Faculty Journal Articles and Book Chapters


This article focuses on the Supreme Court’s recent enhancement of Rule 8(a)(2)’s pleading standard to approach the heightened fraud pleading standards under Rule 9(b) and the PSLRA. The authors posit that the introduction of a tacit “probability requirement” into the basic pleading standard impedes the heightened fraud pleading standards under Rule 9(b) and the PSLRA from fulfilling the policy rationales for which they were created. By elevating the basic requirements that must be met in any federal civil case for a complaint to be legally sufficient, the Supreme Court has caused an evident convergence of pleading standards that blurs the lines between pleading doctrines. The authors assert that this convergence produces incongruity in the federal civil litigation system by at times treating plaintiffs more leniently when bringing forward fraud claims than when alleging non-fraudulent claims under Rule 8(a)(2)’s new plausibility pleading standard.

Publication Title

Review of Litigation

Document Type


Included in

Litigation Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.