Ninth Circuit Clarifies Rule 23 Class Certification Standard

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In Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Nos. 04-16688, 04-16720, 2010 WL 1644259 (9th Cir. Apr. 26, 2010), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc, affirmed in part and reversed in part an order certifying what is likely the largest class of employment claims in the history of the United States. The decision is highly significant for class action practitioners in all areas of the law because it clarifies the standard in the Ninth Circuit for determining whether a party has met its burden under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to certify a class.

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