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COMCAST CORP. v. BEHREND

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

Topics:

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.
v.
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:

www.ComcastRatesCase.com

COMCAST CORP. v. BEHREND
ORAL ARGUMENT

November 5, 2012

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

COMCAST CORP. v. BEHREND
Case Documents

1BRIEF FOR PETITIONER
2BRIEF OF RETAIL LITIGATION CENTER, INC. AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
3BRIEF OF THE CATO INSTITUTE AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF THE PETITION
4BRIEF OF WASHINGTON LEGAL FOUNDATION, ALLIED EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, AND INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEFENSE COUNSEL AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
5BRIEF OF DRI--THE VOICE OF THE DEFENSE BAR AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
6BRIEF FOR RESPONDENT
7BRIEF OF THE AMERICAN ANTITRUST INSTITUTE AND THE AMERICAN INDEPENDENT BUSINESS ALLIANCE AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENT
8BRIEF OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE, PUBLIC JUSTICE, P.C., AND AARP AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENT
9COMCAST CORP. v. BEHREND Oral Argument Transcript (PDF)
10COMCAST CORP. v. BEHREND Oral Argument Audio
11Slip Opinion in COMCAST CORP. v. BEHREND (Opinion by Justice Antonin Scalia)