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Texas Tech University School of Law may soon have a new name to reflect a $15 million donation from alum Wayne A. Reaud. Reaud, one of the five tobacco lawyers sharing in a $3.3 billion fee award, was courted to make a significant donation before the tobacco case heated up, says Dean W. Frank Newton. Reaud, of counsel to Beaumont, Texas’ Reaud, Morgan & Quinn, was wealthy and successful long before the tobacco case raised his profile around the state.

But the proposal to rename the public law school is raising eyebrows because of Newton’s involvement with Reaud and the other lawyers who represented the state in its $17.3 billion settlement with cigarette makers. In November 1998, Newton agreed to serve as the five lawyers’ non-neutral pick for an arbitration panel to decide legal fees in the tobacco case. The tobacco industry picked one arbitrator and both sides chose a neutral member to serve as panel chair.

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