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Amicus Curiae Committee
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Amicus Curiae Committee

The MDLA Amicus Curiae Committee will consider requests for the MDLA to appear as amicus curiae in cases where the legal issue on appeal will be of substantial interest to the MDLA and its members. We normally will only appear in the Minnesota Supreme Court or Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, cases except in rare circumstances where a Minnesota Court of Appeals appearance may be appropriate.

The mission of the MDLA is to serve the needs of lawyers engaging in the defense and trial of civil disputes. Toward that end, the Amicus Curiae Committee considers the following criteria in assessing a request for amicus participation:

  1. Issues of statewide importance in which the defense bar has an interest;
  2. Cases at the Supreme Court level rather than intermediate appellate court;
  3. Cases in which the playing field has been inappropriately tilted in favor of plaintiffs.

Please be aware that MDLA typically does not get involved in insurance coverage issues, which may be more appropriate for involvement by the Minnesota Insurance Federation. An exception may be made in an appropriate case.

The procedure for requesting consideration of an amicus appearance is as follows:

The requesting lawyer should send an e-mail to the Chair of the Amicus Committee (see below), briefly explaining the nature of the case, the legal issue involved, and a reasoned statement of why the MDLA should be interested in appearing amicus curiae in the case. The e-mail should be relatively short and should specifically state the pertinent deadline dates for the appeal (see, e.g., Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 129).

The e-mail should attach copies of the order or opinion appealed from and any other materials from the case that would be helpful to the Amicus Curiae Committee in deciding whether to recommend an amicus appearance (e.g., excerpts from briefs on the pertinent legal issues, etc.).

It is beneficial to send a request for participation as soon as possible. Typically, the Committee would like to be in a position to consider involvement during the PFR stage, as MDLA involvement at this stage could signal a case as one for which the Supreme Court should accept review. In any event, because a request to file an amicus brief must be filed with the court within 15 days after the PFR is accepted, be aware that time is of the essence.

In addition, it is very helpful if the requesting attorney can identify an individual who may write the brief on behalf of MDLA. Requests for which the requesting attorney has already identified a writer are more likely to be granted.

After the Amicus Committee members have reviewed the materials from the requesting lawyer, they will communicate with each other by e-mail and decide whether to recommend an amicus appearance. That decision will be promptly communicated to the requesting lawyer.

Committee Chair:

Louise Behrendt
Meagher & Geer
Louise Behrendt

Board Liaison:
Tammy M. Reno
Stich, Angell, Kreidler, Unke & Scattergood, P.A.

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