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A legal workplace expert with Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro who worked for the tobacco industry. He was involved only in briefing lawyers about the legal implications, apparently.
In the late 1980s the Tobacco Institute was paying a large group of economists and a few legal experts like John Fox and Dennis Duffy to travel around the US conducting media briefings and workshops on a range of issues. In this case their focus was on the legal aspects of workplace smoking, with Fox concentrated on making media appearances to convince everyone that there wasn't a problem, and Duffy doing the legitimate briefings of lawyers.
Fox's seminars were often conducted in association with Gray Robertson, of ACVA/HBI and therefore would have forcussed on blaming pollutants other than tobacco smoke for workplace indoor air quality problems. [See brochure.]
At this time the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had begun to take a much more agressive role in limiting the exposure of workers to harmful chemicals in the workplace environment, and the agency was moving to limit the exposure of non-smokers to second-hand smoke.
There is a L Dennis Duffy who is listed in a 1978 Californians for Common Sense document as representing an insurance company. There is also a note at a later date which refers to a Dennis Duffy, the President of CADMUS (which looks like a Californian society) in a discussion on a Loyalty program.
1988 July: The Tobacco Institute's PR Plan for the year — dealing with the growing problems of workplace smoking laws:
John Fox will conduct the first legal seminar on workplace smoking issues in early September in Raleigh, North Carolina. Fox's firm, Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro , will co-sponsor the seminars with the Institute of Applied Management and Law , a company that specializes in organizing and promoting business and legal seminars. Fox also has scheduled seminars in Portland, Oregon, Cleveland, Ohio and Seattle, Washington.
Fox will continue to conduct media tours on workplace smoking legal issues in conjunction with the seminars. He is in the process of identifying a public relations firm to promote the tour independently. We have identified several individuals to conduct legal briefings with minority bar associations. They include: Dennis Duffy, an associate and colleague of John Fox at Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro; Mario Obledo , former executive director, League of United Latin American Citizens; and, Baltazar Bacca , executive director of the Hispanic National Bar Association.
These briefings will commence in August at the rate of one per month. Each will consist of a presentation and a request to address the organization's next general meeting. We already have scheduled briefings with the Hispanic National Bar Association, National Bar Association, and California Association of Black Lawyers.
1988 Aug: A later Tobacco Institute report says:
John Fox continues to promote his breakfast seminar series on workplace issues — including workplace smoking legal issues. The first seminar is scheduled for next month. A promotional brochure has been prepared and mailed to nearly 10,000 lawyers and human resource managers in Raleigh, North Carolina and Portland, Oregon—the sites of the first two seminars.
Dennis Duffy of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, briefed the president of the Charles Huston Bar Association, the San Francisco Bay Area's Black bar association, on workplace smoking legal issues. Duffy was invited to brief the entire bar in the Fall. Duffy also was invited to brief the new president of the National Bar Association.
Mario Obledo, John Fox and Dennis Duffy made preparations for a seminar on workplace smoking legal issues at a star-studded employment law symposium at the- Hispanic National Bar Association's annual convention in September.
There is no indication that Duffy did any more work for the Tobacco Institute or for the tobacco industry in general.
Pillsbury Madison & Sutro were Californian-based lobbyists for the chemical and petroleum industries ("Standard Oil Building, San Francisco). They also represented Liggett & Myers and the American Tobacco Company in some litigation. There are 1290 documents in the tobacco archives with reference to this company, but most appear to be related to litigation.
Two oustanding lobbying aspects are: Fox's lobbying work on workplace smoking issues for the Tobacco Institute. and S John Byington's work for the Formaldehyde Institute.