American Bar Association
Criminal Justice Section: Amicus Practice Committee

Criminal Justice Section:
Amicus Practice Committee

About The Committee

The Committee reviews requests that the Section seek ABA Board of Governors approval for amicus curiae briefs filed on behalf of the Association on issues related to criminal law. Factors considered when making a recommendation to the Section leadership concern the importance of the issue, the existence of relevant ABA policy, the appropriateness of ABA amicus participation in the court where the issue is currently being heard, specific contributions that ABA amicus participation would make over and beyond the arguments of the parties, and the quality of the proposed brief.


The Amicus Committee will make every effort to respond to the increasing number of requests for Criminal Justice Section applications for ABA amicus briefs. The Committee is also monitoring pending Petitions for Certiorari and noting cases where the ABA might want to file a brief. As it has in the past, the Committee will consider such requests in light of the importance of the issue and its significance to lawyers, the legal profession or compelling public interest; applicable ABA policy; the court in which the case is pending; the timeline for submission of the brief; and identification of a qualified brief writer.

Based on its review, the Committee will make recommendations to the Section Council or its Executive Committee. Upon Section approval and to the extent necessary and appropriate, the Committee will assist in drafting the application to the ABA Standing Committee on Amicus Curiae Briefs and, if the application is approved by the Board of Governors, in editing the draft brief.

Recent Briefs

Recent ABA amicus briefs initiated or supported by the Criminal Justice Section are listed below. For descriptions of these briefs, click here

For copies of the individual briefs, click on the individual listings.

Halbert v. Michigan

House v. Bell

Virginia v. Moore

Woodford v. Ngo

Books From Our Committee



    Becker, Erin
    Dwyer, Mark
    Green, Bruce
    Little, Rory

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    Modified by Kyo Suh on October 21, 2016

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