Article Title

The Twombly Revolution?

Document Type



In Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, the Supreme Court issued a decision that has been described as nothing less than "startling". In a 7-2 decision, the Court provided an interpretation of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that has significantly increased the level of scrutiny that federal courts must apply in determining the sufficiency of the pleadings. While some have characterized the Court's decision as "vague" or poorly-reasoned, this article defends the Twombly decision as both a correct and welcome development in the law regarding the appropriate pleading standard under Rule 8(a). The article argues that the Court's decision is best interpreted as imposing a requirement of logical coherence on the pleadings: the allegations in the complaint if taken as true must be both necessary and sufficient to establish a cause of action. The article maintains that this interpretation of Twombly avoids many of the criticisms of the decisions made by courts and commentators to date.