WASHINGTON & DENVER- LAWFUEL – Legal News Network -Aug. 18, 2006–U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ruled Thursday that the tobacco industry engaged in racketeering, finding in favor of the government in its lawsuit against the tobacco industry in a 1,653-page ruling. Kessler said the tobacco companies had engaged in a decades-long conspiracy to hide the dangers of smoking, and ordered them to take out newspaper ads detailing smoking’s health effects. The companies were also ordered to stop using such descriptors as “low tar,” “light,” ultra light,” “mild” or “natural” that might imply it is not dangerous.
Z-Axis, one of the top legal presentation strategy firms (www.zaxis.com), is proud to announce that it worked with the Department of Justice on behalf of the United States of America, in its precedent-setting case against the U.S. tobacco industry. Z-Axis’ CEO, Alan Treibitz, served as lead presentation strategy consultant on the case, as his firm provided presentation strategy and visual demonstratives in what was truly an interesting case. “The nature of the case itself was quite unusual,” shared Treibitz. “Accusing major, long-standing United States and foreign companies of racketeering is unprecedented.”
The United States filed the case in 1999, United States of America vs. Phillip Morris et al, accusing the Defendants of 50 years of conspiring and committing fraud under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) section of the United States Code. The trial ran from September 2004 until June 2005, including 115 days of trial.
Treibitz concluded that “The United States team did an excellent job and presented a strong and compelling case.”
Why Z-Axis’ was hired
Z-Axis was hired because the firm’s expertise in tobacco litigation is unparalleled. Not only had Z-Axis worked with the Justice Department for 20 years on many cases, the firm has also been involved in many of the state cases against the tobacco industry. This case was different, however, because the state cases were about recovering monies that the states had paid out in medical claims. This federal case was about conspiracy to commit fraud on the American public for financial gain.
Z-Axis’ role in the case
Z-Axis provided strategic consulting services to develop recommendations for presentation materials for all major expert witnesses, and produced extensive and complex presentations for the opening statements, three interim summations and closing arguments. Working with twenty experts, Z-Axis developed demonstrative evidence that enabled the DOJ to present their testimony. Visual materials created included: animations, interactive animations, interactive timelines, large-scale exhibit boards, small-scale printed exhibits, electronic graphics and illustrations. The biggest challenge of the case for Z-Axis was managing the massive volume and variety of graphic needs to accommodate all of the experts and a number of different attorneys.
Full list of parties in the case:
United States of America, Plaintiff. vs. Philip Morris, Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Lorillard Tobacco Company, The Liggett Group, Inc., American Tobacco Company, Philip Morris Companies, Inc., British American Tobacco, P.L.C., British American Tobacco (Investments) Ltd., The Council for Tobacco Research–U.S.A., Inc., and The Tobacco Institute, Inc., Defendants.
For more information on the case and services provided by Z-Axis, visit www.zaxis.com or call 303-713-0200.
Z-Axis integrates research, strategic planning, graphic production, and technology to create convincing, winning litigation presentations. For more than twenty years, Z-Axis has proven itself to be an industry pioneer and leader in courtroom technology, as well as an innovator in courtroom animation. Combining a veteran’s eye for strategy with the latest technological advancements, the Z-Axis team of professionals has a reputation for creating visual communications tools that are second to none, as evidenced in its patented VuPoint(TM) system.
Z-Axis services and supports its national and international clients from its Denver, Chicago, New York, Washington, DC, California and London offices. For more information on the Z-Axis team, its capabilities and its clients, visit the website at www.zaxis.com or call 303-713-0200.