Mark Lipowicz was attending a seminar in Chicago last year when he heard news that made his heart sink. The state of Texas had just settled its suit against the tobacco industry, and a member of the state’s trial team was regaling the crowd with estimates of the plaintiffs’ investment in the case. Lipowicz vaguely remembers what he heard–somewhere around $40 million–but he clearly remembers his reaction.

Oh, Jesus, he thought. What had he gotten himself into?

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