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Monday, January 10, 2011

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decision re Twombly

From an entry today in the blog Antitrust Today:

In an opinion written by antitrust expert Judge Richard Posner, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has rejected a bid by defendant cell phone companies to throw out a class action alleging that the companies conspired to fix text message prices.

The Seventh Circuit held that the plaintiffs’ second amended complaint in In re: Text Messaging Antitrust Litigation contained enough circumstantial evidence to allow the case to proceed to discovery. The decision a applies – and clarifies – the heightened federal pleading standards laid out recently by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal.

In rejecting a bid by cell phone companies to throw out a putative class action alleging that the companies conspired to fix text message prices, the Seventh Circuit held that the plaintiffs’ second amended complaint contained enough circumstantial evidence to allow the case to proceed to discovery.

Here is a Jan. 7th story headed "Posner Tweaks 'Twombly' in 7th Circuit Refusal to Dismiss Text Message Class Action" from Alison Frankelof American Lawyer. It begins:
Boy was Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit eager to weigh in on antitrust pleading standards in the post-Twombly age! A mere four weeks after several wireless carriers filed a request for permission to pursue an interlocutory appeal of Chicago federal district court judge Matthew Kennelly's refusal to dismiss a price-fixing class action against them, Judge Posner produced a 13-page ruling that not only affirms Judge Kennelly's ruling, but seems to lower the bar for antitrust complaints in the Seventh Circuit. And he did it without merits briefing or oral argument from the parties.

The quick action is particularly noteworthy because a separate Seventh Circuit panel is considering the Twombly pleading standard in an interlocutory appeal in the In re Potash antitrust class action. That case has already been fully briefed and argued, and awaits a ruling.

The panel included included Judges Diane Wood and John Tinder.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 10, 2011 10:41 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions