This case is more notable for its bad lawyering than the result.?? In Swierkiewicz v. Sorema, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a Title VII plaintiff does not have to plead the McDonnell-Douglas Burdine framework. ?Instead, the complaint must meet only the general notice pleading requirement of Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. ?Although this case involved section 1981, neither party managed to cite Swierkiewicz in their papers to the district court (which dismissed the case) or on appeal. ?Before oral argument, the circuit court asked the parties to address Swierkiewicz. ?Even then the plaintiff?s counsel failed to do so.?? The circuit court held Swierkiewicz applied to section 1981 claims and remanded the case to the district court to assess compliance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 8.?? Maducka v. Sunrise? Hospital,? No.? 03-15332? (8/16/04; Wallace, Kozinski, Thomas).
Short Plain Statement Rule Applies to Complaints Alleging Section 1981 Claims
Aug 16, 2004