Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2012

Publication Citation

87 Indiana Law Journal 709 (2012)


The conventional wisdom with regard to the Supreme Court’s decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal is that these two cases work together to usher in a new era of pleading. This reading of the cases, however, is wrong. In reality, Twombly was a valid application of the uncontroversial principle that a complaint must describe the real-world events on which the suit is based with some degree of factual specificity. The Iqbal opinion, unfortunately, mangled this concept by applying it to a complaint that described the real-world events on which the suit was based with sufficient factual specificity. Thus, rather than working in conjunction with each other, the Twombly and Iqbal cases are actually pulling in opposite directions. This Article explores this issue. It concludes that this tension will ultimately be resolved in favor of the approach in Twombly.

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