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IN RE WORLDCOM

United States District Court, S.D. New York


May 3, 2004.

IN RE WORLDCOM, INC. SECURITIES LITIGATION, This Document Relates to: ALL ACTIONS

The opinion of the court was delivered by: DENISE COTE, District Judge

ORDER

Fact discovery has been ongoing for approximately one year and is scheduled to end on June 18, 2004. Witnesses testifying in depositions on behalf of the Underwriter Defendants and the SSB Defendants have repeatedly asserted that they relied upon counsel when determining the due diligence to be conducted in connection with the May 2000 and May 2001 bond offerings and the disclosures to be made in the offering materials prepared for these offerings. Despite inquiries by counsel for the Lead Plaintiff since at least March 25, 2004, counsel for these defendants have refused to affirm or deny that they intend to rely at trial on the defense of reliance on advice of counsel. The plaintiffs will be severely prejudiced without immediate and unambiguous notice of an election by these defendants. Having considered the submissions of the parties on this issue, the authorities on which they rely, and their oral argument of April 30, 2004, it is hereby

ORDERED that the parties in the Securities Litigation may pursue discovery concerning the advice of counsel provided to the Underwriter Defendants and the SSB Defendants related to the due diligence for the May 2000 and May 2001 bond offerings and the disclosures in the offering materials for those offerings.

  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, to avoid such discovery, the Underwriter Defendants and the SSB Defendants have until 5:00 p.m. on May 4, to notify the Lead Plaintiff in writing, explicitly and unambiguously, that they do not intend to rely on an advice of counsel defense. In the event such notice is not given, the Lead Plaintiff may redepose any witness who failed on April 30, May 3, or May 4, to respond completely to the questions permitted by this Order. Such additional deposition time shall not be deducted from the time the plaintiffs in the Securities Litigation have been allotted for depositions.

  SO ORDERED.

20040503

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