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What Is an Amicus Brief?

Amicus Curiae is a Latin phrase translating to “friend of the court”. This term refers to an individual or entity that is not directly involved in a court case, but shows a strong interest in it. A party considered to be amicus curiae may petition the court to file a document that can be used to elucidate the current court case. As such, an amicus brief is a document filed by an amicus curiae.

An Amicus brief may contain any kind of document that may support one of the parties involved in the court case, usually this document not only supports the defendant or plaintiff but the position of the amicus curiae as well. The information provided in the amicus brief can be used by the judge and jury to evaluate the case. Given the influence it can have over the result of a court case, an amicus brief can be entered into the official case record.

When an amicus brief is filed in court, the court has the option to reject or accept it. Whether or not it is accepted depends on a variety of factors, including its relevancy to court case and the credibility of the information presented. If it is rejected, it is not entered into the official case record and cannot be used to evaluate any piece of information related to the court case. If it is accepted, the information presented in the amicus brief can be used by the judge and jury to deliberate the outcome of the case.

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