This morning, on December 6, 2010, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari in the Dukes v. Wal-Mart case on the first question raised in the petition (whether Rule 23(b)(2) certification may include monetary remedies) and a second question that the court fashioned (whether class certification under Rule 23(b)(2) is consistent with Rule 23(a). In Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Inc., 603 F.3d 571 (9th Cir. 2010), the Ninth Circuit affirmed the certification of a class of female Wal-Mart employees who alleged that Wal-Mart discriminated against them in compensation and promotions.
Wal-Mart and numerous others that filed amicus briefs, including the US Chamber of Commerce had asked the court to grant certiorari on a number of questions, which, if accepted for review, might have had a huge impact on class actions in general. However, this grant of certiorari appears to be much more limited. This limited grant of review may cause many class action practitioners to breathe a sigh of relief, because it should mean that the Supreme Court will not be cutting back on class actions in general. However, you never know what will happen once the court has accepted certiorari.