January 26, 2011
An article written by Luke Meier, assistant professor at Baylor Law School, was listed on SSRN's Top 10 download list for three different journals. "Why Twombly is Good Law (But Poorly Drafted) and Iqbal Will Be Overturned" was recently listed on the Top 10 list for Federal Courts & Jurisdiction eJournal, LSN: Pleadings, Motions & Pretrial Procedure (Topic) and Law & Society: Civil Procedure eJournal.
In the article, Meier looks at what is required to plead a claim for relief in federal court after the Supreme Court's decisions in Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal. He argues that coupling the cases as a pair is wrong and interferes with efforts to understand what is required to start litigation in federal court.
"The cases have dissimilar analytical foundations. In short, the Twombly decision can be justified as merely an application of preexisting principles regarding pleading; the Iqbal case, however, was wrongly decided and is destined to be overruled. Until Twombly and Iqbal are decoupled and considered as separate entities, pleading jurisprudence will continue in a state of disarray," Meier writes.
In the article, Meier gives a brief history of pleading theory within the United States and a reexamination of the Conley v. Gibson decision; demonstrates that Twombly was a case in which the factual specificity of the complaint was at issue; explores the different ways in which Twombly's plausibility analysis might relate to factual specificity, concluding that plausibility is triggered only when a complaint lacks factual specificity; and argues that the Iqbal Court's fundamental error was to apply the plausibility analysis because of the existence of the conclusory allegation.
Meier plans to write a follow up to the article this summer. In that article, he will argue that these two cases shed light on the standard for summary judgment in federal court.
One of Baylor Law School's newest faculty members, Meier taught at the University of Nebraska College of Law and the Drake University Law School. An innate educator, Meier has been voted professor-of-the-year three times in his young academic career. His primary research interests relate to the jurisdiction of federal courts, and he has published extensively in that area.
Meier graduated with high honors from the University of Texas School of Law. During law school, he was named to the prestigious Chancellors honorary society and also served as Managing Editor of the Texas Law Review. He also worked as a research assistant to both Charles Alan Wright and William Powers, Jr. Following law school Meier clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit for Judge Michael Murphy. After his judicial clerkship, Meier worked as a civil litigator for both Vinson & Elkins and also for the State of Texas as an Assistant Attorney General.
At Baylor Law, he teaches Appellate Advocacy and Procedure and Property I and II.
To read the abstract of the article, visit
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