Supreme Court Clarifies the Standard on which Future Class Actions will be Evaluated in the Federal Courts


On June 20, 2011, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, No. 10-277, which clarifies how certain class actions will be defined and litigated in the lower federal courts. In Wal-Mart, the plaintiffs sought to certify a class of up to 1.5 million current and former Wal-Mart employees alleging gender bias in pay and promotions in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, the plaintiffs sought class certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“Fed. R. Civ. P.”) 23(b)(2), which prescribes the rules for class actions seeking injunctive relief rather than money damages. The Wal-Mart plaintiffs were also seeking billions of dollars in damages in addition to their request for injunctive relief.

Class certification is governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Under Rule 23(a), the party seeking certification must demonstrate, first that: (1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable, (2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class, (3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class, and (4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Cole Schotz | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Cole Schotz on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.