Professor Blakey is a former federal prosecutor and the author of the federal
RICO statute, which has been used to prosecute members of the mob. He was
hired by Ronald Motley to develop the civil racketeering portion of the Texas
and Florida Medicaid cases. Both states ended up settling their cases, but the
racketeering element of the cases threatened the tobacco companies with
bankruptcy. Blakey compares the structure of the cigarette industry to the
structure of the Mafia and recommends using RICO laws to criminally prosecute the industry. He is
currently a Professor of Law at Notre Dame University.
Professor Glantz has been a long-time critic of tobacco and is a leader in the
anti-tobacco public health community. In 1994, more than 4,000 pages of secret
internal tobacco industry documents mysteriously arrived at Glantz's office at
the University of California. They were sent by a secret source, "Mr. Butts."
Dr. Glantz posted them on the Internet and compiled them into a book, "The
Glantz has lobbied extensively in California for reform of cigarette laws and
with other local activists was responsible for the passage of the ban on
cigarette smoking in bars. Glantz is opposed to a national settlement and
believes that the cigarette industry can never be trusted to comply with any
Dr. Gary Huber was a scientific researcher for the tobacco industry for many
years. His emphysema project at Harvard University was paid for directly by
the tobacco law firm of Shook, Hardy and Bacon. When Ron Motley approached
Huber with internal documents that described his project as a public relations
ploy, Huber became a witness against the tobacco industry in the Medicaid
lawsuit cases. Dr. Huber's story outlines how the tobacco industry controlled
and manipulated scientific research.
Dr. Kessler was commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration under
Presidents Bush and Clinton. He began looking into the regulation of nicotine
as a drug and was instrumental in convincing Clinton to enact tough federal
regulation of tobacco. The tobacco industry fought this in a North Carolina
court. The FDA won. Kessler has been generally opposed to settlement with the
tobacco industry and supports tough legislation against advertising to
Bennett LeBow is the CEO of the Brooke Group which owns Liggett Tobacco, the
smallest of the six major tobacco companies. LeBow stunned his counterparts at
Philip Morris, Brown & Williamson, RJR Nabisco, Loews and Lorillard when he
broke ranks and announced he would settle the Medicaid suits brought by forty
state attorneys general. He also revealed that he was cooperating with the Justice Department in its
criminal investigation of the tobacco industry.
Senator John McCain [R-AZ] has proposed legislation requiring tobacco companies
to pay $516 billion dollars over 25 years, increase the price of cigarettes by
$1.10 per pack by 2003 and give the Federal Food and Drug Administration
authority to regulate nicotine as a drug. The legislation has been repeatedly
endorsed by President Clinton.
McCain says the tobacco companies haven't told the complete truth to the
American people. He also believes they were trying to maximize their profits
and there have been occasions when they targeted people that they shouldn't
have. Nevertheless, he feels that making a deal with the companies instead of
bankrupting them is the best way to move forward.
Michael Moore is the Attorney General of Mississippi. After a suggestion from
Mississippi attorney Mike Lewis, Moore developed the idea of suing the tobacco
industry to recover Medicaid costs paid by the state in treating sick smokers.
He hired Dick Scruggs, an old buddy from Ole Mississippi Law School to research
and develop the case.
The two of them, nicknamed Scro and Mo, then took their idea on the road and
convinced other attorneys general around the country to sue the tobacco
industry. Their efforts ultimately got the tobacco industry to the bargaining
table and led to the June 20, 1997 national settlement agreement. This
agreement provided the basis for the current debate in Congress over national
Dick Morris was once described in Time magazine as the most influential private
citizen in America. He has worked in election campaigning for more than twenty
years and was a political advisor to Clinton in 1978 when he was Arkansas
governor. As a special advisor to President Clinton, Morris met with him on a
regular basis in the Treaty Room at the White House. After being battered by
the Republicans taking control of Congress in 1994, the president was looking
for issues on which he could take the offense. But Clinton had grave
reservations about taking on the powerful tobacco industry.
Ron Motley is a nationally famous plaintiff's attorney. His career was
launched when he successfully sued the asbestos industry and forced them into
bankruptcy. Richard Scruggs contacted him when the tobacco litigation
started and Motley became an integral part of the trial team. He is a
courtroom lawyer, famous for swashbuckling courtroom antics.
His Charleston, South Carolina law firm has gathered the legal battle tools
necessary to defeat the tobacco industry, including hundreds of thousands of
documents, whistleblowers, and damaging depositions. If the national
settlement does not succeed, Ron Motley will be trying the state Medicaid cases
around the country.
Matt Myers is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the National
Center for Tobacco Free Kids, a Washington based anti-tobacco lobbying group.
As a long-time critic of the tobacco industry, Myers confounded his fellow
health advocates when he joined the negotiations for a national settlement with
Steve Parrish is the Senior Vice President of Philip Morris and on many
occasions has acted as a spokesman for the entire tobacco industry. Before
joining Philip Morris, he was an industry lawyer with the Kansas City firm of
Shook, Hardy and Bacon. He was a member of the Committee of Counsel and was
the trial attorney in the Cippalone case.
Richard Scruggs and Michael Moore have been the lead negotiators for the
national settlement. After Moore suggested the idea of the Medicaid cases,
Scruggs became Moore's partner and together they gathered the elements needed
to bring Big Tobacco to the negotiating table. Scruggs first became successful
in national class action suits against the asbestos industry.
the criminal probe .
will there be a deal? .
a look at the depositions .
big tobacco - what's at stake .
links & readings .
tapes & transcripts .
frontline online .
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