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Lawyers back in court in Florida smoking trial

July 17, 2000
Web posted at: 1:50 p.m. EST (1750 GMT)

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MIAMI (CNN) -- Lawyers for cigarette makers and sick Florida smokers were back in court Monday for the first time since the jury hit the industry with a record punitive damage award.

Both sides spoke briefly before Judge Robert Kaye, who must decide whether to make final Friday's $145 billion award against the tobacco industry -- the largest civil damage award in U.S. history.

Kaye could set aside or lower the award. Though such judgments are usually routinely entered in writing, a hearing was ordered for some time next week on a motion for the judgment to be entered.

Sixteen other motions were pending in the case, including motions of various mistrials during the two-year-long case. Additional hearing dates were expected to be scheduled for those motions during the third week of August.

Industry lawyers said they planned to file post-trial motions by July 24.



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