alt131 - 8:18 pm on Jul 4, 2011 (gmt 0)
Hi hypermeg, and welcome to WebmasterWorld :)
Interesting problem. I also note the doctype is html 4.0, plus the text you want to change looks like <labels> for form elements - but not marked up as such. I'm sure there are reasons for being with this provider, but do they really deserve support given they are locking in archaic code that does users no good at all?
As you can code the head, is it possible to deal with ie8 via a compatibility meta? More information at Defining Document Compatibility [msdn.microsoft.com]. Something like <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">. Note the use of edge is contested, and was discussed in What do all these IE Modes really mean? [webmasterworld.com], but I think James Hopkin's approach has merits. Just note that will switch ie8 into standards, so any css sent to deal with the implications of quirks may need adusting.
That leaves ie7. I'd check your numbers are worth being concerned about - recalling this css isn't understood by ie6 either. The provided code is very neatly stripped - thanks, but if I understand your description correctly, the td containing "Foo" has a class name. As I read the code that means that every td except the one containing "Last Name" has a class. Does that make it possible to send a conditional comment to ie7 to set the style for all td's (or tr's) to what you want for fist name/lst name, then use the existing class names to set all the other td's (or tr's) back?