Legal Dictionary

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Amicus Curiae

Amicus Curiae is the Latin term for “friends of the court.” This label is given to a person or group of people, government and/or corporation who have a strong interest in the matter at issue in the case. Amicus Curiae briefs are filed at the appellate court level with the objective of supporting the party whose argument best aligns with their own.

For example, if at the defendant's child abuse trial, the prosecution successfully kept the child victim from having to testify in court, on appeal, the defendant might argue that it violated his 6th Amendment right to confront and cross examine witnesses against him. Men'sStuff, a father's rights organization that supports men who have been accused of child abuse, would be the kind of organization that would file an Amicus Curiae brief on his behalf.