Rule 23(b)(2) is available for class actions that seek injunctive or declaratory relief. It does not allow for opt-outs. Until last year, seeking Rule 23(b)(2) certification had become a strategic alternative for plaintiffs whose claims might not be certified under Rule 23(b)(3). Now, it’s less clear that this alternative is available for "traditional" class actions.
Ten Cases to Educate You:
- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011).
- Winzler v. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 12297 (10th Cir. Jun. 18, 2012).
- McReynolds v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. (7th Cir. Feb. 24, 2012).
- Jamie S. v. Milwaukee Public Schools, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 2089 (7th Cir. Feb. 3, 2012).
- Kartman v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 634 F.3d 883 (7th Cir. 2011).
- Gates v. Rohm & Haas Co., 655 F.3d 255 (3d Cir. 2011).
- Garcia-Rubiera v. Calderon, 570 F.3d 443 (1st Cir. 2009).
- Christ v. Beneficial Corp., 547 F.3d 1292 (11th Cir. 2008).
- Thomas v. Albright, 139 F.3d 227 (D.C. Cir. 1998).
- Robinson v. Hornell Brewing Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51460 (D.N.J. Apr. 11, 2012).
- Neil K. Gehlawat, Monetary Damages & the (b)(2) Class Action: A Closer Look at Wal-Mart v. Dukes, 90 Tex. L. Rev. 1535 (2012).
- David Marcus, Flawed But Noble: Desegregation Litigation & Its Implications for the Modern Class Action, 63 Fla. L. Rev. 657 (2011).
- Andrew Bradt, "Much to Gain & Nothing to Lose": Implications of the History of the Declaratory Judgment for the (b)(2) Class Action, 58 Ark. L. Rev. 767 (2006).
Questions to Consider:
- What forms of relief are appropriate for 23(b)(2)?
- Is hybrid certification still possible post-Dukes?
- After Dukes clarified the commonality standard, are implicit requirements (like cohesiveness) to Rule 23(b)(2) still necessary?