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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Court of Appeal Upholds Order Decertifying Store Manager Class

In Keller v. Tuesday Morning, Inc. (November 4, 2009, Second District) 179 Cal.App.4th 1389, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in granting motion to decertify a class of retail store managers "where multiple witness declarations asserted in detail that tasks performed by each class member were dissimilar, and so individualized issues of liability and damages would predominate over issues common to the class." The opinion includes a detailed discussion of the evidence presented on the motion to decertify, including declarations, deposition testimony, and the testimony of defendant's expert witness, David Lewin of UCLA, who watched video of two store managers and testified as to the amount of time each spent on "managerial" and "non-managerial" duties.

The plaintiffs had asked the Court to certify the issue of whether tasks were exempt or non-exempt. The Court declined. And you thought that expert witnesses couldn't testify on the ultimate legal issues in a case?

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