Amicus Curiae Briefs

“[A]micus briefs offer social movements a means to participate in the judiciary, thus potentially increasing its democratic responsiveness.”

Collins, The Use of Amicus Briefs, 14 Annu. Rev. Law Soc. Sci. 219, 220 (2018).

Purpose of the Amicus Brief

Amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs are a powerful tool that allow interest groups and other entities to meaningfully participate in litigation even when they are not a direct party to the dispute. Through these briefs, an interested stakeholder can present courts with new or alternative legal positions, social scientific and factual information, and perspectives regarding the policy implications of their potential decision. Collins, supra. This is typically done for the purpose of attempting to persuade the courts to endorse a particular outcome in the case Id.

History of the Amicus Brief

Although amicus curiae briefs are most commonly associated with American courts, and the US Supreme Court in particular, they can be found in legal systems across the globe. Collins and McCarthy, Friends and interveners: interest group litigation in a comparative context, 5 J. Law & Courts 55-80 (2017). In fact, the amicus curiae seems to have its origins in Roman law. Collins, supra at 220 (internal citations omitted). This practice of having nonparties to a case provide the court with information was later adopted in English courts and eventually spread to both civil and common law systems as well as international judiciaries.

Amicus Brief Writing

Top-notch research skills and writing eloquent, powerful, and driven arguments is the necessary combination to get the court’s attention where there are sometimes dozens of competing amicus curiae briefs in a case, each of which may be clamouring for a different outcome.

Amicus Brief Wrangling

When representing a party to an appeal, not only must the attorney know the legal issues and the best arguments to make, but he or she must also know how to inform similarly situated stakeholders of the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation.

Attorney Carson J. Tucker has been procuring and writing amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court, State Supreme Courts, Federal Courts of Appeals and Lower Court, Administrative Agencies and other tribunals for over a decade. Let Lex Fori PLLC assist you in navigating your organization through this process or call us if you would like to discuss our strategic plans for your particular case.