Friday, December 6, 2013

Anderson v. Bessemer City case brief

Anderson v. Bessemer City case brief summary
470 U.S. 564 (1985)

Petitioner sought a writ of certiorari from a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which reversed a district court's finding of gender-based employment discrimination by respondent city against petitioner in an action filed by petitioner under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000e et seq.

Petitioner filed an action under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000e et seq., alleging that respondent had discriminated against her on the basis of gender. The lower appellate court reversed the district court's finding of discrimination on the ground that it found three of the district court's findings were clearly erroneous.

  • On certiorari, the court stated that the "clearly erroneous" standard did not entitle a reviewing court to reverse a finding of trier of fact simply because it was convinced that it would have decided case differently. 
  • The lower appellate court overstepped the bounds of its duty under Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a) if it undertook to duplicate the role of a trial court. 
  • The court held that the lower appellate court improperly conducted what amounted to de novo weighing of evidence in the record. 
  • The court held that when the record was examined in light of the appropriate standard, it contained nothing that mandated the finding that the district court's conclusion was clearly erroneous.
The court reversed the judgment.

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