Feared Minnesota Lawyer Aids Justice Department Lawsuit
Michael Ciresi, the lead lawyer in Minnesota's lawsuit against the tobacco industry, is assisting the Justice Department in the preparation of its case against the industry.
"By hiring Ciresi, Justice definitely wanted to send a message. He's a 'take no prisoners' kind of guy," said an anti-smoking advocate, who indicated that Ciresi's hiring is a sign that the Justice Department doesn't want a quick settlement. Ciresi, who has been labeled one of America's most feared attorneys by a major legal publication, is now the Justice Department's latest weapon against the tobacco industry. One tobacco industry lawyer commented, "I never want to be in the same room with him again." Ciresi's contract with the Justice Department ends in June and he said his firm will not extend the agreement if he runs for the Senate. He said he plans to decide by the end of May. Even if Ciresi does run for the Senate, legal experts believe he has set an aggressive path for the Justice Department. ``We're using all the information we have to get their lawyers up to speed to truncate the time they need to bring their case and we're consulting on various legal theories with them,'' Ciresi said.