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March 25, 1978 - Image 1

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1978-03-25

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Druggist gets trip

for suing

Edison Co.

By DENNIS SABO
Copyright 1978
The Michigan Daily
Second in a two-part series
Southfield drug store owner Lawrence Can-
tor, whose suit against Detroit Edison will end
the firm's light bulb exchange program, was
solicited as a client and received a ski vacation
from his lawyers in exchange for lending his
name to the lawsuit, according to sources close
to Cantor.
The practice of soliciting clients and paying
them to bring suit is a violation of the Illinois
professional code of ethics and possible groun-
ds for disbarment.
('ANTOR'S Chicago-based attorneys,
Michael Sklar, Burton Weinstein and Robert

Holstein, and Southfield lawyer David Nelson,
stand to collect more than $1.5 million in legal
fees, if Federal Judge John Feikens rules in
their favor.
In the antitrust suit, Cantor said he, as well
as other Southeast Michigan light bulb
retailers, were deprived of profit-making
because of Edison's bulb program. Under the
program, customers exchange their burnt-out
bulbs for new ones at the company's service
outlets. The program costs are added to Edison
customers' electric bills.
According to Cantor and his attorneys, the
lawsuit originated in 1972 when attorney Sklar
met Cantor on the ski slopes of Aspen,
Colorado. After the meeting, Sklar introduced
Cantor to Ron Stone, a Chicago light bulb
dealer. Cantor was later introduced to the other

Chicago lawyers, and Cantor said after several
conversations he decided to file suit against
Detroit Edison.'
BUT ACCORDING to several family sources,
including Cantor's daughter Nancy, the attor-
"One of the lawyers was
taking it to other states.
They needed a Detroit
businessman 's name (for
the lawsuit)."
-Nancy Cantor

neys were more instrumental in initiating the
suit than Cantor.
"One of the lawyers was taking it to other
states," said Ms. Cantor, 16. "They needed a
Detroit businessman's name (for the
lawsuit)."
"The fact Larry (Cantor) owned the drug
store only spurred things on," said a family
friend.
Cantor, 47, denied the accusations, but along
with his attorneys, remained vague about how
the suit began.
"I don't know what their intent was," Cantor
explained. "We got to talking and they said it
(Detroit Edison) doesn't look like a bad case.
and they would do it (bring suit) on a con-
tingency basis." (A suit without monetary risk

for Cantor).
"I had no idea that I was part of a script,"
Cantor said. "I was involved in something that
mushroomed."
TWO OF CANTOR'S attorneys, Weinstein
and Holstein, were involved in a 1970 lawsuit
contesting a similar light bulb exchange
program by Chicago's Commonwealth Edison.
The suit, filed by a school teacher named
Marilyn Gowdey, contended that the exchange
system was improperly administered and that
many customers were unaware of the
program.
Gowdey, who was a friend of another of the
case's lawyers prior to litigation, won the suit
in 1973 and Commonwealth Edison revamped

See DRUGGIST, Page 2

LEAKYN _PARTS OF CLOUDS
O VERENT. 38Ann4ArbtorayMrhSee Editorial Page29TC See Tody for details
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 138 Ann Arbor, Michigan-Saturday, March 25, 1978TeCnt8Pas

ICity tries
to avoid
'77 voter
foul-ups
By JULIE ROVNER
Voters are asking a new question this
campaign season in addition to
traditional street repair and federal.
funding issues: How does the city in-
tend to avoid making the same mistake
it made last year when a number of
non-city residents were mistakenly
registered to vote?
Because a number of registrars used
faulty street guides-a list of all the
city's streets and what ward and
precinct they are located in-almost 150
residents of township islands and
peninsulas were accidentally
registered. These islands and penin-
sulas are small pieces of land that jut
into, or are surrounded by, the city.
Township island residents don't pay
city taxes and are not eligible to vote in
city elections.
SUSAN VAN HAT'TUM, the Univer-
sity junior whose refusal to reveal her
vote led to a Michigan Supreme Court
decision, was a resident of one of these
township islands.
City Clerk Jerome Weiss, whose
department was responsible for last
year's foul-up, says he has taken great
pains to make sure Ann Arbor has a
good election this year.
"Every year we try to run a perfect
election," Weiss said, "but there's no
such thing as a perfect election. I think
this year's is going to be the best ever
because we have more tools."
ONE OF THOSE tools, a new com-
puter program designed by Weiss' staff
and the city's planning department, has
already printed out correct street
guides, and allowed the clerk's office to
check registrations and aid in
distributing absentee ballots.
"The computer will be able to assure
us that any one who votes in this elec-
tion will be a properly registered,
voter," Weiss said.
Weiss said that with the computer's
help, his staff has already identified 13
improperly registered voters and has
sent those voters letters notifying them.
He also pointed out that the computer
can check voter's addresses with com-
mercial property in the city to avoid
allowing people to register at their
business address.
Weiss attributed this year's sharp in-
crease in registered voters -
registration from January to March in-
creased by 4,000 - to the mayoral can-
didates and the drive by supporters of
the tenant's rights ballot issues.
"It's going to be a big election, but we
can handle it," he said.

Strike end near

as

coal miners

accep t c
By United Press international
Broke and frustrated coal miners apparently decided to
give their families an Easter present yesterday and end a
109-day strike that had much of the nation in its grip.
An unofficial UPI count from 457 or 63.6 per cent of the
UMW's 719 locals, had 39,796 or 56.7 per cent voting "yes"
and 30,425 or 43.3 per cent voting "no."
"I Dll IN'T VOTE for a contract, I voted for a paycheck,'
said John Shumar, a coal miner from California, Pa.
That sentiment was repeated across coal country on Good
Friday as a strong turnout of members of the United Mine
Workers seemed on the way to accepting a contract that-had
touched off hot arguments in many a union hall.
Arnold Miller, the beleaguered president of the UMW, said
that the three-year pact was not totally to his liking even as
he was claiming it had been ratified by a "substantial
margin."
"I DON'T hI NK WE gained all that much, but we kept
what we had,. Miller told UPI by telephone from
Washington.

.ont.ract
Besides, he added, "I worked for a lot of them I didn't
like."
Miller, a dour mountain man from Cabin Creek in West
Virginia, was unflappable in the face of critics who had
labeled him "a Benedict Arnold" in the tedious negotiations
with the Bituminous Coal Operators Association.
"TIJESE ARE PEOPLE who don't believe in the principles
this country is based upon," he said.
The vote ended a brutal strike that had lasted much longer
than anyone expected and left many of the 160,000 UMW
members in a financial bind.
Egidio Ferro of Courtney, Pa., voted for the contract, but
he didn't expect it to be ratified.
"I'F CHRIST CAME down on this earth and negotiated a
contract, it still wouldn't satisfy everyone," he said.
The miners are satisfied with the pay raise -- $2.40 an hour
over the next three years - but they are unhappy with the
pension program and the health insurance plan which

AP Photo
United Mine Workers Local 1054 President Dewey Christian of Cedar Grove,
West Virginia makes a show of his ballot yesterday before voting on a proposed
contract to end the 109-day coal strike.

See NEW, Page 8

Battle not ruled out for
tenants' rights proposals,

By RICHARD BERKE
and MITCH CANTOR
Though organized opposition to two
tenants' rights proposals on the April 3
city election ballot has yet to surface,
backers of the referendum aren't put-
ting that possibility to rest.
In 1975, local landlords formed
"Citizens for Good Housing" and pum-
ped over $50,000 in a last minute media
blitz to soundly defeat a rent control
proposal. But opinion differs as to
whetherthe present legislation would
have enough impact on city landlordsto
instigate a coalition against the ballot
issues.
THOUGH BOTH proposals are spon-
sored by the Coalition for Better
Housing (CBH), they appear to have
different levels of support among local
politicians.
The "Truth in Renting Act," which
seems to be the more favored initiative,
would prohibit landlords from including
illegal and unenforceable clauses in

their leases. Also, it would require them
to give their tenants specific infor-
mation about their legal rights.
At the start of each lease term lan-
dlords would be required to give tenan-
ts a written notice stating that:
" certain clauses the tenant signs
may be illegal, therefore unenfor-
ceable;
cItYelections '78
" tenants have rights and obligations
which may not be described in their
leases, such as the right to withhold
rent and live in a dwelling in need of
repairs;
* tenants can get detailed infor-
mation on their legal rights and duties
by contacting their own lawyer, a free
legal aid service, or a Tenants Union
lawyer.

THiE SECOND referendur, entitled
"The Fair Rental Information Act,"
proposed that the city pay for a tenants'
rights booklet consisting of three sec-
tions: one written by impartial authors
selected by the mayor, one written by
pro-tenant attorneys, and one written
by pro-landlord attorneys. All city lan-
dlords would be required to distribute
the booklet to their tenants.
The city already has a tenants rights
booklet which was revised by City
Council last December.
With the election only nine days
away, supporters of the proposals say
they are still in the dark about
organized opposition.
"I DON'T know what to anticipate in
terms of opposition," said Tim Kunin of
CBH. "I'd certainly like to think the
proposals are so fair that we won't have
any opposition."
See BALLOT, Page 2

Daily Photo by PETER SERLING
Al haber and Marilyn Katz spoke to a group at the Guild House yesterday
about the past and future of political activisn in the United States.
Rene wed campus,

Saturday

BULLETIN
President Carter yesterday
approved a $2.6 billion urban
policy to aid America's
ailing cities, according to the
Associated Press.
Earlier in the day, Carter
approved a proposal calling
for substantially less spen-
ding, but sources close to the
White House said Carter was
"+ *oa+sr xA t in a c th

Vance denies U.S.
plan to dump Begin

activism
BY LEONARD BERNSTEIN
In an atmosphere reminiscent of
the nascent days lof the Students for
a Democratic Society (SDS), one
hundred people jammed into the
Guild House yesterday to discuss the
future of political activism in the
United States.
The meeting was the culmination
of the week-long teach-in on the
Vietnam War.
Students and others heard Al
Haber, one of the founders of SDS
and an organizer of the first teach-in

is urged
from the days of the war. One par-
ticipant said a "multi-issue
organization" was being formed.
The organization would embrace
"issues affecting student power and
issues affecting students as human
beings."
Marilyn Katz, national policy
secretary of the New American
Movement (NAM), a nation-wide
socialist-feminist group, said it is
"our responsibility to oppose U.S.
policy that oppresses other peoples"
by "building a socialist movement
that opposes and limits the power of

from wire service reports
Looking drawn and weary, Prime
Minister Menachem Begin returned
home yesterday from his "difficult"
talks with President Carter to a
growing Israeli leadership crisis and
reports of an American-inspired "dump
Begin" movement.

V EUUaII~'P~'!

I

7 .I A

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