Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Covington & Burling & Big Tobacco
Covington & Burling also served as "corporate affairs consultants" to the Philip Morris group of companies, according to a 1993 internal budget review document which indicated the firm was paid $280,000 to "serve as general counsel thttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifo the Consumer Products Company Tort Coalition, agree the legal objectives with member company litigators, draft legislation and amendments, prepare lobby papers and testimony for legislative committees and administer the coalition's budget". 
Covington & Burling was involved in organizing Philip Morris' Whitecoat Project, designed to help obscure the health effects of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
During the $280 billion U.S. federal lawsuit against Big Tobacco, Covington & Burling partner John Rupp, a former lawyer with the industry-funded Tobacco Institute, testified that "the industry sought out scientists and paid them to make an 'objective appraisal' of whether secondhand smoke was harmful to non-smokers, a move they hoped would dispel the 'extreme views' of some anti-smoking activists." He said "the scientists, who came from prestigious institutions such as Georgetown University and the University of Massachusetts, did not consider themselves to be working 'on behalf' of cigarette makers even though they were being paid by the industry." Rupp said, "We were paying them to share their views in forums where they would be usefully presented," according to Reuters. 
Partners in Covington & Burling include, but are not limited to, Keith Teel, Allan Topol and John Rupp, who have knowledge of lobbying tactics employed in Texas by the tobacco industry. The "push poll" conducted January 20-25, 1996, regarding Attorney General Dan Morales, was commissioned by Covington & Burling, and funded by Brown & Williamson, Lorillard, Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Teel was a member of the tobacco industry delegation who met with Attorney General Dan Morales in February, 1996 in an attempt to prevent the filing of the state's lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recoup Medicaid costs for treating sick smokers. Teel has knowledge of the tobacco industry's tactics employed in Texas, including the use of "push polls" to intimidate or control public officials' actions.
Allan Topol of C&B attended a meeting of the Research Directors of Brown & Williamson, Philip Morris, and Liggett & Myers at Liggett & Myers Operations Center in Durham, NC on May 24, 1968. The objective of the meeting was to determine the variation and the amounts of Federal Trace Commission (FTC)-determined tar exposure which various groups of the population encounter when smoking various cigarettes. He attended the December 7, 1967, meeting at the Research Triangle Institute regarding individual's smoke exposure. He has knowledge of smokers' "compensation" techniques and the inaccuracies of the FTC method for measuring tar/nicotine exposure to smokers. Mr. Topol has knowledge regarding nicotine addiction, nicotine manipulation and disease/cancer causation. Covington & Burling were Counsel to the Tobacco Institute and Lorillard Counsel for Tobacco Sales. (PMI's Introduction to Privileged Log and Glossary of Names, Estate of Burl Butler v. PMI, et al, April 19, 1996)
Covington & Burling & Big Tobacco - 1964
Covington & Burling & Big Tobacco - 1987