Edwin J. Jacob

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Edwin J. Jacob of the Jacob, Medinger & Finnegan law firm was a Council for Tobacco Research Special Projects key legal strategist as well as a key legal strategist in many capacities for the tobacco industry. His career stems from 1950's.

He is generally in the document archives as Ed Jacob (often Jacobs) of Jacob & Medinger, the earlier New York law partnership, which was the main channel for laundering payments made by Philip Morris to some academic witnesses and supporters in the 1970s and 1980s. He also handled the Tobacco Institute's CTR Special Projects accounts. Some of these were legitimate payments to honest researchers, but pther grantees elected to be funded through the secret Special Projects #4 account. See the list of these at CTR Special Projects. Ed Jacob, as an outside counsel to the industry, handled these payments and was seen by industry executives as one of the inner circle who helped them block legislation and regulations against public smoking and confuse the science.

[Note: Misspellings are common: search the tobacco archives under Ed, Edward and Edwin, and under both Jacob and Jacobs. Also look for variations on the company name Medinger]

Ed Jacob appears to have become involved with the tobacco industry (probably Philip Morris) when he was a partner in Cabell, Medinger, Forsyth & Decker. Later he split off the tobacco business and formed Jacobs & Medinger which was virtually devoted to the tobacco industry cause. This partnership became Jacob, Medinger & Finnegan in 1973.

Documents and Timelines

There are literally thousands of documents in the tobacco archives which show how much Ed Jacob and his partners overstepped the role of a consultant and lawyer, and entered into what amounted to a criminal conspiracy with the tobacco industry to distort the science and hide the facts about cigarettes and health.

1964 Oct According to evidence given in April 2003 during the case of United States of America vs Philip Morris Incorporated ...

An October 1964 TRC trip report (the UK industry's Tobacco Research Commitee) confirmed that TRC representatives met with representatives of R.J. Reynolds, American, Brown & Williamson, Philip Morris, Liggett, Lorillard, CTR, the Tobacco Institute, and Hill & Knowlton, as well as with attorney Edwin Jacobs. At one of the meetings with Philip Morris, "[t]he informal agreement between TRC members not to make health claims" was explained.

Other evidence at the same trial leaves little doubt about Jacob's complicity in the conspiracies:<blcokquote>Frequent communications with Brown & Williamson kept BATCo and the rest of the Enterprise apprized of each other's decisions and activities. In an October 1965 memo to Edwin Finch, Brown & Williamson's President, Addison Yeaman of Brown & Williamson wrote that he planned "to meet with [Ed] Jacob, and hopefully [David] Hardy (of Shook Hardy & Bacon -- the main tobacco lawyer-lobbyists), and CTR. early in November" to discuss the Harrogate report.
  Both Jacob and Yeaman felt it "highly desirable that there be a full exchange between TRC" and a small group from the United States prior to commencing preparation of the Harrogate report because "it would be far easier to influence the tone and even the context of the report . . . before it is written, than it would be to 'rewrite' a completed report." Later in the same case, evidence was given of the role Jacobs played in helping the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR) deceive the public with sham scientific research and with academic witnesses paid to give specific evidence. He attended the Committee of Counsel meetings of the industry's most trusted internal lawyer/manipulators.

"the primary function of this Committee of Counsel has been to circle the wagons, to coordinate not only the defense of active cases, but also to coordinate the advice which the General Counsels give to ongoing operations of their companies pertaining to products liability issues."
The Committee of Counsel was assisted by outside counsel including the law firms of Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Jacob, Medinger & Finnegan, and Covington & Burling. (C&B ran the meetings)
Jacob, Medinger & Finnegan was counsel for R.J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson, and CTR. Edwin Jacob attended and gave presentations at Committee of Counsel meetings, he was also involved in the administration of CTR Special Projects.

Later in the document they quote Jacob explaining the role of the CTR Special Projects funds

Jacob: "When we started the CTR Special Projects, the idea was that the scientific director of CTR would review a project. If he liked it, it was a CTR Special Project. If he did not like it, then it became a lawyers' special project." (Jacob: on two sham research project) "With Spielberger, we were afraid of discovery for FTC and [[Domingo Aviado|Aviado}}, we wanted to protect it under the lawyers. We did not want it out in the open."


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