Issue August 2012

August 2012

The impact of Wal-Mart Store, Inc. v. Dukes on 93A claims

People don't always realize that claims for G.L. c. 93A violations brought on behalf of a putative class are not certified under Mass. R. Civ. P. 23. Nope. Instead, they're certified under chapter 93A's special class-action provision -- G.L. c. 93A, § 9(2) -- which the Supreme Judicial Court has said does not require a showing of predominance or superiority (although the trial court does possess a degree of discretion to consider those issues).1 And, after Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A. v. Allstate Insurance Co.,2 that might be the case in federal court too. (This is undecided. The only court that appears to have been asked to decide it declined to do so.)3

Fundamental reconsideration of juvenile offenders

The United States is one of only 11 countries in the world that permits children to be sentenced to a term of life imprisonment without hope of eventual release. However, no cases can currently be found outside the United States where such a sentence has actually been imposed on a juvenile.1 In fact, a 2006 United Nations resolution calling for the abolition of life sentences without the possibility of parole for children and teenagers was passed by a vote of 185 to one, with the U.S. as the sole dissenter.2