2003 trial set in tobacco fee dispute
CHICAGO -- Lawyers who helped the State of Illinois win $9.1 billion from tobacco companies were given a trial date of March 4, 2003, to argue that they deserve 10 percent of the proceeds for their work.
Cook County Circuit Judge James Henry on Thursday also set a date of May 2 to hear a state motion to dismiss the suit, which was filed after the state balked at spending that much of the tobacco settlement on legal fees. The state's award is part of a $206 billion settlement reached by 46 states with the tobacco companies in 1998.
Barring a settlement or a dismissal, lawyers for the state will argue that the four firms hired in 1996 to go after the tobacco companies did little actual work in obtaining the award, chief state lawyer Jerold Solovy said.