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 Ever since their adoption in 1938, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have required plaintiffs to plead claims rather than facts corresponding to the elements of a legal theory. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8. Old code-pleading and fact-pleading systems were abandoned. See Bartholet v. Reishauer A.G. (Zürich), 953 F.2d 1073 (7th Cir. 1992). Because complaints need not identify the applicable law, see Johnson v. Shelby, 135 S. Ct. 346, 190 L. Ed. 2d 309 (2014); Skinner v. Switzer, 562 U.S. 521, 530, 131 S. Ct. 1289, 179 L. Ed. 2d 233 (2011), it is manifestly inappropriate for a district court to demand that complaints contain all legal elements (or factors) plus facts corresponding to each.


It is enough to plead a plausible claim, after which 'a plaintiff 'receives the benefit of imagination, so long as the hypotheses are consistent with the complaint''. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 563, 127 S. Ct. 1955, 167 L. Ed. 2d 929 (2007) (citation omitted). A full description of the facts that will prove the plaintiff's claim comes later, at the summary-judgment stage or in the pretrial order. So both the Supreme Court and ...

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