Amicus Procedures

The WBA requires at least one week’s notice (7 calendar days) from any individual or organization requesting that WBA sign on to a brief. We must review a draft of any brief before determining whether to sign on. The draft must be received at least three business days before the WBA’s sign on is required.

Following receipt of a brief, it is reviewing by the Amicus Committee, which then makes a recommendation to the Board of Directors for the final decision regarding whether to sign on. 

If you have a brief for consideration, email amicus@wbadc.org.

WBA endeavors to sign on to  amicus briefs in cases reflecting and advancing our mission: Maintaining the honor and integrity of the profession; promoting the administration of justice; advancing and protecting the interests of women lawyers; promoting their mutual improvement; and encouraging a spirit of friendship among our members.

We will endeavor to sign on to briefs that address a significant policy issue of likely interest to the WBA membership that is unlikely to be fully addressed by the parties.
 
WBA focuses on cases in the Supreme Court of the United States and the state supreme courts, but considers submitting or endorsing amicus briefs in the federal courts of appeals where they raise matters of substantial importance. WBA usually files or joins an amicus brief only when an appeal is to be heard on the merits, but may file or join a brief in support of or in opposition to a petition for leave to appeal or certiorari when that is deemed appropriate.
 
In practice, the cases most likely to capture WBA’s sign on will directly implicate the rights and interests of women. However, WBA will also consider endorsement in cases indirectly advancing and protecting the interests of women by promoting the administration of justice in a manner that might be extended to advance and protect the interests of women and women lawyers.
 
In order to promote the mutual improvement of our members and encourage a spirit of friendship among them, in considering whether to endorse a brief, WBA will consider whether a brief’s arguments are directly professionally adverse to a subgroup of WBA’s membership, as well as the likelihood that a position taken in briefing will result in a substantial split amongst the active WBA membership. To facilitate these goals, WBA-DC will endeavor to endorse briefs that emphasize a historical, cultural, sociological, or economic perspective on the treatment and experiences of women rather than briefs expressly endorsing or rejecting an argument for expanding or contracting legal liability, although the latter shall not necessarily be disqualified from WBA’s consideration when appropriate.

Ultimately WBA will consider all of the following in determining whether to endorse a brief: (1) the case presents a significant issue implicating WBA’s mission; (2) the brief would not result in a substantial split amongst the active WBA membership; (3) the brief is well-written, accurately portrays the law, is logically coherent, and does not merely repeat the arguments made by the parties; and (4) sufficient time was provided for WBA to review and approve the brief.