Comparative Convergences in Pleading Standards

32 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2009 Last revised: 12 Nov 2012

Date Written: March 2, 2009


Comparative civil procedure has had little influence in American jurisprudence and commentary, in part because of American procedure's deep and widespread exceptionalism. But this may be changing, at least in certain areas. The American notice pleading standard, for example, which has long been considered exceptional, shows signs of trending toward the fact pleading models of foreign countries. Congressional experimentation with heightened pleading in statutes such as the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act and the Supreme Court's recent pronouncements in Iqbal v. Ashcroft and Bell Atlantic v. Twombly suggest that American pleading jurisprudence is moving away from its traditionally exceptionalist corner and towards a regime focused on facts that is more akin to the global norm. If so, then this trend may allow for more meaningful transnational dialogue between the U.S. and foreign systems, more valuable comparative analyses in the U.S., and the potential to harmonize civil procedure across national boundaries.

Keywords: notice pleading, pleading standards, twombly, bell atlantic, fact pleading, rule 8, comparative civil procedure

Suggested Citation

Dodson, Scott, Comparative Convergences in Pleading Standards (March 2, 2009). University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 158, No. 441, 2010, Available at SSRN:

Scott Dodson (Contact Author)

UC Law, San Francisco ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States
415-581-8959 (Phone)


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