The Retail Litigation Center
(RLC) has submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court of the
United States asking for review of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
decision in RBS Citizens, N.A. v Synthia Ross.
RBS v. Ross considers
the standards that the trial court should apply when certifying a class action
in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) context. In Wal-Mart v. Dukes,
the court held that plaintiffs must prove that their claims depend on the
resolution of common questions before the trial court can certify the
class. Comcast v. Behrand, which will be heard by the Court in
November, centers on the rules governing class certification and whether a
court can certify a class without first resolving “merits arguments,” including
those that consider whether common issues predominate individual ones.
“Class certification is a
critical step in litigation,” said RLC President Deborah White.
“By granting class certification when those who bring suit have not adequately
demonstrated the viability of the class, the lower court decisions in Comcast
v Behrand and in RBS v
Ross give questionable cases validity that they might not otherwise
According to the brief:
“This case—in addition to Comcast—provides the perfect
opportunity for this Court to clarify Dukes and resolve uncertainty
among the lower courts before the problem worsens. The Court should grant
certiorari, either to summarily reverse the Seventh Circuit or to conduct a
plenary review of this case. Either way, it is imperative for this Court to
make clear that its interpretation of Rule 23 in Dukes is applicable to all
The full brief can be found here.
The Retail Litigation Center is a public policy organization that
identifies and engages in legal proceedings which affect the retail
industry. The RLC, whose members include some of the country’s largest
retailers, was formed to provide courts with retail industry perspectives on
significant legal issues, and highlight the potential industry-wide
consequences of legal principles that may be determined in pending cases.