New class action rule change requires IOLTA
The Supreme Judicial Court has amended the rule governing class
action lawsuits to require plaintiffs to notify the Massachusetts
IOLTA Committee before a judgment is entered or a compromise
approved regarding the disposition of class action residuals. The
April 24 amendment to Rule 23 follows a 2008 amendment to the same
rule directing the payment of residual funds to the IOLTA Committee
or to one or more nonprofit organizations (including legal services
programs) that benefit the class directly.
Mass. R. Civ. P. 23 outlines the requirements for bringing and
maintaining a class action lawsuit. Such suits often end with
residual funds, that is, funds that couldn't be distributed to the
plaintiffs. Up until 2008, Rule 23 did not provide direction with
respect to how such funds should be disbursed.
The new amendment is effective July 1. In addition to the
notification requirement, it authorizes the IOLTA Committee to
respond by making a limited appearance to be heard on whether it
ought to be a recipient of any of the residual funds.
For more information, please contact Jayne Tyrrell,
Massachusetts IOLTA Committee, 7 Winthrop Square, 3rd Floor Boston,
MA 02110-1245; [email jtyrrell]; Tel: (617) 723-9093.
2015 edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence now
The Supreme Judicial Court and its Executive Committee on
Massachusetts Evidence Law recently announced the release of the
2015 edition of the Massachusetts Guide to Evidence. The Justices
of the Supreme Judicial Court recommend use of the guide by the
bench, bar and public.
The 2015 edition is the seventh annual edition of the guide. It
is available without charge on the court's website, where it can be searched and
downloaded. The Official Print Edition of the 2015 edition of the
Massachusetts Guide to Evidence is available for purchase from the
Flaschner Judicial Institute. The Massachusetts Guide to Evidence
assembles existing Massachusetts evidence law in an easy-to-use
document organized similarly to the Federal Rules of Evidence. The
guide includes extensive explanatory notes and citations to