This essay, adapted from the video presentation available on Vimeo as #89845875, graphically depicts the genealogy and evolution of federal civil pleading standards in U.S. Supreme Court opinions over time. We show that the standard narrative — of a decline in pleading liberality from Conley to Twombly to Iqbal — is complicated by both progenitors and progeny. We therefore offer a fuller picture of the doctrine of Rule 8 pleading that ought to be of use to judges and practitioners in federal court. We also hope, through the video presentation, to introduce a new visual format for academic scholarship that capitalizes on the virtues of narration, graphics, mapping, online accessibility, and electronic dissemination.
Mapping Supreme Court Doctrine: Civil Pleading, 7 Fed. Ct. L. Rev. 275 (2014)