Category: Uncategorized

“It’s like finding out you’ve been seeing the wrong shrink for most of your life. All that investment of time, money and emoting—but what do you have to show for it? Nada. You’re still the same pathetic, clueless, ineffective wreck you were when you started the process. That kind of describes the legal profession’s efforts to promote gender equality and diversity over the last three decades. To put it simply: They’ve been largely useless and a waste of time. That’s one of the news flashes from the study by the American Bar Association’s commission on women and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.”

Source: Vivia Chen. “Diversity Efforts Are Basically Worthless.” The American Lawyer. https://www.law.com/2018/09/11/diversity-efforts-are-basically-worthless/

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“In Twombly, the Supreme Court announced the new plausibility standard by which pleadings are to be judged: a complaint must allege ‘enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.’ A facially plausible complaint is one that ‘raise[s] a reasonable expectation that discovery will reveal evidence’ of the alleged wrongdoing. However, despite affirming the Twombly decision, Iqbal substantially bolstered plausibility as a device by which lower courts can dismiss weak, not just meritless, cases. Iqbal is the focus of the inquiry here because the Court’s two-pronged approach to plausibility analysis systematically exploits pro se litigants’ vulnerabilities to dismiss their seemingly weak suits.”

Source: Rory K. Schneider. The Illiberal Construction of Pro Se Pleadings. University of Pennsylvania Law Review 159:585, 607-608. 2011.

“Despite its failure to expressly set forth a coherent theory pursuant to which lower courts should liberally construe pro se complaints, the Supreme Court has provided them a modicum of guidance on the general meaning of liberal construction. The best description one can discern is that liberal construction is simply an exaggerated version of the Conley “no set of facts” standard.84 In fact, each pronouncement of the relaxed pleading standard is accompanied by the Conley Court’s instruction not to dismiss a claim unless it is ‘beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts which would entitle him to relief.’ Justice Scalia confirmed this understanding when he asserted that ‘[l]iberal construction of pro se pleadings is merely an embellishment of the notice-pleading standard set forth in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.'”

Source: Rory K. Schneider. The Illiberal Construction of Pro Se Pleadings. University of Pennsylvania Law Review 159:585, 604. 2011.

“If more pro se litigants have potentially valid grievances than commonly believed, there must be other factors, aside from frivolity, that explain the grossly disproportionate rate at which their claims are dismissed. These factors, consisting of the unique challenges faced by litigants proceeding pro se, manifest at the pleading stage of litigation to render their complaints more vulnerable to dismissal for failure to state a claim.”

Source: Rory K. Schneider. The Illiberal Construction of Pro Se Pleadings. University of Pennsylvania Law Review 159:585, 597. 2011.

“The assumption that a vast majority of pro se suits lack merit is primarily based upon a conception of the legal market as an accurate filter for unmeritorious cases; good claims attract representation, while bad ones do not. Under this theory, ‘the fact that no lawyer is willing to take on an action for damages suggests that someone knowledgeable about the law has looked at the matter and concluded that the plaintiff is unlikely to prevail.’ However, this argument does not accurately capture the reasons that individuals forego representation, as it assumes that lawyers always accept ‘good’ cases presented to them and that any litigant would accept representation if made available. Neither of these assumptions holds water.”

Source: Rory K. Schneider. The Illiberal Construction of Pro Se Pleadings. University of Pennsylvania Law Review 159:585, 594. 2011.