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Amicus Briefs Resources

Amicus Announcements

Treatises

Massachusetts Court Rules

Like other court filings, the format, contents, and timing of the filing of amicus briefs are governed by court rules.  The following is a list of rules you should consider when filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Judicial Court or the Appeals Court in Massachusetts. Annotated versions of these court rules can be found on Lexis Advance and Westlaw.  Also, some legal rules are derived from case law, e.g. disclosure requirements, so review the suggested treatises for other requirements.  For example, see Appellate Practice in Massachusetts § 17.3.4 for a discussion of the case law in Massachusetts on the disclosure requirements for an amicus.

Massachusetts Rules of Appellate Procedure

 

Rule 16. Briefs

Rule 17. Amicus Curiae
Rule 19. Filing and Serving of Briefs and Motions
Rule 20. Form of Briefs, Appendices, and Other Papers

Supreme Judicial Court Rules & Orders

Supreme Judicial Court Order Regarding Electronic Filing Pilot Projects
Interim Electronic Filing Rules for Pilot Courts
Note:  Although these orders were issued by the SJC, they would be applicable to cases in the Massachusetts Appeals Court, which allows for the filing of briefs in civil cases as part of this pilot. See Appeals Court E-Filing Guidance and Updates for more information about e-filing in this court.

Appeals Court Rules & Orders (applicable for filings in the Massachusetts Appeals Court)

Rules and Standing Order Governing Electronic Filing
Registration for E-Filing through eFileMA.com Generally

Supreme Judicial Court Records and Briefs

  • Access: Freely available on the web; updated nightly
  • Coverage: complete information on cases entered since January 1, 1992 in the SJC. May contain some information on older cases that were active when the conversion to the automated system occurred.
  • Filings: Most briefs filed since September 2007 are available in PDF from the case docket
  • Access: requires password; all BC Law students can register for Bloomberg Law passwords using their BC email addresses
  • Coverage: 2009-October 2019
  • Filings: click the hyperlinked number next to a document entry to access filings; if the document is not immediately available, you can request it, but note that filings are often not available on Massachusetts state dockets

Westlaw Dockets

  • Coverage: 2000-October 2019
  • Filings: where available on Westlaw, they are provided on the Filings tab above the docket sheet. 
  • Note: be sure to check currency information at the top of the docket; if necessary, click the Update button. BC Law's subscription covers updating, if available