Civil Procedure: Pleading
Hillel Levin, University of Georgia
Pub Date: 2014
Publisher: CALI's eLangdell® Press
Conditions of Use
This text provides a concise yet comprehensive introduction to pleading standards under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It covers the read more
This text provides a concise yet comprehensive introduction to pleading standards under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It covers the development of both notice pleading and the plausibility standard in a manner that's straightforward enough for 1L students but doesn't spoon-feed the information to them.
The casebook materials have been edited in order to help the students focus on the issues that are relevant to learning the pleading standards. The author has chosen not to use ellipses or other means to let the reader know where edits have occurred; however, he recommends telling the students that the cases have been edited. I didn't find the editing to be bothersome (in fact, I think it's probably helpful for the 1L students the book is written for), but teachers who want their students to have the entire text of the cases probably shouldn't use this book.
This text focuses on the most recent developments in the law relating to pleading, while still providing a solid historical context into which the students can place those developments. Although this is a rapidly developing area of the law, the author provides a good foundation for the students to be able to work with these changing rules throughout their legal studies.
This could be my favorite thing about this book -- both the student and the teacher materials are very clearly written. There's no "hiding the ball" in the student materials; in fact, the author explicitly states the goals for each unit at the beginning of each section so students can track their progress as they learn the material.
Consistent terminology is used throughout. Even better, the terminology the author uses is consistent with the language of the cases and the rules. This will help to limit unnecessary student confusion.
The teacher's manual provides excellent ideas about how to divide the materials up over several class periods. Although some of the readings are long, they are accompanied by comprehension questions to help the students focus on the important aspects of what they are reading and avoid getting sidetracked by legal minutiae.
The material is organized chronologically, dealing with the earlier notice pleading standards before moving on to the more recent development of the plausibility standard. This helps the students put the developments in context. I especially like the section where, after introducing the cases that are the basis for the plausibility standard, the author provides a case showing how the lower courts struggle with applying this new standard.
The casebook itself is well-formatted and easy to read onscreen or in hard copy. However, the supplementary materials include reproductions of court documents which didn't display well on my screen (some content was cut off on one side) although they printed out clearly. If you assign the supplementary materials to your students, you'll want to check for compatibility before you distribute them.
I could not find any grammatical errors.
I didn't see any cultural insensitivity. Two of the cases in the casebook focus on discrimination claims based on age and ethnicity, and these were handled appropriately.
The teacher's manual is excellent. Even if civil procedure wasn't your area of specialization, you could still put together 4 or 5 strong classes on this topic without a lot of extra research.
Table of Contents
2. Rule 8. General Rules of Pleading
3. Rule 9. Pleading Special Matters
4. Conley v. Gibson
5. Swierkiewicz v. Sorema N.A
6. Rule 10. Form of Pleadings
7. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly
8. Ashcroft v. Iqbal
9. Kregler v. City of New York
About the Book
This chapter covers the Civil Procedure topic of Pleading: The Plaintiff‘s Complaint. The chapter takes approximately four class periods to cover in detail. The student is exposed to cases, presented with questions that are designed to both guide class discussion and to help the student focus his reading of the materials, pleadings from cases, and the applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Faculty materials available: This eLangdell chapter includes a teacher's manual. Faculty and staff at CALI member schools can access these faculty-only materials by logging in to eLangdell with their normal cali.org username and password. Contact CALI if you have questions.
This chapter covers the Civil Procedure topic of Pleading: The Plaintiff’s Complaint. The chapter takes approximately four class periods to cover in detail.
The student is exposed to cases, presented with questions that are designed to both guide class discussion and to help the student focus his reading of the materials, pleadings from cases, and the applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
There are two accompanying files available only to faculty who are registered at cali.org (registration is free for faculty at CALI member schools): a Teaching Manual and a Supplemental Material document. The Supplemental Material should be distributed to students at the appropriate point in the unit. Please see the Teaching Manual for details.
About the Contributors
Hillel Y. Levin joined the Georgia Law faculty in the fall of 2008. He teaches courses on education law and policy, constitutional law, legislation, administrative law and civil procedure.
Levin’s expertise lies in education law and policy, statutory interpretation, church/state issues, constitutional law and judicial process. His scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in the Stanford Law Review, the Illinois Law Review, the Florida Law Review, the Arizona State Law Journal, the Connecticut Law Review and the Green Bag, among others. In addition, Levin serves on the advisory board of the peer-reviewed Education Law and Policy Review. He has also published and appeared in popular media and testified before the state legislature.
Levin is the 2013 recipient of the law school’s C. Ronald Ellington Award for Excellence in Teaching. His innovative teaching methods have been recognized nationally and have earned him invitations to speak at conferences about teaching practical lawyering skills within the doctrinal classroom.
Levin came to UGA from Stanford Law School where he served as a Stanford Law Fellow and instructor. Previously, he served as a judicial clerk for Judge Thomas J. Meskill of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and for Judge Robert N. Chatigny of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. He also specialized in complex litigation as an associate at Robinson & Cole. He earned his his B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Yeshiva University and his J.D. from Yale University, where he served as note and book note editor of the Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities.