Emory Law Journal


Two recent Supreme Court decisions, Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, upended the standards of pleading under the Federal Rules. In both cases, the plaintiffs had filed complaints so unsubstantiated that the Court concluded they could have no other purpose than to abuse the discovery process against the defendants. Rather than subject the defendants to these unfair burdens, the Court struck language from a fifty-year-old precedent, Conley v. Gibson, that would have allowed the suits to proceed. The Court¿s solution created three new problems. Lower court judges found little guidance in its new, amorphous ¿plausibility¿ standard. Critics argued that Twombly and Iqbal would lock the gates to the federal courts. Even the decisions¿ supporters bristled at the Court¿s cavalier treatment of precedent. This Comment solves all three of these problems.