SPRINGFIELD – Last time the Illinois Supreme Court rejected Stephen Tillery’s $10.1 billion judgment against Philip Morris - 10 years ago - he petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for review.
He didn’t get it then, but he could ask again.
On Monday, the Illinois Supreme Court denied Tillery's request to recall a mandate the Court issued in 2006 after it struck down the judgment involving the marketing of "light" cigarettes.
Rule 13 of the U.S. Supreme Court allows 90 days to petition for a writ of certiorari, starting from entry of a state court order denying review. Writ of certiorari asks a higher court to review actions of a lower court.
That clock might not have started running, because Tillery could petition for another hearing in Springfield as he did 10 years ago.
On that occasion, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the original Madison County judgment on Dec. 15, 2005.
Tillery petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court for rehearing on Jan. 10, 2006, and the Justices denied it on May 5, 2006.
On July 21, Tillery sought from the U.S. Supreme Court an extension to petition the court from Aug. 3 to Sept. 5.
Though Rule 13 did not favor extensions, Justice John Stevens granted one on July 25, and another on Aug. 24.
Tillery filed the petition on Oct. 2; Philip Morris responded on Oct. 13; and Tillery replied on Oct. 25.
Friends of the Court filed briefs on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
The Justices took it up at a conference on Nov. 21, and denied it on Nov. 27.
The Court does not issue opinions explaining denials of certiorari, though Justices occasionally file dissents.
If Tillery petitions the Court for review, he won’t need a majority to win it.
The Court only requires approval by four of the nine Justices.