Defense attorneys hoping for more control over how wage-and-hour class actions are handled at trial will have to look beyond Tuesday’s proceedings in an Alameda County, Calif., suit brought by employees of U.S. Bank.

When wage-and-hour class actions go to trial, defense lawyers often focus their case against individual plaintiffs as opposed to presenting a class-wide defense. But, in suits like the $172 million meal and rest break class action against Wal-Mart in 2005, and the overtime case against U.S. Bank now, this defense strategy has fallen flat as courts have devised trial plans that keep class actions more manageable.

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