Lawyers Reject Tobacco Biz Proposal
MIAMI (AP) -- Attorneys for sick Florida smokers scorned the tobacco industry's move to put their lawsuit in federal court, calling it a desperate attempt to find a friendly judge after losing a record $145 billion punitive verdict in state court.
By filing a notice of removal last week, the industry automatically moved the case to federal court. Smokers must file a motion to send the case back to the trial judge in state court.
In their first formal response, the smokers' attorneys filed a motion Friday calling the industry's tactic unorthodox, ``a final desperate attempt ... to forum shop after seven years of litigation, a two-year trial, three jury verdicts and multiple state court appellate opinions and decisions.''