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Given last year’s endless parade of corporate scandals, it’s not the result that might have been expected. However, the number of securities lawsuits filed against Fortune 1000 companies declined substantially in 2002. A total of 1,811 such actions were filed in the 12 months ending October 31, 2002, as compared with 2,677 in the previous 12-month period. More companies were targeted with securities actions, however — 147 last year versus 104 in 2001. In another sign of how shareholders’ wrath was dispersed, the 25 most-sued companies accounted for a smaller percentage of all securities actions: 68 percent in 2002, compared to 94 percent in 2001. Our survey searched the LexisNexis U.S. Civil Docket database, which identifies almost all instances in which a Fortune 1000 company was named as a defendant in a securities lawsuit. Four federal districts — in Alaska, Indiana, Nevada, and Wisconsin — are not able to submit filings electronically and so their information is not available. However, almost no securities suits are filed in these districts.

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