Twombly and Iqbal Should Not Be Overstated

Certain circuit court decisions demonstrate that although Twombly was meant to protect litigants from the burden of defending against meritless antitrust suits, the district courts should still give antitrust plaintiffs the benefit of the doubt at the pleading stage.

February 5, 2013

Law360, New York (February 05, 2013, 12:01 PM ET) ‐‐ There can be no dispute: The United States Supreme Court decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), have significantly transformed federal litigation. This transformation of the federal pleading standard, however, has not resulted in uniformity. Put simply, not every federal district gives Twombly and Iqbal equal force. Some federal courts apply those decisions in a manner that arguably creates an unfair burden on plaintiffs, especially antitrust plaintiffs seeking to adequately allege antitrust conspiracy and to proceed to discovery.

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