The thesis of this paper is that the recent opinions of the Supreme Court in Watson v. Fort Worth Bank & Trust and Wards Cove Packing Ca v. Atonio are consistent with development of the last fifteen years of antidiscrimination jurisprudence under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and are the logical and necessary result of two independent decisions made by the Congress and by the Supreme Court in 1975: the enactment of Rule 301 of the Federal Rules of Evidence and the decision in Albemarle Paper Ca v. Moody. This paper shall demonstrate that these holdings were logically consistent with previous decisions of the Supreme Court, though not with those of several lower courts; that they reflect the will of Congress as found in its statutory enactment of the Federal Rules of Evidence and thus conform Title VII litigation to the general rules of decision governing all other kinds of civil litigation; and that they effectuate the remedial purpose of Title VII by tending to merge and simplify the two judicially created "causes of action" - disparate impact and disparate treatment - and their attendant lore into one uncomplicated claim for relief! This operative effect of Rule 301 is not particularly controversial as regards disparate treatment cases: it was discussed in detail by the Supreme Court in an unanimous decision in Texas Department of Community Affairs v. Burdine.' The uncertainty of its logical and lawful effect in disparate impact cases makes this paper pertinent.
Beard, Hugh Joseph Jr.
"Title VII and Rule 301: An Analysis of the Watson and Atonio Decisions,"
Akron Law Review: Vol. 23:
2, Article 1.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/akronlawreview/vol23/iss2/1