Amicus Curiae Brief Committee Overview
The Amicus Curiae Brief Committee of the Wisconsin Association for Justice is dedicated to fulfilling the mission of WAJ – seeking to protect the rights of all Wisconsin citizens and serving as an advocate for the trial bar profession. WAJ works to promote a fair and effective justice system—one that ensures justice for all, not just a privileged few. To this end, the Association monitors trial court and appellate decisions and submits amicus curiae briefs in significant matters of concern to our members and the people of the State of Wisconsin.
While members of WAJ or non-WAJ members of the plaintiffs’ bar are free to ask for the assistance of the ACC in a pending appeal, no WAJ member or plaintiffs’ counsel has the right to the assistance of the ACC. Any decision to participate in an appeal will be based on the criteria developed by the ACC and will result only after deliberations and a vote of the ACC.
Amicus Executive Committee:
- Co-Chair, Lynn R. Laufenberg, Milwaukee
- Co-Chair, D. James Weis, Rhinelander
- Jesse B. Blocher, Waukesha
- Michael Cerjak, Milwaukee
- William C. Gleisner, III, Milwaukee
- Martha H. Heidt, River Falls
- Robert L. Jaskulski, Milwaukee
- Mark L. Thomsen, Brookfield
- Susan R. Tyndall, Waukesha
- Peter M. Young, Wausau
If you seek the assistance of WAJ’s Amicus Curiae Committee, please contact Jim Rogers:
“Classical Participation as an amicus to brief and argue as a friend of the court was, and continues to be a privilege within ‘the sound discretion of the courts,’ see Northern Sec. Co. v. United States, 191 U.S. 555, 24 S.Ct. 119, 48 L.Ed. 299 (1903); 4 Am.Jur.2d, Am.Cur § 4 at 113, depending on a finding that the proffered information of amicus is timely, useful or otherwise necessary to the administration of justice.”
United States v. State of Mich., 940 F.2d 143, 165 (6th Cir. 1991).
“If a case has broad importance- for instance, if it is in an emerging area of law or an area in which controlling case law is not in harmony or is nonexistent - an amicus brief can offer economic, social science, or political data vital to an informed decision. Because an amicus has no immediate stake in the outcome, an amicus brings a tone of credibility that a party may not. Simply submitting an amicus brief may signal to the court that the case is significant and that the issues are larger than their impact on the particular litigants.”
Judge Neal Nettesheim & Clare Ryan, Friend of the Court Briefs: What the Curiae Wants in an Amicus, Wisconsin Lawyer, Vol. 80, No. 5 (May 2007).
“Some amicus briefs collect background or factual references that merit judicial notice. Some friends of the court are entities with particular expertise not possessed by any party to the case. Others argue points deemed too far-reaching for emphasis by a party intent on winning a particular case. Still others explain the impact a potential holding might have on an industry or other group.”
Neonatology Associates, P.A. v. C.I.R., 293 F.3d 128, 132 (3d Cir. 2002), quoting Luther T. Munford, When Does the Curiae Need An Amicus?, 1 J.App. Prac. & Process 279 (1999).