Legal definition of amicus curiae
General Civil Litigation Legal Terminology

amicus curiae

stands for Latin "friend of the court". In many cases involving public interest court invites a person or an organization to provide an impartial view on the issue and help the court to come to a just decision. Such person or organization files a brief in amicus curiae supporting one of the party's position. Brief in amicus curiae is submitted by a non-party to a lawsuit, and both parties to a lawsuit must consent such a brief. Public advocacy groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Center for Law and Justice, National Right to Life Committee, frequently submit amicus curiae briefs.
Only United States or its officer or agency or a state may file an amicus-curiae brief without the consent of the parties or leave of court. (Rule 29, FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE)
One of the most notable cases, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), had more then 40 amicus curiae briefs submitted to the court.
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