Musical Benches!

The Madison County Record Dec. 4, 2004, 7:00pm

Stephen Tillery

City of Mascoutah's Flag

Arizona Dreamin'

In his perfect world, Madison County Circuit Court Judge Philip Kardis would be scoping out lunch spots and rubbing Appellate Court elbows in Illinois' 'King City', Mt. Vernon.

Instead, as Republican Judge Lloyd Karmeier is sworn in as Southern Illinois' new Illinois Supreme Court Justice, word around the courthouse is that Kardis is pondering a less litigious life in the Valley of the Sun.

The domino effect that could lead to a rumored Arizona retirement for Kardis started with Appellate Judge Gordon Maag's surprise loss to Karmeier.

Kardis was an odds-on favorite to replace a victorious Maag on the Mt. Vernon Appellate Bench.

Now that slot will be filled by the Republican Karmeier, who we're betting won't include any former Madison County trial lawyers on his short list.

His bags packed to go somewhere, we hear Kardis has been shopping around his services as a name lawyer to the biggest plaintiff's firms in town to no avail.

Could it be that the Madison County plaintiff's bar doesn't want Karmeier filling a Kardis vacancy in their comfy hometown courthouse?

And so it goes.

Fortune Teller

In Philip Morris vs. Stephen Tillery, at least one national magazine likes Big Tobacco's chances.

Fortune reporter Roger Parloff sounds off on the Price appeal in the magazine's November 29th edition ('Tobacco's Month of Living Dangerously'), predicting that Phillip Morris “seems to have a good shot of winning this one.”

Noting that the verdict came down in. “Aberrationally pro-plaintiff” Madison County, Parloff slams Judge Nicholas Byron's findings in the case as “disconcertingly counterfactual” and “puzzling.”

“Every survey of Lights smokers discussed in the case confirmed that a large percentage-- a majority by some surveys-- do not think Lights are any safer than regular cigarettes, and that they choose Lights because they like the taste” Parloff wrote. “At a minimum, the class needs to be pared down to those who were really defrauded.”

In assessing $10.1 billion in damages, Byron found as fact that all of Illinois 1.14 million lights smokers were deceived.

The Illinois Supreme Court, which heard oral arguments in the case last month, is not expected to rule on the Price case until sometime next year.


As part of its mission, the American Library Association professes that its goals include ensuring "First Amendment rights are secure" and supporting "persons whose First Amendment rights are challenged."

So color us surprised when, after sending a copy of The Record to the city of Mascoutah's public library, we received an angry email from its assistant librarian admonishing us for doing so.

Judging from her comments, it is safe to say that she is not a Record fan.

To be sure, it brought tears to our eyes when we read that, in fact, nobody in Mascoutah cared about our paper or that which we were covering.

Then we grabbed a tissue and got to thinking. Since when does an assistant librarian speak for 6,000 or so people?

We're not buying her propaganda but, we wanted to mention it here in the name of our First Amendment. Now you know where the library stands.

To find your free copy of The Record each week, see the list below of our drop locations.

Secular ceremony

When Madison County officials took their oaths of office last week, they were not sworn to uphold their duties under God.

For fear of being sued, has Godlessness permeated our halls of justice?

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