Posts Tagged ‘pleading’

“After TwIqbal, defendants don’t have to take scattershot pleading lying down”

The Supreme Court’s admirable Twombly and Iqbal precedents give a federal district court the means to turn back a shotgun lawsuit against a horde of undifferentiated defendants [McFarland v. APP Pharmaceuticals LLC, slip op., 2011 WL 2413797 (W.D. Wash. June 13, 2011) via Beck, Drug and Device Law]. Quoting the court:

[A]lleging that 93 defendants all manufactured, distributed, and/or sold all of the products that caused all of plaintiff’s injuries is not plausible. In addition, plaintiff’s allegations are internally inconsistent. The complaint alleges that “each” of the defendants manufactured the heparin that caused her injuries, but also alleges that each of the 93 defendants “separately manufactured, marketed, distributed, wholesaled, and/or sold” heparin. The inconsistencies between those allegations, which are not pled in the alternative, further highlight the implausibility of plaintiff’s allegations.

James Beck writes, “Basically, the plaintiffs in McFarland didn’t want to do even the most basic spadework of identifying the correct defendants before bringing suit, so they threw in the kitchen sink in the hope that the defendants would end up having to spend the time and effort to figure things out.” After Twombly and Iqbal, that’s become a less effective legal tactic — one of many reasons to resist the Litigation Lobby drive to get Congress to overturn the two pleading decisions.

April 19 roundup

  • Environmental milestone? “Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans.” [JoNova via Coyote]
  • Add another to the list of judges who file suits over critical discussion of their rulings, in this case by the losing party, a newspaper [ABA Journal]
  • “Obama on presidential signing statements then … and now” [Bainbridge, Outside the Beltway]
  • “The never-ending stream of futile petitions suggests that habeas corpus is a wasteful nuisance.” [Joseph Hoffmann and Nancy King, NYT, via Lat, Frank] A different view: Scott Greenfield, The Briefcase.
  • Global warming suits “a misuse of the judiciary branch” [Laurence Tribe, Boston Globe via WLF]
  • Competing for the HuffPo reader? On link between chemical exposures and cancer, perpetrates “utter nonsense” [Orac, Respectful Insolence]
  • Iqbal/Twombly: “Reports of pleading’s demise may have been exaggerated” [Wasserman, Prawfs]

Federalist Society videos online

The Federalist Society has posted numerous videos from its recent National Lawyers’ Convention, including sessions on the aggressive regulatory stance of today’s Environmental Protection Agency, the constitutionality of Obamacare, anonymity and the First Amendment in media and campaign-regulation law, NYU’s Richard Epstein debating Yale’s Bill Eskridge on the court battle over California’s Prop 8, recusal and campaign rules for judges, Dodd-Frank, and the Christian Legal Society v. Martinez case on accreditation of student groups, among other topics. And civil procedure/Iqbal-Twombly buffs may be interested in a luncheon panel held just yesterday in D.C. (I was in the audience) in which four law professors (Don Elliott of Yale, Martin Redish and Ronald Allen of Northwestern, and Rick Esenberg of Marquette) outlined ideas for reforming the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to reduce discovery costs and improve screening of cases in the earliest stages of filing.

The video above is of the Society’s 10th annual Barbara Olson Memorial Lecture, in which Second Circuit Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs provocatively criticizes legal academia and other precincts of influential legal thinking for misunderstanding the role of the military and its relation to the law.

October 19 roundup

June 21 roundup

  • After Mohawk Industries settlement, many employers could be sitting ducks for suits claiming that hiring illegal workers is RICO violation [Helman, Forbes, earlier]
  • Teen tries to help child lost in store, winds up facing felony rap of false imprisonment [Greenfield]
  • Federal magistrate in debt collection case: letter on law firm letterhead implies threat to sue [Legal Intelligencer]
  • On “professional” class action objectors [Ted at PoL]
  • Coal company claims ventilation system ordered by government regulators might have been a cause of deadly April mine explosion [WSJ]
  • Senate committee approves judicial nomination of John (“Jack”) McConnell, impresario of Rhode Island lead-paint litigation; William Jacobson explains critics’ charges regarding couching of legal fee as purported hospital donation [Legal Insurrection]
  • Hey, stop siphoning that oil slick, we haven’t checked your life jackets and extinguishers [GatewayPundit] Gulf oil rig registered for purposes of regulation in remote Pacific island chain [Legal Blog Watch] Richard Epstein on oil spill liability [WSJ] BP will never pay full price of accident [Popehat] Check back in 2031 to see how the litigation went [Alex Beam, Boston Globe]
  • American Constitution Society holds panel discussion on Iqbal and Twombly [BLT] “Is It Too Much to Ask That a Lawsuit Be ‘Plausible’?” [Richard Samp, WLF Legal Pulse]

June 18 roundup

  • “When the country went cold turkey”: Tyler Cowen reviews Last Call, Daniel Okrent’s history of Prohibition [Business Week]
  • Phrases never to put in email, e.g., “We Probably Shouldn’t Put This in Email” [Balasubramani, SpamNotes]
  • “My biggest wish was that I would get a cease and desist from the company that publishes Marmaduke” [Walker, Reason “Hit and Run”]
  • California proposal to jail parents for kids’ truancy [Valerie Strauss/WaPo via Alkon] Parents arrested on charges of forging doctor sick note to excuse third grader [Glenn Reynolds, Dan Riehl]
  • UK judge: NHS need not fund transsexual’s breast enlargement [Mail]
  • “Charitable Foundation Leader Alarmed by Government Intrusions into Philanthropy” [WLF Legal Pulse]
  • Missed earlier: “Stalking Victims’ Duty to Warn Employees, Lovers, Visitors, and Others?” [Volokh]
  • “Overturning Iqbal and Twombly Would Encourage Frivolous Litigation” [Darpana Sheth, Insider Online]

June 11 roundup

New at Point of Law

Things you’re missing if you’re not reading my other site:

December 7 roundup

  • Woman jailed for “camcordering” after recording four minutes of sister’s birthday party in movie theater [BoingBoing]
  • Senate hearing airs trial lawyer gripes against Iqbal [Jackson and earlier, PoL, Wajert, Beck & Herrmann (scroll)] Franken and other Senators sidestep substance, browbeat witness re: “study” terminology [Alison Frankel, AmLaw]
  • Still time to cancel? “2009 is also the first year of global governance” — new EU president [Small Dead Animals]
  • Miller-Jenkins battle: judge orders custody switch to law-abiding spouse [Box Turtle Bulletin, background]
  • Speedy by government standards? 17 years ago DoT proposed Southeast high-speed rail on existing rights of way, ruling on environmental impact statement is expected next year [McArdle]
  • “New York’s New DWI Bill: Compounding Stupidity” [Greenfield; felony to drive intoxicated with passenger 15 or younger]
  • “Apple Told To Pay Patent Troll OPTi $21.7 Million” [Business Insider]
  • This year’s ABA Blawg 100 listing left out some legal blogs that aren’t half bad [Turkewitz]