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Class Certified in Hispanic Racial Profiling Suit

Standing is assessed with respect to the class as a whole after class certification but with respect to the named plaintiffs before certification. Evidence of a pattern or practice of police conduct that does not depend on the plaintiff's own behavior can support a likelihood of recurrence sufficient to establish standing. The court cannot rely exclusively on statistical probabilities.

The standards of Rule 23(b)(2) are met by a class of plaintiffs complaining of traffic stops of persons of Hispanic appearance. They met the commonality requirement; differences in circumstances among the stops are not material when the challenge is to an unlawful common pattern and practice. The litigation is not unmanageable, since courts can limit cumulative testimony and much of the case could be addressed with documentary evidence. An unlawful pattern of activity in itself constitutes a common question of law or fact. The same rationale supports typicality.

The dissenting judge relies heavily on Lewis v. Casey. See: Hodgers-Durgin v. de la Vina, 165 F.3d 667 (9th Cir. 1999).

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Related legal case

Hodgers-Durgin v. de la Vina