Pleading Standards

News & Analysis as of

Sixth Circuit Adopts New Corporate Scienter Test in Securities Cases

The Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a significant decision clarifying the pleading standards in securities litigation, clarifying what must be alleged to impute a corporation with knowledge of alleged...more

Northern District of Illinois Applies Twombly/Iqbal Pleading Standard to Affirmative Defenses in TCPA Case

In a TCPA action involving allegedly unsolicited fax advertisements, the Northern District of Illinois applied the plausibility standard articulated in Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal,...more

AntiCancer, Inc. v. Pfizer, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2014)

Anyone that has been monitoring the outcome of district court cases recently will be aware of the perils of not including sufficient information, or not timely supplementing, preliminary infringement or invalidity contentions...more

Circuits Split on When to Impute Employees’ Knowledge to Corporation for Section 10(b) Claims

One of the most significant challenges facing plaintiffs in pleading a violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 is sufficiently alleging that the defendant company possessed scienter, or an “intent to...more

Written Document Retention and Destruction Policy Saves the Day (Again)

As we mentioned in our previous posts regarding document preservation, establishing a written document retention and destruction policy is essential to any company, large or small. As with the Pradaxa case out of the Southern...more

Federal and New York State False Claims Act Case Against Novartis Survives Motion to Dismiss

Last week, a New York district court found that the government alleged with sufficient detail that Novartis violated federal and state false claims acts by paying doctors kickbacks to prescribe drugs. See U.S. ex rel. Bilotta...more

A Pleading Malfunction Dooms Malfunction Theory

White v. Mazda Motor of Am., Inc., 313 Conn. 610 (2014) - This case illustrates the importance of sufficiently pleading claims and defenses, and moving for leave to amend the pleadings if there is some question or...more

Tennessee Supreme Court Revisiting Summary Judgment Standard

On the heels of two new Justices joining the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Court has indicated its intention to reconsider the summary judgment standard set forth in Hannan v. Alltel Publishing Co., 270 S.W. 3d 1 (Tenn. 2008)....more

Wisconsin Supreme Court 2013-2014 Term Summary Part 3: Recap of Cases Affecting Wisconsin Businesses

This post is the third in a series of posts analyzing the 2013-14 term of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. This post provides in a nutshell what businesses need to know about the cases from last year’s term of the...more

Delaware Court Denies Dismissal for Disinterested Directors When Entire Fairness Applies

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently addressed the pleading standard for claims against disinterested directors arising out of transactions involving a controlling stockholder, where the transaction has been alleged to be...more

Eighth Circuit Revives Whistleblower Action by Scorned Planned Parenthood Manager

The last time we heard about Susan Thayer’s whistleblower suit against Planned Parenthood, a federal district court in Iowa had thrown it out because she hadn’t provided any specific examples of fraud and therefore had failed...more

Second, Third Circuits Tighten FLSA Pleading Standards, Challenge "Barebones" Complaints

Apologies to John Steinbeck, but in some ways, both 2013 and 2014 have been the winters of FLSA plaintiffs’ discontent on the East Coast. Last summer, the Second Circuit (which covers New York, Connecticut, and Vermont)...more

State Court Lawsuit Removable if Plaintiff-Employee’s Pleadings “Fully Incorporate” EEOC Charge

“You have been sued.” Upon reading these first few words of a state court citation, most Texas employers—indeed, most employers—make it their first order of business to remove the case to federal court if at all possible....more

Form 18 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rejected as an “Off-Ramp” to Twombly

Merus B.V. moved for dismissal, arguing the Federal Circuit created an “off-ramp” for patent cases by holding in K-Tech Telecomms., Inc. v. Time Warner Cable, Inc., 714 F.3d 1277 (Fed. Cir. 2013), that when the principles set...more

Lack of Antitrust Standing Requires Dismissal of Complaint Against Alleged Chinese Magnesite Cartel

Last Thursday, Judge Kevin McNulty in the District of New Jersey issued a 69-page opinion explaining his sua sponte dismissal of the putative class action complaint in Animal Science Products, Inc. v. China Minmetals Corp.,...more

Texas Federal Court Dismisses FCA Claims As Insufficiently Pled

In U.S. ex rel. Williams v. McKesson Corp., No. 3:12-CV-0371-B (N.D. Tex. July 9, 2014), a Texas federal court recently dismissed a qui tam whistleblower suit by a former employee of McKesson, a Texas-based entity that...more

Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence,” Adopts New Pleading Standards in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its highly anticipated decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No. 12-751. In an opinion written by Justice Breyer for a unanimous court, the Supreme Court held...more

Third Circuit Adopts Relaxed Pleading Standard for False Claims Act Cases

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently rejected the strict approach taken by many federal circuit courts to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) that requires a qui tam relator bringing a False...more

Third Circuit Adopts Less Demanding FCA Pleading Standard

Last week, the Third Circuit reversed a New Jersey district court’s decision to dismiss a False Claims Act (FCA) qui tam law suit, holding that the court applied an overly demanding pleading standard to relator Thomas...more

Supreme Court Declines to Opine on Circuit Split Over Rule 9(b) Pleading Requirements for FCA Claims

On March 31, 2014, in U.S. ex rel. Nathan v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upholding a district...more

Texas’ Fair-Notice Pleadings Standard May Be In Trouble

In Texas, the lax “fair-notice” pleading requirement has resulted in the widespread practice of plaintiffs’ attorneys simply cutting and pasting from a previous pleading when filing suit. However, the recent enactment of...more

Federal Court Report - Fourth Circuit Clarifies Pleading Standards and (Again) Rejects Affidavits that Contradict a Party’s...

In Stevenson v. City of Seat Pleasant, Maryland, No. 12-2047 (4th Cir. Feb. 21, 2014), the Fourth Circuit spent some time cleaning up a rather messy case involving the alleged use of excessive force by members of a police...more

New York Court of Appeals Expands Potential For State Whistleblower Claims

The New York Court of Appeals recently ruled that a whistleblower need not plead the specific “law, rule or regulation” that the employer purportedly violated to state a cause of action under the New York whistleblower...more

Will Heightened Pleading Standards Curb Patent Litigation Abuse?

One of the solutions proposed to curb perceived patent litigation abuse is to heighten the pleading standards. The idea being that higher pleading standards would enable defendants to seek early dismissal of complaints at the...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Underscores Heightened Pleading Standard Necessary to Support a Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty In...

In Houseman v. Sagerman, C.A. No. 8898-VCG, 2014 WL 1478511 (Del. Ch. Apr. 16, 2014), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Glasscock, V.C.) granted, in part, a motion to dismiss filed by certain directors and the financial advisor...more

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