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Brigham Young University Law School

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Balancing The Pleading Equation, Paul Stancil Jan 2009

Balancing The Pleading Equation, Paul Stancil

Faculty Scholarship

Pleading standards present a tale of two asymmetries. The first is informational: Plaintiffs don't know as much as defendants about defendants' alleged wrongful behavior. Given that, a liberal pleading standard may be sensible; overly demanding pleading standards may ultimately deny justice to worthy plaintiffs who cannot know critical details of their claims before filing.

But informational asymmetry is sometimes counterbalanced by a competing cost asymmetry. In certain circumstances, the cost of litigation is radically different for plaintiffs and defendants. The primary driver of this disparity is liberal discovery; in certain kinds of cases - consumer antitrust cases, for example: defendants ...