What do you do with a guy who never says die?

You know the type: the guy who wants to buy one more round when everybody else has gone home and he and the bartender are the only ones left in the joint.

The guy who wants to play one more hand of poker when he’s already lost all his chips and written IOUs to everyone at the table.

The guy who keeps proposing even though the object of his affections has told him 15 times that she wouldn’t marry him if he was the last guy on earth. (Of course, he’s not the last guy on earth, so maybe there’s hope?)

There’s something to be said for persistence, but at some point it becomes increasingly hard to distinguish it from fantasy.

We’re beginning to worry about St. Louis attorney Stephen Tillery. He doesn’t seem to know when to quit.

Tillery filed suit against Philip Morris in 2000, charging the cigarette manufacturer with misleading consumers about the health benefits of light and low-tar cigarettes. In 2003, Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron awarded more than $10 billion to Tillery’s clients, including nearly $2 billion in attorney’s fees.

Unfortunately for Tillery, our State Supreme Court ordered the case dismissed in 2005.

Tillery made unsuccessful motions for a rehearing and for U.S. Supreme Court review and later moved for relief from the mandated dismissal of Judge Byron’s decision.

Just this week, Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth denied the latest petition.

It’s time for Tillery to move on, but he probably won’t. He’ll try to appeal this latest decision, and perhaps all future ones affirming it, if recent history is our guide.

Sure, two billion bucks is a big chunk of change, but at some point you have to surrender. If he’s never going to see any of it anyway, the sooner Tillery stops obsessing over it, the better--for him, and for us.

We’re tired of commenting on it. When does a lost cause get lost?

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