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Desperate Ashes


“What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.” Henry Thoreau.

Things must be tough for Big Tobacco; 8000 plaintiffs, so much truth, so little defense. As I have previously written, I felt Florida would be a little too hot for those boardroom lawyers representing Big Tobacco and it appears I may have been correct.

You expect them to come after you in the courtroom or in deposition. You expect Big Tobacco’s lawyers to be aggressive, take no prisoner types of lawyers. You expect Big Tobacco to want to delay cases going to trial; after all, in some cases, they face dying plaintiffs. What, at least, I did not expect is that Big Tobacco would try and hijack the Florida litigation to California.

In a couple of cases here in Florida, Big Tobacco has actually changed their focus of attack from the plaintiffs to a lone professor from Stanford University. Yes, that is correct, Big Tobacco is bringing its entire, massive power down upon the head of a historian, Dr. Robert Proctor, who apparently had the temerity to testify for injured smokers and against Big Tobacco.

Big Tobacco’s lawyers have filed motions trying to force Dr. Proctor to disclose his notes, his unfinished notes and any other papers remotely connected to a book he has been researching – a book not yet even published.

Let’s think about this. Dr. Proctor is an historian. So, that would mean that Dr. Proctor testifies about things that have occurred in the past; discussions that have occurred in the past; publications published in the past; and Big Tobacco’s advertising, again, in the past.

Could it be that Big Tobacco has difficulty with Dr. Proctor’s testimony? Can they not read the history just as Dr. Proctor does and can they not hold his feet to the fire based on the history? Could it be that Big Tobacco does not like the title of Dr. Proctor’s proposed book: “Golden Holocaust – A History of global Tobacco”?

Yep, it can get hot down here.

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