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CREATED 12/12/2010

WARNING: This site deals only with the corporate corruption of science, and makes no inference about the motives or activities of individuals involved.
    There are many reasons why individuals become embroiled in corporate corruption activities - from political zealotry to over-enthusiastic activism; from gullibility to greed.
    Please read the OVERVIEW carefully, and make up your own mind.



John C Fox
Dennis Vaughn
Dennis Duffy
Phyllis James
Mario Obledo
Inst. of Applied Mgmt and Law




Bernadette M Davison    

(misspelled Davidson)
(aka Bernadette Davison Bantly)

— A labor lawyer-lobbyist for the tobacco industry who operated with John Fox and Dennis Duffy out of California —  


In the tobacco archives, Bernadette's name seems to be spelled 29 times as Davidson and 131 times as Davison and 10 times as "Bernadette Davison Bantly." There are probably other variations on the name worth searching.

Some key documents

Undergraduate with Univ of California Riverside
    University of California, Hastings College of Law

1986: Licensed to practice law in California

1988 Aug 2: John Lyons at the Tobacco Institute is writing to her at Pillsbury Madison and Surto, one of the tobacco industry's favourite law firms in San Francisco. He is on first-name terms with her. He writes:

As promised, enclosed are reports which, inter alia, identify all state and local public smoking laws and ordinances known to The Tobacco Institute, and report on the status of this year's legislative activity in the area of public smoking.

    We have copies of all — knock on wood — statutes and ordinances on the books. We should have no problem providing these to John and Dennis before they begin their adventures.

[John is John Fox, and Dennis is his associate Dennis Duffy]

1988 Aug 19: Lawyer-lobbyist John Fox from Pillsbury Madison & Sutro in San Francisco writes to Jeff Ross, Issues Analyst at the Tobacco Institute. He says:

I have recently been confirmed as a speaker at the California Western School of Law "Tobacco Symposium" scheduled for March 11, 1989 in San Diego.

    William J. Freed, the Symposium Editor, called me yesterday to confirm my attendance and is looking forward to my article in his hands by September 22, 1988. Accordingly, please advise me as to your deadline to receive our draft and get it through the legal clearance process.

    I am now the fifth confirmed speaker [the other four were anti-tobacco — the tobacco industry had just suffered the Cippolone case]. Apparently, the Symposium is in touch with several defense lawyers and decisions will soon be made about their attendance and the duration of the conference.

1988 Oct 11: John Lyons at the Tobacco Institute is writing to her still at Pillsbury Madison and Surto, sending workplace smoking information. He also ccs. John Fox who works for the same firm in San Francisco.

1989: Bernadette Davidson, an associate of John Fox, has co-authored an article, with him published in the California Western Law Review: "Smoking in the Workplace: Accommodating Diversity." which the Tobacco Institute is circulating.

    Here is the draft of the article lodged for sub-editing and checking with the Tobacco Institute. It was sent to lawyers, Jacobs at Covington & Burling, and Masters at Shook Hardy & Bacon, for legal clearance. It has been heavily edited.

1990 Jan 31: Walter Woodson advises Walker Merryman (both Tobacco Institute) that they are setting up the audience at a WRAL TV show to be taped in Raleigh NC. This is supposedly to be a balanced panel discussion.

Diana is attempting to line up John Fox [lawyer-lobbyist] as a member of the audience. Fred Bond is looking for other media hits during the Raleigh trip and thinks he can get you, [David] Weeks, and [John] Fox on some other shows while you're there. (FYI...Fred's Board is now handling the TGIC pr efforts that Reggie Lester used to work). In addition, Susan Stuntz is working through BC&T [the tobacco union] to get a tobacco worker in the audience.
February 1: A Tobacco Institute memo from Walker Merryman on the Raleigh TV show (being organised by Fred Bond), says:
As you are already aware, I have been able to confirm David Weeks' availability to participate in the Saturday morning television taping. Due to schedule conflicts, John Fox is not able to attend, but one of his associates, Bernadette Davidson, who is also an attorney specializing in workplace law, will be able to attend.

    To help familiarize Bernadette with the local smoking issues, I faxed her a copy of the adopted Greensboro ordinance, a draft of the Raleigh ordinance and news clips on the developments in Wake County.

    On February 5 Walker Merryman reported on the success of their efforts.
We had so many people in the audience that the host was forced to tip the balance in our favor. That and our adversaries' general inability to be articulate gave us a distinct edge.

Bernadette Davidson was absolutely superb and made mincemeat out of her legal opponent. Dr Weeks did not have as great an opportunity to point out the flaws in the health issues but still was a great asset.

1990 Feb 5: Weekly Activities report [Date wrong on document] Dianne Avedon at the Tobacco Institute is commenting on the success of their media tours. They had engaged Bernadette Davidson as a lawyer-lobbyist to replace John Fox in providing witness services opposing workplace smoking bans. She was involved in a Raleigh TV program on smoking ban hearings. ['Bond' = Fred Bond, the local organiser]

    She also "Talked with Fox about the MN seminar. He was not impressed ... too little control" She also wants to use Fox in OR [Oregon]

1991 April: Making media tours for the Tobacco Institute in California

1991: Witness List [attached to 1993 June 1 Tobacco Institute list of "Witness/Expert Appearances — Scientific/Legal/Spokespersons."]

  • Basic Group of witnesses in 1988-89:
    • Larry Holcomb (perpetual IAQ consultant)
    • Simon Turner (IAQ consultant with ACVA/HBI)
    • Jeff Seckler (IAQ consultant with ACVA/HBI — later whistleblower.
    • Dick Wagner (cash-for-comment economist)
    • Bill Orzechowski (Tobacco Institute's resident economist)
    • David Weeks (perpetual IAQ consultant)
    • Dwight Lee (cash-for-comments economist)
    • Mike Davis (cash-for-comments economist)
    • Gray Robertson (main IAQ consultant with ACVA/HBI)
    • Morris Coats (cash-for-comments economist)
    • Jolly Ann Davidson (NASBE childrens consultant)
    • Alan Katzenstein (statistical consultant)
    • John Fox (Lawyer and legal consultant)
  • 1991 Witness List adds a number of new consultants.
    • Brennan Dawson (TI spokesperson),
    • Jim Goold (RJR lawyer),
    • Joe Pedelty (IAQ consultant),
    • Melinda Sidak (C&B lawyer),
    • David Remes (C&B scientist/recruiter),
    • Frank Powell (NEMI/IAQ consultant),
    • Bernadette Davidson (lawyer-lobbyist),
    • Tom Lauria (TI staff spokesperson)
    • Rich Silberman (IAQ consultant),
    • Walt Decker (consultant toxicologist)

    1991 Jan 15: A memo from Eileen F Horowitz at the Tobacco Institute to Fox and Davidson re a court-case over passive smoking. She has been digging through the medical and other records of the plaintiff in this case.

    1991 Feb 21: Martha Rinker at the Tobacco Institute is sending her and John Fox "Talking Points: The American's With Disabilities Act." They appear to be data-mining and trawling through legislation to provide ammunition for opposing workplace smoking bans.

    1991 April 29: She is booked to make an appearance at a Californian Senate hearing with Jeff Seckler and Larry Holcomb (both IAQ consultants), but the appearance is marked "cancelled".

    1992 Apr 30: Letter from John Fox at the Pettit & Martin law firm to Bob Pruett at the Tobacco Institute.[Bernadette Davison is also now at this firm] He is giving testimony before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors City Services Committee, and wants Pruett and Walter Woodson (TI PR) to clear it first.

    I am particularly pleased to note that we have lined up the seven noted restaurants as our testimony sponsors through the efforts of my partner Allen Berk and our labor associate Bernadette Davison.

        Bernadette will check to insure they are still on board and attempt to enlist additional restaurant sponsors.

    1992 Apr 8: She made a statement before the Californian State Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment in Sacramento. She is with Pettit & Martin in San Jose entitled: "A ban on smoking in all places of employment will not serve the public good.'

    1992 Oct 24: Bernadette Davidson Bantly made the same statement (as April 8) before the San Diego City Council. She says that she makes the statement at the request of the Tobacco Insitute.

    1993 April 21: and 22 Pettit & Martin are running brifing sessions in San Francisco and San Diego on "New Federal California Labor Laws" & "The Clinton Administration: What to Expect." John Fox and Bernadet Davison Bantly are two of the speakers.

        This is being presented as a law-firm breakfast session — perhaps a marketing event to attract business. But a copy of the brochure has been mailed to Susan Stuntz at the Tobacco Institute a month ahead of time.

    1993 July 1: Pettit & Martin (a firm with 230 employees) suffered a tragic experience.

    Gian Luigi Ferri's rampage through Pettit's offices on a shooting spree left nine people dead — three of them Pettit employees.

        John Fox, a San Jose partner, left for Fenwick & West about a month after the shooting. "The reality was inescapable — there had been a shooting. We didn't want to pretend it hadn't happened."

        [Bernadette Bantly remained] Labor associate Bantly, who is currently on maternity leave, thinks the tragedy allowed staff members to share the collegial bond that had previously been present only among the firm's lawyers. "A tragedy like this kind of puts everyone on the same level." She remarks. "We're just all people."
    But the company was disintegrating.

    2009 June 18: Daily Journal article in San Francisco reports that she represented three security officers in a lawsuit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court.

    "Our biggest concern right now is further acts of retaliation by Akal management, both against our clients who have courageously come forward to expose these serious security issues, but also against witnesses who can corroborate these claims," said Bernadette Bantly, of counsel at Bradley, Curley, Asiano, Barrabee & Gale in San Francisco.

        Bantly said she had received a report that Akal investigators "are engaging in coercive and intimidation tactics while interviewing witnesses" during the interviews which took place Tuesday and Wednesday

    2010: She now practices more conventional and perhaps more ethical law at 1100 Larkspur Landing Cir #200 Larkspur, CALIFORNIA, 94939


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