Information removed from the wikipedia article on the Washington D.C. regulatory powerhouse corporate law firm Covington & Burling, founded 1919.
Something to give pause to the idea of that law firm's connections with organizations as MPP, the DPF/DPA and others
Philip Morris & Tobacco Institute
Covington & Burling represented tobacco interests for decades, instrumental in the founding of, and serving as counsel to, the Tobacco Institute, established in 1958. The institute attacked scientific studies, although more by casting doubt on them rather than by rebutting them directly. It also lobbied Congress, although initially at a low level. The institute 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 to 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."
The Department of Justice (DOJ) brought suit against multiple Tobacco companies and trade associations under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and after a lengthy trial, on August 17, 2006, the Judge issued a 1,683 page opinion (449 F.Supp.2d 1, D.D.C. 2006) finding the tobacco companies liable. The court found "As set forth in these Final Proposed Findings of Fact, substantial evidence establishes that Defendants have engaged in and executed – and continue to engage in and execute – a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of RICO." The court issued a harsh rebuke: "over the course of more than 50 years, Defendants lied, misrepresented, and deceived the American public, including smokers and the young people they avidly sought as 'replacement smokers,' about the devastating health effects of smoking and environmental tobacco smoke, they suppressed research, they destroyed documents, they manipulated the use of nicotine so as to increase and perpetuate addiction, they distorted the truth about low tar and light cigarettes so as to discourage smokers from quitting, and they abused the legal system in order to achieve their goal – to make money with little, if any, regard for individual illness and suffering, soaring health costs, or the integrity of the legal system."
But the Court also directly addressed the law firm Covington & Burling specifically: "Covington & Burling was counsel for the Tobacco Institute and was also described as counsel for the 'industry'. ... An attorney from Covington & Burling attended every meeting of the Committee ... also cleared press releases issued by the Tobacco Institute. ... Covington & Burling, became the guiding strategists for the Enterprise and were deeply involved in implementation of those strategies once adopted." Along with two other firms, which helped create the Tobacco Institute in 1958, and served the industry for the next 50 years came this condemnation:
"Finally, a word must be said about the role of lawyers in this fifty-year history of deceiving smokers, potential smokers, and the American public about the hazards of smoking and second-hand smoke, and the addictiveness of nicotine. At every stage, lawyers played an absolutely central role in the creation and perpetuation of the Enterprise and the implementation of its fraudulent schemes. They devised and coordinated both national and international strategy; they directed scientists as to what research they should and should not undertake; they vetted scientific research papers and reports as well as public relations materials to ensure that the interests of the Enterprise would be protected; they identified 'friendly' scientific witnesses, subsidized them with grants from the Center for Tobacco Research and the Center for Indoor Air Research, paid them enormous fees, and often hid the relationship between those witnesses and the industry; and they devised and carried out document destruction policies and took shelter behind baseless assertions of the attorney-client privilege. What a sad and disquieting chapter in the history of an honorable and often courageous profession."
The defendants filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals. On May 22, 2009, the three-judge panel unanimously upheld Judge Kessler's decision finding the tobacco companies liable. The court upheld most of the ordered remedies, but denied additional remedies sought by public health interveners and the Department of Justice (566 F.3d 1095, 2009).
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 Amherst, 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.