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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.



Bernadette Davison
Dennis Vaughn
Dennis Duffy
Phyllis James
Mario Obledo
Inst. of Applied Mgmt and Law




John C Fox    

— Lawyer who provided the tobacco industry with propaganda services. He specialised in lecturing on workplace smoking legislation, rights, etc. —  

A Californian labor and employment lawyer who has worked for the Tobacco Institute. He also did public-affairs media tours for them, and was regard by the tobacco industry as a valuable asset ... a workplace/legal ramifications expert who "often works with the media."

The tobacco industry loved this type of expert because he was generally not quickly identified as a tobacco industry lackey, since he promoted himself as a 'workplace-labor expert and lawyer'. The fact that he worked for the industry was rarely, if ever, revealed.

Fox was a graduate of the National Law Centre of George Washington University. Later he worked as an Executive Assistant to the Director of the US Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs before joining Pillsbury Madison & Sutro as the resident labor lawyer in the firm's San Jose Californian and Washington offices.

His associate at this office, Bernadette Davison (later Bantly) joined forces with Fox in working on smoking-in-the-workplace problems. They later both transfered to Pettit & Martin in San Francisco, where they acted as lawyers, mouthpieces and lobbyists for the Tobacco Institute.

Fox began consulting to the Tobacco Institute in 1985, and they listed him as an "expert on workplace smoking issues" . In later years they began to use him to promote the workplace freedom-to-smoke line through media tours and speaking engagement, via Fleishman-Hillard circuits where he touted the tobacco industry line.

Some key documents

• Lawyer with Pettit & Martin and Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro.

1985: began consulting for the Tobacco Institute.

1986 Oct 10: Walter Woodson at the Tobacco Institute is writing to his regional directors.

As you know, our Public Affairs division works with several experts on the general theme of smoking restrictions.

John Fox/Dennis Vaughn: These two attorneys are experts in the area of legal ramifications of workplace smoking policies and laws. They work with TI spokespersons and Susan Stuntz.

1987 Oct 27: Tobacco Institute document "Public Smoking Issue, Miscellaneous Consultants." has him listed under the heading Workplace Legal They say:

The Tobacco Institute consults with two management attorneys who are expert on workplace smoking issues.
  • John C. Fox, a partner at the firm of Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, is resident in the firm's San Jose, California, and Washington, DC offices. Fox, a graduate of the National Law Center at George Washington University, was previously an official in the Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Fox has consulted with The Institute since 1985.
  • Dennis A. Vaughn, a partner at the firm of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, is resident in the firm's Santa Monica, California office. Vaughn, a graduate of Stanford Law School, is a longstanding member of the Labor Committee of the US Chamber of Commerce. Vaughn has consulted with The Institute since 1985.
Basic messages:
    Employers should oppose government-imposed workplace restrictions as fundamental principle. Smokers have no "right" to smoke in the workplace; nonsmokers have no "right" to a smoke-free workplace. Employers must comply with state and local laws regarding workplace smoking.

        Courts generally do not want to see litigation regarding workplace smoking; they would prefer that the issue be handled by employers. Management has a business interest in striking a balance between the interests of its smoking and nonsmoking employees.
Kind of things they do:
  • Publish substantive law review articles on legal and management issues related to smoking in the workplace.
  • Conduct seminars and briefings with legislators, employers, attorneys and business groups.
  • Debate advocates of workplace bans.
  • Conduct media tours.
  • Advise companies contemplating workplace smoking policies.
What they have done lately:
  • In the past year, Fox has conducted 10 "breakfast briefing" seminars and 10 media tours. He debated the sponsor of workplace restriction legislation in Illinois. He published an article in the California Western Law Review. That article was also reprinted in Commerce Clearing House's Labor Law Journal. He has submitted for publication a second article to the Campbell Law Review.
  • Expertise and credentials. They are well-educated, accomplished,
        reasonable and articulate.
  • They are recognized experts in the field of employment law.
  • They are published.
  • They speak employers' language
  • They cannot be utilized with organized labor.
  • They are more effective when third parties, such as business or employer groups, sponsor their appearances.
[Which means, they should be used only when the tobacco industry is not seen to be promoting their appearance.]

1988 July: The Tobacco Institute's PR Plan for the year is dealing with the growing problems of workplace smoking restrictions. They have contracted a seminar company to set up and run seminars at which Fox will speak, and he will hide behind the sponsorship of his law firm and this so-called "Institute":

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 2: John Lyons at the Tobacco Institute is writing to Bernadette Davison 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 Bernadette Davison who is 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, and John Fox have 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.

1989: The Tobacco Industry's Witness Lists for 1988-93 which have been bundled together as a single unit in the filing cabinet.

  • 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)
  • 1988 Witness List Those above plus:
    • David Brenton (focus on airlines)
  • 1989 Witness list those above plus
    • Alan Kassman (industry science consultant),
    • Jack Peterson (IAQ consultant),
    • unnamed from "Bestype Consulting",
    • Dennis Vaughn (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)
  • 1993 June 1 Tobacco Institute list of "Witness/Expert Appearances — Scientific/Legal/Spokespersons."] The list has lost a few, but also grown since 1988 to now include:
    • Mike Buckley,
    • Gio Gori (ex NCI now lobbyist),
    • Bill Wordham,
    • Walter Merryman (TI Public Relations),
    • Melinda Sidak,
    • Rudy Cole,
    • Larry Halfen.
  • 1990 Witness List (page 35) includes most of the main group. Note:
    Bill Orzechowski, Mike Davis, Morris Coats,

1989: A speech by Jim Johnson (Chairman) to the Executive Committee of the Tobacco Institute. He says that 80% of their resources are directed towards the development of allies and coalitions, and economic studies that can be used at [public and workplace smoking] hearing and in one-on-one lobbying. They are developing their witnesses from scientific consultants and academic consultants:

As you know, this group is a direct result of the new funding the executive committee authorized in April, to enable us to revitalize our academic scientist program.
Within the scientific community our current team of 16 ETS and Indoor Air Quality Consultants are assigned, not only witness duty, but also are expected to attend and participate in scientific conferences — to work within the general media, and to review and respond in print to critical articles related to ETS science.
They now have an "expanded team of 14 Academic Scientists" and are launching new strategies to utilise them — especially to oppose workplace smoking bans. They had succeded in forcing both IBM and the Ford Motor Company to reconsider total smoking bans,

    Both Vaughn and Fox had also been writing articles pushing the tobacco industry line.
Our lawyers have produced articles on workplace smoking issues that have appeared in the Employee Relations Law Journal, the California Western Law Review, and Labor Law Journal. The Campbell University Law School Review is expected to run an article this fall. These articles have gone to all Fortune 500 Companies. We are now promoting them with targeted mailings to more than 1,500 business and legal news editors.

    Earlier this year one of the Attorneys. Dennis Vaughn, took his workplace smoking messages to Washington State. He helped persuade the Associated Washington Business to reject a resolution endorsing state legislation to ban smoking in the private workplace.

    Another Attorney, John Fox has conducted news media tours on this issue, educating radio, print and TV journalists; debunking myths about workplace smoking and employer-related liability.

    Last fall he began briefings on employment law, including workplace smoking, in markets where he was visiting the media. These seminars last about two hours and atttract 35 to 40 lawyers and human resources managers. He has done 10 so far.
Fox and the Tobacco Institute were now working with the Chambers of Commerce in Vermont and Massachusetts to sponsor New England seminars.
Chambers sponsorship increases credibility and appeal. It also helps Chambers provide services to their membership.

1989 Jan 12: The Tobacco Institute is running a covert New York seminar on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) and "Tight Building Sydnrome." This has been presented as a seminar run by the "Bestype Consulting Corporation" which was a large business-service organization. The speakers are all tobacco lackeys:

  • Dr. Alan Westin, Professor of Law, Columbia University
  • Dr. Michele Marcus, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine
  • Gray Robertson, President, ACVA Atlantic Inc .
  • John Fox, Esquire, Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro

1989 Feb 5: Diana Avedon, a project organiser at the Tobacco Institute, reports to her superior Walter Woodstone mentioning cryptically that a proposed Fox seminar in OR [Oregon] was discussed with D Hooper. Re another previous one in MN, "He was not impressed ... Too little control."

    They are also thinking of substituting "Bernadette Davidson instead of John Fox" for some other project [not specified].

1989 Mar 16: A Tobacco Insitute document by Diana Avedon, headed "Scientific/Other Witness Appearance Requirements." A team of scientific and academic/profession witness is urgently needed in various regions to appear at ordinance and legislative hearings, etc. Fox is on a Public Affairs Media tour:

2. Public Affairs Workplace/Legal Expert Tours.
John Fox is a workplace/legal ramifications expert. He often works with the media and holds seminars on a number of workplace issues, including smoking. As with other PAD events, please let us (WW/Diana and Brennan) know IMMEDIATELY if you have a problem with locations/dates.
  • April 17 & 18...Middlebury/Springfield, VT
  • April 19...Wellesley, MA
  • May Minneapolis
  • June Des Moines
  • July Pittsburgh/Philadelphia
[PAD probably means Public Affairs Division]

1989 Oct: The Tobacco Institute activities report for October notes [Page 7]

Litigation Program

    John Fox's October 5 "Breakfast Briefing" in Portland, Oregon, was a tremendous success. Sixty-five lawyers and employee relations managers participated in the seminar on workplace smoking, sexual harassment and affirmative action.

    Upcoming seminars will take place in Cleveland, Ohio on November 15 and Seattle, Washington on December 6.

    Early returns suggest a strong turnout for the Cleveland seminar. Fox continues to pursue a relationship with a seminar marketing firm to assure greater efficiency and credibility for the seminar series.

    We are developing a schedule of workplace legal briefings for minority bar associations for the next several months. Mario Obledo has agreed to deliver the presentations. Fox will prepare Obledo on employment law legal theories affecting workplace smoking and on the status of case law. We have identified Phyllis James, a partner of John Fox, to assist us with conducting briefings with black and women's bar associations.

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.

1993 March 30: He made a 'Statement in Opposition" to a workplace smoking bill to the Committee on Labor Employment at the Californian State Assembley. This was recorded on the industry's list of Risk Assess Criticisms

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.

1993 Aug: John C Fox of Pettit & Martin, San Jose Calif is writing a Letter-to-the-Editor of the Corporate Legal Times. Naturally he is taking pro-tobacco/anti-Department of Health line. And he sends a copy of this correspondence to the Tobacco Institute (required to ensure payment for work done).

He is acting here as a legal WhiteCoat. There is no mention in the article or the letter that he is working for the industry.

Letter accompanying the article sent to the editor

1994 Jan 7: At a Capitol Hill inquiry on smoking, he is listed as "a San Francisco labor and employment lawyer who has done work for the Tobacco Institute."

1994 May: Indoor Air Review is running a conference about IAQ and ETS, Indoor Environment '94: "New Challenges, New Opportunities," They have gathered more than 100 speakers and some 600 attendees from all parts of the indoor air community to this conference in Washington DC March 22-30.

Joseph P Kennedy III [D-Mass]: A part of the problem, Kennedy said, is that his bills have been referred to multiple House committees, giving

"so many special interests chances to kill them. If you have six to eight subcommittees with 25 to 30 members each working on a bill," Kennedy said, "a measure's enemies need only pick-off five to 10 congressmen with promises of campaign contributions to sink the legislation."
Speakers included
  • Jack Halliwell of Halliwell Engineering Associates (Rhode Island)
  • Steve Hayes of Gobbell Hayes Partners, Inc (Nashville, Tenn)
  • Jim Dinegar, of BOMA
  • Michael Jawer, BOMA
  • William Abrams, San Francico attorney
  • John Singer, Baltimore attorney
  • Lawrence Kirsch, Washington DC attorney
  • John Fox, attorney, now of Palo Alto's Fenwick & West
  • Maurice LeVois, of Environemtnal Health Resources, Tiburon, Calif.

[Tobacco lobbyists Fox and LeVois accused the EPA of having "cooked the books" in declaring ETS as Class A carcinogen]



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