Information About Using this Website

Website Design
This website is designed to provide the public with access to documents produced by The Tobacco Institute in Attorney General reimbursement lawsuits and certain other specified civil actions, and to documents produced after October 23, 1998 through June 30, 2010 in smoking and health actions, and includes certain enhancements, all as provided for by paragraph IV of the Attorneys General Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).

The enhancements include an expanded index to documents, with up to twenty-two searchable fields of information. The viewing and navigational tools have also been enhanced to include full image viewing and enhancement functions as well as a larger viewable area. In addition, a return to search results button has been added to allow efficient previewing and searching of documents. Important information about documents on this website is also provided for reference purposes.

This website is intended for informational, educational and non-commercial use only. In order to provide efficient access to a large volume of documents, this website uses three main tools: (1) Document indexing; (2) Index searching; and, (3) Automatic linking of search results to images of the retrieved document index entries.

Document Indexing
The documents are indexed by the following information: Document Identification number (Document ID), Range of document with attachments (Document Range), Other production bates numbers (Other Bates Number), Author / Organization (Author), Addressee / Organization (Recipient), Copyee / Organization (Copied), Mentioned Name / Organization (Names Mentioned), Document Date (Document date), Ending Document Date Range (Ending Date), Estimated Date Indicator (Estimated Date), Document Condition/Characteristics (Condition/Characteristics), Document Type (Type), Title (Title), Description (Desc), Source (Source), Request(s) for Production to which the Document is Responsive (Request Number), Total number of Pages in document (Pages), Date Produced (Date Produced), Minnesota Depository Production Box (Prod box), Case Name (Case Name), Date Added to the Website (Date Loaded) and Minnesota Litigation Plaintiffs' Selection Indicator (Litigation Usage).

Detail information about the Index to these documents is provided. In addition this website contains full text of plaintiffs Request for Production of documents in state of Minnesota, et al. v. Philip Morris, Incorporated et al.

Searching the Index
The document index can be searched using the familiar Alta Vista™ search engine. This search engine returns results based upon a ranking of the presence of search terms in the document index.

You can perform simple or advanced (Boolean) searches by using the Alta Vista™ search procedure. For performing a simple search, this procedure supports the basic operators "+" and "-" which indicate words or phrases that are required or prohibited in the search results. Alta Vista™ also allows advanced search capabilities that support the Boolean logic operators AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR, as well as the ability to specify ranking words that are different from the words in the search query.

Understanding Simple and Advanced Search
Both the simple and advanced search procedures follow the same basic rules for processing queries. The search engine interprets a word as any string of letters and digits that is delineated by non-alphanumeric characters. Consequently, Alta Vista™ searches ignore punctuation except to interpret it as a separator for words.

Key points include:

  • A group of two or more words enclosed in double quotes indicates a phrase. Phrasing ensures that the search engine finds the words together, instead of looking for separate instances of each word individually.

  • Two asterisks (**) following three or more characters (i.e., wildcard), will find all words that begin with the characters selected.

  • Case sensitivity of a search is based on the case of each word in the query. A word in all lowercase letters results in a case-insensitive search, whereas if a word contains any uppercase letters, the software searches for an exact-case match.

Using Logical Operators to Refine a Search
Both simple and advanced search support the use of various operators that can help you refine the results of a search.

Simple Search Operators
Simple search supports two basic operators:

 Operator   Function  
 + includes only index entries containing all specified words or phrases in the search results
 - excludes index entries containing the specified word or phrase from the search results

Simple search operators must directly precede the word that the user wants to include or exclude, with no space between the operator and the word.

For example, the following simple query expression requests document index entries that must contain the word results and must also contain the phrase year end:

"year end" +results

The following simple query requests index entries that must contain the field Title: reorganization and must not contain the field Date: 19970707. The document index can also contain the word CEO but is not required to.

CEO +Title: reorganization -Date:19970707

Advanced Search Operators
The following are the advanced search operators and their meaning:

Keyword  Symbol  Action
AND Finds only index entries containing all of the specified words or phrases. 
OR  | Finds index entries containing at least one of the specified words or phrases.
AND NOT  & ! Excludes only index entries containing all of the specified words or phrases. 
OR NOT  | ! Excludes index entries containing at least one of the specified words or phrases. 
NEAR  ~ Finds index entries containing both specified words or phrases within 10 words of each other. 

For example, the following query requests that either of the words apple or pear appear in the same index entry with either of the words tart or pie.

(apple OR pear) AND (tart OR pie)

Specifying A Field In Your Search
You can limit r search to specific field(s) by using the syntax:

field: search string

For example, the following query requests that the word training appear in the document's Title field.

title: training

Each field in the index can be specified in your search using the following search items:

Field Name  Search Term 
Document IDDocid:
Document RangeRange:
Other Bates NumberOnumber:
Names MentionedMentioned:
Document DateDate:
Ending DateEnddate:
Estimated DateEdate:
Document typeDtype:
Description Descrip:
Request NumberRequest:
Date Produced pdate:
Prod Box pbox:
Case NameCname:
Date Loaded Dloaded:
Litigation UsageUsage:

Alta Vista operators can be used in conjunction with specifying a term in your search. For example, the following query requests that both the words software and training appear in the document's Title field.

title: (software + training)

Searching Using Dates and Date Ranges

There are two search terms available to use, date: and [ddatev:], when searching Document Date. Use date: when searching for a specific date. For example, if you know a document is dated April 18, 1977, enter the following search:


Another good use of date: is a search for all dates in a specific month or year. For example, to find all documents dated in 1983, use the following search:


To find all documents dated in February, 1992, enter:


The search tern [ddatev:] is used for range searching. For example, to find all documents dated within the week of May 3-10, 1988, enter:

[ddatev:19880503 - 19880510]

A range search can span any number of days, weeks or months. To find all documents dated between July, 1981, and September 30, 1984, enter:

[ddatev:19810700 - 19840930]

To find all documents up to a date, omit the starting date. For example, to find all documents up to September 20, 1987, enter:

[ddatev:00000000 - 19870920]

To find all documents after a date, omit the end date. For example, to find all documents after October 31, 1985, enter:

[ddatev:19851031- 99999999]

The same guidelines as described for document date can be used for the Date Loaded field. The search terms are:



Date range searches can be used in combination with Boolean search terms. For example, to find all documents containing the term "amendment" within the range of January 15, 1970 and December 31, 1982, enter:

amendment & [ddatev:19700115 - 19821231]

Understanding Relevance Ranking
Document index entries retrieved as a result of a search are ranked based upon the number of words in a search query that they contain. The index entries containing the most search words will be ranked the highest.

Viewing Your Selected Document
Once you have selected a document it can be viewed in one of two ways:

  • Page by Page - This option gives you the ability to view single pages of the document, one at a time. While viewing the page you will have the ability to rotate it 90 degrees to the left or to the right to adjust for landscape images. Page by Page allows you to print single pages with in a document.

  • View All - This allows you to view an entire document continuously. This is the recommended choice for printing the entire document. The rotate function does not work in the View All mode.

  • For optimal viewing and/or printing, please select the red "GO TO PDF VERSION" button when viewing an image. This function will require you to use the free Adobe AcrobatR Reader 3.0 or better.