brief

(redirected from briefs)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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 periodicals archive ?
The brief asserts that "if she were a cat or dog, her death by starvation and dehydration would not be tolerated.
The brief argues that "the human being who is partially outside the mother's body is a person entitled to the equal protection of the law" under both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.
The ACLJ brief states: "The central premise of the federal partial-birth statute is the defense of the border against the encroachment of abortion into infanticide.
J]udges have heavy caseloads and therefore need to minimize extraneous reading; amicus briefs, often solicited by parties, may be used to make an end run around court-imposed limitations on the length of parties' briefs; the time and other resources required for the preparation and study of, and response to, amicus briefs drive up the cost of litigation; and the filing of an amicus brief is often an attempt to inject interest group politics into the federal appeals process.
United States are likely to draw a significant number of amicus briefs.
The WallBuilders' brief makes a rather unusual argument.
Consistent with its general advocacy policy, the Institute will not lend its name to briefs prepared by others or prepare "me too" briefs that do not address the merits of the case but rather only parrot the views of others.
Blue-and-red bra, pounds 17, and briefs, pounds 11, Additions (0845 3040008)C cupPink frilly bra, pounds 16, and briefs, pounds 6, George @ Asda (0500 100055)
ACC started the switch from paper briefs and wooden, pull-out display boards to SMART Board interactive whiteboards and SMART Board for Flat-Panel Displays interactive overlays in 1999.
At Ease[R] SUPRA Adult Disposable Briefs from Hospital Specialty Co.
The 100th issue provides an historical overview of the briefs and categorizes the first 99 issues by research area.