• Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes: Supreme Court Raises Commonality Bar, Clarifies Propriety of Money Damages Under Rule 23(b)(2)
  • June 27, 2011 | Authors: Jeffrey S. Cashdan; Dwight J. Davis; Barry Goheen; S. Stewart Haskins; Daryl Joseffer
  • Law Firms: King & Spalding LLP - Atlanta Office ; King & Spalding LLP - Washington Office
  • On June 20, 2011, addressing what it called “one of the most expansive class actions ever,” the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S., No. 10-277 (June 20, 2011), reversing the Ninth Circuit’s affirmance of certification of a class of current and former Wal-Mart employees alleging gender discrimination. The Court specifically addressed two issues of significance to class action defendants: (i) the nature of proof a named plaintiff must present to satisfy the commonality requirement of Rule 23(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and (ii) whether class certification is inappropriate under Rule 23(b)(2) if the plaintiff seeks individualized monetary relief.