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June 6, 2014

By: Julia B. Strickland, Brian C. Frontino, Stephen J. Newman

The California Supreme Court has issued an important opinion with potentially broad implications in class actions, particularly cases in which statistical sampling might be used to support class certification and/or prove liability on behalf of a class. In Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, Case No. S200923, the Supreme Court decertified a class action, finding that individualized issues predominated and rejecting the statistical sampling methodology permitted by the trial court. Although the opinion does “not reach a sweeping conclusion as to whether or when sampling should be available as a tool for providing liability,” the Supreme Court concluded that any “trial plan that relies on statistical sampling must be developed with expert input and must afford the defendant an opportunity to impeach the model or otherwise show its liability is reduced.”