Wednesday, January 5, 2011

U.S. Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument In Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

As we previously reported here,  on April 26, 2010, in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., a divided Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided 6-5 en banc to affirm the decision of the trial court to grant class certification in a discrimination lawsuit alleging Wal-Mart Stores discriminates against its women employees. The nationwide class is reputed by the Los Angeles Daily Journal to number upward of 1.6 million women employees, which would make the class the largest class in United States history.
Given the stakes involved and the issues involved, we believed it was a virtual certainty that Wal-Mart Stores would petition the United States Supreme Court for review of the 9th Circuit's decision.  Although review by the Supreme Court is discretionary, we also thought the Supreme Court would very likely be interested in this case given the importance of the issues not only to Wal-Mart Stores and its employees but to numerous other large employers and their employees. Further, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is not only the largest of the Circuit Courts of Appeal; it also the most frequently reversed Circuit Court of Appeals.  
On December 23, 2010, only 17 days after it granted Wal-Mart's petition for review on December 6, 2010, the Supreme Court set the case for oral argument on March 29, 2011.  Click here to review the case docket.  We will continue to report significant developments in the case as we learn of them.