Minutes after a Miami jury delivered a sweeping indictment of thetobacco industry � deciding that industry executives had conspired toconceal the truth about the dangers of cigarette smoking � dozens ofthe plaintiffs in the class- action suit swarmed forward, hugging theirlawyers and each other. As they did so, the team of somber-facedlawyers who had defended the industry pushed through the crowd, movingtoward the courtroom exit.

But for a few moments, the double doors to the lobby beyond wereblocked and the well-heeled tobacco lawyers and the shopworn plaintiffsthat they had worked for years to defeat were jammed together in anuncomfortable clinch. For the lawyers who had just suffered a stingingloss, the seconds had to feel like an eternity.