Notre Dame ReSources

Author: Dennis Brown and Cynthia Day

Philip Morris: The $81-million verdict against Philip Morris this week and a similar verdict entered last month in San Francisco could be the breakthroughs necessary to take tobacco litigation to a second stage, according to Jay Tidmarsh , professor of law at Notre Dame. “If ? and it’s a big if ? the verdicts hold up through the appeal process, tobacco litigation may well be entering its next phase,” Tidmarsh said. “The standard cycle for large mass tort litigation ? for instance, asbestos ? is that early cases usually result in verdicts for the defendant, plaintiffs then achieve some dramatic breakthrough victories, defendants adjust to those victories and begin to win again, plaintiffs then adjust and win, until eventually a mature equilibrium is achieved in which the possibility of a global solution to the entire matter becomes more desirable. Tobacco litigation has been stuck in the first phase of defense victories for about 40 years. If these cases hold up on appeal, a breakthrough will have been achieved, but it will still be at least a decade before there is a truly mature equilibrium. My guess is that, if the breakthrough stage has now been reached, there is likely to be some sort of intervention ? whether legislative or class action ? to attempt to resolve the matter before full maturity.” *For further comment, contact Professor Tidmarsh at (219) 631-6985 or at

  • p. Turbulence : Modifications may be needed to current theories describing the character of turbulence, according to recent experiments by Notre Dame physicist James A. Glazier and colleagues at Tohoku University in Japan. The research has applications in understanding atmospheric airflows and weather, oceanic currents, and the fluidity of metals inside the Earth’s core and of gases within stars. The findings were reported in the March 25 issue of Nature. For further comment, contact Professor Glazier at (219) 631-4010. Kosovo I : A Notre Dame political scientist says the Kosovo crisis illustrates something new in the response to international refugee problems. “Traditionally, refugees are people who have fled across borders,” Gil Loescher , professor of government and international studies, told the South Bend Tribune. “What’s new is the rise in recent years of intrastate conflicts. People are being displaced internally; they don’t cross borders. It’s a new game for the United Nations (High Commission on Refugees).” *For further comment, contact Professor Loescher at (219) 631-7096 or at
  • p. Kosovo II : “Any U.S. operation in Kosovo must be organized and executed as a policing operation to halt crimes against humanity, and not as a military campaign to defeat Milosevic or his Yugoslav forces,” says Garth Meintjes , associate director of the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame. “Unfortunately, it will at this point in the conflict be very difficult to distinguish between combat activities and enforcement operations. For example, if Yugoslav forces are found to have committed atrocities or massacres, it will be difficult for U.S. forces to act directly against the responsible soldiers. Instead, they likely will simply retaliate with air strikes against strategic Yugoslav military targets. Nonetheless, it is essential that these targets be demonstrably linked to the actions of the offending forces if the punitive air strikes are to have any legitimacy in the eyes of the international community.” *For further comment, contact contact Meintjes at (219) 631-8544 or at
  • p. Y2K and the Apocalypse : With the turn of the millennium in sight, apocalyptic fervor is growing among some Christian fundamentalists, but it’s nothing compared to the late 18th century, according to Nathan Hatch , provost and professor of history at Notre Dame. “Particularly in times of social and political insecurity, apocalyptic thinking tends to expand,” Hatch, one of the world’s leading scholars of American religious history, told the Baltimore Sun. “In the 1790s going into 1800, in the wake of the American and French revolutions, the underpinning of society did seem to be shaken. Particularly in the Northeastern United States, there was a huge outpouring of millenarian and apocalyptic work.” For further comment, contact Professor Hatch at (219) 631-6631. p. South Africa : The almost certain election in June of Thabo Mbecki to succeed Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa will keep the country on a stable course, according to Rev. Oliver F. Williams, C.S.C. , associate professor of management at Notre Dame and an expert on South African politics and economics. “Thabo Mbecki is a skilled diplomat and a brilliant public policy thinker who in many ways is more talented than Mandela,” says Father Williams. “Of course, he does not possess the almost saint-like status of Mandela, who has kept relative peace in spite of the fact that there is a 30-percent unemployment rate and that many live in dire poverty. Mbecki will be under great pressure to deliver jobs and increased services for the poor. If anyone can do it, he can. The challenge is great, however.” For further comment, contact Father Williams at *(219) 631-5761 or at
  • Note : Video and photos are available of Mbecki addressing a landmark conference at Notre Dame in October 1991 involving representatives of the African National Congress, Inkatha, the Azanian People’s Organization, the National Party, the U.S. government and American corporate leaders. Contact Dennis Brown in Public Relations and Information at (219) 631-7367.
    p. Comparative law : West Publishing has released the second edition of “Comparative Legal Traditions in a Nutshell,” coauthored by Paolo G. Carozza , associate professor of law at Notre Dame. The book provides a variety of methods for looking at comparative law, including examinations of civil law tradition, common law, court structures, and civil and criminal procedure. Carozza’s contributions include analysis of continental European legal systems and supranational European law. His coauthors are Mary Ann Glendon of Harvard University and Michael Wallace Gordon of the University of Florida. For further comment, contact Professor Carozza at (219) 631-4128. p. Notre Dame News : Edward J. Conlon , the Edward Frederick Sorin Society Professor of Management, has been appointed editor of The Academy of Management Review … Finance scholars from around the world will meet April 8-9 for the 1999 Nasdaq-Notre Dame Microstructure Conference at McKenna Hall … Barry McCaffrey , director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, will present the 1999 U.S. National Drug Control Strategy April 6 at McKenna Hall … The University has established a Marital Therapy and Research Clinic under the direction of David A. Smith, assistant professor of psychology … The business ethics curriculum at Notre Dame is the best in the nation, according to a new book, the Business Week Guide to the Best Business Schools (6th edition, 1999) … Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will lecture on “Living in the Age of Possibilities” at 7:30 p.m. April 13 at Notre Dame’s Stepan Center.

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