Mulholland Testifies!

April 25, 2005 2:00 pm by brettyg

Bench Trial Day 97-Morning Session

Monday, April 25, 2005

The defense questioned FTC economist Dr. Mulholland on his written direct examination this morning. Phillip Morris lawyer Dan Webb established FTC’s policy of encouraging the advertisement of tar and nicotine levels with the aim to increase consumer demand for low tar cigarettes and therefore encouraging competition in the development of this product. It was also established that the FTC believed that advertising the Tar and nicotine levels was a communication of health information to the consumer.

However, Mr. Webb failed to establish that Dr. Mulholland has the authority to speak for the FTC. Mulholland repeated throughout the morning that the research he has conducted at FTC and the inferences he drew based on the research was on behalf of himself and he did not “speak on behalf of the agency.”

Webb tried to call into question a bias at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) which was responsible for Monograph 13. Monograph 13 contests the health benefits of low tar and low nicotine cigarettes due to the smoker’s compensating by smoking more. Webb asked Dr Mulholand his opinion regarding the NCI’s bias. Judge Kessler prevented this question from being answered because it was a matter of opinion and not substantive.

Webb brought into question changes to the written testimony of Mulholland made by Mulholland’s and FTC lawyer. Kessler ruled that a great deal of testimony was inadmissible due to attorney-client privilege.

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