Pleading Standards, Affirmative Defenses and Motions to Dismiss in Federal Court

Navigating Rule 8 Pleadings, 12(b)(6) and (f) Motions to Dismiss, and Standards in Removal Cases

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

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Conducted on Thursday, August 29, 2013

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will discuss the evolution of pleadings standards since Iqbal/Twombly and how to survive a motion to dismiss. The panel will also discuss the applicability of the heightened pleadings standard to affirmative defenses as well as cases removed to federal court for diversity.


Since Iqbal/Twombly ushered in heightened pleading standards, a good deal has been written about how various courts have addressed motions to dismiss based upon insufficient pleading. Consequently, case law continues to be the best source of guidance on the sufficiency of a complaint and the issues courts typically consider in evaluating 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss.

Courts with little consistency among them, continue to wrestle with the question of whether the heightened standards apply to the pleading of affirmative defenses. To survive Rule 12(f) motions to strike, it is helpful for counsel to have an understanding of the rationale behind the decisions in the various jurisdictions which have addressed this important issue.

Another vexing issue involves cases filed in notice pleading state courts, but subsequently removed to federal court based upon diversity. Does the complaint then have to comply with the Iqbal/Twombly standards?

Listen as our authoritative panel of litigators guides you through the evolution of pleading standards since Iqbal/Twombly, how to survive a motion to dismiss, the applicability of Iqbal/Twombly to affirmative defenses, and pleading standards for cases removed to federal court for diversity.



  1. Rule 8 pleading standards
  2. Rule 12(b)(6) motions to dismiss
  3. Rule 12(f) motions to strike affirmative defenses
  4. Applicability of Iqbal/Twombly pleading standards to cases removed to federal court for diversity


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the latest developments in Rule 8 pleading standards and what do courts consider in evaluating a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss?
  • What are the various court rationales for considering whether the heightened pleadings standards apply to affirmative defenses?
  • Must complaints in cases removed to federal court for diversity comply with the heightened pleadings standards?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Peter M. Durney
Peter M. Durney

Cornell & Gollub

Since becoming a partner in the firm in 1987, he has represented hundreds of domestic and foreign corporations and...  |  Read More

Jonathan E. Goldberg
Jonathan E. Goldberg


He has represented clients throughout the United States in matters involving claims of retaliation, discrimination,...  |  Read More

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