Specialty: Shaping The Law — Amicus Briefs

Specialty 3 of 3: Shaping The Law — Amicus Briefs and Prudent Settlements

Some cases are part of a broader effort to modify, secure, or otherwise shape a particular area of law.  It may make sense to file an amicus curiae brief to inform a federal appellate court about how a decision or holding will impact others not involved in the case.

One instance is when a legal issue is undecided, or open, in the given circuit and there is favorable law in another circuit that should be adopted (or, conversely, unfavorable law that should be rejected or distinguished).

Drafting an effective amicus brief requires an even higher level of objective detachment and legal synthesis ability.  For the reasons discussed, the federal courts generalist-specialist adds value.

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Shaping the law also means avoiding the creation of harmful law.  Consulting with a federal practice generalist — for a candid, objective risk assessment of the legal issues — helps inform the appeal-or-settle decision that certain cases require.

Such appeal-or-settle determinations are sometimes the best way trial counsel can avoid a judicial decision that, in a worst case scenario, might create or cement precedent that is disfavorable and long-lasting for a client or category of clients.

Here again, it can be a herculean task for trial counsel to properly prepare all of this while in the midst of litigation matters or a trial.  Accordingly, I provide not only brief and motion writing, but also efficient consulting and guidance services.  That way, when trial counsel needs to pivot to a crucial motion, or prepare an appeal, he or she can submit a persuasive filing with the rigorous, detached analysis that federal courts demand.

 

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