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Dukes of Hazard: Rule 23(a)(2) Commonality Post Wal-Mart v. Dukes by Padraic Corcoran

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Dukes of Hazard

“[T]here are questions of law of fact common to the class…” In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled that a class of 1.5 million class members, spanning all fifty states, did not meet the required commonality quoted above. The Court ruled that commonality required plaintiffs to establish that all class members suffered the same injury. The Court interpreted the above quotation to require potential members’ claims have a common contention capable of resolution among the entire class. This means “determination of its truth or falsity will resolve an issue that is central to the validity of each one of the claims in one stroke.” The Court went on to quote a law review article that stated,

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No Fault Means No Benefits: “Misconduct” as Defined by Missouri’s Employment Security Law by Zachary J. Cloutier

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Employment Security Law

Paul works for Nee’s Auto Shop, a local automobile service center. Nee’s Auto Shop hired Paul a few months ago for a seasonal position as a customer service associate, because Nee’s Auto Shop is especially busy during the holiday season. After demonstrating a strong work ethic and an aptitude for the position, Nee’s Auto Shop offered Paul full-time employment, which Paul gladly accepted. Paul’s duties include all initial tasks relevant to repairs, such as drafting work orders and assisting the Shop’s customers.

Three years later, Paul still works for Nee’s Auto Shop. Like previous years, the holiday season brings increased business. However, unlike previous years, Nee’s Auto Shop did not hire additional, seasonal employees. As a result, Paul is responsible for handling an ever-increasing workload and is struggling to maintain the shop’s books. Paul fails to charge a group of customers for parts and services, including a customer that Nee’s Auto Shop knows to be Paul’s close friend. Despite the mistake, Nee’s Auto Shop has a very successful holiday season and fails to notice any billing discrepancies.

Three months after Paul’s billing error, Nee’s Auto Shop reviews its past work orders in preparation to file its taxes, and notices a discrepancy in its billing records. The Shop’s owner tracks the customer data to work orders originated by Paul and concludes Paul failed to bill the customers at the shop’s expense. Soon thereafter, the owner confronts Paul about the billing errors. Paul denies knowledge of them and claims that he would never purposefully failed to bill a customer. But, the owner is unsatisfied with Paul’s denial and believes Paul did not charge the customers so that his friend could receive free repairs. The owner also knows his unemployment tax rate will increase if he arbitrarily discharges Paul. To protect his company’s interests, the owner finds an obscure company rule prohibiting preferential billing and discharges Paul citing the billing rule as his basis.

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A Comparison of Kansas and Missouri Health Care Grievance Procedures, and the Need for a Unified Process at the Federal Level by Zhiyuan Liao

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Health Care Grievance Procedures

People purchase health insurance for the purpose of managing unexpected economic loss resulted from medical sufferings. In today’s medical field, many patients and physicians feel frustrated and powerless when a Managed Care Organization (“MCO”) refuses to pay for treatment, often because the insurer is playing a game of denial, delay and deceit to help the company avoid issuing big outgoing paychecks. Allegedly, private insurers are making payment decisions rather than medical decisions. This creates an issue because the denial of insurance coverage is often equivalent to a denial of medical care to the patient. The beneficiaries, of course, can always visit a different doctor not covered by the insurance policy if the insurer denies their claims, but this would be at the beneficiaries’ own cost, and most people cannot afford the huge expense.

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Comparative Adoption Approaches of Missouri and Kansas: Termination of Parental Rights and Equitable Adoptions by Najmeh Mahmoudjafari

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ComparativeAdoption Approaches

At the very least, there is one thing that unifies the states on their adoption policies: it is encouraged. The battles are in the details. Kansas and Missouri are wonderful examples of how two states can differ in their adoption policies, albeit having similar geographic and demographic make-ups. This note will discuss two key differences between Missouri and Kansas adoption laws: (1) the termination of parental rights during an adoption and (2) the use of equitable adoptions. The purpose of this note is to show that, arguably, Missouri has a better approach to the analysis of terminating parental rights; however, in regards to equitable adoption, Kansas has a more plausible argument against equitable adoption.

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Progressive or Problematic? Kansas House Bill 2117 and Border War Tax Competition by Chelsea Braun

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Progressive or Problematic

House Bill 2117, signed by Kansas Governor Sam Brownback on May 22, 2012, calls for significant tax cuts to boost the economy and encourage businesses to move to Kansas.

The bill makes two significant changes regarding income taxes. It lowers individual income tax rates, and it provides deductions that eliminate income taxes on non-wage business operating income for businesses taxed as pass-through entities. These businesses (including LLC’s, S corporations, partnerships, farms, and sole proprietorships) are generally taxed on the income “passed through” to the tax return of the business owner, and thus taxed under the individual income tax.

Business owners usually pay themselves a salary taxed as wage income on their income tax return. Additional profit above and beyond the business’s cost of doing business is reported as one of several forms of business income on the business owner’s tax return (federal tax Schedules C, E, and F) and also taxed under the personal income tax. The Kansas House Bill 2117 exempts this non-wage income from taxation, a change that will eliminate income tax on 191,000 businesses.

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Mechanic’s Liens in Missouri and Kansas: Why Building in Kansas is Better for Business than Building in Missouri by Anna Connelly

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Mechanics Liens in Missouri and Kansas

Imagine the following hypothetical: Dan wants to build a larger commercial property in the Kansas City area that he projects will be one of the largest shopping and entertainment districts by the time the work on the property is finished. The project is a complicated one that will take at least five years to build and will cost well over $100 million to complete.

Dan is the CEO of XYZ commercial development company (XYZ) in Kansas City and the first thing he does is consult with his team of developers to get each person’s thoughts on the project.  His team likes Dan’s initial idea. The company decides to move forward with the research phase of the development. … Read the full text …

Comparing Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act with the Kansas Consumer Protection Act: A Look at These Laws’ Practical Applicability in Private Civil Actions by Charles Maxwell Simpson

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Full Text

Consumer fraud is not an uncommon occurrence.  The FTC reported in 2007 that during a year-long study, 13.5 percent of American adults fell victim to fraud.  Despite laws created by the federal and state governments, this number remains too high.  The laws are intended to level the power inequality between consumer and seller inherent in modern market places.  While these laws all provide some benefit to consumers, they are not all created equal.  This comment examines differences for consumers between the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and the Kansas Consumer Protection Act. … Read the full text …