March 18, 2013 Articles

Class Actions 101: Surviving a Rule 12 Motion to Dismiss

In the wake of Twombly and Iqbal, here are five lessons to keep in mind when drafting your next complaint.

By Christopher E. Roberts

On their face, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure appear to offer a simple framework for drafting a class-action complaint. The rules simply require a complaint to offer a short and plain statement as to why the court has jurisdiction over the complaint, a short and plain statement of the claim that shows relief is appropriate, and a statement of the relief demanded. Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a).

The rules make drafting a complaint easy, right? Not so fast. In light of the Supreme Court’s decisions in Bell Atlantic Corp v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 444 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), a complaint that complies with Rule 8 could be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6).

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