Thursday, May 24, 2007

Will 12(b)(6) "b" easier?

In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, decided on Monday, the Supreme Court addressed the specificity of pleading necessary to survive a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

Twombly and others represented a class of phone and internet subscribers. They alleged that phone companies had conspired not to compete, citing the companies' parallel markets.

The district court granted defendants' 12(b)(6) motion. The Second Circuit reversed, saying the defendants needed to show there was no set of facts that the plaintiffs could prove that would prove the elements of the claim. And the Supreme Court reversed that:

we do not require heightened factpleading of specifics, but only enough facts to state a claimto relief that is plausible on its face. Because the plaintiffshere have not nudged their claims across the line fromconceivable to plausible, their complaint must be dismissed.
majority slip op. at 24.

"The Twombly opinion not surprisingly has caused quite a stir in civil procedure circles." Is Twombly the Death-Knell for Notice Pleading?, SCOTUSblog, May 24, 2007. See that post for a little analysis and links to other commentary.

Thanks: Lea Vaughn, Mary Hotchkiss.

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