Applause for the Plausible
Brandon L. Garrett
University of Virginia School of Law
February 14, 2014
University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online, 2014
Virginia Public Law and Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2014-17
This short essay examines the seemingly contradictory definitions and associations of the word "plausible," which the Supreme Court unexpectedly elevated to a key gatekeeping role for all of federal civil litigation in its rulings altering the pleading standard in Twombly and Iqbal. Justices, judges and commentators have not focused on what "plausible" means, for some good reasons; it carries with it connotations of the "reasonable" and the "fair" but also "superficial," "often specious" and "pretext." I can offer only a plausible defense of the seemingly contradictory meanings of this word deployed to regulate allegations in federal complaints, for which the transparency of its vice is, for better and for worse, its main virtue.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: Pleading, Civil Procedure, Twombly, Iqbal
Date posted: February 15, 2014 ; Last revised: August 5, 2014
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