General counsel of Texas-based companies who have had a rotten day or a rotten couple of months can take heart. Their situations cannot under any circumstances be as dire as that experienced in January and February by the GCs of Wal-Mart Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp.

On Feb. 6 in Dukes, et al. v. Wal-Mart Inc., the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by a 2-1 vote affirmed the certification of a nationwide class of roughly 1.6 million current and former female employees of Wal-Mart who claim sex discrimination in promotion and compensation at Wal-Mart’s 3,400 U.S. stores. The suit exposes Wal-Mart to billions of dollars in potential damages.