Skip to main content

What Is a Shotgun Pleading, Truly?

Longtimers know our affinity for shotgun pleadings, but let's get metaphysical for a moment -- what are they, really?

Is it just when you incorporate all prior allegations into each count, or is there something "more" to a shotgun pleading?

Perhaps something essential to its shotgun nature, something at its core that screams: this complaint is a mess.

Judge Marra weighs in on this interesting philosophical debate:
The Court begins by noting that the Amended Complaint does not constitute a shotgun pleading. Indeed, in those cases, it is “virtually impossible to know which allegations of fact are intended to support which claim(s) for relief.” Anderson v. District Board of Trustees of Central Florida Community College, 77 F.3d 364,366 (11th 1996). Although several counts of the Amended Complaint do incorporate by reference all of the preceding allegations, the Court finds the claims are sufficiently definite to enable Defendant to know with what it is charged and to enable Defendant to respond to the allegations.
For goodness sakes nobody tell Judge Tjoflat!

(BTW here is the back story on that amazing photo.)


  1. I think you're on to something, SFL, and Judge Marra was probably correct on this one. The term "shotgun complaint" is really just a term for a complaint that contains a hodgepodge of allegations that aren't organized in any particular way and that makes it nearly impossible to determine what claims the plaintiff is making and therefore makes it difficult if not impossible for the defendant to intelligently respond. A common feature of a shotgun complaint is the incorporation of all prior allegations into each count. Especially when counts proceed on different or alternative theories, this can present problems. But in a case like this one -- which appears to be a run-of-the-mill FLSA action -- the concerns that Judge Tjoflat often raises are probably simply not present. Rules 7 through 10 govern pleadings and, as with most other things in the law, we should be hesitant about applying too heavy of a judicial gloss to any of them.

  2. Spencer's WorldApril 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Rank amateur. You should see pleadings moi. Indeed much of it is en Francis.

  3. Shumie doome doome doobie doo. Shumie shum shum shum shunie shum shum.

  4. Everybody who knows anything knows the only acceptable shumie song is "shumie shumie cocopuffs, shumie shumie shumie"

  5. Speaking of the Shumster I went to REN last night. Thursday night is college night at REN. As a single male, I can only say it is well worth the trip.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

My Kind of Federal Judge!

Sure we have Scott Rothstein and his lovely Tom James clothier Romina Sifuentes, but Louisiana has ED LA judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr.:
A federal judge from Louisiana who had run up big gambling debts routinely solicited money and gifts from lawyers with cases before his court, Congressional investigators said Tuesday as the House opened impeachment hearings in the judge’s case. The judge, G. Thomas Porteous Jr. of Federal District Court, had more than $150,000 in credit card debt by 2000, mostly for cash advances spent in casinos, investigators said. Judge Porteous’s requests for cash became so frequent that one New Orleans lawyer said he started trying to dodge the judge.“He began to use excuses that he needed it for tuition, he needed it for living expenses,” the lawyer, Robert Creely, told a House Judiciary Committee task force. “I would avoid him until I couldn’t avoid him anymore.”
Mr. Creely said he and his law partner, Jacob Amato, gave Judge Porteous an estimated $20,000 o…

Honoring Richard C. Seavey

I drank a shit-ton of bourbon last night. Enough to float a battleship.

My head hurts. But not as much as my heart.

We lost another lawyer over the weekend. Not someone who will receive facebook accolades and other public claims of friendship and statements that he shaped and changed lives and careers. Just a guy who did the best he could with what he had. Every day. And he did very, very well to be the best person he could be. 
Richard Seavey was a profoundly private person. In his 49 years, he walked through more than his share of trials and tribulations, mostly asking for no help, leaning on no one. 

Richard was a fantastic lawyer. He could try a case. He could "litigate" a case. He could mediate and settle a case. He was nuanced. He bent but never broke. The blustery Miami lawyer never scared him. To the contrary, he found humor in it, studying it like a science project. Richard never got too high or too low. He was good at lawyering, but you got the f…

First Carnival Triumph Lawsuit on File!

It was filed in the SD FL (of course) and is pending before Judge Graham.

Check it out here.

The lawyer on the pleading is Marcus R. Spagnoletti.