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Home / Case Digests / 00-4025 Davis v. Ruby Foods, Inc.

00-4025 Davis v. Ruby Foods, Inc.

“It is an abuse of discretion (the normal standard applied to decisions relating to the management of litigation, and the one by which dismissals for violation of Rule 8 arereviewed, Kittay v. Kornstein, 230 F.3d 531, 541 (2d Cir. 2000); In re Westinghouse Securities Litigation, 90 F.3d 696, 702 (3d Cir. 1996); Kuehl v. FDIC, 8 F.3d 905, 908 (1st Cir. 1993); Mangan v. Weinberger, 848 F.2d 909, 911 (8th Cir. 1988)) to dismiss a complaint merely because of the presence of superfluous matter. That would cast district judges in the role of editors, screening complaints for brevity and focus; they have better things to do with their time. In our many years of judging, moreover, we cannot recall many complaints that actually met the standard of chaste, Doric simplicity implied by Rule 8 and the model complaints in the Forms Appendix. Many lawyers strongly believe that a complaint should be comprehensive rather than brief and therefore cryptic. They think the more comprehensive pleading assists the judge in understanding the case and provides a firmer basis for settlement negotiations. This judgment by the bar has been accepted to the extent that complaints signed by a lawyer are never dismissed simply because they are not short, concise, and plain.”

Reversed.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Conlon, J., Posner, J.


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