Legal definition of amicus curiae
General Civil Litigation Legal Terminology

amicus curiae

1
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.
2
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)
Source: FEDERAL RULES OF APPELLATE PROCEDURE. website
3
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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