Sep 12, 2014
C. Pierce Campbell, a shareholder in our Florence office, was quoted in the ABA Litigation News’ Summer 2014 issue. In the cover article entitled, “Think You’ve Pled a Fraud Claim? Think Again,” Campbell discusses the significant decision in cases like Lakeshore Engineering v. Richmond Utilities Board, where the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky agreed to modify a prior order denying a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court admitted to using the notice pleading standard of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, rather than Rule 9(b)’s heightened pleading standard regarding negligent misrepresentation.
Previously, some circuit courts have held the claims should meet the higher pleading standard of Rule 9(b), while others found the Rule 8 is sufficient, and others have held that it depends upon the applicable state law.
Campbell pointed out the importance of local counsel in the article, saying, “This issue highlights the importance of good local counsel, especially for a litigator who is litigating across jurisdictions and frequently appearing in new courts. And not just the need to have local counsel but to actually involve local counsel in the process.”
Campbell went on to say, “The ability to plead things upon information and belief and to be somewhat general doesn’t give you an excuse not to be able to meet this standard. It is rare that a plaintiff doesn’t know enough about what the alleged fraud was to be able to specify it. With a little legwork, the lawyer should be able to allege enough facts to satisfy the higher standard so why risk it by not doing so.”
Campbell just completed a term as co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Business Tort and Unfair Completion Litigation Committee and now serves as a Division Director for the Section of Litigation.