Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary
A document used to submit a legal contention or argument to a court. A brief typically sets out the facts of the case and a party’s argument as to why she should prevail. These arguments must be supported by legal authority and precedent, such as statutes, regulations and previous court decisions. Although it is usually possible to submit a brief to a trial court (called a trial brief), briefs are most commonly used as a central part of the appeal process (an appellate brief). But don’t be fooled by the name — briefs are usually anything but brief, as pointed out by writer Franz Kafka, who defined a lawyer as “a person who writes a 10,000-word decision and calls it a brief.”
A brief is the written legal argument which states the legal reasons and arguments for various petitions and motions before the court to counter the arguments of opposing counsel. In a personal injury claim, the legal brief outlines reasons for the judge to rule in favour of a certain party or why the judge should grant a motion. A brief that accompanies a motion may also be known as a legal memorandum or a memorandum of law.
Additionally, if the verdict is going to be appealed each party will construct a brief which is filed with the appellate court. Briefs are also filed if a case is going before the United States Supreme court. These briefs include merits briefs and amicus briefs. Merits briefs include the arguments involved in the case and explain why the court should find in favour of one party.
Within the brief, there should be a caption including the name of the court, the title of the action, the file number and names of the parties. Next, there should be a preliminary statement identifying the party submitting the brief and information informing the court why relief is requested. There should be records to support the facts of the case and the facts should not be misrepresented. Next, the strongest arguments of the case should be presented first. Next, acknowledge the counter-arguments and explain why the case is different. Finally, the brief should be concluded by telling the court what the party is requesting for relief.
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This glossary post was last updated: 26th April, 2020 | 2 Views.