The Madison County Record Sep. 13, 2013, 6:50am

We spent Labor Day weekend time-traveling and filed this report from the future:

It is the year 2063. Much has changed in the last half century. Vanuatu has replaced the United States as the most powerful nation on earth, thanks to the discovery on that small South Pacific island of a previously unknown mineral called Lakinum that has proven to be an inexhaustible source of clean energy. Teleportation has replaced the plane and the automobile as the most common form of transportation. The artificial “plant egg” has replaced the chicken egg and all other food, and is now so fortified that a single omelet made with it could feed a family of four for an entire year (meanwhile, families have been replaced by childless, polyamorous communes).

In local news, St. Louis attorney Stephen Tillery III has replaced St. Louis attorney Stephen Tillery Jr. in what is now a third-generation quest to recover the $10 billion dollar award that his grandfather won against Philip Morris in 2003, only to see it vacated two years later.

The original St. Louis attorney Stephen Tillery had filed the case in Madison County in 2000, charging the tobacco company with misleading the public about the relative health benefits of light and low-tar cigarettes.

In 2013, Tillery appealed Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth’s decision denying relief from the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the $10 billion judgment. Philip Morris’ subsequent request for direct appeal to the State Supreme Court was denied.

With the case still on the docket of the Fifth District Appellate Court, Philip Morris raised the possibility of starting the 13-year-old trial over from scratch. In response to Tillery’s claim of having new evidence justifying his appeal, Philip Morris announced that it had new evidence, too – which could necessitate “a new trial in light of all of the new evidence.”

The second trial ended much like the first, as did the third, and the fourth, and the fifth . . .

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