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Docket No.: 11-864
Certiorari Granted: 6/25/2012
Argued: November 5, 2012
Decided: March 27, 2013


ADA, Civil Procedure, Eighth Amendment, Federal Rules of Evidence, Fourth Amendment, Sherman Act, Title VII, abuse of discretion, antitrust, preliminary injunction

PartyNames: Comcast Corporation, et al. v. Caroline Behrend, et al.
Petitioner: Comcast Corporation, et al.
Respondent: Caroline Behrend, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Citation: 655 F.3d 182
Supreme Court Docket

Comcast Corporation, et al.
Caroline Behrend, et al.
Consideration Limited:

Granted limited to the following question: "Whether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide basis."

Question Presented:

This Court recently reiterated that district courts must engage in a "'rigorous analysis'" to ensure that the "party seeking class certification [can] affirmatively demonstrate his compliance" with Rule 23. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541, 2551 (2011) (quoting Gen. Tel. Co. of Sw. v. Falcon, 457 U.S. 147, 161 (1982)). Disavowing an allegedly contrary suggestion in Eisen v. Carlisle & Jacquelin, 417 U.S. 156 (1974), Dukes emphasized that district courts are required to resolve any "merits question[s]" bearing on class certification, even if the plaintiffs "will surely have to prove [those issues] again at trial in order to make out their case on the merits." 131 S. Ct. at 2552 n.6. In this case, however, the Third Circuit repeatedly invoked the disavowed aspect of Eisen in declining to consider several "merits arguments" directly relevant to the certification analysis. The question presented is whether a district court may certify a class action without resolving "merits arguments" that bear on Rule 23's prerequisites for certification, including whether purportedly common issues predominate over individual ones under Rule 23(b)(3).

More Information:



November 5, 2012

Listen to Oral Argument in COMCAST CORP. v. BEHREND
Vote: 5-4
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