brief


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Brief

A summary of the important points of a longer document. An abstract of a published judicial opinion prepared by a law student as part of an assignment in the Case Method study of law. A written document drawn up by an attorney for a party in a lawsuit or by a party himself or herself appearing pro se that concisely states the following: (1) issues of a lawsuit; (2) facts that bring the parties to court; (3) relevant laws that can affect the subject of the dispute; and (4) arguments that explain how the law applies to the particular facts so that the case will be decided in the party's favor.

A brief may also contain a synopsis of the evidence and name the witnesses to be presented during the trial. Copies of briefs must be submitted to the court where the case will be heard and to the opposing party.

An appellate brief is a writing that must be filed with an appellate court so that the court may evaluate whether the decision of the lower court should be reversed because of some error or impropriety that occurred during the trial. A statement of the issues presented for review, a summary of how pertinent laws affect the facts, and a statement of the relief being requested are essential elements of an appellate brief. The appellee's brief will argue that the lower court acted properly in its judgment and request its affirmance, while the appellant's brief will attempt to convince the court to reverse or vacate the lower court's judgment because it acted improperly.

See also the Milestones in the Law and Appendix volumes for examples.

brief

1) n. a written legal argument, usually in a format prescribed by the courts, stating the legal reasons for the suit based on statutes, regulations, case precedents, legal texts, and reasoning applied to facts in the particular situation. A brief is submitted to lay out the argument for various petitions and motions before the court (sometimes called "points and authorities"), to counter the arguments of opposing lawyers, and to provide the judge or judges with reasons to rule in favor of the party represented by the brief writer. Occasionally on minor or follow-up legal issues, the judge will specify that a letter or memorandum brief will be sufficient. On appeals and certain other major arguments, the brief is bound with color-coded covers stipulated in state and/or federal court rules. Ironically, although the term was originally intended to mean a brief or summary argument (shorter than an oral presentation), legal briefs are quite often notoriously long. 2) v. to summarize a precedent case or lay out in writing a legal argument. Attentive law students "brief" each case in their casebooks, which means extracting the rule of law, the reasoning (rationale), the essential facts, and the outcome. 3) to give a summary of important information to another person. (See: precedent)

brief

adjective abbreviated, abridged, aphoristic, bare, brisk, close, cometary, compact, compendious, compressed, concise, condensed, contracted, cursory, cut short, elliptical, ephemeral, epigrammatic, epitomized, exact, fading, fleeting, hasty, hurried, laconic, limited, meteoric, momentary, not protracted, passing, pithy, precise, quick, reduced, sententious, short, short-term, slight, small, sparing of words, speedy, succinct, sudden, summarized, summary, swift, temporary, to the point, transient, transitory, trenchant, unprolonged, volatile
Associated concepts: brief description, brief statement, brief summary

brief

noun abridgment, account, argument, capsule, compendium, condensation, conspectus, depiction, digest, extract, legal abstract, legal document, legal epitome, legal memorandum, memorandum, memorandum of law, outline, outline on the law, profile, representation, sketch, statement of the case, summary, summary on the law, synopsis, thumbnail sketch, vignette
Associated concepts: amicus curiae, appellate brief, brief of evidence, points and authorities, reply brief, responsive brief
See also: abridgment, abstract, account, apprise, capsule, compact, compendium, concise, cursory, digest, direct, disabuse, dossier, edify, educate, ephemeral, impart, indicate, inform, instruct, laconic, memorandum, minimal, note, notify, outline, paraphrase, pithy, report, restatement, scenario, succinct, summary, synopsis, temporary, transient, transitory, volatile

brief

1 in England, the papers given to a barrister to conduct a case or the act of instructing.
2 colloquially, a barrister.
3 (US) a document submitted to a court in support of a case.

It usually involves a history of the case in question and presents arguments and authority.

BRIEF, eccl. law. The name of a kind of papal rescript. Briefs are writings sealed with wax, and differ in this respect from bulls, (q. v.) which are scaled with lead. They are so called, because they usually are short compendious writings. Ayl. Parerg. 132. See Breve.

BRIEF, practice. An abridged statement of a party's case.
     2. It should contain : 1st. A statement of the names of the parties, and of their residence and occupation, the character in which they sue and are sued, and wherefore they prosecute or resist the action. 2d. An abridgment of all the pleadings. 3d. A regular, chronological, and methodical statement of the facts in plain common language. 4th. A summary of the points or questions in issue, and of the proof which is to support such issues, mentioning specially the names of the witnesses by which the facts are to be proved, or if there be written evidence, an abstract of such evidence. 5th. The personal character of the witnesses should be mentioned; whether the moral character is good or bad, whether they are naturally timid or over-zealous, whether firm or wavering. 6th. If known, the evidence of the opposite party, and such facts as are adapted to oppose, confute, or repel it. Perspicuity and conciseness are the most desirable qualities of a brief, but when the facts are material they cannot be too numerous when the argument is pertinent and weighty, it cannot be too extended.
     3. Brief is also used in the sense of breve. (q. v.)

References in classic literature ?
Yes, brief and rapid as our glance at each other had been, I had fancied in her eyes a momentary kindling as they met mine, a warm summer- lightning which seemed for a second to light up for me the inner heaven of her soul.
In that sad place, By Mary's grace, Brief may thy dwelling be Till prayers and alms, And holy psalms, Shall set the captive free.
In ten minutes more the dictation was complete, and, having allowed a brief space in which to correct it, I took their books; it was with a reluctant hand Mdlle.
Amid frequent and thoughtful endeavors to remember; amid earnest struggles to regather some token of the state of seeming nothingness into which my soul had lapsed, there have been moments when I have dreamed of success; there have been brief, very brief periods when I have conjured up remembrances which the lucid reason of a later epoch assures me could have had reference only to that condition of seeming unconsciousness.
We shall here close this brief explanation of the history and character of some of our personages leaving them in future to speak and act for themselves.
Very well, monsieur, but let your remarks be brief.
While the epic mania, while the idea that to merit in poetry prolixity is indispensable, has for some years past been gradually dying out of the public mind, by mere dint of its own absurdity, we find it succeeded by a heresy too palpably false to be long tolerated, but one which, in the brief period it has already endured, may be said to have accomplished more in the corruption of our Poetical Literature than all its other enemies combined.
We had your brief note three weeks ago announcing that it had taken place," said Mrs Clare, "and your father sent your godmother's gift to her, as you know.
One prisoner of fifteen years had scratched verses upon his walls, and brief prose sentences--brief, but full of pathos.
Here we held a brief conference, in which it was decided that our only hope now lay in making for the opposite end of the island as quickly as we could, and utilizing the boat that I had hidden there, to con-tinue our journey to the mainland.
Tarzan spent the two following weeks renewing his former brief acquaintance with Paris.
A very brief examination of the interior convinced him that he was indeed alone.

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