The Verdict Is In: Findings from United States v. Philip Morris

69 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2007

Date Written: August 2007


On August 17, 2006, after six years of litigation, nine months of trial, hundreds of depositions and thousands of exhibits, U.S. District Court Judge Gladys Kessler ruled in United States v. Philip Morris that the U.S. Government had proven its case. The court found that the tobacco company defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and engaged in a fifty-year conspiracy to defraud the American public and the world. Specific remedies were ordered.

The Verdict Is In: Findings from United States v. Philip Morris is a compilation of select quotes from 1,259 pages of findings in Judge Kessler's 1,700-page opinion. The final opinion is a masterpiece of legal scholarship: clear, thorough and compelling. Its only shortcoming is its length. With so much deceit to chronicle, the opinion is longer than a Russian novel. Its heft alone is enough to deter most readers.

Our goal in preparing this compilation has been to extract highlights of the court's findings that help tell the story in a direct and easily understandable way. We have taken great care in quoting verbatim and in chronological order from the court's opinion, and in providing the original legal citations, footnotes, and court numbered paragraphs. The publication contains seven sections that correspond with sections in the findings that address the hazards of smoking, addiction, nicotine levels, "light" cigarettes, marketing to youth, secondhand smoke, and the suppression of information.

Keywords: DOJ case, tobacco racketeering, DOJ decision, RICO tobacco case, U.S. v. Philip Morris, Department of Justice tobacco case, Department of Justice, US v PM, conspiracy

Suggested Citation

Legal Consortium, Tobacco Control, The Verdict Is In: Findings from United States v. Philip Morris (August 2007). William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 81, Available at SSRN: or

Tobacco Control Legal Consortium (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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