All regular readers of Minnesota Litigator and any civil litigator (at least those whose practices take them from time to time to federal court) are aware of the Iqbal and Twombly U.S. Supreme Court decisions and the repercussions of those decisions in subsequent federal practice.
David Hashmall, well known Twin Cities litigator at the Minneapolis law firm of Felhaber Larson Fenlon & Vogt, may be at the leading edge of a legal trend, suggesting that the holdings these federal cases may be shifting the pleading standard in state courts, as well — specifically Minnesota state courts.
Hashmall has argued:
The Minnesota Supreme Court has specifically adopted the United States Supreme Court’s Twombly standard. See Bahr v. Capella Univ., — N.W.2d. —-, 2010 WL 3502788 at **4-5 (Minn. Sept. 9, 2010) (determining complaint was properly dismissed by the district court after concluding it was not “based on a legal theory and facts that are plausible” (emphasis added)); Hebert v. City of Fifty Lakes, 744 N.W.2d 226, 235 (Minn. 2008) (noting “[w]e are not bound by legal conclusions stated in a complaint when determining whether the complaint survives a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim” and “legal conclusions masquerading as factual conclusions will not suffice to prevent a motion to dismiss” (quotation omitted))
We’ll have to wait and see whether Minnesota courts will adopt the argument expanding the reach of Iqbal and Twombly to state court. If so, the hardship on plaintiffs from these federal decisions will be that much greater.