Joseph Arshawksy of Albuquerque, N.M., is one of the scores of plaintiffs’ lawyers who filed class actions against Microsoft Corp. after Nov. 5, 1999, the day Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson called the company a predatory monopolist in 207 scathing pages of fact findings.

For his suit, Mr. Arshawsky picked a symbolic location, the state courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, the site of a 1967 uprising in which Hispanics took the courthouse by force, kidnapping several people, including a local journalist, to protest land distribution. He sees his Microsoft class action, on behalf of New Mexico consumers – many of them rural, poor and in a technological backwater – in a similar light. “We’re righteous out here,” he says.

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