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Pleading After Tellabs

35 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2008 Last revised: 9 Nov 2008

Geoffrey P. Miller

New York University School of Law

Date Written: April 1, 2008


In Tellabs, Inc. v. Makor Issues & Rights, Ltd., the Supreme Court held that a securities fraud complaint will survive a motion to dismiss only if a reasonable person would deem the inference of [culpable state of mind] cogent and at least as compelling as any opposing inference one could draw from the facts alleged. This paper analyzes how the Tellabs test may be applied, identifies questions left open under the decision, and discusses broader implications of the opinion and the PSLRA. Among other things, the paper suggests that the PSLRA's heightened pleading rules have deformed the motion to dismiss to the point where it now operates in securities fraud cases as a hybrid falling somewhere in between the traditional Rule 12(b)(6) and Rule 56 summary judgment procedures.

Suggested Citation

Miller, Geoffrey P., Pleading After Tellabs (April 1, 2008). NYU Law and Economics Research Paper No. 08-16. Available at SSRN: or

Geoffrey P. Miller (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

Center for the Study of Central Banks
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