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Amicus Curiae

Amicus Curiae

Amicus curiae is a Latin term meaning “friend of the court.” An amicus curiae is not a party to the lawsuit but is a person or group that has a strong interest in the matter being litigated. The function of an amicus curiae is to bring to the court’s attention law, facts, or circumstances in the pending lawsuit that might not otherwise be discussed by the parties to the lawsuit. An amicus curiae’s intent is to influence the court’s decision.

Federal court rules provide that an amicus brief may be filed only if all parties give written consent, if the court grants leave to file an amicus brief, or if the court requests the filing of an amicus brief. A brief is a legal memorandum presenting legal arguments on the questions raised by the lawsuit. Generally, amicus curiae participation occurs at the appellate level where questions of law are in dispute. With the court’s permission, an amicus curiae can also argue the case and introduce evidence. However, such permission is rarely granted.

Amicus curiae are frequently given permission to file briefs in cases involving a matter of public interest. For example, many groups were allowed to file amicus curiae briefs in a 2004 United States Supreme Court case involving a constitutional challenge to a school district’s policy of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which contained the words “under God.” One amicus curiae brief was filed on behalf of 32 named Christian and Jewish clergy and the Unitarian Universal Association, a religious organization. The brief argued that the Pledge violated the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment by imposing religious beliefs on children whose parents taught other beliefs.

In the landmark 1973 abortion case, Roe v. Wade, a large number of medical groups, such as Planned Parenthood and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, religious organizations, pro-choice groups, and pro-life organizations were granted permission to file amicus curiae briefs.

Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.

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Donald W. Hudspeth
Principal Attorney

Attorney Donald W. Hudspeth has more than twenty years’ experience practicing corporate and business law. Before attending law school, Mr. Hudspeth held a stock brokers license at the age of 21 and owned his own business at the age of 23. He was a business law professor at Arizona State University, West Campus, and has conducted classes and seminars for a number of higher institutions and organizations. Mr. Hudspeth has published two books on law and is the founder of the radio programs Law on the Edge and Law Talk.

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Brian K. Stanley
Of Counsel

Attorney Brian K. Stanley has more than thirty years' experience practicing corporate and business law. Brian also worked for Sandra Day O'Connor in 1976-1977; Formerly with the Phoenix firm of Jones, Hunter & Lerch as of the dissolution of that firm in 1979. (Also Member, Law Office of Brian K. Stanley, PLLC).

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Janae A. Perry-Meier

Janae Perry-Meier is a business and commercial law attorney focusing on international business. Janae handles both transactional and litigation matters, including: forming your business, drafting your contracts, franchising, business disputes, business divorce, mergers and acquisitions, private placements, securities compliance, and corporate governance. Janae also handles trademark registration, office action responses, and infringement cases.

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Michael David Malin

Michael Malin has been a practicing attorney in Arizona since 2013. He has represented clients through all stages of litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Michael litigated cases involving professional negligence, insurance bad faith, dram shop liability, personal injury and wrongful death, Indian law, probate, and criminal matters. Before attending law school, he worked for several startup companies in the then-nascent field of smartphone and tablet application development.

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Isabel Gram
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Isabel Gram is an experienced business attorney who has represented hundreds of Arizona companies over the last 12 years. She specializes in  supporting businesses in all legal aspects of their operations, providing advice in the areas of complex commercial contracts, business sales and  acquisitions, intellectual property, employment law matters and business disputes.

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