Monday, December 6, 2010

Supreme Court Grants Cert in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

In a long awaited decision to Wal-Mart's petition, the United States Supreme Court granted review in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  There's already been a good bit of academic commentary on the case.  Vanderbilt Law Review En Banc hosted a Roundtable discussion on the case, which is available here.  It includes my introduction to the issues in the Dukes case along with Bob Bone's essay, Sorting Through the Certification Muddle; Greg Mitchell's essay, Good Causes and Bad Science; Alexi Lahav's essay, The Curse of Bigness and the Optimal Size of Class Actions; and, of course, the late Richard Nagareda's essay, Common Answers for Class Certification.

Suzette Malveaux, Bob Bone, Melissa Hart, and I will be hosting a "hot topics" panel on the Dukes case at this year's AALS meeting.  The panel is currently scheduled for Friday, January 7, 2011, from 8:30-10:15 a.m. at the San Francisco Hilton.  We have, however, requested that the location be changed due to the on-going labor disputes, so an update may follow.  

Update: Interestingly, the Court granted cert only on Wal-Mart's first question, "Whether claims for monetary relief can be certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2)--which by its terms is limited to injunctive or corresponding declaratory relief--and, if so, under what circumstances."  (Wal-Mart Petition for Cert. at i).  The Court also directed the parties to "brief and argue the following question: 'Whether the class certification ordered under Rule 23(b)(2) was consistent with Rule 23(a).'"  For those who are interested, I address the issues underlying this question in pages 93-98 of the Introduction.

ECB

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