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Pleading Standards

In Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957), Federal courts dismissed all claims in this case only if it appeared beyond doubt that the plaintiff could prove no set of facts in support of his claim.  Unfortunately for plaintiff lawyers, in the current ruling Bell Atlantic Corp v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937 (2009), the Court tightened the standard to oblige plaintiffs to plead more precise facts and claims.  Sen. Arlen Specter introduced legislation to the idea of returning the legal standard for motions to dismiss under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure to the “standards set forth” in Conley V. Gibson.  Sen. Specter stated that “The effect of the Court’s actions will no doubt be to deny many plaintiffs with meritorious claims access to the federal courts and, with it, any legal redress for their injuries.”

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