Pleading Standards

News & Analysis as of

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

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

U.S. Supreme Court Expands Scope of Potential Plaintiffs in Lanham Act False Advertising Claims – No Longer Limited to Actual...

One of the several claims available to plaintiffs under the Lanham Act is a claim for “false advertising.” Section 1125(a)(1)(B) of the Lanham Act states that... (1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Securities Class Action for Failure to Properly Plead Scienter

On March 28, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of a shareholder class action against BioMimetic Therapeutics Inc., finding that plaintiffs had failed to sufficiently allege that...more

Supreme Court To Decide CAFA Pleading Standard

On April 7th, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Company, LLC v. Owens, a case originating from the Tenth Circuit. In that case, the Court will resolve a circuit split over the pleading...more

Dart Cherokee: SCOTUS to Hear Case on CAFA Pleading Requirements

The Supreme Court will now decide whether a 2006 Seventh Circuit decision on Class Action Fairness Act pleading requirements was correct. The Court granted certiorari today in a case that will resolve whether defendants...more

Florida Supreme Court Holds Insurer Must Plead and Prove Prejudice From Insured’s Failure to Attend CME

In a recent decision in State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Curran, 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 3506 (Fla. March 14, 2014) the Florida Supreme Court addressed an auto policy issued by State Farm with a condition requiring an...more

Texas Two Step: “In Connection With” At The End Of Its Tether?

The familiar “in connection with the purchase or sale” securities-litigation requirement may not be unlimited in its breadth, after all. On February 26, the US Supreme Court pulled up short defendants in litigation by...more

You Were Wrong, But Did You Know You Were Wrong? The Supreme Court To Resolve The Circuit Split On The Pleading Standard For...

Can a securities plaintiff satisfy Section 11 of the Securities Act simply by alleging that a statement of opinion was objectively false, or must the plaintiff also allege that the speaker subjectively knew the statement was...more

California's Shine the Light Law: A Heightened Pleading Requirement

In three nearly-identical unpublished opinions, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of three separate class actions brought under California's Shine the Light Law.1 The Ninth...more

Solicitor General Recognizes Conflict, but Recommends that Supreme Court Deny Review of False Claims Act Case Involving Rule 9(b)...

The United States Solicitor General has recommended that the Supreme Court deny certiorari in United States ex rel. Nathan v. Takeda Pharmaceuticals N.A. Inc., et al. (No. 12-1349), a False Claims Act (“FCA”) case involving...more

Recent Case Advances Ninth Circuit Law on Pleading Diversity of Citizenship on Information and Belief

Insurers frequently file coverage actions in federal court, and when they do, jurisdiction is often predicated on diversity. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), a federal district court has original jurisdiction of a civil...more

Lithium Ion Batteries Court Addresses Illinois Brick Exception, Finds Standing for Certain Indirect Purchasers of Component...

In In re: Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litigation, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7516 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 21, 2014) (Gonzalez Rogers, J.), the Northern District of California largely rejected a motion to dismiss an antitrust...more

Courts Remain Divided Over Pleading Requirements for Inducement

Recent cases have revealed a division of opinion over whether a patentee is required to plead that an accused indirect infringer had knowledge of the patent before being sued, or whether the filing of a patent infringement...more

Third Circuit Court Of Appeals Finds Plaintiff Failed To Meet PSLRA’s Scienter Pleading Requirement

Rahman v. Kid Brands, Inc., 2013 WL 6038246 - Shah Rahman, the plaintiff and appellant, brought a federal securities class action in March 2011 against defendant Kid Brands, Inc. and against individual defendants Bruce...more

Supreme Court to Review Sixth Circuit’s Reinstatement of ERISA “Stock-Drop” Class Action

The Supreme Court recently agreed to resolve a circuit split on the pleading requirements for claims that ERISA fiduciaries imprudently invested employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) assets in the stock of the...more

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