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2018-2019 Executive Board Named

Congratulations to the newly named 2018-2019 UMKC Law Review Executive Board!

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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Affirmative Action and the Struggle Against Systematic Oppression: How Race-Based Admissions are not a Threat to America by Linda Adeniji

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Systematic Oppression

In June 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered the commencement address at Howard University, where he said:

Freedom is not enough . . . You do not take a person, who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity.

President Johnson delivered this speech as formal discrimination came to an end in the 1960s with the passage of The Civil Rights Act and as many African-Americans were still confronted with informal and debilitating discrimination. As a result, Affirmative Action was born, giving preferences to African-Americans in higher education admissions and hiring practices, and igniting a fierce debate over the constitutionality of such policies that continues today.

Opponents of Affirmative Action argue that such consideration of race in the admission and hiring of African-Americans violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

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The Central Tibetan Administration: Legal State or Mere Organization by Jennifer Tuel

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Central Tibetan Administration

Over the years, celebrities and individuals have advocated to “Free Tibet,” such as Sharon Stone’s scandalous suggestion that the 2008 Sichuan earthquake was a result of “bad karma” due to Chinese mistreating the Tibetans. Such individuals are referring to the Tibet Autonomous Region (“TAR”) within China when chanting “Free Tibet” or commenting on the mistreatment of Tibetans. The Central Tibetan Administration (“CTA”) does not receive as much attention even though it may be considered a free, independent state for Tibetans.

In 1949, the People’s Liberation Army of China entered the area now known as the TAR. The CTA was established in 1959 by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and about eighty thousand Tibetans who fled the TAR because they disagreed with Chinese rule. The CTA went on to establish a government in Dharamsala, India for Tibetans.

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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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