March 4, 2014
The Court is holding no conference this week because it is hearing oral argument in San Francisco. Accordingly, this week no action will be taken on petitions for review and no opinions will be ordered published or depublished.
One of the cases being argued this week is Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, a wage and hour class action brought by a plaintiff class of 260 current and former “business banking officers” who allegedly were misclassified as outside sales personnel. The trial court entered judgment for the plaintiff class after a bench trial. The employer appealed.
The Court of Appeal, First District, Division One, reversed in a published decision, Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat. Assn. (2012) 203 Cal.App.4th 212, holding the trial court abused its discretion when it denied the defendants’ motion to decertify the class. The court held the trial court violated the defendant’s due process rights by deciding class-wide liability based on evidence relating to a 10 percent sample of class members, particularly given the large margin of error in the sampling and the lack of randomness in the sample selection.
The questions presented are: (1) whether a defendant has a due process right to obtain an individual determination of its exemption defense for every class member; and (2) whether class-wide liability may be imposed based on statistical sampling or other forms of representative evidence. [Disclosure: Horvitz & Levy has filed an amicus curiae brief in this case.]
UPDATE: You also might find interesting this Los Angeles Times article about another case argued March 4, Long Beach Police Officers Association v. City of Long Beach, which concerns whether the names of police officers involved in on-duty shooting incidents are subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act.