The Amicus Brief: An Efficient And Elegant Public Policy Tool

February 22, 2021Analysis
For The Defense

In its most recent issue, For The Defense published an article by Dinsmore partner Richik Sarkar’s called "The Amicus Brief: An Efficient And Elegant Public Policy Tool." The article examines how, when properly employed, an amicus brief can be the best tool to effect lasting change for the benefit of the amicus and similar parties, industries, and legal interests. An excerpt is below.


The use of amicus briefs to spur public policy changes has historically made good sense. Rather than navigate the complicated process of legislative change, when an appropriate opportunity presents itself, parties can also advocate for change before the appropriate appellate court. Convincing the majority of an appellate panel of the virtue of a particular public policy solution is, perhaps, a more elegant path than attempting to coerce and cajole a federal or state legislature.

Of course, that is easier said than done. First, an appropriate case with a good set of facts must present itself. Next, the right amici must have its own voice. Most importantly, the amicus brief must clearly and simply explain to the court the potential ramifications of a potentially myopic decision that focuses solely on the parties before the court and ignores other stakeholders by adding or supplementing, not duplicating, information or arguments.


Click above to download a PDF of the article, or here to read the full text in For The Defense.