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Full-Text Articles in Law

Can Speech Act Theory Save Notice Pleading?, Susan E. Provenzano Jul 2021

Can Speech Act Theory Save Notice Pleading?, Susan E. Provenzano

Indiana Law Journal

Countless scholars have debated—and lower courts have attempted to apply—the plausibility pleading regime that the Supreme Court introduced in Twombly and Iqbal. Iqbal took Twombly’s requirement that a complaint plead plausibly and turned it into a two-step test. Under that test, the life or death of a lawsuit rests on the distinction between “well-pleaded” and “conclusory” allegations. Only the former are assumed true on a motion to dismiss. Seven decades of pleading precedent had taken a sensible, if unstable, approach to the truth assumption, making a single cut between factual contentions (assumed true) and legal conclusions (ignored ...


The Federal Rule Of Civil Procedure 37(E) And Achieving Uniformity Of Case Law On Sanctions For Esi Spoliation: Focusing On The “Intent To Deprive” Culpability Under Rule 37(E)(2), Jung Won Jun, Rockyoun Ihm Apr 2021

The Federal Rule Of Civil Procedure 37(E) And Achieving Uniformity Of Case Law On Sanctions For Esi Spoliation: Focusing On The “Intent To Deprive” Culpability Under Rule 37(E)(2), Jung Won Jun, Rockyoun Ihm

Catholic University Law Review

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) was adopted in 2015 primarily to resolve the circuit split and promote uniformity of case law on ESI (electronically stored information) spoliation sanctions. This Article examines relevant case law under the new Rule 37(e) and finds that courts have treated similar spoliation conduct differently due to the lack of a clear standard for finding the spoliator's intent to deprive another party of the use of the destroyed ESI at issue. This inconsistency has been exacerbated by the courts’ inconsistent reliance on their inherent authority to sanction based on bad faith analyses ...


The Shifting Sands Of Cost Shifting, Andrew M. Pardieck Mar 2021

The Shifting Sands Of Cost Shifting, Andrew M. Pardieck

Cleveland State Law Review

The cost-shifting analysis employed by the federal courts in ruling on discovery disputes is flawed. There is tremendous variability in how courts interpret the factors guiding the analysis. There is tremendous variability in the information courts rely on in deciding whether to preclude the discovery or shift its costs. The result is waste for the litigants, courts, and society as a whole. This Article argues that there is a better way: mandate cooperation before cost shifting. The courts should condition proportionality and cost-shifting rulings on cooperation. The cooperation should be substantive: require disclosure of objective information about the disputed discovery ...


Class Certification In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals: A Longitudinal Study, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2021

Class Certification In The U.S. Courts Of Appeals: A Longitudinal Study, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

There is a vast literature on the modern class action, but little of it is informed by systematic empirical data. Mindful both that there have been few Supreme Court class certification decisions and that they may not provide an accurate picture of class action jurisprudence, let alone class action activity, over time, we created a comprehensive data set of class certification decisions in the United States Courts of Appeals consisting of all precedential panel decisions addressing whether a class should be certified from 1966 through 2017, and of nonprecedential panel decisions from 2002 through 2017.

In Section I, through a ...


Civil Rights, Access To Counsel, And Injunctive Class Actions In The United States, Maureen Carroll Jan 2021

Civil Rights, Access To Counsel, And Injunctive Class Actions In The United States, Maureen Carroll

Book Chapters

According to a familiar story about class actions in the United States, aggregation promotes access to counsel by increasing the amount of money from which counsel fees can be taken. Courts usually award class counsel a percentage of the monetary recovery obtained on behalf of the class, and class treatment can turn a $30 case into a $3 million case. But what about class actions that do not involve monetary relief at all? Some civil rights plaintiffs seek to stop a violation, rather than to obtain compensation for past harm, and therefore choose to pursue only an injunction or declaratory ...


Introductory Note To Animal Science Products Inc. V. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (United States Supreme Court), Christopher A. Whytock Jan 2020

Introductory Note To Animal Science Products Inc. V. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (United States Supreme Court), Christopher A. Whytock

Faculty Scholarship

This brief case note provides an overview and critical assessment of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., 138 S.Ct. 1865 (2018), which held that when determining the meaning of foreign law, “[a] federal court should accord respectful consideration to a foreign government’s submission, but is not bound to accord conclusive effect to the foreign government’s statements.”


Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Jan 2020

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This Article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence class certification under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We find that the ideological composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having dramatically higher rates of procertification outcomes than all-Republican panels—nearly triple in about the past twenty years. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence ...


Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang Aug 2019

Politics, Identity, And Class Certification On The U.S. Courts Of Appeals, Stephen B. Burbank, Sean Farhang

Sean Farhang

This article draws on novel data and presents the results of the first empirical analysis of how potentially salient characteristics of Court of Appeals judges influence precedential lawmaking on class certification under Rule 23. We find that the partisan composition of the panel (measured by the party of the appointing president) has a very strong association with certification outcomes, with all-Democratic panels having more than double the certification rate of all-Republican panels in precedential cases. We also find that the presence of one African American on a panel, and the presence of two females (but not one), is associated with ...


The Territorial Reach Of Federal Courts, A. Benjamin Spencer Jul 2019

The Territorial Reach Of Federal Courts, A. Benjamin Spencer

Faculty Publications

Federal courts exercise the sovereign authority of the United States when they assert personal jurisdiction over a defendant. As components of the national sovereign, federal courts' maximum territorial reach is determined by the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause, which permits jurisdiction over persons with sufficient minimum contacts with the United States and over property located therein. Why, then, are federal courts limited to the territorial reach of the states in which they sit when they exercise personal jurisdiction in most cases? There is no constitutional or statutory mandate that so constrains the federal judicial reach. Rather, it is by ...


The Federal Courts’ Rulemaking Buffer, Jordan M. Singer May 2019

The Federal Courts’ Rulemaking Buffer, Jordan M. Singer

William & Mary Law Review

Procedural rulemaking is often thought of as a second-order task for the federal court system, relevant to the courts’ work but not essential to their function. In reality, rulemaking plays an integral role in the court system’s operation by actively insulating the courts from environmental pressure. This Article explains how power over procedural rulemaking protects the federal courts from environmental uncertainty and describes the court system’s efforts to maintain the effectiveness of the rulemaking buffer in response to historical and contemporary challenges.


Substance, Procedure, And The Rules Enabling Act, A. Benjamin Spencer Apr 2019

Substance, Procedure, And The Rules Enabling Act, A. Benjamin Spencer

Faculty Publications

The Supreme Court promulgates rules of procedure (based on the proposals of subordinate rulemaking committees) pursuant to the Rules Enabling Act. This statute empowers the Court to prescribe "general rules of practice and procedure," with the caveat that "[s]uch rules shall not abridge, enlarge or modify any substantive right." The Act is supposed to stand as a real constraint on what rules or alterations thereof the subordinate rulemaking bodies will consider or propose, as well as on how the Court will choose to interpret any given codified Federal Rule. However, the Act has not-to date-been employed to invalidate a ...


Pleading Conditions Of The Mind Under Rule 9(B): Repairing The Damage Wrought By Iqbal, A. Benjamin Spencer Feb 2019

Pleading Conditions Of The Mind Under Rule 9(B): Repairing The Damage Wrought By Iqbal, A. Benjamin Spencer

Faculty Publications

In 2009, the Supreme Court decided Ashcroft v. Iqbal, in which it pronounced-among other things- that the second sentence of Rule 9(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure-which permits allegations of malice, intent, knowledge, and other conditions of the mind to be alleged "generally" -requires adherence to the plausibility pleading· standard it had devised for Rule 8(a)(2) in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly. That is, to plead such allegations sufficiently, one must offer sufficient facts to render the condition-of-the-mind allegation plausible. This rewriting of the standard imposed by Rule 9(b)'s second sentence-which came only ...


Making Rule 23 Ideal: Using A Multifactor Test To Evaluate The Admissibility Of Evidence At Class Certification, Cianan M. Lesley Jan 2019

Making Rule 23 Ideal: Using A Multifactor Test To Evaluate The Admissibility Of Evidence At Class Certification, Cianan M. Lesley

Michigan Law Review

Circuit courts are split on whether and to what extent the Daubert standard should apply at class certification. Potential plaintiffs believe that application of Daubert would make it nearly impossible to obtain class certification. For potential defendants, the application of the standard is an important way to ensure that the certification process is fair. This Note examines the incentives underlying the push to apply the Daubert standard at class certification and the benefits and drawbacks associated with that proposal. It proposes a solution that balances the concerns of both plaintiffs and defendants by focusing on three factors: the obstacles to ...


Class Actions, Indivisibility, And Rule 23(B)(2), Maureen Carroll Jan 2019

Class Actions, Indivisibility, And Rule 23(B)(2), Maureen Carroll

Articles

The federal class-action rule contains a provision, Rule 23(b)(2), that authorizes class-wide injunctive or declaratory relief for class-wide wrongs. The procedural needs of civil rights litigation motivated the adoption of the provision in 1966, and in the intervening years, it has played an important role in managing efforts to bring about systemic change. At the same time, courts have sometimes struggled to articulate what plaintiffs must show in order to invoke Rule 23(b)(2). A few years ago, the Supreme Court weighed in, stating that the key to this type of class action is the “indivisible” nature ...


Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas Jan 2019

Mootness Fees, Matthew D. Cain, Jill E. Fisch, Steven Davidoff Solomon, Randall Thomas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In response to a sharp increase in litigation challenging mergers, the Delaware Chancery Court issued the 2016 Trulia decision, which substantively reduced the attractiveness of Delaware as a forum for these suits. In this Article, we empirically assess the response of plaintiffs’ attorneys to these developments. Specifically, we document a troubling trend—the flight of merger litigation to federal court where these cases are overwhelmingly resolved through voluntary dismissals that provide no benefit to the plaintiff class but generate a payment to plaintiffs’ counsel in the form of a mootness fee. In 2018, for example, 77% of deals with litigation ...


#Sowhitemale: Federal Civil Rulemaking, Brooke D. Coleman Oct 2018

#Sowhitemale: Federal Civil Rulemaking, Brooke D. Coleman

Northwestern University Law Review

116 out of 136. That is the number of white men who have served on the eighty-two-year-old committee responsible for creating and maintaining the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The tiny number of non-white, non-male committee members is disproportionate, even in the context of the white-male-dominated legal profession. If the rules were simply a technical set of instructions made by a neutral set of experts, then perhaps these numbers might not be as disturbing. But that is not the case. The Civil Rules embody normative judgments about the values that have primacy in our civil justice system, and the rule-makers ...


Judicial Mistakes In Discovery, Diego A. Zambrano Sep 2018

Judicial Mistakes In Discovery, Diego A. Zambrano

Northwestern University Law Review

A recent wave of scholarship argues that judges often fail to comply with binding rules or precedent and sometimes apply overturned laws. Scholars have hypothesized that the cause of this “judicial noncompliance” may be flawed litigant briefing that introduces mistakes into judicial decisions—an idea this Essay calls the “Litigant Hypothesis.” The Essay presents a preliminary study aimed at exploring ways of testing the validity of the Litigant Hypothesis. Employing an empirical analysis that exploits recent amendments to Federal Discovery Rule 26, this Essay finds that the strongest predictor of noncompliance in a dataset of discovery decisions is indeed faulty ...


I Could Have Been A Contender: Summary Jury Trial As A Means To Overcome Iqbal's Negative Effects Upon Pre-Litigation Communication, Negotiation And Early, Consensual Dispute Resolution, Nancy A. Welsh Jul 2018

I Could Have Been A Contender: Summary Jury Trial As A Means To Overcome Iqbal's Negative Effects Upon Pre-Litigation Communication, Negotiation And Early, Consensual Dispute Resolution, Nancy A. Welsh

Nancy Welsh

With its recent decisions in Ashcroft v. Iqbal and Bell Atlantic v. Twombly, the Supreme Court may be intentionally or unintentionally “throwing the fight,” at least in the legal contests between many civil rights claimants and institutional defendants. The most obvious feared effect is reduction of civil rights claimants’ access to the expressive and coercive power of the courts. Less obviously, the Supreme Court may be effectively undermining institutions’ motivation to negotiate, mediate - or even communicate with and listen to - such claimants before they initiate legal action. Thus, the Supreme Court’s recent decisions have the potential to deprive marginalized ...


Access To Justice: Impact Of Twombly & Iqbal On State Court Systems, Danielle Lusardo Schantz Jun 2018

Access To Justice: Impact Of Twombly & Iqbal On State Court Systems, Danielle Lusardo Schantz

Akron Law Review

Approximately a decade ago, the Supreme Court of the United States unexpectedly changed the pleading standard for federal cases with the Twombly and Iqbal decisions. Plausibility pleading replaced the more liberal notice pleading standard endorsed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Since then, state courts have been faced with a choice to either mirror this change in pleading standards or maintain their commitment to notice pleading. Plausibility pleading has begun to creep into the state court system. Several states have formally changed their pleading standards, while others have declared their commitment to notice pleading. This Article considers the impact ...


Long Gone! When To Recall Discharged Juries, Maria T. Ciccolini Jun 2018

Long Gone! When To Recall Discharged Juries, Maria T. Ciccolini

Akron Law Review

In June 2016 the Supreme Court ruled in Dietz v. Bouldin that federal judges in civil cases could, in order to amend a flawed verdict, reuse a jury that was discharged and long gone. Under this ruling, by the time the court or the attorneys recognize the inconsistent ruling, the jury could and likely will have been profoundly prejudiced, therefore violating the claimant’s right to a fair trial afforded to him by our democratic system of justice. The prejudice test implemented by the Court in Dietz is not detailed enough to tighten the reins on judicial discretion and ensure ...


Still A Failure: Broad Pretrial Discovery And The Superficial 2015 Amendments, George Shepherd Jun 2018

Still A Failure: Broad Pretrial Discovery And The Superficial 2015 Amendments, George Shepherd

Akron Law Review

Ever since broad discovery was permitted in 1938 in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the system has been a failure. It has dramatically increased litigation’s cost and pain, with few balancing benefits. Broad discovery should be eliminated, returning the United States to the sensible approach of the rest of the world. In Twombly and Iqbal, the Supreme Court went part of the way towards doing exactly that; the decisions eliminate discovery in many cases. The 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules do little to cure the remaining major problems. Instead, broad discovery should be eliminated for all cases.


Better Briefs, Lydia Fearing May 2018

Better Briefs, Lydia Fearing

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Abstract forthcoming


It’S A Trap! The Ethical Dark Side Of Requests For Admission, Colin Flora May 2018

It’S A Trap! The Ethical Dark Side Of Requests For Admission, Colin Flora

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Due largely to an overlap of authority between disciplinary bodies charged with supervising the professional conduct of attorneys and the authority of courts to supervise litigation, the ethical ramifications of routine discovery abuses often pass without comment. That is because disciplinary authorities routinely defer to courts to police litigation behavior despite courts frequently rejecting the role of enforcers of professional rules. A further contributing factor to unethical conduct becoming routine practice in discovery are ill-defined parameters and a dearth of guidance. One tool in particular, requests for admission, has gone overlooked in the literature and caselaw, but poses unique ethical ...


Motion To Dismiss For Failure To Succeed On The Merits: The Eeoc And Rule 12(B)(6), Perry F. Austin Feb 2018

Motion To Dismiss For Failure To Succeed On The Merits: The Eeoc And Rule 12(B)(6), Perry F. Austin

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Bespoke Discovery, Jessica Erickson Jan 2018

Bespoke Discovery, Jessica Erickson

Law Faculty Publications

The U.S. legal system gives contracting parties significant freedom to customize the procedures that will govern their future disputes. With forum selection clauses, parties can decide where they will litigate future disputes. With fee-shifting provisions, they can choose who will pay for these suits. And with arbitration clauses, they can make upfront decisions to opt out of the traditional legal system altogether. Parties can also waive their right to appeal, their right to a jury trial, and their right to file a class action. Bespoke procedure, in other words, is commonplace in the United States.

Far less common, however ...


Search, Seizure, And Snapchat: How The Fourth Amendment Fits Within The Evolving World Of Civil E-Discovery, Anna Mcmullen Oct 2017

Search, Seizure, And Snapchat: How The Fourth Amendment Fits Within The Evolving World Of Civil E-Discovery, Anna Mcmullen

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


Pleading, For The Future: Conversations After Iqbal, Lee H. Rosenthal Oct 2017

Pleading, For The Future: Conversations After Iqbal, Lee H. Rosenthal

Dickinson Law Review

No abstract provided.


The Dangers Of E-Discovery And The New Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, Ryan J. Reeves Sep 2017

The Dangers Of E-Discovery And The New Federal Rules Of Civil Procedure, Ryan J. Reeves

Oklahoma Journal of Law and Technology

No abstract provided.


Mandating Rule 11 Sanctions? Here We Go Again!, Edward D. Cavanagh Jun 2017

Mandating Rule 11 Sanctions? Here We Go Again!, Edward D. Cavanagh

Washington and Lee Law Review Online

The House of Representatives has passed H.R. 720, a bill that would amend Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by re‑instituting mandatory sanctions for Rule 11 violations and essentially restoring Rule 11 to its contents under the 1983 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The legislation would mandate imposition of monetary sanctions and eliminate any restrictions on when a Rule 11 motion could be filed. The bill would thus scuttle the 1993 Amendments, which (1) entrusted the sanctions decision to the sound discretion of the trial court; (2) provided a 21‑day safe ...


The Difficulties Of Encouraging Cooperation In A Zero-Sum Game, Jacob R. Kreutzer Apr 2017

The Difficulties Of Encouraging Cooperation In A Zero-Sum Game, Jacob R. Kreutzer

Maine Law Review

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure generally provide only the “rules of the road” on which litigation is conducted. However, in some areas the Rules step outside of this role and attempt to overtly encourage cooperation. One such rule is Rule 68, which allows a defendant to make an offer of judgment to the plaintiff, and provides that if the plaintiff refuses and subsequently wins less money than the defendant offered, the plaintiff must cover the defendant’s costs. Rule 68 was launched into prominence when the Supreme Court ruled, in Marek v. Chesney that a Rule 68 offer could ...