Iqbal and Twombly: Meeting the Tougher Plausibility Pleading Standards in Commercial Litigation

U.S. Supreme Court extends heightened pleading standards to all civil cases

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This seminar will analyze the heightened pleading standards for litigation based on two recent Supreme Court decisions, Ashcroft v. Iqbal and Bell Atlantic v. Twombly. The panel will discuss the likely impact for early stages of litigation and best practices for plaintiff and defense counsel.


The Supreme Court's Iqbal decision extended the “plausible” pleading standards set forth in Twombly to all civil suits. To meet the standard, a complaint must go beyond reciting the elements of the cause of action, and judges may rule based on judicial experience and common sense.

Iqbal has been heralded as an advantage to defendants in commercial litigation by making pre-discovery motions to dismiss easier to obtain, particularly where the defendant’s knowledge or intent is a critical element of the case.

Plaintiff attorneys counter that Iqbal should and will be narrowly construed. But attorneys generally agree that Twombly together with Iqbal have changed the landscape of notice pleading and will continue to have a dramatic impact on early stages of litigation.

Listen as our authoritative panel of litigators discusses the ramifications of the Twombly and Iqbal decisions on pleadings practice and the early stages of litigation. The panel will provide best practices for counsel in dealing with the heightened pleading standards.



  1. Impact of Iqbal and Twombly
    1. Overview of Iqbal and Twombly rulings
    2. Types of cases most likely impacted by heightened standards
  2. Case law trends post-Iqbal
    1. Motions to dismiss
    2. Limited discovery orders
  3. Best practices for defendants seeking dismissal under Twombly and Iqbal
  4. Best practices for plaintiffs to draft pleadings and avoid dismissal


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How will increased judicial discretion into motions to dismiss impact judicial decision-making?
  • What are the ramifications of Iqbal for limited discovery orders in cases of pleadings with marginal plausibility?
  • Will the heightened standard result in motions to dismiss becoming more like motions for summary judgment, thereby increasing the expense of pre-discovery motion practice?


John Clayton Everett
John Clayton Everett

Morgan Lewis

His practice spans a wide range of antitrust matters, from civil and criminal antitrust litigation, to representing...  |  Read More

Leo Rydzewski
Leo Rydzewski

Holland & Knight

He concentrates his practice in the area of complex commercial litigation, including class actions. His specific area...  |  Read More

Maxwell S. Kennerly
Maxwell S. Kennerly

The Beasley Firm

He litigates and tries cases in fields as varied as business torts, civil rights, defamation, insurance coverage/bad...  |  Read More

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