Mapping Supreme Court Doctrine: Civil Pleading

11 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2014 Last revised: 20 May 2015

See all articles by Scott Dodson

Scott Dodson

UC Hastings Law

Colin P. Starger

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: April 7, 2014


This essay, adapted from the video presentation available on Vimeo as #89845875, graphically depicts the genealogy and evolution of federal civil pleading standards in U.S. Supreme Court opinions over time. We show that the standard narrative — of a decline in pleading liberality from Conley to Twombly to Iqbal — is complicated by both progenitors and progeny. We therefore offer a fuller picture of the doctrine of Rule 8 pleading that ought to be of use to judges and practitioners in federal court. We also hope, through the video presentation, to introduce a new visual format for academic scholarship that capitalizes on the virtues of narration, graphics, mapping, online accessibility, and electronic dissemination.

Keywords: video article, video project, Twombly, iqbal, twiqbal, Rule 8, pleading, vimeo, conley, leatherman, swierkiewicz, skinner, matrixx, papasan, dura, broudo

Suggested Citation

Dodson, Scott and Starger, Colin P., Mapping Supreme Court Doctrine: Civil Pleading (April 7, 2014). Federal Courts Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, p. 275, 2014, UC Hastings Research Paper No. 102, University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-06, Available at SSRN:

Scott Dodson (Contact Author)

UC Hastings Law ( email )

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


Colin P. Starger

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics