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Strategic Use of Amicus Briefs in Appellate Advocacy

Drafting Effective Amicus Briefs; Soliciting and Coordinating Amici Curiae; Working With the Government as Amicus Curiae in Your Case

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, October 12, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide practical guidance to appellate attorneys, litigators and in-house litigation managers on the strategic use of amicus briefs in appellate advocacy. The panel will offer guidance on soliciting and coordinating amicus support, as well as insights and advice on writing amicus briefs and responding to the government when it appears as amicus curiae.


Amicus briefs are playing an increasingly influential role in the U.S. Supreme Court, at both the certiorari and merits stages, and in other federal or state court appeals. A properly prepared and truly persuasive amicus brief can expand, or add valuable perspective to, the parties’ legal arguments.

Amici also address the importance and impact of the questions presented to the court. This includes supporting a certiorari petition or other petition for review by explaining why review is important to the amicus curiae, the industry that it represents, and the public. But a “me too” amicus brief that merely replicates a party’s legal arguments fails in its mission to serve as a “friend of the court.”

Amicus counsel not only must be familiar with procedural requirements governing submission of amicus briefs, but also familiar with the style in which they should be written. And from the viewpoint of a party’s counsel, knowing when and how to solicit amicus support, and how to coordinate multiple amici to avoid duplicative or excessive briefs, is crucial.

Listen as our panel of experienced appellate attorneys discusses the tactical use of amicus briefs in appellate advocacy. The panel will offer a wealth of information on both amicus brief strategy and the art of drafting persuasive amicus briefs.



  1. Procedural requirements governing amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and other appellate courts
  2. Why, when and how to solicit and coordinate amicus support
  3. Elements of an effective amicus brief
  4. The government as amicus curiae


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What strategic considerations affect the decisions on whether to solicit and/or file amicus briefs?
  • What are the elements of an effective statement of interest?
  • What unique considerations should counsel consider at the discretionary review stage versus the merits stage?
  • How can appellate attorneys, trial counsel and in-house counsel most effectively team on preparation of amicus briefs?
  • What special issues are involved when the Solicitor General is invited by the U.S. Supreme Court to file an amicus brief on behalf of the United States? When state attorneys general file as amici curiae?


Ebner, Lawrence
Lawrence S. Ebner

Capital Appellate Advocacy

Mr. Ebner is an accomplished appellate advocate, strategist, and analyst. He has authored dozens of amicus briefs for...  |  Read More

Rothrock, Averil
Averil Rothrock

Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt

Ms. Rothrock focuses her practice on appellate law, including motion practice, appellate brief writing and oral...  |  Read More

Sungaila, Mary-Christine
Mary-Christine (M.C.) Sungaila

Haynes & Boone

Ms. Sungaila briefs and argues appeals raising cutting-edge and core business issues, and helps secure important...  |  Read More

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