July 18, 2012 Articles

Wal-Mart v. Dukes: Raising the Bar for Class Actions

A few cases indicate that, in light of Dukes, the law is in flux concerning the proper inquiry to apply to expert testimony at the certification stage.

By Melissa Colón-Bosolet and Consuelo Kendall

On June 20, 2011, in a decision authored by Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011). In a 5–4 split, the Court rejected certification of a proposed class of 1.5 million female Wal-Mart employees from over 3,400 stores across the United States, finding that no commonality existed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a). A unanimous Court also held that Rule 23(b)(2) relief does not extend to claims for monetary damages.

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