Logourl black
From our private database of 12,700+ case briefs...

Cooper v. Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

United States Supreme Court
467 U.S. 867 (1984)


Facts

A class action suit was filed against the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond (Bank) (defendant), alleging racial discrimination against its employees. The class was certified as all black people who are or were employed at the Bank and were discriminated against because of their race (plaintiffs). Phyllis Baxter and five other Bank employees (Baxter petitioners) were members of the class and received published notice of the certification; they did not choose to opt out of the class. The district court found that the Bank had engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination over a four year period, but did not engage in sufficient general discrimination pervasive enough to warrant granting relief to the plaintiffs. The Bank appealed. A few days later, the Baxter petitioners filed a discrimination suit separate from the class action. The Bank filed a motion to dismiss this suit, and the motion was denied by the district court. The Bank then filed an interlocutory appeal in the Baxter petitioner case, which was consolidated with the Bank’s pending appeal in the original suit. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Court of Appeals) reversed the district court on the merits of the original case, holding that there was not enough evidence to establish a pattern or practice racial discrimination. The Court of Appeals also reversed the district court’s denial of the Bank’s motion to dismiss in the Baxter case, holding that under res judicata, its decision on the merits in the original suit precluded the Baxter petitioners from maintaining their own suits individually. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 120,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 12,700 briefs, keyed to 172 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.