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Professional Legal Resource

Requesting an Animal Legal Defense Fund Amicus Curiae Brief

Thank you for your interest in having us file an amicus curiae (“friend-of-the-court”) brief.

For more than three decades, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has fought to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals through the legal system. To that end, the Animal Legal Defense Fund authors amicus briefs on a broad range of topics relevant to the animal protection movement, assisting state and federal courts across the country.

Criteria

The Animal Legal Defense Fund may participate in a case as amicus curiae if the case concerns an issue of substantial interest to the animal protection movement and filing an amicus brief is feasible.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund files an amicus brief only if we believe that we are able to represent our position more effectively than the parties or that we can provide perspective, expertise, or information that would not otherwise be available, or when the court may be interested in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s position on an issue. We will not submit a brief that simply repeats the arguments advanced by a party.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund authors amicus briefs in our name, and not in the name of a party or of another entity.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund files amicus briefs in both civil and criminal cases. Information about additional assistance with criminal prosecution may be found here. In some instances, we able to assist with aspects of litigation. For information about assistance with litigation, please contact our Pro Bono Program. However, please note that the Animal Legal Defense Fund generally does not fund litigation.

Your Obligations

The Animal Legal Defense Fund must comply with the court’s filing deadlines and the full process of filing an amicus brief may take months, so it is important that you request an amicus brief as early as possible. Before contacting us, please consult the court rules on the timing of amicus briefs to determine whether there is enough time to organize an amicus effort.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund often receives pro bono assistance with drafting and filing amicus briefs. Please attempt to locate an attorney who can help us with the requested amicus brief. At a minimum, please locate an attorney in your state who would file the brief and accompanying motion for leave to file the brief.

Requesting an Amicus Brief

To request an amicus brief, fill out our request form.

Process for Reviewing Requests

The Animal Legal Defense Fund regularly reviews completed requests for amicus briefs. Although we regrettably can’t respond to every request we receive due to volume, we may contact the requestor for additional information if we are able to do the amicus brief. The Animal Legal Defense Fund usually responds with a decision within fourteen days of receiving a request.

Questions?

If you have questions about the process of requesting or filing an amicus brief, please contact our Pro Bono Program.

Volunteer with The Animal Legal Defense Fund’s Amicus Program

If you are an attorney and are interested in helping us write amicus briefs, please fill out our application form.

Much of our amicus work is made possible by dedicated attorneys who volunteer their time and expertise. Thank you for your interest in using your legal skills to protect the lives and advance the interests of animals!

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