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Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the Eastern District of New York disqualified Winston & Strawn from the panel of law firms defending Philip Morris in a hugely lucrative tobacco case. Winston had not only previously represented two Blue Cross entities now suing Philip Morris, it had at one time pledged not to enter the New York case in exchange for being allowed to represent Philip Morris in companion suits in Chicago and New York. Winston’s disqualification creates a headache for Philip Morris: since this suit involves major corporate litigants, the company is hard pressed to find a large law firm without potential conflicts of interest.

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