The proxy battle at Compass Bancshares was to move - temporarily, at least - from the newspapers to the courtroom today, with lawyers for both sides facing off before a federal judge.

Judge Sam C. Pointer Jr. of the federal district court of northern Alabama ruled last week that attorneys representing dissident director Harry B. Brock Jr. be allowed to present arguments that Compass had filed "false and misleading" information in recent proxy materials sent to shareholders. These allegations will be disputed by attorneys representing the management of Alabama's fourth largest bank.

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