In his 25-year career as a legal flamethrower and a professor, John Banzhaf
III has elevated the lawsuit into something of a collegiate sport.

With his George Washington University law students - known as Banzhaf's
Bandits - at his side, he has taken on the high and mighty, as well as the
mundane. His Washington group has tackled -the tobacco industry, and
restaurants requiring men, but not women, to wear jackets. Their earthy
slogan, ''Sue the Bastards,'' is best summarized in Banzhaf's license
plate: ''SUE BAS.''

Because of a letter Banzhaf wrote to the Federal Communications Commission
in 1966, you can't watch cigarette ads on TV.

He has also successfully instigated probes of former Attorney General Edwin
Meese III, ex-Vice President Spiro Agnew and ex-President Nixon; two
all-male private clubs in Washington admitted women after he raised a fuss.

''The common thread is high government officials facing allegations of
misconduct and appearing to get off,'' Banzhaf says. ''No one should be
above the law - not liberal Democrats or conservative Republicans.''

A native New Yorker, Banzhaf, 49, once had a promising career in computers.
He claims the first [copyright] ever for a computer program.