You need to prove your case: California Supreme Court confirms wage-and-hour defendants have right to argue individualised defence in class action trials

By Ben Gipson and Maria C Rodriguez

Class action trials have long been the bogeyman no one talks about in California. Parties had to address whether a class action was ‘manageable’ before it was certified, but because the vast majority of class actions never proceed to trial, no one really knew what the rules were to craft a trial plan for these types of representative actions.

On 30 May, the California Supreme Court in Duran v US Bank National Association confirmed that not only must a trial plan be addressed before a case can be certified as a class action, but the trial plan, and specifically the use of representative testimony and sampling of data, cannot be used to deprive wage-and-hour defendants of their right to question the appropriateness of this methodology when there are individualised questions presented.

This case has far-reaching ramifications. It has the potential to dramatically shape the way employment class actions proceed in California and how employers evaluate these cases going forward…

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