A class action with no class and no action

The Madison County Record Mar. 17, 2012, 3:55am

Seven years is a pretty long time. It's 84 months, 364 weeks, or 2,556 days--2,557 days if two leap years happen to intervene.

You can get a lot accomplished in that much time. For instance, you can go through college and law school in seven years, provided you view college as a means to an end, not an end in itself, and concentrate on curricular rather than extracurricular activities.

You can move from an entry-level position at your first place of employment to middle management or higher, there or somewhere else, in seven years. You can meet someone, fall in love, get married, and have a family in that much time.

There are all sorts of life-changing actions you can complete in seven years.

On the other hand, you can also squander seven years easily enough, finding yourself at the end of your septennial no further along than you were at the beginning, having accomplished nothing, or next to nothing.

Most of us, if we looked back at the last seven years, probably would have to admit that we've achieved less than we'd hoped to. Still, we would undoubtedly be able to say that we had accomplished something.

Imagine, then, how Stephen Tillery must feel.

In 2005, the then-seven-years-younger St. Louis attorney filed a putative class action suit in Madison County Circuit Court against First Union Home Equity Bank. It was a unique class action in that it had neither a class nor any action. It just kind of sat there, for seven years.

This year, seven long years later, an older and wiser Tillery finally faced reality and had the case dismissed.

He claims he reached a settlement, but provided no details of the denouement of this classless, actionless class action.

After seven grueling years like that, Tillery may be tired. Maybe he needs to take a sabbatical.

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