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Amicus Curiae

Definition - What does Amicus Curiae mean?

Amicus Curiae, Latin for “friend of the court,” include all parties who have a strong interest in a case and offer legal opinions, testimony, or an amicus brief to the court.

What does the Amicus Curiae do?

The Amicus Curiae can introduce legal issues to the court, broadening the issues considered by the court. Specifically, the court can now consider more legal effects than those concerned with the parties involved in a case.

Those who most often file Amicus Curiae briefs include industries, companies, or legal advocacy groups who have large legal budgets and want to advocate for changes or interpretations for certain issues.

Groups which have acted in this capacity over the last twenty years within the United States include the American Center for Law and Justice, Landmark Legal Foundation, Pacific Legal Foundation, American Civil Liberties Union, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Filing Amicus Curiae briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court

Amicus Curiae briefs can also be filed with the United States Supreme Court for cases which are scheduled to be heard. Briefs must cover “relevant matter not dealt with by the parties which may be of considerable help.” Briefs must list who it is supporting the brief and whether the brief is arguing for a reversal or affirmance of the court’s decisions.

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