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How to Cite an Amicus Brief


An amicus curiae brief, or amicus brief, is a legal opinion from someone outside a court case who is offering advice to the court about the case. Amicus briefs require proper citations to direct readers to the correct documents. Many law schools and most federal courts in the United States follow the style guidelines of "The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation" when citing legal documents such as amicus briefs.

Identify the amicus curiae, the "friend of the court," who authored the opinion.

Find the page number of the amicus brief in the reported decision.

Identify the properly abbreviated name of the case, reporter, volume and page number where the decision begins, and the year the case was decided.

List the citation as follows: Brief for the SEC as Amicus Curiae, p. 19, Wilko v. Swan, 346 U.S. 427 (1953). Here, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed the amicus curiae brief, which appears on page 19 of the case abbreviated "Wilko v. Swan." The opinion was published in the United States Reports, volume 346, beginning on page 427. The case was decided in 1953.

Items you will need
Published court decision
Amicus brief
About the Author

Emily Jarvis is a graduate of University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism. Her articles have appeared in "Southern Distinction Magazine" and "The Red & Black." Jarvis holds a Bachelor of Arts in magazine journalism and a Master of Arts in journalism.

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