What’s Icky About Iqbal?

The good folks at Penn State are holding a symposium in March 2010 focused on the Supreme Court’s recent Ashcroft v. Iqbal decision.  I am confident the actual title of their symposium will be more professional-sounding than the tagline for this blog entry, but I think I’ve pretty well captured the basic tone of many people’s reaction to the Iqbal decision.

From a Civil Procedure perspective, Iqbal presents an enormously difficult case to teach.  And so, wholly aside from the legal and policy decisions embedded in the Iqbal decision, I’m grouchy about the case.

From an ADR perspective, Iqbal presents a potentially useful vehicle for re-examining the purposes of pleading within modern litigation.  I’m not confident that those with the power to affect our pleadings rules will take up this invitation, but I wish they would.

And as long as I’m dreaming, I wish they’d read “Pleadings in the Age of Settlement” and “Is That All There Is?  The Problem in Court-Oriented Mediation” before they make decisions about what a different pleadings regime might look like.

Michael Moffitt

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