury, Damage Suit
LAZARD LTD.: Shareholders Launch Fraud, Derivative Suits in NY
MILBERG WEISS: Prosecutors Say CA Lawyer Tried to Hide Payments
NEW YORK: Group Assails Police's Monitoring of Political Events

NURSES ON HAND: NY Attorney General, Nassau County Launches Suit
MEGA FLEX: AR Court Mulls Dismissal of TracPipe Defect Lawsuit
PERKINELMER INC.: Plaintiffs Voluntarily Dismiss MA Fraud Suit
SECURITY CAPITAL: Plaintiffs Voluntarily Dismiss DE Fraud Suit
TREEHOUSE FOODS: Gets $1.1M in Corn Syrup Antitrust Settlement

ZIRKLE FRUIT: Owner to Pay $1.3M to Settle WA Immigration Case

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

DIEBOLD INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in OH
MIKOHN GAMING: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Fraud Suit in NV
PEGASUS COMMUNICATION: Rosen Law Sets Lead Plaintiff Deadline
SERACARE LIFE: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
SERACARE LIFE: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA

SERACARE LIFE: Pomerantz Haudek Files Securities Suit in S.D. CA

                            *********


ALABAMA: Hispanic Woman Sues Hoover City, Police For Harassment
---------------------------------------------------------------
A federal lawsuit launched by a Hispanic woman now living in
Mexico alleges that police in the city of Hoover, Alabama are
harassing Hispanics with illegal searches, wrongful
incarceration and racial profiling, The Associated Press
reports.

Filed by attorney George Huddleston, III, in U.S. District Court
in Alabama, the suit was brought on behalf of Anel Mancera-
Ramirez, a former Vestavia Hills resident who's now back in her
hometown of Alvaro Obregon, Mexico. Ms. Mancera-Ramirez' suit
names a litany of defendants, including the city of Hoover, its
police department, Mayor Tony Petelos, police chief Nicholas
Derzis, all seven city council members and District Judge Robert
Cahill.

Mr. Huddleston told The Associated Press from his Birmingham
office, "Each of them has an affirmative responsibility to see
to it that this kind of thing doesn't happen." He adds, "When
you see violations of this kind occurring ... you don't speak in
such a way to nurture these policies of the police department.
Your inaction becomes an official policy and that policy is what
is at issue here."

On the eve of the New Year's holiday weekend, efforts to reach
Mr. Petelos, Mr. Derzis, Judge Cahill and city council members
for comment were unsuccessful. Calls to city attorney Mark
Boardman were not immediately returned also.

The suit seeks to include at least 500 legal or illegal Hispanic
immigrants who have or might have been coerced into pleading
guilty to possessing forged instruments. It would also include
those who have been subjected to illegal stops, searches,
arrests, charges, convictions and sentences.

Monetary damages sought in the suit will be used to reimburse
members of the class action for fines and costs the city
obtained from their convictions, according to Mr. Huddleston
said.

Hoover, a bustling Birmingham suburb with a population of about
66,346, including about 2,380 Hispanics, has been home to
several clashes with Hispanics in recent years. In August the
Hoover City Council cited complaints about day laborers when it
terminated Catholic Family Services' contract to use a city-
owned building for a Multicultural Resource Center. The center,
which opened in 2003 and offers language classes and other
services for Hispanics, has since reopened in a temporary
office.

The suit states that Ms. Mancera-Ramirez was involved in a minor
traffic accident in Hoover in May, when a responding officer
forcibly took her purse and wallet and searched them without a
warrant. The officer then removed documents he said were false
or forged and arrested Ms. Mancera-Ramirez on charges of
possessing a forged instrument. She was taken to the Jefferson
County Jail and held under a "no bond" order signed by Judge
Cahill.

Mr. Huddleston told The Associated Press that his client's
eventual guilty plea was coerced through fear and intimidation
after her more than 20-day imprisonment with convicted inmates.
Ms. Mancera-Ramirez, 26, does not speak or understand English,
he said. According to the suit, Ms. Mancera-Ramirez was released
into the custody of agents from the Bureau of Immigration and
Customs Enforcement and detained at a federal lockup in Etowah
County until the end of August. She was then taken across the
border to Matamoros, Mexico, across from Brownsville, Texas,
where Mr. Huddleston says she was "dumped with no money or
property and no way of getting home."

The suit is styled, "Mancero-Ramirez v. Hoover, Alabama, City of
et al., Case No. 2:05-cv-02618-KOB," filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, under Judge
Karon O. Bowdre. Representing the Defendants is George
Huddleston, III, 5133 Selkirk Drive, Birmingham, AL 35242,
Phone: 991-1567, E-mail: hooaah@bellsouth.net.


AMERICAN SEAFOODS: Appeals Court Upholds Suit Summary Judgment
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the
the United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington's decision granting summary judgment in favor of
American Seafoods Group LLC in the class action filed against
it.

On October 19, 2001, a complaint was filed in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Washington and the
Superior Court of Washington for King County.  An amended
complaint was filed in both courts on January 15, 2002.  The
amended complaint was filed against the Company by a former
vessel crew member on behalf of himself and a class of over 500
seamen, although neither the United States District Court nor
the Superior Court certified this action as a class action.  On
June 13, 2002, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the complaint
filed in the Superior Court.

The complaint filed alleges that the Company breached its
contract with the plaintiffs by underestimating the value of the
catch in computing the plaintiff's s wages.  The plaintiff
demanded an accounting of their crew shares pursuant to federal
statutory law.  In addition, the plaintiff requested relief
under a Washington statute that would render the Company liable
for twice the amount of wages withheld, as well as judgment
against the Company for compensatory and exemplary damages, plus
interest, attorneys' fees and costs, among other things.

The plaintiff also alleged that the Company fraudulently
concealed the underestimation of product values, thereby
preventing the discovery of their cause of action.  The conduct
allegedly took place prior to January 28, 2000, the date the
Company's business was acquired American Seafoods, L.P., the
Company's indirect parent (ASLP).

On September 25, 2003, the court entered an order granting the
Company's motion for summary judgment and dismissing the
entirety of plaintiff's claims with prejudice and with costs.  
The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration of this order
that was denied by the court.  The plaintiff then appealed the
District Court decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Oral arguments occurred on June 7, 2005.  On September 1, 2005,
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed the
decision of the District Court and the lawsuit was dismissed.
The suit is styled "Flores, et al v. American Seafoods Co, et
al., case no. 2:01-cv-01684-TSZ," filed in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Washington, under
Judge Thomas S. Zilly.  

Lawyers for the plaintiffs are Bradley H. Bagshaw, Scott Edward
Collins of HELSELL FETTERMAN LLP, P.O. Box 21846, Seattle WA
98111-3846, Phone: 206-292-1144, Fax: 340-0902, E-mail:
bbagshaw@helsell.com or scollins@helsell.com.  Lawyers for the
defendants are:

     (1) Christopher S. McNulty and John David Stahl, MUNDT
         MACGREGOR LLP, 999 3rd Ave Ste 4200, Seattle WA 98104-
         4082, Phone: 206-624-5950, Fax: FAX 624-5469, E-mail:
         cmcnulty@mundtmac.com or jdstahl@mundtmac.com

     (2) Jay H. Zulauf, HALL ZANZIG ZULAUF CLAFLIN MCEACHERN,
         1200 5th Ave, Ste 1414, Seattle WA 98101, Phone: 206-
         292-5900, Fax: 292-5901, E-mail: jzulauf@hallzan.com


AMERIDEBT INC.: Relief Defendant Settles Investor Fraud Charges
---------------------------------------------------------------
Relief defendant Pamela Pukke, the estranged wife of AmeriDebt,
Inc. founder Andris Pukke, has agreed to forfeit all rights to
assets currently held in receivership and will cooperate with
the Federal Trade Commission in its continuing case against her
husband and his company, DebtWorks, Inc., under the terms of a
court settlement filed and announced in a Federal Trade
Commission press release dated December 30,2005.

In addition, she will give up her ownership interest in two of
the Pukkes' homes in Maryland and Florida and will be subject to
a $4 million judgment if she is found to have misrepresented her
financial condition. The FTC alleged that she received
significant assets - as much as $4 million - from AmeriDebt's
deceptive operations, but did not actively participate in or
control the defendants' deceptive debt-management scheme. The
money collected from Mrs. Pukke will be used to provide consumer
redress.

In a complaint filed in 2003, the FTC charged that AmeriDebt,
Inc., DebtWorks, Inc., and Andris Pukke deceived consumers with
claims that AmeriDebt was a nonprofit organization that could
help consumers get out of debt without an up-front fee. The FTC
charged that, rather than operating for charitable purposes as
advertised, AmeriDebt funneled profits to affiliated for-profit
entities and individuals, including DebtWorks and Andris Pukke.
According to the FTC, AmeriDebt deceived new clients when it
required an up-front payment to enroll in the program. AmeriDebt
then kept these initial payments as fees without consumers'
knowledge, rather than disbursing the money to consumers'
creditors as promised.

The complaint also charged that, contrary to their claims that
they provided counseling, the defendants simply enrolled
customers in debt-management plans (DMPs). Once in a DMP,
consumers made a single monthly payment to AmeriDebt for all
their unsecured debts; the payment was then disbursed to the
consumers' creditors. The FTC charged AmeriDebt with deceptive
practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act and
with violating the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act by failing to provide
consumers with required privacy notices.

After the complaint was filed, the court appointed a receiver to
collect and maintain the assets of the defendants. In June 2004,
AmeriDebt filed for bankruptcy protection. At the request of the
FTC and others, the bankruptcy court removed existing management
and appointed a trustee to oversee AmeriDebt. In March 2005,
AmeriDebt settled the FTC's charges by - among other things -
agreeing to shut down its debt management operations. Litigation
continues, with the trial against Andris Pukke and DebtWorks
currently scheduled to begin on January 3, 2006.

In addition to the terms described above, the court order
requires Pamela Pukke to cooperate with authorities in her
husband's bankruptcy case. She also will testify against her
husband in the Commission's continuing case against him and
DebtWorks. Finally, the order specifies that the Commission and
counsel for a nationwide class action that is pending against
Andris Pukke will agree on a redress program that fairly
distributes funds to consumers.

The Commission vote approving the issuance of the stipulated
final judgment and order was 3-0, with Chairman Deborah Platt
Majoras recused. The judgment and order were filed on December
30, 2005, in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Maryland.

Copies of the consent order in settlement of the court action
are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.govand  
also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600
Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works
for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair
business practices in the marketplace and to provide information
to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a
complaint in English or Spanish (bilingual counselors are
available to take complaints), or to get free information on any
of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-
382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov.The  
FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft, and other
fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure,
online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law
enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  For more details,
contact Mitchell J. Katz, Office of Public Affairs, Phone:
202-326-2161 or contact Alice Saker Hrdy, Bureau of Consumer
Protection, by phone: 202-326-2009 or visit the website:
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2005/12/pukkeameridebt.htm.


CLEAR CHANNEL: Court Yet To Rule on Lawsuit Certification Appeal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has
yet to rule on plaintiffs' appeal of a lower court ruling
refusing to certify a class action filed against Clear Channel
Communications, Inc.

Melinda Heerwagen filed the suit on June 13, 2002 in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The
plaintiff, on behalf of a putative class consisting of certain
concert ticket purchasers, alleges that anti-competitive
practices for concert promotion services by us nationwide caused
artificially high ticket prices.

On August 11, 2003, the Court ruled in the Company's favor,
denying the plaintiff's class certification motion. The
plaintiff has appealed this decision to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit, and oral argument was held on
November 3, 2004. A decision has not yet been issued.

The Company is aware of putative class actions filed by
different named plaintiffs in United States District Court in
Philadelphia, Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago, styled:

     (1) Cooperberg v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc., et
         al., Civ. No. 2:05-cv-04492 (E.D. Pa.),

     (2) Diaz v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc., et al.,
         Civ. No. 05-cv-22413 (S.D. Fla.),

     (3) Thompson v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc., Civ.
         No. 2:05-cv-6704 (C.D. Cal.), and

     (4) Bhatia v. Clear Channel Communications, Inc., et al.,
         Civ. No. 1:05-cv-05612 (N.D. Ill.).

The claims made in these actions are substantially similar to
the claims made in the "Heerwagen" action, except that the
geographic markets alleged are local in nature and the members
of the putative classes are limited to individuals who purchased
tickets to concerts in the relevant geographic markets alleged.
Clear Channel Communications has been served in two of these
actions.  The Company is seeking an extension of the answer
dates until after the Court of Appeals rules.

The suit is styled "Heerwagen v. Clear Channel Comm., et al.,
case no. 2:02-cv-04503-JES," filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York, under Judge John E.
Sprizzo.  Representing the plaintiffs is Stephen J. Fearon, Jr.,
Squitieri & Fearon, L.L.P., 420 Fifth Avenue, 18th Floor, New
York, NY 10018, Phone: (212) 575-2092, E-mail:
stephen@sfclasslaw.com.  Representing the company is Jonathan M.
Jacobson, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati(NYC), 12 East 49th
Street, 30th Flr., New York, NY 10017, Phone: 212-999-5858, Fax:
212-999-5899, E-mail: jjacobson@wsgr.com.


EMERSON RADIO: NJ Court Yet To Rule on Securities Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
has yet to rule on Emerson Radio Corporation's motion seeking
the dismissal of the consolidated securities class action filed
against it, Geoffrey Jurick, Kenneth Corby and John Raab.

Between September 4, 2003 and October 30, 2003, several putative
class action lawsuits were filed on behalf of purchasers of the
Company's publicly traded securities between January 29, 2003
and August 12, 2003.  On December 17, 2003, the Court entered a
Joint Stipulation and Order consolidating these putative class
actions under the caption "In Re Emerson Radio Corp. Securities
Litigation, 03cv4201 (JLL)."  Further to that Stipulation and
Order, lead plaintiff was appointed and co-lead counsel and co-
liaison counsel were approved by the Court in the Consolidated
Action. Consistent with the Stipulation and Order, the
plaintiffs filed an Amended Consolidated Complaint (the "Amended
Complaint") that, among other things, added Jerome Farnum, one
of Emerson's directors, as an individual defendant in the
litigation.

Generally, the Amended Complaint alleges that the Company and
the Individual Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing certain positive statements during the
Class Period regarding the Company's ability to replace lost
revenues attributable to the Hello Kitty(R) license and omitting
to disclose that the Company suffered allegedly soured
relationships with its largest retail customers.  The Amended
Complaint further alleges that these statements were materially
false and misleading when made because the Company allegedly
misrepresented and omitted certain adverse facts which then
existed and disclosure of which was necessary to make the
statements not false and misleading.

The Company and the individual defendants moved to dismiss the
Complaint in its entirety for failure to state a claim.  The
motion to dismiss was fully briefed and was submitted to the
Court on October 15, 2004.  The Court's decision on the motion
is pending.

The suit is styled "PELONE, et al v. EMERSON RADIO CORP., et al,
case no. 2:03-cv-04201-JLL-RJH," filed in the United States
District Court in New Jersey, under Judge Jose L. Linares.  
Representing the Company is Steven M. Hecht of LOWENSTEIN
SANDLER PC, 65 Livingston Avenue, Roseland NJ 07068-1791, Phone:
(973) 597-2500, E-mail: shecht@lowenstein.com.  Representing the
plaintiffs are Joseph J. DePalma, LITE, DEPALMA, GREENBERG &
RIVAS, LLC, Two Gateway Center, 12th Floor, Newark NJ 07102-5003
Phone: (973) 623-3000, E-mail: jdepalma@ldgrlaw.com; and Andrew
Robert Jacobs, EPSTEIN FITZSIMMONS BROWN GIOIA JACOBS & SPROULS,
245 Green Village Road, PO Box 901, Chatham Township NJ 07928-
0901, Phone: (973) 593-4900, E-mail: ajacobs@epsteinfitz.com.


EXPEDIA INC.: IAC/InterActiveCorp Securities Suit Still Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
IAC/InterActiveCorp asked the United States District Court for
the Southern District of New York Plaintiffs to dismiss a
consolidated securities class action against, styled "In re
IAC/InterActiveCorp Securities Litigation," filed against it and
fourteen current or former officers or directors of the Company
or its Expedia travel business.

Several suits were initially filed, arising out of the Company's
August 4, 2004 announcement of its earnings for the second
quarter of 2004.  On May 20, 2005, the plaintiffs filed a
consolidated amended complaint. Like the twelve complaints
previously filed in this case, this complaint generally alleges
that the value of the Company's stock was artificially inflated
by pre-announcement statements about its financial results and
forecasts that were false and misleading due to the defendants'
alleged failure to disclose various problems faced by the
Company's travel businesses.  The plaintiffs seek to represent a
class of shareholders who purchased the Company's common stock
between March 31, 2003 and August 3, 2004. The complaint
purports to assert claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, as well as Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act
of 1933, and seeks damages in an unspecified amount.

Two related shareholder derivative actions have been
consolidated with the securities class action for pre-trial
purposes. The consolidated shareholder derivative complaint,
filed on July 5, 2005 against the Company (as a nominal
defendant) and sixteen current or former officers or directors
of the Company or its former Expedia travel business, is based
upon factual allegations similar to those in the securities
class action and purports to assert claims for breach of
fiduciary duty, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, waste of
corporate assets, unjust enrichment, violation of section 14(a)
of the Exchange Act, and contribution and indemnification. The
complaint seeks an order voiding the election of the Company's
current Board of Directors, as well as damages in an unspecified
amount, various forms of equitable relief, restitution, and
disgorgement of remuneration received by the individual
defendants from the Company.

On September 15, 2005, the Company and the other defendants
filed motions to dismiss both the securities class action and
the shareholder derivative suits. The plaintiffs' responses to
the motions were filed on November 15, 2005.

The Company is not a party to this litigation, however, under
the terms of its Separation Agreement with IAC, the Company has
generally agreed to bear a portion of the costs and liabilities,
if any, associated with any securities law litigation relating
to conduct prior to the Spin-Off of the businesses or entities
that comprise the Company following the Spin-Off.

The suit is styled "In re IAC/InteractiveCorp Securities
Litigation, case no. 1:04-cv-07447-RJH," filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
under Judge Richard J. Holwell.  Representing the plaintiffs are
Frederick Taylor Isquith, Sr. and Gregory M. Nespole of Wolf
Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP, 270 Madison Avenue, New
York, NY 10016, Phone: 212-545-4600, Fax: 212-545-4653, E-mail:
isquith@whafh.com; and Jeffrey S. Nobel of Schatz & Nobel, One
Corporate Center, 20 Church Street, Suite 1700, Hartford, CT
06103, Phone: 860-493-6292.


FEDERAL EXPRESS: Settles 2001 Religious Accommodation Case in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Federal Express Corporation reached a settlement for the lawsuit
filed against it, relating to its alleged accommodation of the
religious beliefs and practices of several individuals employed
as couriers in New York City, state Attorney General Eliot
Spitzer announced in a statement.

"FedEx Express prides itself on being an inclusive company," Mr.
Spitzer said. "The policy and practice memorialized in this
agreement go a long way toward achieving this worthwhile goal."

Mr. Spitzer began an investigation in 2000 when his office was
approached by several former FedEx Express employees who wore
their hair in dreadlocks as an expression of their religious
beliefs. These employees had been terminated by FedEx Express
because of their refusal to cut their hair. After conducting an
investigation, Mr. Spitzer filed a lawsuit against FedEx Express
in 2001.

During the course of discovery, Mr. Spitzer's office learned
that FedEx Express had voluntarily addressed many of the
concerns underlying the lawsuit. Most importantly, FedEx Express
revised its Personal Appearance Policy to allow employees to
request an exemption from the policy based on religious reasons.

Pursuant to the settlement agreement, FedEx Express will make
further minor adjustments to its Personal Appearance Policy,
better inform managerial employees about responding to requests
for religious accommodation, and periodically inform the
Attorney General's office about its handling of requests for
accommodation involving the wearing of dreadlocks.

Mr. Spitzer commended FedEx Express for its willingness to
address the concerns relating to religious accommodation.  The
case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Brian J.
Kreiswirth under the direction of Bureau Chief Dennis D. Parker
and Deputy Bureau Chief Natalie R. Williams of the Attorney
General's Civil Rights Bureau.


FMF CAPITAL: MI Suit Seeks $1.1B in Damages For Dispute Over IPO
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit seeking up to $1.1 billion in damages was
filed in Oakland County Circuit Court in Michigan, alleging
fraud by the three top executives of FMF Capital Group Ltd. a
company registered in Canada, but is operating in Southfield,
which lost nearly 95 percent of its share price since it went
public on the Toronto Stock Exchange on March 24, The Crain's
Detroit Business reports.

The lawsuit also names three related U.S. firms based in
Southfield: FMF Holdings L.L.C., FMF Capital L.L.C. and Michigan
Fidelity Acceptance Corporation as well as five Canadian
underwriters, Harris Nesbitt Corporation, a subsidiary of the
Bank of Montreal based in Bingham Farms and the Chicago-based
accounting firm BDO Seidman L.L.P.  It alleges that those
involved in the initial public offering should have realized
that the company didn't have sufficient reserves to buy back
non-performing loans from its institutional buyers and
understated the risk to investors.

Joseph Aviv of Detroit law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and
Cohn L.L.P., who is representing the three executives, told The
Crain's Detroit Business that the lawsuit is without merit. He
pointed out, "My reading of the prospectus is all the risks they
are complaining about were disclosed. This is a business that
has risks. Buyers were told about the risks, and they made the
decision whether to buy or not." He adds, "These were buyers
looking for high returns. And high returns bring high risks. As
long as the risks were disclosed, there were no violations of
security laws."

The prospectus for the stock, which was set up as a type of
income trust called an Income Participating Security and traded
under the symbol "FMF.UN" offered a return of about 11 percent
on the initial investment, paid out in monthly installments.

Mr. Aviv told The Crain's Detroit Business, attorneys for the
defendants will have until January 31 to respond. After that the
court must decide whether to certify the class as legitimate. He
told The Crain's Detroit Business though, "I think it's highly
unlikely this court will certify this class."

Henry Juroviesky of Toronto-based law firm Juroviesky and Ricci
L.L.P. filed the suit on December 5, 2005 on behalf of LIMBC
Acceptance Corporation of Toronto and the proposed class of
investors. LIMBC's sole asset is the shares of the Company
bought by one of the attorney's clients. Mr. Juroviesky told The
Crain's Detroit Business that he expects certification of the
proposed class to be a mere formality.

FMF Capital Group Ltd. raised $197.5 million Canadian with its
IPO, or about $160 million in U.S. funds. It was believed to be
the first financial-services Company based in the U.S. to do a
cross-border IPO. The Company used the proceeds from the IPO to
buy a 60 percent stake in FMF Holdings, which wholly owns FMF
Capital L.L.C. Michigan Fidelity owns the other 40 percent of
FMF Holdings. Those three Michigan companies and the Canadian-
registered firm share the same address on Northwestern Highway.
The four also share the same executives: co-CEOs Robert
Pilcowitz and Edan King, and CFO Howard Morof.

Mr. Morof joined the mortgage company in 2004 after eight years
as CFO of Broder Bros. Co., a Plymouth-based clothing
wholesaler. Mr. King co-founded Michigan Fidelity in 1992 with
Mr. Pilcowitz. Prior to that he was CEO of ASGI Corp., a
subsidiary of New Jersey-based ASTA Funding Inc., which buys and
sells consumer loans. He was also a real estate attorney for 14
years at his own firm: King & King P.C. Mr. Pilcowitz was a tax
attorney at his own firm: Robert M. Pilcowitz P.C., for six
years.

FMF Capital L.L.C. originates subprime loans from a network of
5,000 independent brokers in 38 states and then sells them to
institutional buyers. FMF Holdings distributes 60 percent of the
profits to FMF Capital Group Ltd. and 40 percent to Michigan
Fidelity, which is privately held.

FMF Capital L.L.C. formerly originated and sold loans under the
entities FranklinDirect and Franklin Mortgage Funding Inc.
According to the prospectus, it had net income of $8.7 million
in 2002, $16.3 million in 2003 and $30 million in 2004. Revenues
were $33.7 million, $69.1 million and $102.8 million,
respectively.

After the close of trading on November 14, company officials
said that despite record loan origination for the quarter ending
September 30, which was up 155 percent over the same quarter a
year earlier as a private company, to $1.3 billion, the company
lost $1.6 million and was suspending monthly payments.

Viola Kouri of St. Lambert, Quebec, told The Crain's Detroit
Business that she, her husband, Loren Zakaib, and her son, Jay
Zakaib, lost a total of about $217,000 Canadian on their
investment, buying FMF stock when it went public and selling it
at 80 cents. According to her, most of the investment was to
provide income to help defray the cost of 24-hour-a-day
attention required by her 41-year-old daughter, Janice, who she
described as severely mentally and physically challenged. She
and her husband, Loren, are both 73. "We are getting on in
years. Our objective was to provide for her future.

Ms. Kouri, whose family has joined the class action suit, als
told The Crain's Detroit Business, "The stock was highly touted
to us as an out-perform. I don't want to finger-point, but our
broker was one of the five underwriters who were part of the
offering. We got an apology, but an apology doesn't pay the
grocery bills or my daughter's assisted living. It's so
upsetting and traumatic."

Company officials said in a 90-minute teleconference on November
15 to angry brokers and investors that changing market
conditions including rising interest rates, reduced spreads
between what they bought loans for and what they could sell them
for and the loss of three institutional buyers that accounted
for 50 percent of FMF's sales, cut into the cash reserves needed
to pay disbursements to investors. They also said that
increasing loan volumes meant a corresponding increase in the
amount of loans they had to buy back, though the percentage
remained steady at about 1 percent. Typically, if the mortgagee
fails to make the first payment, the purchaser can return it to
FMF for a full rebate plus associated costs and interest.

"I call it fraud. Or, at the very least, reckless disregard for
the truth," Mr. Juroviesky told The Crain's Detroit Business. He
adds, "If someone would have said, `If bad loans go up, all the
cash reserves will be drained from the company,' no one would
have bought this thing."

Mr. Juroviesky told The Crain's Detroit Business that the suit
was filed in Oakland County because the company has no Canadian
assets. He pointed out that he would be seeking up to $1.1
billion, including punitive damages, and that it would take at
least a year for the case to reach a jury, barring a settlement.
According to him, he was suing the underwriters and the
accounting firm because "we came to the conclusion there were
key business risks that were not accounted for. The biggest risk
is push-backs from institutional buyers and they didn't have a
reserve to account for them."

Despite the suit, Jerry Walsh, president of Walsh Communications
in New York City, which handles public relations for BDO Seidman
told The Crain's Detroit Business, "The accusations in this
action are without basis in fact. In connections with its audits
of FMF Capital Group, BDO Seidman acted at all times consistent
with its professional obligations, and its audit opinions were
based on the proper application of generally accepted auditing
standards and information provided by the company."

In a recent phone interview Mr. Morof told The Crain's Detroit
Business, "We have taken the necessary steps to position our
business for the environment we are in. We're continuing to
generate mortgages. ... And our industry, the nonprime mortgage
industry, seems to have reacted to market forces by raising
interest rates fairly significantly."

The Company says it has reduced the volume of interest-only loan
originations from 40 percent to 20 percent, has modified its
underwriting guidelines to appeal to its largest institutional
investors, is negotiating with institutional purchasers
regarding repurchase requests, and has reduced the commission to
independent brokers by 30 basis points.

Mr. Morof told The Crain's Detroit Business that the Company has
laid off some employees but wouldn't specify how many. FMF
Holdings and its subsidiaries had about 400 employees at the
time of the IPO. At the teleconference, Mr. King also noted, "We
are committed to taking all necessary steps and actions within
our control to get this company back to profitability and resume
distributions. We believe in this company and its future success
and believe we can weather the dramatic and recent changes to
this market."

For more details, visit: http://www.jruslaw.com.  


H&R BLOCK: Plaintiffs Want RAL Suit Mentioned to New Customers
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs' attorneys say that H&R Block Inc. should inform
customers applying for refund anticipation loans (RAL) of the
existence of a class action lawsuit concerning how the loans
have been sold in the past, The Associated Press reports.

In documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, the lawyers said that the Company has
included language in more recent applications for the refund
loans to say customers agree to resolve all disagreements in
arbitration, as opposed to court. That language doesn't include
any mention of the federal racketeering class action lawsuit
scheduled to go to trial in March 2006.

The attorneys added that some applications mention other
lawsuits that the company recently settled. The lawsuits have
all charged that H&R Block has been using unfair and illegal
practices to sell the loans to customers. Particularly, they
were concerned about customers who first accepted refund
anticipation loans between 1987 and 1996, the period the class
covers, but who obtained another loan in 2000, 2001, 2002 or
2005.

Molly Jenner, an H&R Block attorney, acknowledged in a memo to
plaintiffs' lawyers, which was included with the filing, that
the new contracts affected more than 777,000 customers who fit
that description. Ms. Jenner wrote, "By providing this
information. Defendants are in no way waiving their position,
which has been affirmed by the court twice in this matter, that
these arbitration provisions are enforceable and are enforceable
retroactively."

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, who argue the language doesn't
prevent customers from suing, are asking U.S. District Judge
Elaine Bucklo to order H&R Block to mail notices to all 777,000
customers telling them about the class action and their rights.
In addition, they also want H&R Block to post similar notices in
their retail offices and change the language on the applications
to also mention the litigation. The attorneys specifically
wrote,  "Defendants have had, and continue to have, improper
communications with members of the class each time a class
member enters a Block tax preparation office and is shown a
(refund anticipation loan) application."

Linda McDougall, a spokeswoman for Kansas City-based H&R Block,
told The Associated Press that the arbitration language was a
standard part of the loan applications and was always discussed
with customers. According to her, it was the plaintiff
attorneys' responsibility to inform their clients about their
rights. She pointed out, "What they're trying to do is shift the
burden and cost of the notice from them to us."

With refund anticipation loans (RAL), customers due a tax refund
could receive most of the money in two or three business days by
paying a fee to file the return electronically plus a loan-
processing fee. Critics claim that such loans prey upon low-
income households, immigrants and financially unsophisticated
taxpayers who weren't adequately informed about the high
interest rates.

Previously, the Company agreed to pay $62.5 million to settle
four similar class action suits filed in West Virginia, Ohio,
Alabama and Maryland, as well as resolve claims pending in 22
other states and the District of Columbia. The settlement, which
was approved by a Kanawha Circuit, West Virginia judge, gave
preliminary approval to a $62.5 million settlement between H&R
Block Inc. and an estimated 8 million consumers that exchanged
tax refunds for upfront payments.

While admitting no wrongdoing, H&R Block agreed to offer
payments to customers who took out these refund anticipation
loans. Depending on their state, consumers are eligible for
payments for loans taken out as far back as mid-June 1989. The
Kansas City-based Company planned to resolve the allegations
through a 2003 lawsuit filed in West Virginia, one of the four
class actions. Last week, Judge Duke Bloom ordered lawyers to
mail information about the settlement's terms to affected
consumers by March 15, 2006. The judge scheduled a June 8, 2006
hearing to field any objections and give the deal final
approval, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 27,
2005) reports.

The West Virginia class action is styled, "Deandra D. Cummins,
et al. V. H&R Block, Inc., et al., Case No. 03-C-134," and was
set for an October 17, 2005 trial in the Circuit Court of
Kanawha County. It relates to the Company's refund anticipation
loan (RAL) programs, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(March 21, 2005) reports. Like the other suits, it alleges a
variety of legal theories, including allegations that, among
other things:

     (1) disclosures in the RAL applications were inadequate,
         misleading and untimely;

     (2) the RAL interest rates were usurious and
         unconscionable;

     (3) the company did not disclose that it would receive part
         of the finance charges paid by the customer for such
         loans;

     (4) breach of state laws on credit service organizations;

     (5) breach of contract, unjust enrichment, unfair and
         deceptive acts or practices;

     (6) violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and
         Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act;

     (7) violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection
         Practices Act; and

     (8) that the company owes and breached a fiduciary duty to
         its customers in connection with the RAL program.

On December 30, 2004, the trial court certified a class
consisting of all West Virginia residents who obtained RALs from
January 1, 1994 to present. On February 23, 2005, the U.S.
Supreme Court denied the Company's request to review the West
Virginia Supreme Court's decision not to review the trial
court's denial of the Company's motion to compel arbitration.

Despite the settlement, H&R Block continues to offer refund
anticipation loans, and the settlement requires the company to
explain tax filing options, costs and other details about the
loans. In a press statement, H&R Block said, "The goal is to
ensure that consumers have all the information they need to make
the best choices that meet their financial needs and to ensure
that the disclosures set the industry standard."

The Illinois case, which plaintiffs' attorneys estimate covers
3.5 million customers, charges the company with federal
racketeering violations related to the loans.

The suit is styled, "Zawikowski, et al v. Beneficial Natl Bk, et
al., Case No. 1:98-cv-02178," filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, under
Judge Elaine E. Bucklo. Representing the Plaintiff/s is Ronald
L. Futterman of Futterman & Howard, Chtd., 122 South Michigan
Ave., Suite 1850, Chicago, IL 60603, Phone: (312) 427-3600, E-
mail: rfutterman@futtermanhoward.com. Representing the
Defendant/s is Anton Ronald Valukas of Jenner & Block, LLC, One
IBM Plaza, 330 North Wabash Ave., 40th Floor, Chicago, IL 60611,
Phone: (312) 222-9350.


HAVENS STEEL: MO Judge Allows Ex-Workers to Sue For Stock Losses
----------------------------------------------------------------
A recent ruling by a Missouri federal judge is allowing former
employees of Havens Steel Co. to sue former officers of the
bankrupt Company in a class action for allegedly causing the
firm's employee stock-ownership plan to lose all its value, The
Kansas City Business Journal reports.

With the ruling, attorneys for five former officers have until
January 3, 2006 to file motions for summary judgment seeking
dismissal of the class action suit on other grounds. Originally,
U.S. District Judge Scott Wright certified a class of former
employees on December 5, 2005 in the suit, which was filed back
in November 2004 with eight former Havens employees as
plaintiffs.

Judge Wright's ruling could expand the suit to include 500
plaintiffs, attorney Neil Sader of Kansas City-based Sader &
Garvin LLC said told The Kansas City Business Journal. Mr. Sader
pointed out that the case has not been restricted by the
bankruptcy court's automatic stay on suits against companies
undergoing reorganization because the company isn't named as a
defendant. He reiterates, "We're not suing the corporation.
We're only suing former directors and officers."

Filed by eight current and former employees of the Company, the
lawsuit sought class action status on behalf of some 500 current
and former Havens employees who participated in the employee
stock-ownership plan, or ESOP, which two years ago was worth
nearly $40 million as well as unspecified damages. Named as
defendants are Havens' former president and chief executive
officer, Kenneth McCullough, and three other former Havens
executives: Jesse Bechtold, Don Price, Thomas Collins and Steven
Cowan. All were members of Havens' ESOP Committee and served on
the company's board, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(December 2, 2004) reports.

The suit alleges that the defedants breached their fiduciary
duties by paying themselves large bonuses and by concentrating
the ESOP's investments in Havens stock "even after they knew
that it was not a prudent investment." The suit contends that
shortly after Mr. McCullough informed plan participants of the
company's record $228 million in revenue in 2001, he and other
company executives awarded themselves bonuses of more than $2.3
million, including $513,060 for Mr. McCullough, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (December 2, 2004) reports.

After that, the suit says, the defendants directed that the
$2.67 million the company contributed to the ESOP in early 2002
be used to buy company stock. This was done, the plaintiffs
allege, even though the defendants knew the company's 2002
performance "was going to be in stark contrast with the results
they had announced in 2001," an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (December 2, 2004) reports.

Some members of the ESOP Committee suggested finding a buyer for
the company's stock, "but this idea was discouraged by the
defendants, who were more interested in preserving their
positions than in protecting the interests of Plan
participants," according to the suit. Instead, the plaintiffs
allege, Mr. McCullough authorized "substantial personal loans"
to company executives and approved executive account spending,
"including thousands of dollars in ATM cash withdrawals and
payments for expensive meals and strip clubs," an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (December 2, 2004) reports.

The suit also says the defendants borrowed money from Commerce
Bank to make "phantom stock" payments to themselves. Phantom
stock is a form of bonus based on the market appreciation of a
company's stock over time, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (December 2, 2004) reports.

Only in January 2004 did the defendants consider naming an
independent trustee for the ESOP and only in March 2004 did they
consider allowing non-executive ESOP Committee members to
participate in talks about selling Havens' stock, the suit
alleges, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 2,
2004) reports.

Even after Havens filed for bankruptcy and Mr. McCullough
stepped down as chief executive, he continued to draw a six-
figure salary, according to the suit. Meanwhile, it says, other
executives continued their lavish spending, sought forgiveness
of their debts to the company and did nothing to protect the
interests of the stock plan. "The Plan was left without a
trustee, without direction, and without funds," the suit
contends, an earlier Class Action Reporter story (December 2,
2004) reports.
  
The Company filed for bankruptcy in March 2004, allegedly
rendering the employees' stock "valueless," according to the
suit. The complaint alleges that the officers breached their
fiduciary duties to the plan from December 21, 2001, through
July 22, 2004.

Judge Wright designated Mr. Sader and Greg Garvin as class
counsel, along with Andrew Rainer of McRoberts Roberts & Rainer,
LLP in Boston. Together the attorneys are representing: Jack and
Janet Kirse of Lee's Summit; Betty Jean Pitchford of Kansas
City, Kansas; Lori Michaels, James Hall and Glenna Grafton of
Kansas City; Ronald Berr of Quenemo, Kansas; and Keith Feuerborn
of Ottawa, Kansas. The case is scheduled for trial on April 3,
2006 in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.

The suit is styled, "Kirse et al. v. McCullough et al., Case No.
4:04-cv-01067-SOW," filed in the United States District Court
for the Western District of Missouri, under Judge Scott O.
Wright. Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Neil S. Sader of Sader & Garvin, LLC, 4739 Belleview
         Ave., Suite 300, Kansas City, MO 64112-1364, Phone:
         (816) 561-1818, Fax: (816) 561-0818, E-mail:
         nsader@sadergarvin.com;  

     (2) Andrew Rainer of McRoberts, Roberts & Rainer, LLP, 53
         State Ave., Boston, MA 02109, Phone: 617-722-8222; and

     (3) Gregory M. Garvin of Sader & Garvin, LLC, 4739
         Belleview Ave., Ste. 300, Kansas City, MO 64112-1364,
         Phone: 816-561-1818, Fax: 816-561-0818, E-mail:
         ggarvin@sadergarvin.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are, Timothy M O'Brien and J.
Eugene Balloun of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Phone: (913) 451-6060,
Fax: 913-451-8879, E-mail: tobrien@shb.com and eballoun@shb.com;
and Shelley A. Runion and Robert J. Tomaso of Blackwell,
Sanders, Peper, Martin, LLP, Phone: (816) 983-8221 and
(314) 345-6433, Fax: (816) 983-8080 and (314) 345-6543, E-mail:
srunion@blackwellsanders.com and rtomaso@blackwellsanders.com.


HOTELS.COM: Appeals Court Affirms TX Securities Suit Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the
dismissal of the consolidated securities class action filed
against Hotels.com and its former executives, arising out of the
Company's downward revision of its guidance for the fourth
quarter of 2002.

On January 10, 2003, a securities class action, styled "Daniel
Taubenfeld et al., on Behalf of Themselves and All Others
Similarly Situated v. Hotels.com et al., case no. 3:03-CV-0069-
N," was filed in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas, alleging that the defendants
violated the federal securities laws during the period from
October 23, 2002 to January 6, 2003.  The defendants are alleged
to have knowingly:

     (1) made certain materially false and misleading public
         statements with respect to the anticipated performance
         of the Company during the fourth quarter of 2002, and

     (2) concealed from the investing public certain material
         events and developments that were likely to render that
         anticipated performance unattainable.

The individual defendants are further alleged to have profited
from the rise in the Company's share price caused by their
public statements through sales of Company stock during the
Class Period.  The lawsuit further alleges that as a result of
the Company's announcement, on January 6, 2003, of a downward
revision of its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2002, its
share price declined by 25%. The lawsuit seeks certification of
a class of all non-defendant purchasers of the Company's stock
during the Class Period and seeks damages in an unspecified
amount.  Three other substantially similar securities class
actions were filed in the same court shortly thereafter and were
later consolidated with the Taubenfeld case.  

On August 18, 2003, the lead plaintiffs in this action filed a
consolidated class-action complaint.  On October 31, 2003, the
defendants filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint.
The plaintiffs opposed the motion. On September 27, 2004, the
district court issued an order granting the defendants' motion
to dismiss the complaint. The court's ruling was based upon a
number of grounds, including that certain of the statements
complained of were forward-looking statements accompanied by
appropriate cautionary language and thereby protected by the
"safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act, and that certain of the statements and omissions
complained of were, as a matter of law, not material and
therefore not actionable.  The court dismissed all of the
plaintiffs' claims with prejudice (i.e., without leave to re-
plead them), with the exception of two claims involving
statements by analysts. The plaintiffs have advised that they do
not intend to attempt to re-plead those claims. On March 4,
2005, the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal of the district
court's ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the
Fifth Circuit.  On August 10, 2005 the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit entered an order dismissing the
plaintiffs' appeal of the district court's ruling with
prejudice.

The suit is styled "In re Hotels.com Securities Litigation, case
no. 03-CV-0069," filed in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Texas, under Judge David C Godbey.  
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (i) Bull & Lifshitz, 18 East 41st St., New York, NY, 10017,
         Phone: 212.213.6222, Fax: 212.213.9405,

    (ii) Milberg, Weiss, Bershad, Hynes & Lerach LLP (San Diego,
         CA), 600 West Broadway, 1800 One America Plaza, San
         Diego, CA, 92101, Phone: 800.449.4900, E-mail:
         support@milberg.com

   (iii) Provost & Umphrey Law Firm, LLP, 3232 McKinney Avenue,
         Suite 700, Dallas, TX, 75204, Phone: 214.744.3000, Fax:
         214.744.3015, E-mail: info@provostumphrey.com

    (iv) Scott & Scott LLC, P.O. Box 192, 108 Norwich Avenue,
         Colchester, CT, 06415, Phone: 860.537.5537, Fax:
         860.537.4432, E-mail: scottlaw@scott-scott.com

Representing the Company are Lara M. Shalov and Richard Rosen of
Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, 1285 Avenue of the
Americas, New York, NY 10019-6064 USA Phone: 212/ 373-3000, E-
mail: Rrosen@paulweiss.com; and Patricia J. Villareal, Jones Day
-Dallas PO Box 660623 2727 N Harwood St Dallas, TX 75266-0623
USA Phone: 214/ 220-3939 Fax: 214/ 969-5100 Fax Email:
Pjvillareal@jonesday.com.


HOTELS.COM: TX Court Grants Certification To Consumer Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The 229th Judicial District Court in Duval County, Texas granted
class certification for one of the lawsuits filed against
Hotels.com, L.P., alleging that the Company collects "excess"
hotel occupancy taxes from consumers (i.e., allegedly charges
consumers more for occupancy taxes than it pays to the hotels
for their use in satisfying their obligations to the taxing
authorities).

On June 20, 2003, a purported class action was filed, styled
"Nora J. Olvera, Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated v. Hotels.com, Inc., case no. DC-03-259.  The
complaint sought certification of a nationwide class of all
persons who have purchased hotel accommodations from Hotels.com
since June 20, 1999, as well as restitution of, disgorgement of,
and the imposition of a constructive trust upon all "excess"
occupancy taxes allegedly collected by the Company.  On July 14,
2003, the Company filed a responsive pleading that denied the
material allegations of the complaint and asserted a number of
defenses, including that the allegations in the complaint are
subject to mandatory arbitration.

On August 12, 2003, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint
containing substantially the same factual allegations and
requests for relief, but naming as defendants Hotels.com, L.P.,
Hotels.com (the parent company of the Hotels.com, L.P. operating
business), and IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC).  On September 8, 2003,
the defendants filed responsive pleadings that denied the
material allegations of the amended complaint and asserted a
number of defenses, including that the allegations in the
amended complaint are subject to mandatory arbitration and, in
IAC's case, that the court lacks personal jurisdiction over the
Company.

On January 24, 2004, the Hotels.com defendants filed a motion to
stay the class-action litigation pending the outcome of an
arbitration proceeding that had been commenced by the plaintiff.
On January 30, 2004, the plaintiff opposed that motion and also
filed a second amended complaint containing substantially the
same factual allegations and requests for relief as her prior
pleadings, but slightly modifying the class allegations to take
account of the class period alleged in the arbitration
proceeding.

On February 4, 2004, Hotels.com, L.P. filed a motion to dismiss
the "Olvera" lawsuit for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction,
based upon the named plaintiff's not being in fact a member of
the class that she purports to represent. That motion, together
with the Hotels.com defendants' motion to stay the lawsuit, was
denied by the court on May 20, 2004.  On May 6, 2004, the
plaintiff in the Olvera lawsuit filed a third amended complaint
containing substantially the same factual allegations and
requests for relief as her prior pleadings, but with additional
allegations in support of her position that the court has
personal jurisdiction over IAC.

On December 29, 2004, following the scheduling of a class
certification hearing in the "Canales" lawsuit (as described
below), the plaintiff in the Olvera lawsuit filed a motion for
class certification.  On February 16, 2005, the plaintiff in the
Olvera lawsuit filed a motion to withdraw her request for class
certification. The Hotels.com defendants do not oppose this
motion.

On September 25, 2003, the plaintiff in the "Olvera" litigation
filed with the American Arbitration Association in Dallas,
Texas, a demand for arbitration against Hotels.com, L.P. The
arbitration claim contained substantially the same factual
allegations as in the Olvera lawsuit. The arbitration was
purportedly brought on behalf of a class comprised of all
persons who have purchased hotel accommodations from the Company
since October 31, 2001. The claimant sought a determination that
the arbitration is properly maintainable as a class proceeding
and an order requiring disgorgement and restitution to the class
members of excess profits allegedly derived from "assessing"
hotel occupancy taxes that were neither owed nor paid to any
taxing authority.  On October 27, 2003, Hotels.com, L.P. filed a
responsive pleading that denied the material allegations of the
arbitration claim and asserted a number of defenses.

On May 6, 2004, Hotels.com, L.P. filed a motion to dismiss the
Olvera arbitration claim for lack of subject-matter
jurisdiction, on the grounds that under Texas law the tax-based
nature of the claim requires that it be adjudicated in a state
administrative proceeding, not a private-party proceeding such
as an arbitration. A hearing on that motion, as well as on the
issue whether the governing arbitration clause permits the
arbitration to be maintained as a class proceeding, was held on
July 9, 2004.  On September 2, 2004, the arbitrator, accepting
Hotels.com, L.P.'s position that the exclusive remedy for this
type of tax-related claim is a state administrative proceeding,
issued a final award dismissing Olvera's arbitration claim.

On March 26, 2004, the plaintiff in a separate class action
pending in Texas state court, styled "Mary Canales, Individually
and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v. Hotels.com,
L.P., case no. No. DC-03-162," filed in the same court, filed a
second amended complaint containing allegations that are
substantially similar to allegations made in the Olvera lawsuit.
On May 13, 2004, the plaintiff in the Canales lawsuit filed a
third amended complaint alleging in essence:

     (1) that Hotels.com charges customers "taxes" that exceed
         the amount required by or paid to the applicable taxing
         authorities, and

     (2) that Hotels.com charges customers "fees" that do not
         correspond to any specific services provided.

The amended pleading continues to seek nationwide class
certification, asserts a claim only for breach of contract, and
seeks damages in an unspecified amount.  

Also on May 13, 2004, the plaintiff filed a motion for class
certification. On June 24, 2004, Hotels.com, L.P. filed its
opposition to that motion.  On July 9, 2004, the plaintiffs in
the Olvera lawsuit filed a petition in intervention in the
Canales lawsuit and a motion to stay the proceedings in that
lawsuit or, alternatively, for a continuance of the hearing on
the class-certification motion. The gravamen of the Olvera
plaintiffs' intervention and motion is that the Canales
plaintiff has transformed her lawsuit into a "copycat" of the
Olvera lawsuit, to the potential detriment of the Olvera
plaintiffs.  On July 13, 2004, the Canales plaintiff filed a
motion to strike the Olvera plaintiffs' intervention and motion.
On August 2, 2004, the court heard argument on the two motions.
On August 3, 2004, the court adjourned the hearing on the class-
certification motion.  On September 1, 2004, the court denied
the Canales plaintiff's motion to strike the Olvera plaintiffs'
intervention and motion.  On February 17, 2005, the court held a
hearing on the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, as
well as on the defendants' request for dismissal of the action
on the same jurisdictional grounds on which Olvera's arbitration
claim was dismissed.  On April 29, 2005, the court issued an
order granting the plaintiff's motion for class certification.
On May 18, 2005, The Company filed an interlocutory appeal with
the Texas Court of Appeals for the Fourth District from the
district court order and oral argument was held on August 10,
2005. A ruling has not been rendered.


IAC/INTERACTIVECORP: Consumer Lawsuits Moved To CA State Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
The three class actions filed against IAC/InterActiveCorp and
Hotwire, Inc. are now pending in the Superior Court of San
Francisco County, California.  The suits were earlier removed
from California State Court to the United States District Court
for the Northern District of California.

On January 10, 2005 and January 13, 2005, respectively, two
purported class actions were filed in California Superior Court
for San Francisco County against Hotwire and the Company, styled
"Bruce Deaton, on Behalf of Himself and All Others Similarly
Situated v. Hotwire, Inc. et al., case no. 05-437631, and "Jana
Sneddon, on Behalf of Herself and All Others Similarly Situated
v. Hotwire, Inc. et al., case no. 05-437701.  The suits allege
that Hotwire is improperly charging and/or failing to pay hotel
occupancy taxes and engaging in other deceptive practices in
charging customers for taxes and fees. The complaints seek
certification of a nationwide class of all persons who were
assessed a charge for "taxes/fees" when booking rooms through
Hotwire. The complaints allege violation of Section 17200 of the
California Business and Professions Code, violation of the
California Consumer Legal Remedies Act, and common-law
conversion.  The complaints seek imposition of a constructive
trust on monies received from the plaintiff class, as well as
damages in an unspecified amount, disgorgement, restitution,
interest, and penalties.

On February 17, 2005, a third, substantially similar purported
class action was filed in the same court against Hotwire, styled
"Ashley Salisbury, on Behalf of Herself and All Others Similarly
Situated and the General Public v. Hotwire, Inc. et al., case
no. 05-438781.  The complaint seeks nationwide class
certification, alleges violation of Section 17200 of the
California Business and Professions Code and common-law
conversion, and seeks the imposition of a constructive trust on
monies received from the plaintiff class, damages in an
unspecified amount, disgorgement, restitution, and injunctive
relief.

On March 7, 2005, Hotwire and the Company removed these three
purported class actions from California state court to the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California.


IAC/INTERACTIVECORP: Asks WA Court To Dismiss Consumer Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia, Inc. asked the United States
District Court for the Western District of Washington to dismiss
the consolidated class action filed against them, alleging
improper charging of hotel occupancy taxes.

On January 10, 2005, two purported class actions were filed in
the King County Superior Court in Washington against Expedia and
the Company, styled "C. Michael Nielsen et al. v. Expedia, Inc.
et al., case no. No. 05-2-02060-1, and "Bruce Deaton et al. v.
Expedia, Inc. et ano., case no. 05-2-02062-8."  The gravamen of
is that Expedia is improperly charging and/or failing to pay
hotel occupancy taxes and engaging in other deceptive practices
in charging customers for taxes and fees.  The complaints seek
certification of a nationwide class of all persons who were
assessed a charge for "taxes/fees" when booking rooms through
Expedia.  The complaints allege violation of the Washington
Consumer Protection Act and common-law conversion.  The
complaints seek imposition of a constructive trust on monies
received from the plaintiff class, as well as damages in an
unspecified amount, disgorgement, restitution, interest, and
penalties.

On February 3, 2005, a third, substantially similar purported
class action was filed in the same court against the Company and
Expedia, styled "Jose Alba, on Behalf of Himself and All Others
Similarly Situated v. IAC/InterActiveCorp et ano., case no. 05-
2-04533-7."  The complaint seeks nationwide class certification,
alleges violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act, and
seeks damages in an unspecified amount, disgorgement,
restitution, interest, and penalties.

On February 18, 2005, the three cases were consolidated into one
action, styled "In re Expedia Hotel Taxes and Fees Litigation,
case No. 05-2-02060-1."  On March 7, 2005, Expedia removed this
consolidated action from Washington state court to the United
States District Court for the Western District of Washington.

The consolidated complaint alleges that Expedia is improperly
charging and/or failing to pay hotel occupancy taxes and
engaging in other deceptive practices in charging customers for
taxes and fees. The complaints seek certification of a
nationwide class of all persons who were assessed a charge for
"taxes/fees" when booking rooms through Expedia. The complaint
alleges violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and
common-law conversion and seeks imposition of a constructive
trust on monies received from the plaintiff class, as well as
damages in an unspecified amount, disgorgement, restitution,
interest and penalties.

The suit is styled `Bellingham City of v. Hotels.com LP et al.,
case no. 2:05-cv-01822-RSL," filed in the United States District
Court for the Western District of Washington, under Judge Robert
S. Lasnik.  Representing the Company is Thomas L Boeder and Cori
Gordon Moore, PERKINS COIE (SEA), 1201 3RD AVE, STE 4800,
SEATTLE, WA 98101-3099, Phone: 206-583-8888, Fax: 206-583-8500,
E-mail: tboeder@perkinscoie.com or cgmoore@perkinscoie.com.  
Representing the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Karl Phillip Barth, Benjamin Schwartzman, LOVELL
         STEWART HALEBIAN & BARTH, 1420 FIFTH AVE, STE 2200,
         SEATTLE, WA 98116, Phone: 425-452-9800, E-mail:
         kbarth@lmbllp.com, ben@lmbllp.com  

     (2) Dean Ralph Brett, BRETT & DAUGERT, PO BOX 5008,
         BELLINGHAM, WA 98227-5008, Phone: 360-733-0212, Fax:
         360-647-1902, E-mail: dbrett@brettlaw.com

     (3) William M Sweetnam, FREED & WEISS, 111 W WASHINGTON
         ST., STE 1331, CHICAGO, IL 60602, US, Phone: 312-220-
         0000, E-mail: bills@freedweiss.com


IAC/INTERACTIVECORP: Lawsuits V. Hotels.com Merger Still Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
IAC/InterActiveCorp continues to face class action and
shareholder derivative suits filed in Delaware and Texas,
related to its merger with Hotels.com. The suits also name as
defendants Hotels.com, and the members of Hotels.com's board of
directors.

On April 10, 2003, the day of the announcement of the
IAC/Hotels.com merger agreement, a purported class action on
behalf of Hotels.com shareholders was filed in the Delaware
Chancery Court for New Castle County, styled "Michael Garvey, on
Behalf of Himself and All Others Similarly Situated v. Jonathan
F. Miller et al., case no. 20248-NC."

Also on April 10, 2003, the plaintiff in a purported shareholder
derivative action on behalf of Hotels.com against certain
officers and directors of Hotels.com, which was pending in Texas
state court prior to the announcement of the merger transaction
and had originally asserted derivative claims relating to
Hotels.com's pre-merger earnings guidance, filed an amended
complaint to include class allegations regarding the merger
transaction.  The suit is styled "Alex Solodovnikov,
Derivatively on Behalf of Hotels.com v. Robert Diener et al.,
case no. No. 03-02663," initially filed in the District Court,
160th Judicial District, Dallas County, now pending in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

In addition, on April 17, 2003, the plaintiffs in a consolidated
action pending in the Delaware Chancery Court, which had
consolidated a number of purported class actions filed against
the Company, Hotels.com, and members of the board of directors
of Hotels.com as a result of the Company's announcement in June
2002 of its intention to enter into a Hotels.com acquisition
transaction, filed a consolidated and amended class-action
complaint, styled "In re Hotels.com Shareholders Litigation,
case no. 16662-NC," filed in the Delaware Chancery Court for New
Castle County.  

Pursuant to an agreement among the parties, the defendants' time
to respond to this complaint and to the complaint in the Garvey
case has been adjourned indefinitely.  The complaints in the two
Delaware actions and the class allegations in the complaint in
the Texas action allege, in essence, that the defendants
breached their fiduciary duties to Hotes.com public shareholders
by entering into and/or approving the merger agreement, which
allegedly does not reflect the true value of Hotels.com.  The
complaints sought to enjoin consummation of the transaction or,
in the alternative, to rescind the transaction, as well as
damages in an unspecified amount.

On April 18, 2003, the Texas action ("Solodovnikov") was removed
to the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas.  On May 2, 2003, the plaintiff in this action filed a
motion to remand the case to state court.  On June 3, 2003, the
plaintiff withdrew his motion to remand the case to state court
and filed a motion in federal court for expedited discovery in
anticipation of filing a motion for a preliminary injunction
against consummation of the IAC/Hotels.com merger. The
defendants opposed the motion.  On June 16, 2003, the district
court denied the plaintiff's motion for expedited discovery.  On
June 23, 2003, the IAC/Hotels.com merger transaction closed.


ILLINOIS: ACLU, Cook County Goes to Court Over Juvenile Center
--------------------------------------------------------------
Legal representatives for the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) and the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center
in Illinois say that their ongoing battle appears to be headed
for open court, The Associated Press reports.

The ACLU contends the county continues to violate a 2002
settlement of a class action lawsuit over conditions at the
center. The group wants U.S. District Judge John Nordberg to
appoint an independent manager to oversee reform there.

The county counters though that reforms are progressing and that
the center is getting outside assistance and reviews. Assistant
State's Attorney Patrick Blanchard told The Associated Press
that the ACLU's allegations of systemic abuse at the center are
false.

Both sides told The Associated Press that they expect Judge
Nordberg to schedule a hearing in the case when they appear in
his courtroom on January 11.

The suit is styled, "Doe, et al. v. Cook Co, et al., Case No.
1:99-cv-03945," filed in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois, under Judge John A. Nordberg.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are, Benjamin S. Wolf of Roger
Baldwin Foundation of ACLU, Inc., 180 North Michigan Ave., Suite
2300, Chicago, IL 60601-7401, Phone: (312) 201-9740; and Colby
Anne Kingsbury of Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Chicago), 200 East
Randolph Drive, Suite 6100, Chicago, IL 60601, Phone:
(312) 861-2000, E-mail: ckingsbury@kirkland.com. Representing
the Defendants is Patrick Malone Blanchard of State's Attorney
of Cook County, 500 Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago, IL 60602,
Phone: (312) 603-5440, E-mail: pblanch@cookcountygov.com.


KOPPERS INC.: TX Residents Launch Personal Injury, Damage Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Koppers Inc. faces a class action lawsuit filed in June 2005 in
the United States District Court in Austin, Texas.  The suit
also names as defendants the Burlington Northern Santa Fe
Railway Company, Monsanto Company, Dow Chemical Company and
Vulcan Materials Company.

The lawsuit alleges that several classes of past and present
property owners and residents in the Somerville, Texas area
numbering in excess of 2,500 have suffered property damage and
risk of personal injury as a result of exposure to various
chemicals from the operations of the Somerville, Texas wood
treatment plant of the Company. In addition to seeking class
certification, the plaintiffs seek to recover unspecified
damages for alleged injuries to property, medical monitoring
costs, punitive damages, remediation of contamination,
injunctive relief, and attorney's fees and costs.

The suit is styled "Davis, et al v. Koppers Industries I, et
al., case no. 05-CV-464," filed in the United States District
Court Western District of Texas (Austin), under Judge Sam
Sparks.  Representing the Company is Michael R. Klatt and Susan
E. Burnett of Clark, Thomas, & Winters, P.O. Box 1148, Austin,
TX 78767, Phone: (512) 472-8800; and Brent R. Austin, Robert L.
Shuftan, Leonard S. Kurfirst, and Paul K. Freeburn of Wildman,
Harrold, Allen & Dixon, LLP, 225 West Wacker Drive, Suite 2800,
Chicago, IL 60606, Phone: 312-201-2000.  Representing the
plaintiffs are:

     (1) Grover G. Hankins, The Hankins Law Firm PLLC, 616 W.
         Main St., League City, TX 77573, Phone: (281) 316-9551

     (2) Dwight E. Jefferson, Dwight E. Jefferson, PLLC, 12
         Greenway Plaza, Suite 1100, Houston, TX 77046, Phone:
         (713) 993-0399

     (3) Bernard Smalley, Anapol Schwartz Weiss Cohan, Feldman &
         Smalley, 1900 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, PA 19103,
         Phone: (215) 735-3894


LAZARD LTD.: Shareholders Launch Fraud, Derivative Suits in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lazard Ltd. and Goldman Sachs & Co., the lead underwriter of its
equity public offering of its Class A Common Stock, as well as
several members of its management and board of directors, face
several putative class action lawsuits and a putative
stockholder derivative lawsuit filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, and in a
putative class action lawsuit and a putative stockholder
derivative lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of the State of
New York.

The defendants have moved to remove the putative class action
lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York to
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  
The putative class action lawsuits purport to have been filed on
behalf of persons who purchased Company securities of in
connection with the equity public offering or in the open
market. The putative class actions allege various violations of
the federal securities laws and seek, inter alia, compensatory
damages, rescission or rescissory damages and other unspecified
equitable, injunctive or other relief. The putative derivative
actions purport to be brought on behalf of the Company against
its directors and Goldman Sachs & Co. and allege, among other
things, that the directors breached their fiduciary duties to
the Company in connection with matters related to the equity
public offering and seek compensatory damages, punitive damages
and other unspecified equitable or other relief.

The first identified suit in this litigation is styled "Arlette
Miller, et al. v. Lazard Ltd., et al., case no. 05-CV-05630,"
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York, under Judge Victor Marrero.  Representing
the plaintiffs are:

     (1) Abraham, Fruchter & Twersky, One Pennsylvania Plaza,
         Suite 1910, New York, NY, 10119, Phone: 212.279.5050,
         Fax: 212.279.3655, E-mail:
         JFruchter@FruchterTwersky.com

     (2) Charles J. Piven, World Trade Center-Baltimore,401 East
         Pratt Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD, 21202, Phone:
         410.332.0030, e-mail: pivenlaw@erols.com

     (3) Dyer & Shuman, LLP, 801 East 17th Avenue, Denver, CO,
         80218-1417, Phone: 303.861.3003, Fax: 800.711.6483, E-
         mail: info@dyershuman.com

     (4) Law Offices of Marc Henzel, 273 Montgomery Ave., Suite
         202, Bala Cynwyd, PA, 19004, Phone: 610.660.8000, Fax:
         610.660.8080, E-mail: mhenzel182@aol.com

     (5) Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
         (Melville), 200 Broadhollow, Suite 406, Melville, NY,
         11747, Phone: 631.367.7100, Fax: 631.367.1173, E-mail:
         info@lerachlaw.com

     (6) Schatz & Nobel, P.C., 330 Main Street, Hartford, CT,
         06106, Phone: 800.797.5499, Fax: 860.493.6290, E-mail:
         sn06106@AOL.com

     (7) Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 3 Bala Plaza E, Bala Cynwyd,
         PA, 19004, Phone: 610.667.7706, Fax: 610.667.7056, E-
         mail: info@sbclasslaw.com

     (8) Wechsler Harwood LLP, 488 Madison Avenue 8th Floor, New
         York, NY, 10022, Phone: 212.935.7400, E-mail:
         info@whhf.com

     (9) Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman & Herz LLP, 270
         Madison Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, Phone:
         212.545.4600, Fax: 212.686.0114, E-mail:
         newyork@whafh.com

    (10) Zwerling Schachter & Zwerling, 845 Third Avenue, New
         York, NY, 10022, phone: 212-223-3900, Fax: 212-371-   
         5969, E-mail: inquiry@zsz.com


MILBERG WEISS: Prosecutors Say CA Lawyer Tried to Hide Payments
---------------------------------------------------------------
Prosecutors in a case involving Milberg Weiss Bershad &
Schulman, LLP, stated in recently filed court documents that a
California lawyer charged with taking kickbacks from the
nation's most powerful securities-law firm tried to hide the
payments in the accounts of a second firm, Reuters reports.

The filing in Los Angeles federal court provides the first
glimpse of evidence that prosecutors say they have linking
Milberg Weiss, the nation's most prominent class-action law
firm, to a scheme to pay plaintiffs to file lawsuits against
large U.S. corporations.

Asked for comment Marina Ein, a spokeswoman for Milberg Weiss,
told Reuters that the firm had not seen the filing and had no
comment.

The four-year federal probe came to light in 2002, when a flurry
of subpoenas went out to lawyers, stockbrokers and plaintiffs
who had participated in Milberg Weiss lawsuits.

Seymour Lazar, a Palm Springs investor and former entertainment
lawyer who had represented the likes of the Beatles and comedian
Lenny Bruce, was indicted last June, accused of collecting $2.4
million in "secret and illegal kickback payments" for his role
in dozens of lawsuits. His lawyer previously stated that
prosecutors are trying to pressure Mr. Lazar, who is in his late
70s and recovering from heart surgery, to cooperate in a probe
of Milberg Weiss.

The documents describe a request by Mr. Lazar that another law
firm hold payments that prosecutors describe as kickbacks for
acting as a professional plaintiff. Mr. Lazar's attorney, Thomas
Bienert, told The Associated Press that his client had done
nothing wrong saying, "At all times, Mr. Lazar was under the
advice and counsel of lawyers. He didn't [believe] that he was
acting in any illegal way in terms of the relationship with
Milberg."

Though the indictment against Mr. Lazar did not name Milberg
Weiss, but the firm said it had been subpoenaed. Cases listed in
the indictment were filed by the firm, which has secured $30
billion in class action judgments for investors, consumers and
workers during its 30-year history.

The 1995 Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, which was
drafted with Milberg Weiss in mind, limits plaintiffs to no more
than five class actions in three years.

Law firms are prohibited from sharing attorneys' fees with a
client who acted as a named plaintiff, the gist of the case
against Mr. Lazar, according to prosecutors.

Allies of Milberg Weiss have portrayed the case as a partisan
attack by the Bush administration, which they say is trying to
use the courts to limit lawsuits against corporations after
failing to push tort reform through Congress.

A motion that prosecutors filed opposing Mr. Lazar's efforts to
have a judge terminate his house arrest and electronic
monitoring accompanied the documents. Among those documents was
a February 1994 memo discussing an alleged "fee split"
arrangement among the law firm that had represented Lazar,
Riverside-based Best, Best & Krieger, Mr. Lazar himself and the
New York law firm that brought the cases apparently Milberg
Weiss.

In 1994, Mr. Lazar received a large "windfall" payment from the
New York firm and wanted Best to hold the money in its accounts
rather than a client trust fund, according to the memo. It also
states, "Mr. Lazar does not wish to have this relationship
documented. He points out that this relationship has been
ongoing for years and has never been documented." The memo goes
on to say, "We have indicated to [Lazar] on several occasions
our concern over participating in some type of conspiracy to
defraud the Internal Revenue Service or to otherwise violate the
laws prohibiting plaintiffs in class actions from receiving fee
splits." Additionally, the memo noted that a request from Mr.
Lazar that Best pay for his personal expenses, including a lease
on a car and a charitable contribution on his behalf, "just
smells bad, and probably would to an investigator."


NEW YORK: Group Assails Police's Monitoring of Political Events
---------------------------------------------------------------
A group of civil rights lawyers charges that covert police
surveillance at political demonstrations violates a federal
court order that limits the secret monitoring of lawful public
gatherings, The New York Times reports.

In a letter sent to New York's police commissioner, Raymond W.
Kelly, and the city's corporation counsel, Michael Cardozo, the
lawyers demanded an end to what they say is illegal
surveillance. If the city does not halt the practice, according
to the letter, known as a notice to cure, the lawyers would seek
to have the city held in contempt of court for not abiding by
the settlement of a 1971 class action lawsuit.

The lawyers cited a December 22 article in The New York Times,
which reported that officers in disguises attended at least
seven events in the past 16 months, including antiwar protests,
demonstrations during the 2004 Republican National Convention,
and bicycle rallies known as Critical Mass held last month. In
the most recent rally, a number of riders told The New York
Times that they were not surprised about the surveillance. "It's
obvious that there's undercover," according to Adam Moore, 24, a
photographer who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He adds,
"They don't look like anyone who would normally ride bikes.
They're easy to spot."

During Critical Mass, riders move as a group through Manhattan
streets to promote bicycling as alternative transportation, and
as is common the police arrested about a dozen bicyclists on
traffic violations. Of nearly 300 cases prosecuted since
September 2004, none though have resulted in a conviction,
Gideon Oliver, a lawyer who has represented many of the riders
told The New York Times.

The Police Department's chief spokesman previously told The New
York Times that disguised officers are permitted under the court
order to attend demonstrations to keep order. However, Jethro M.
Eisenstein, one of the lawyers who filed the class action
lawsuit, counters that those actions violated the settlement. He
pointed out, "Putting plainclothes cops into a demonstration is
an investigation of political activity."

The disguised police officers can be seen at seven events in
videotapes made over the past 16 months. Eileen Clancy, a
forensic video analyst who is critical of the tactics, collected
the tapes. She founded I-Witness Video, an archive of footage
from public gatherings in New York City.

On one tape, it appeared that a disguised officer or a person
working with the police influenced the course of a demonstration
during the Republican convention. The man, who was on a sidewalk
and holding a protest sign, appeared to have been arrested by
uniformed officers.

Onlookers objected, police officers in riot gear responded, and
others were arrested. The videotape shows that the man whose
apparent arrest touched off the confrontation was never
handcuffed and appeared to be carrying a two-way radio.

Though the chief spokesman for the Police Department, Paul J.
Browne, declined to comment on the videotapes, he did tell The
New York Times that police officers in disguises have attended
public gatherings to patrol for unlawful behavior. Although the
presence of disguised police officers at such events is limited
by the settlement, Mr. Browne contends that those restrictions
did not apply to officers who attend to keep order.

The class action case, known as Handschu for one of the
plaintiffs, was brought on behalf of political activists who
claimed that surveillance and infiltration of political
organizations in the 1960's subverted their right to free
speech. They charged that police spies instigated trouble or
polluted their messages. The case was settled in 1985, after the
city agreed to broad restrictions on the surveillance of
political activities. Many were eased after September 11, 2001.

The suit is styled, "Handschu, et al. v. Special Serv. Div., et
al., Case No. 1:71-cv-02203-CSH-SCS," filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, under
Judge Charles S. Haight with referral to Judge Sol Schreiber.
Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Jethro M. Eisenstein of Profeta & Eisenstein, 14 Wall
         St., 22nd Flr., New York, NY 10005-2101, Phone: 212-
         577-6500, Fax: 212-577-6702, E-mail: pe1616@aol.com;

     (2) Franklin Siegel of Siegel, Deale, Stavis, Cole, and
         Ratner of Center for Constitutional Rights, 666
         Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10012-9985, Phone:
         212-614-6464; and

     (3) Martin R. Stolar of Martin Stolar, 351 Broadway (4th.
         FL.), New York, NY 10013, Phone: (212) 219-1919.

Representing the Defendant/s is Gail Donoghue of Corporation
Counsel of the City of New York, 100 Church St., Room 6-110, New
York, NY 10007, Phone: (212) 788-0500.


NURSES ON HAND: NY Attorney General, Nassau County Launches Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and Nassau County Executive
Thomas R. Suozzi filed a lawsuit against a Long Island home
health care company accused of defrauding the Medicaid program.

The lawsuit alleges that Nurses On Hand Registry, Inc. (NOH), of
Rockville Centre, and Gloria Stanzione, its president and sole
owner, misrepresented the hours the company worked and falsified
documents used to verify its services.

"The effort to combat Medicaid fraud requires close cooperation
by different levels of government," Mr. Spitzer said. "My office
is pleased to work cooperatively with law enforcement and local
governments to ensure that Medicaid patients are protected and
tax dollars are used wisely."

Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi said: "Medicaid is a
vitally important program for the neediest of our residents and
every effort to cut fraud, waste and abuse must be pursued. I
commend my team of investigators for uncovering this fraud and I
am pleased the state, after its review, is joining us in this
lawsuit."

The complaint against NOH involves a two-year time period
beginning January 1, 2003. During this time, NOH contracted with
Nassau County to provide various personal care services to
Medicaid recipients.

The complaint alleges that NOH failed to properly keep track of
employee login and logout times and, as a result, overbilled
tens of thousands of dollars for its services.

The complaint further alleges that the company failed to provide
manual back-up documentation or maintain records for the six-
year time period required under the contract. It is also alleged
that the company attempted to retroactively modify and falsify
its documentation.

The lawsuit seeks to:

     (1) Mandate an audit of the company's books;

     (2) Recover all Medicaid costs improperly paid to NOH; and

     (3) Assess appropriate fines and costs associated with the
         investigation.

The complaint, filed in State Supreme Court in Nassau County,
was originally investigated by Nassau County's Commissioner of
Investigations. The case was referred to the Attorney General's
office earlier this year.

During the most recent Federal fiscal year, recoveries by New
York State's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) topped $219
million. Nassau County was represented in this action by County
Attorney Lorna Goodman and Commissioner of Investigations Bonnie
Garone.

New York is represented in this action by Assistant Attorney
General James Cudden. The investigation in this matter was led
by Alan Buonpastore, Regional Director of MFCU's Long Island
Office. He was assisted by Senior Special Investigator Thomas
McBride, Supervising Special Auditor Investigator John
Grunenberg, and Special Auditor Investigator Charles Meyer.


OMEGA FLEX: AR Court Mulls Dismissal of TracPipe Defect Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Clark County Circuit Court in Arkansas has yet to rule on
Omega Flex, Inc.'s motion to dismiss the class action filed
against it, styled "Berry, et al. v. Titeflex Corp., et al."

The suit alleges, among other things, that the Company's
corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) product TracPipe and
similar products manufactured by several other manufacturers
(also named as defendants in the case) is defective, or that
instructions, warnings and training in the installation of
corrugated stainless steel tubing are defective, against
potential damage to the corrugated stainless steel tubing
systems and the structures served by these systems, caused by
the nearby lightning strikes.

The plaintiffs in this case have named three other corrugated
stainless steel tubing manufacturers, and one plumber residing
in Arkansas, as defendants in this matter, and are seeking class
action certification as representatives of all similarly
situated persons in the United States, or in the alternative, in
Arkansas and Texas, pursuant to the Arkansas rules of civil
procedure.

The Company filed motions to dismiss the amended complaint and
the cross-complaint of the individual Arkansas plumber
defendant, who likewise proposed a class action cross-claim on
behalf of installers of CSST. On November 1, 2005, the
plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the consolidated class action
without prejudice.


PERKINELMER INC.: Plaintiffs Voluntarily Dismiss MA Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the class action filed against
PerkinElmer, Inc. and certain of its senior officers in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

In papers dated July 1, 2002, Kevin Hatch filed a purported
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Massachusetts, Civil Action No. 02-11314 GAO,
against the Company and certain of its senior officers, on
behalf of himself and purchasers of the Company's common stock
between July 15, 2001 and April 11, 2002.

The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages and claims
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of, and Rule 10b-5 under,
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, alleging various statements
made during the putative class period by PerkinElmer and its
management were misleading with respect to our prospects and
future operating results.

At least eleven virtually identical lawsuits subsequently have
been filed in the United States District Court for the District
of Massachusetts against PerkinElmer.  The court granted the
plaintiffs' motion to consolidate these matters, and on January
13, 2003, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.

On February 25, 2003, the Company and the other defendants filed
a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.  The motion was opposed by the
plaintiffs, and oral arguments concerning the motion took place
on May 5, 2003.  On September 30, 2003, the Court issued a
memorandum and order denying the motion to dismiss.  On October
10, 2003, the Company and the other defendants filed a motion
for reconsideration or, in the alternative, for an order
allowing immediate appeal of several issues of law to the
appellate court.  The Court denied this motion in September
2004. In June 2005, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification, and in July 2005, the defendants filed a motion
for summary judgment, both of which are pending before the
Court. On November 7, 2005, these lawsuits were dismissed.


SECURITY CAPITAL: Plaintiffs Voluntarily Dismiss DE Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the consolidated class action
filed against Security Capital Corporation in the Court of
Chancery of the State of Delaware, in and for New Castle County.

The suit was filed in connection with an offer made by Brian
Fitzgerald, the Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors,
President and Chief Executive Officer, and, through Capital
Partners, the controlling person of the Company's majority
stockholder, CP Acquisition, L.P. No. 1 (CPI), to acquire by
merger all of the outstanding Class A Common Stock and Common
Stock of Security Capital, other than shares held by Mr.
Fitzgerald, Capital Partners, CPI and certain other persons, at
a price of $9.00 per share.  

Three complaints were initially filed, also naming as defendants
each then-member of its Board of Directors and CPI.  Each of the
complaints allege that the defendants breached their fiduciary
duties to the putative class and that the then-proposed Initial
Capital Partners Offer was unfair, inadequate and not the result
of arm's-length negotiations.  Each complaint sought an
injunction against the proposed merger or, if the merger was
consummated, the rescission of the merger, as well as money
damages, attorneys' fees, expenses and other relief.  The Court
issued an order of consolidation, consolidating the three
complaints into one class action.  

Mr. Fitzgerald and Capital Partners have increased their offer
to $10.60 per share, and offers to acquire the entire Company
for $11.00 and $13.00 per share have been submitted by others.  
In addition, on June 7, 2005, the Company announced that it had
retained UBS Securities LLC to conduct a formal sale process for
the Company, and that Mr. Fitzgerald and Capital Partners have
declared their full support for that sale process and committed
to sell the shares they control if appropriate value is achieved
in the transaction.  


TREEHOUSE FOODS: Gets $1.1M in Corn Syrup Antitrust Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
TreeHouse Foods, Inc. received approximately $1.1 million
related to the settlement of a class action lawsuit concerning
price-fixing in the sale of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
purchased by the Company during the years 1991 to 1995.

The suit, styled "In re: High Fructose Corn Syrup Antitrust
Litigation Master File No. 95-1477," filed in the United States
District Court for the Central District of Illinois," relates to
purchases of high fructose corn syrup made by the Company and
others.  About 20 corn syrup buyers initially filed the suit in
the United States District Court for the Central District of
Illinois against several corn processors, alleging that they
violated antitrust laws from 1988 to 1995 by conspiring to
artificially inflate the price of high fructose corn syrup.  
About 2,000 plaintiffs joined the suit, including Coca-Cola Co.,
PepsiCo Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and Quaker Oats, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (July 30,2004) states.

In July 2004, the parties in the suit forged a $531 million
settlement for the suit.  The settlement amount was allocated to
each class action recipient based on the proportion of its
purchases of high fructose corn syrup from these suppliers
during the period 1991 through 1995 to the total of such
purchases by all class action recipients.  

The suit is styled "In Re High Fructose Corn Syrup Antitrust
Litigation, Master File No. 95-1477," filed in the United States
District court for the Central District of Illinois, Peoria
Division.  Representing the plaintiffs were:

     (1) Mr. Michael J. Freed of Much Shelist Freed Denenberg
         Ament Bell & Rubenstein, P.C., 200 N. LaSalle Street,
         Suite 2100 Chicago, IL 60601-1095

     (2) Mr. Robert N. Kaplan, Kaplan, Kilsheimer & Fox, LLP
         805 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10022

     (3) Mr. H. Laddie Montague, Jr., Berger & Montague, P.C.
         1622 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-6365


ZIRKLE FRUIT: Owner to Pay $1.3M to Settle WA Immigration Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
William Zirkle, the owner of Selah, Washington-based Zirkle
Fruit Co. agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit
accusing him and two other executives of conspiring to hire
thousands of illegal immigrants in order to keep wages low, The
Associated Press reports.

Under the deal, the executives admitted no wrongdoing. The
corporation, Zirkle Fruit, was not a defendant in the case. Ryan
Edgley, Mr. Zirkle's attorney told The Associated Press, "Mr.
Zirkle knows no one did anything wrong. Mr. Zirkle primarily
wanted to put an end to the uncertainty."

Mr. Edgley also told The Associated Press that the defendants
were concerned that even if they prevailed before a jury, the
plaintiffs would appeal and that legal costs would continue to
mount. The case was set for trial on January 9, 2006 before U.S.
District Judge Fred Van Sickle. Had Mr. Zirkle lost at trial, he
and the other defendants could have faced triple damages under
the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO).

The case obtained class action status back in 2004, which
increased the number of legal workers potentially eligible for
damages to 20,000. Chicago lawyer Howard Foster filed the case
in 2000. Although Judge Van Sickle dismissed the case in 2001,
Mr. Foster won at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002.

In his complaint, Mr. Foster states that owner William Zirkle
and top executives William Wangler and Gary Hudson conspired to
hire thousands of illegal immigrants for orchard and warehouse
work at Zirkle Fruit in violation of RICO. Also named, as a
defendant is Selective Employment, a temporary job placement
company used by Zirkle Fruit. As stated before, Zirkle Fruit,
the business itself, is not a defendant in the case, an earlier
Class Action Reporter story (December 30, 2005) reports.

Originally, the civil lawsuit was filed in March of 2000 against
Zirkle Fruit Co., Matson Fruit Co. and the Selective Employment
Agency. Judge Van Sickle dismissed it back in 2001, but a three-
judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San
Francisco, California later revived it, saying the plaintiffs
should have a chance to show if the hiring practices drove down
employees' wages. The suit was filed on behalf of Olivia Mendoza
and Juan Mendiola, both former employees of Zirkle Fruit,
accusing the two fruit companies of using the Selective
Employment Agency to hire illegal immigrants who would work for
wages below minimum standards, an earlier Class Action Reporter
story (September 10, 2002) reports.

Filed under RICO, the suit is the first of its kind in the U.S.
where legal workers have sued agricultural employers about
intentional wage depression through the use of illegal labor. It
was certified as a class action in July 2004, an earlier Class
Action Reporter story (July 16, 2004) reports.

The suit is styled, "Mendoza, et al. v. Zirkle Fruit Co, et al.
Case No. 2:00-cv-03024-FVS," filed in the United States District
Court for the Eastern District of Washington, under Judge Fred
Van Sickle. Representing the Plaintiff/s are:

     (1) Steve W. Berman and Andrew M Volk of Hagens Berman
         Sobol Shapiro, LLP, 1301 Fifth Ave., Suite 2900,
         Seattle, WA 98101, Phone: 206-623-7292, Fax:
         12066230594, E-mail: steve@hbsslaw.com and
         andrew@hbsslaw.com;

     (2) Michael V. Connell of Smart Law Offices, PS, 501 North
         2nd St., Yakima, WA 98901-2309, Phone: 509-573-3333, E-  
         mail: connell@yvn.com; and
    
     (3) Howard W. Foster, Jack T. Riley and James Kevin Toohey
         of Johnson & Bell Ltd., 55 E. Monroe St., Suite 4100,
         Chicago, IL 60603-5896, Phone: 312-372-0770, Fax: 312-
         372-9818, E-mail: fosterh@jbltd.com and
         rileyj@jbltd.com.

Representing the Defendant/s are:

     (1) Alexander A Baehr of Holland & Knight, LLP, 520 Pike
         St., Suite 2600, Seattle, WA 98101-1385, Phone: 206-
         340-1825, E-mail: alexander.baehr@hklaw.com;

     (2) Mark David Watson of Meyer Fluegge & Tenney, 230 S.
         Second St., P.O. Box 22680, Yakima, WA 98907, Phone:
         509-575-8500, Fax: 15095754676, E-mail:
         Watson@mftlaw.com;

     (3) Ryan M Edgley and Paul Hamilton Beattie of Edgley &
         Beattie, PS, 201 East D. St., Yakima, WA 98901, Phone:
         509-248-1717, Fax: 15092481573, E-mail:
         edgleyr@hscis.net and hrappgray@aol.com;

     (4) Brendan Victor Monahan of Velikanje Moore & Shore, PS,
         405 E. Lincoln Ave., P.O. Box 22550, Yakima, WA 98907,
         Phone: 509-248-6030, E-mail: bmonahan@vmslaw.com; and

     (5) Diehl Randall Rettig of Rettig Osborne Forgette
         O'Donnell Iller & Adamson, LLP, 6725 W. Clearwater
         Ave., Kennewick, WA 99336, Phone: 509-783-6154, Fax:
         15097830858, E-mail: diehl.rettig@rettiglaw.com.



                   New Securities Fraud Cases


DIEBOLD INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in OH
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, filed a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Ohio on behalf of all securities purchasers of
Diebold, Inc. ("Diebold" or the "Company") (NYSE: DBD) from
October 22, 2003 through September 21, 2005, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The complaint charges Diebold and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Diebold is primarily engaged in the manufacture, sale,
installation and service of automated self- service transaction
systems, electronic and physical security products, election
systems and software. More specifically, the Complaint alleges
that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the
following material adverse facts, which were known to defendants
or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that as a result of improper accounting for commission
         expenses, the Company's financial statements for 2004
         and the first two quarters of 2005 were misstated;

     (2) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls;

     (3) that the Company was losing market share in North
         America to competitors;

     (4) that the Company's election machines were plagued with
         execution problems; and

     (5) that as a consequence of the above, the Company's
         statements with respect to its financial guidance
         lacked in all reasonable basis.

On September 21, 2005, before the market opened, the Company
announced it was lowering its third quarter and full-year
earnings per share guidance for 2005. On this news, shares of
Diebold fell $6.90 per share, or 15.55 percent, to close at
$37.47 per share.

For more details, contact Darren J. Check, Esq. and Richard A.
Maniskas, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP, 280 King of Prussia
Road, Radnor, PA 19087, Phone: 1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706,
E-mail: info@sbclasslaw.com, Web site:
http://www.sbclasslaw.com.


MIKOHN GAMING: Lerach Coughlin Files Securities Fraud Suit in NV
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins,
LLP, initiated a class action in the United States District
Court for the District of Nevada on behalf of purchasers of
Mikohn Gaming Corporation d/b/a Progressive Gaming International
Corporation ("Mikohn") (NASDAQ:PGIC) publicly traded securities
during the period between January 23, 2005 and October 19, 2005
(the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Mikohn and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Mikohn supplies integrated casino management systems
software and games for the gaming industry worldwide.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
made positive but false statements about Mikohn's results and
business, including its third quarter 2005 projections, while
concealing material adverse information about the true value of
the Company's software licensing transactions. As a result,
Mikohn's stock traded at artificially inflated levels,
permitting the Company to consummate a $20 million acquisition
of VirtGame Corp. using the Company's inflated stock as
currency.

On October 20, 2005, Mikohn reported an unexpected third-quarter
loss. Mikohn revealed for the first time the adverse impact of
Financial Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 153, which
applies to exchanges of non-monetary assets, stating that it
would not recognize $6 million from "two complex software
licensing transactions" as revenue in the period. This reduction
in sales resulted in an operating loss for the quarter of $.09
per share compared with a previous forecast of a $.09 per share
profit. In response to these revelations just days following the
completion of the Company's stock-for-stock acquisition of
VirtGame, the Company's shares fell $3.75 to $9.28, or 28%.

According to the complaint, the true facts, which were known by
each of the defendants during the Class Period but concealed
from the investing public, included:

     (1) that defendants failed to disclose that the application
         of SFAS 153 would have a material adverse impact on the
         Company's third quarter 2005 financial results;

     (2) that defendants issued false financial projections for
         the third quarter 2005 that failed to properly account
         for non-monetary transactions in accordance with
         Generally Accepted Accounting Principles;

     (3) that defendants knew their claim that "(t)he (VirtGame)
         deal is expected to close in the second quarter of
         fiscal 2005" would never be fulfilled if the truth
         concerning the Company's true prospects was revealed to
         VirtGame shareholders; and

     (4) that the Company's estimated performance metrics were
         materially false and misleading.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers
of Mikohn publicly traded securities during the Class Period
(the "Class"). The plaintiff is represented by Lerach Coughlin,
which has expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and
extensive experience in actions involving financial fraud.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin, Phone: 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com, Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/mikohn/.


PEGASUS COMMUNICATION: Rosen Law Sets Lead Plaintiff Deadline
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Rosen Law Firm reminds investors that they have until
January 9, 2006 to seek appointment by the Court as Lead
Plaintiff in the class action lawsuit filed by the Rosen Law
Firm on behalf of purchasers of Pegasus Communications
Corporation ("Pegasus") (PCX: XAN) (Pink Sheets:PGTV) common
stock during the period from November 10, 2000 through June 2,
2004 (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that Pegasus and certain of its management
violated Section 10b and Rule 10b-5 of the federal securities
laws by failing to disclose its "exclusive" distribution rights
for DirecTV services could be terminated without cause prior to
2008. On June 2, 2004 Pegasus disclosed that its exclusive
rights to distribute DirecTV services had been terminated. That
same day certain Pegasus' operating subsidiaries filed for
bankruptcy protection, damaging investors.

For more details, contact Laurence Rosen, Esq. of The Rosen Law
Firm, P.A., Phone: (212) 686-1060 or 1-866-767-3653, Fax:
(212) 202-3827, E-mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com, Web site:
http://www.rosenlegal.com.


SERACARE LIFE: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, LLP, initiated
a class action lawsuit on behalf of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of SeraCare Life Sciences,
Inc. ("SeraCare" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: SRLS) between May
25, 2005, through December 19, 2005.

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of California, against the Company, its
Chief Executive Officer, Michael F. Crowley, Jr., its Former
Chief Financial Officer and current Secretary, Jerry L. Burdick,
and its Current Chief Financial Officer, Craig A. Hooson.
According to the complaint, defendants violated sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5, by issuing a
series of material misrepresentations to the market during the
Class Period.

The complaint alleges that Defendants engaged in improper
accounting practices in order to bolster the Company's stock
price, thereby enabling the Company to complete an offering of
stock on May 25, 2005, that raised $42 million for the Company,
and allowed certain of the defendants to take advantage of the
artificially inflated prices during the Class Period and sell
606,000 shares of their SeraCare stock for total proceeds of
over $7.8 million. The Complaint further alleges that throughout
the Class Period defendants directly participated in an
accounting fraud, which materially overstated the Company's
financial results in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles ("GAAP"). Specifically, the complaint alleges that
defendants employed the following improper accounting practices
in direct violation of GAAP:

     (1) improper revenue recognition policies and practices;

     (2) improper accounting and valuation of inventory;

     (3) failure to protect the integrity of the financial
         reporting process from Board members exerting undue
         influence on it; and

     (4) inadequate internal controls.

As a result of these violations, investors could not ascertain
the true financial condition of the Company.

On December 20, 2005, before the market opened, the Company
announced that "the chairman of the Company's audit committee
has received a letter from Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. (MHM), the
Company's independent auditors, in which MHM raised concerns
with respect to the Company's financial statements, accounting
documentation and the ability of MHM to rely on representations
of the Company's management." As a result of this announcement,
SeraCare stock plummeted 62.4% trading as low as $7.25 - down
$12.30 per share from its December 19, 2005 closing price of
$19.30. Trading volume on December 20, 2005 was 38 times normal,
reaching 11,679,000 shares.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman of Milberg Weiss
Bershad & Schulman, LLP, One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl., New
York, NY 10119-0165, Phone: (800) 320-5081, E-mail:
sfeerick@milbergweiss.com, Website: http://www.milbergweiss.com;
and Maya Saxena and Joseph White of Milberg Weiss Bershad &
Schulman, LLP, 5200 Town Center Circle, Suite 600, Boca Raton,
FL 33486, Phone: (561) 361-5000, E-mail:
msaxena@milbergweiss.com and jwhite@milbergweiss.com.


SERACARE LIFE: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP, initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of California on behalf of shareholders who
purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of SeraCare Life
Sciences, Inc. ("SeraCare" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:SRLS)
(Nasdaq:SRLSE) (Berlin:SKK) between February 9, 2005 and
December 19, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period").

SeraCare engages in the manufacture and provision of biological
products and services for the diagnostic, therapeutic, drug
discovery, and research organizations worldwide. The complaint
charges SeraCare and certain of its officers and directors with
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and alleges
that throughout the Class Period defendants directly
participated in accounting fraud which materially overstated the
Company's financial results in violation of Generally Accepted
Accounting Principles ("GAAP").

Specifically, the complaint charges that throughout the Class
Period, defendants orchestrated and actively participated in
improper accounting practices in direct violation of GAAP. In
doing so, defendants used improper revenue recognition policies
and practices; did not properly account for and value inventory;
failed to prevent certain Board members from exerting undue
influence on the financial reporting process of the audit
process; and neglected to maintain adequate internal controls.
As a result, defendants were unable to ascertain the true
financial condition of the Company.

Defendants engaged in these improper accounting practices in
order to bolster the Company's stock price, which enabled the
Company to complete a secondary offering of stock in May 2005,
raising $42 million for the Company, and allowed certain of the
defendants to take advantage of the artificially inflated prices
during the Class Period and sell 606,000 shares of their
SeraCare stock for total proceeds of over $7.8 million.

On December 20, 2005, before the market opened, the Company
announced that "the chairman of the Company's audit committee
has received a letter from Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. (MHM), the
Company's independent auditors, in which MHM raised concerns
with respect to the Company's financial statements, accounting
documentation and the ability of MHM to rely on representations
of the Company's management." On this news, SeraCare shares fell
as much as 62% before closing down $9.26 per share on volume of
5.8 million shares, 116 times the daily average volume for
SeraCare.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi and Christopher S.
Hinton of Murray, Frank & Sailer, LLP, Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818, Fax: (212) 682-1892, E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com, Web site:
http://www.murrayfrank.com/CM/NewCases/NewCases.asp.


SERACARE LIFE: Pomerantz Haudek Files Securities Suit in S.D. CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Pomerantz Haudek Block Grossman & Gross, LLP,
filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of California, against SeraCare Life
Sciences, Inc. ("SeraCare" or the "Company") (NYSE:SRLSE) and
certain of its officers, on behalf of purchasers of the publicly
traded securities of SeraCare during the period from February 9,
2005 and December 19, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period"). The
complaint alleges violations of Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5.

SeraCare Life Sciences, Inc. engages in the manufacture and
provision of biological products and services for diagnostic,
therapeutic, drug discovery, and research organizations
worldwide.

The complaint alleges that defendants' Class Period
representations regarding SeraCare's financial statements,
business and prospects were materially false and misleading when
made. Specifically, the defendants failed to disclose:

     (1) that the Company, in violation of its own revenue
         recognition accounting policies and practices,
         improperly recognized revenue which served to
         materially inflate the Company's financial results;

     (2) that the accounting for and valuation of the Company's
         inventory was faulty;

     (3) that the defendants failed to prevent certain board
         members from exerting undue influences on the Company's
         financial reporting process and on the audit process;

     (4) that throughout the Class Period, the timeliness,
         quality and completeness of the Company's
         implementation and testing of its internal controls
         over financial reporting was lacking, such that the
         Company lacked adequate internal control; and

     (5) that the Company's financial statements were presented
         in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting
         Principles ("GAAP").

On December 14, 2005, SeraCare filed a current report on Form 8-
K wherein it stated that the Company was unable, without
reasonable effort and expense, to file its annual report on Form
10-K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2005. Then, on
December 20, 2005, before the market opened, SeraCare announced
an internal review by its Audit Committee. In reaction to this
announcement, the price of SeraCare stock fell from $19.30 per
share on December 19, 2005 to $10.04 per share on December 20,
2005, a one-day drop of over 47%.

For more details, contact Teresa L. Webb or Carolyn S. Moskowitz
of the Pomerantz Firm, Phone: 888-476-6529, E-mail:
tlwebb@pomlaw.com and csmoskowitz@pomlaw.com, Web Site:
http://www.pomlaw.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
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Glenn Ruel Senorin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
Resnick, Editors.

Copyright 2006.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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