This seminar is also available live and on-demand via WestLegalEd
here to register.
On June 20, 2011, the Supreme Court issued its
much-anticipated decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct.
2541 (U.S. 2011), an employment discrimination case brought on behalf of a class
of 1.5 million female Wal-Mart employees alleging that Wal-Mart's facially
neutral discretionary pay and promotion practices have a disparate impact on
The Supreme Court amplified the standards for class
certification, most notably the standard for proving commonality under Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a)(2). Delivering the opinion of the Court, Justice
Scalia maintained that, "…without some glue holding together the alleged reasons
for [the millions of employment decisions at issue], it will be impossible to
say that examination of all the class members' claims will produce a common
answer to the crucial discrimination question." The Dukes holding will
have a widespread influence on class actions and civil rights cases.
This panel discussion will cover the outcome of and
reasoning behind Dukes as well as its implications for class action and
civil rights cases. In particular, the panel will provide an overview of the
decision, and will discuss the burden of proof for commonality, the availability
of damages under Rule 23(b)(2), the use of statistics and expert testimony in
support of class certification, the availability of a disparate impact theory,
and the effect of Dukes on employment law and women's rights
This program is co-sponsored by the Women's Bar Association and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights