Tillery partners contribute another half million to anti-retention campaign

By Ann Maher | Oct 28, 2014

Another $550,000 has been added to a campaign focused on ousting Justice Lloyd Karmeier from the Illinois Supreme Court.

To date, $1.85 million has been spent by lawyers who have stakes in two high-dollar class action cases that have been revived since being reversed by the state’s high court in 2005.

On Monday, partners of Stephen Tillery – George Zelcs of Chicago and Christine Moody of St. Louis – contributed $300,000 and $200,000 respectively. Attorney Don Barrett of Lexington, Miss. also contributed $50,000.

The anti-retention committee Campaign for 2016 has spent more than $1 million, mostly for media buys in the St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, Mo. and Paducah, Ky. television markets.

The advertising alleges that Karmeier voted to reverse judgments against State Farm and Philip Morris after they supported his campaign in 2004.

In 2005, Karmeier participated in decisions that overturned class action judgments of about $10 billion in Price v. Philip Morris, and about $1 billion in Avery v. State Farm.

Tillery heads the Price case.

Barrett is among the team of lawyers representing plaintiffs in the case against State Farm.

Karmeier’s campaign has raised about $170,000 in contributions, according to records at the Illinois State Board of Elections.

However, his campaign put out a response ad that began running in the St. Louis media market on Monday. It says that Karmeier is tough on criminals, is respected and that he has been recommended by the Illinois State Bar Association and Illinois Civil Justice League. It also discredits attacks coming from “Chicago trial lawyers.”

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