Judge orders tobacco companies to admit deception

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – By David Ingram 11/28/2012.

Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.[1]

The ruling sets out what might be the harshest sanction to come out of a historic case that the Justice Department brought in 1999 accusing the tobacco companies of racketeering.

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler wrote that the new advertising campaign would be an appropriate counterweight to the companies’ “past deception” dating to at least 1964.

The advertisements are to be published in various media for as long as two years.

Details of the campaign – like how much it will cost and which media will be involved – are still to be determined and could lead to another prolonged fight.

Kessler’s ruling on Tuesday, which the companies could try to appeal, aims to finalize the wording of five different statements the companies will be required to use.

One of them begins: “A federal court has ruled that the defendant tobacco companies deliberately deceived the American public by falsely selling and advertising low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes.”

Another statement includes the wording: “Smoking kills, on average, 1,200 Americans. Every day.”

The wording was applauded by health advocates who have waited years for tangible results from the case.

“Requiring the tobacco companies to finally tell the truth is a small price to pay for the devastating consequences of their wrongdoing,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an anti-tobacco group in Washington.

Read full story via Judge orders tobacco companies to admit deception – Yahoo! News.


[1] United States v. Philip Morris, Slip No. 99-cv-02496. (D.C. Cir.).

Midsize law firms upbeat—cautiously—about 2013

By Leigh JonesContactAll Articles – The National Law JournalNovember 8, 2012

The results of a survey The National Law Journal sent to leaders at firms with fewer than 400 attorneys showed that most firms of that size planned to add lawyers—although not many—to their practices. They also expected higher profits per partner.

via Midsize law firms upbeat—cautiously—about 2013.

How to Tell If You Have Too Many Credit Cards

By Marilen Cawad | TheStreet.comFri, Aug 17, 2012 2:14 PM EDT

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Are you too plastic for your own financial good? Although there is no magic number for the number of credit cards that should be in your wallet, some key questions can help you determine whether you’re charging around town with more cards than you need.

According to recent data from Experian, the average U.S. consumer has about three open and active credit cards. Whether that number is too many, too few or just enough is really a question of how one uses and manages the accounts.

If you have the tendency to spend more than you have, you might need fewer than three credit cards or none at all, says Harrison Lazarus, a financial consultant and founder of Harrison Lazarus Advisors. On the other hand, if you spend well within your means, more credit cards could be good for you. “You will be able to access money when you need it, obtain fringe benefits like rebates and mileage, and improve your credit score,” Lazarus says.

Read the full story via How to Tell If You Have Too Many Credit Cards – Yahoo! Finance.

Netflix moves to block a hostile takeover – Yahoo! News

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix is moving to protect itself against hostile takeovers, less than a week after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a stake of nearly 10 percent in the online video company.

Netflix Inc. said Monday that it has adopted a shareholder rights plan, also known as a poison pill. Such a plan is designed to make it difficult or even impossible for someone to take over the company without an agreement from the board. When the provision is triggered, additional shares flood the market and make it prohibitively expensive for a takeover. Read the full story at Netflix moves to block a hostile takeover – Yahoo! News.