Amber A. Pelot

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In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, the United States Supreme Court seemingly tightened general federal pleading requirements, expressly abrogating a much-cited linguistic formula from Conley v. Gibson and making the avoidance of early dismissals more difficult for plaintiffs. To avoid dismissal for failure to state a claim, plaintiffs filing antitrust suits alleging conspiracy must set forth enough facts in the pleadings to suggest a preceding agreement, as distinct from parallel, independent action-at least where the parallel conduct is readily explained by lawful business motivations. The Court further declared that to withstand a motion to dismiss for legal insufficiency, a complaint must contain enough allegations of fact to make it "plausible," rather than merely conceivable, that discovery will disclose grounds for each required element of a plaintiff's particular claim. Applied generally, this test will make the lenient "notice pleading" regime exemplified by Conley significantly more stringent.