by Brian Wolfman
Senator Arlen Specter has just introduced this bill to reestablish the notice-pleading standards of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 8 as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957). As plaintiffs' lawyers are aware, the Supreme Court overruled the relevant part of Conley in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and made its point more emphatically this past Supreme Court Term in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S.Ct. 1937 (2009). Many plaintiffs' lawyers, particularly civil rights and consumer rights lawyers, believe that Twombly and Iqbal will make it more difficult to stay in court at the motion-to-dismiss stage of a case before discovery can be taken. The operative portion of Senator Specter's bill is short and sweet:
Except as otherwise expressly provided by an Act of Congress or by an amendment to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which takes effect after the date of enactment of this Act, a Federal court shall not dismiss a complaint under rule 12(b)(6) or (e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, except under the standards set forth by the Supreme Court of the United States in Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 (1957).
The Blog of the Legal Time has this nice write-up.