How to submit an amicus brief in the USA
This page is about the rules and formalities for submitting a valid brief. For help writing an effective brief, see our list of examples of good amicus briefs.
Rules and procedures
For "type-volume" limiations, see Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32 and Federal Circuit Rule 32.
Deadlines: There's no fixed amount of time, it depends on when the parties file their briefs, and the court has to make some decisions too. For Bilksi, I think we had the maximum, and it was four months. Certiorari was granted on 1 June and briefs were in by 1 October.
As a citizen or via a lawyer?
Ordinary citizens can submit amicus briefs, but the procedure is a little more complicated and the deadline falls a little bit earlier.
If the brief is submitted by a lawyer who is admitted to the bar of the court in question, the procedure is simpler.
Info to gather
- Dates, timelines, where to find this info for a particular case
Related pages on ESP Wiki
- US Supreme Court
- US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- USA patent courts and appeals
- Examples of good amicus briefs
- SFLC blog entry about the software they use when drafting: Innovation in Practice, 11 Apr 2014, SFLC