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Burden Shifting: How courts cut through the noise

Courts may use a burden-shifting process to sift through evidence presented by the parties.


See a Supreme Court case of this term involving burden-shifting.

The most well-known burden shifting process is the “McDonnell Douglas Framework.” The Supreme Court created the method in a case brought by a black employee against his employer (McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 1973). Percy Green worked for the aircraft manufacturer McDonnell Douglas Corporation. He alleged McDonnell Douglas refused to rehire him because of his race. The McDonnell Douglas Framework is outlined in this infographic.

Today, courts use burden-shifting frameworks for various types of legal claims. See a Supreme Court case of this term that incorporates a burden-shifting framework: Ohio v. American Express.

Burden Shifting: How courts cut through the noise

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About the Author

Mariam Morshedi

Mariam Morshedi

Mariam Morshedi is the Founder and Executive Director of Subscript Law. Before starting Subscript Law, she practiced civil rights law for AARP Foundation, where she litigated housing, consumer and disability rights issues.

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