I’ve got an op-ed in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer on the Supreme Court’s Wal-Mart v. Dukes decision. The headline (“Reining in Frivolous Class-Action Lawsuits”) is theirs; I wouldn’t use the term “frivolous” to describe the case, which after all did convince the Ninth Circuit, if not any of the Supreme nine. An excerpt:
…The misconceptions about this case begin with the identities of the real combatants. On NPR’s Marketplace this week, Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick described the plaintiffs as “1.5 million female employees of Wal-Mart who are trying to file a class-action suit.” But, of course, most of those women are not “trying” to do anything of the sort.
Rather, a relative handful of them have hired lawyers, and those lawyers daringly sought to get themselves declared the legal representatives of the other 1.496 million (or however many), who have expressed no inclination whatsoever to sue. …
The message of this ruling is simple: Employees have to prove that they have been legally wronged, not just cash in because somebody else was.
More about Wal-Mart v. Dukes here, here, and here (& welcome readers from Ira Stoll/Future of Capitalism, Jonathan Adler/Volokh Conspiracy, State Bar of Michigan blog, Omaha World Herald (editorial), Real Clear Politics, and, on the headline issue, Elie Mystal/Above the Law).