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AMICUS BRIEFS POLICY


I. GENERAL AMICUS POLICIES

A. The CWBA shall participate as an amicus only when such participation furthers one or more of the stated purposes of the organization.

Section III of the CWBA’s Bylaws (“Purpose”) provides that the purposes of the organization are as follows:

To provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and legal skills, and for continuing legal education; to encourage the advancement of women in the law. To promote the highest standards of the legal profession; to advance justice; to promote, advance, and protect the interests and welfare of women; and to pursue these goals through appropriate legal, social, and political action.

B. The CWBA’s amicus activities shall comply with its Bylaws.

Section VI(A) of the CWBA’s Bylaws (“Board of Directors”) provides:

The affairs of this Association shall be directed by the Board of Directors, which shall be the policy-making body of this Association.  It shall have all powers normally vested in such a body, subject to any of the limitations in these Bylaws, and including but not limited to the power to delegate such of its duties as may be legally permitted and reasonable and responsible; and to appoint such ad hoc committees on such basis as it may deem appropriate.

No committee shall make any substantial policy statement without the prior approval of the Board of Directors.

Section VI(E) of the CWBA’s Bylaws (“Executive Committee”) provides:

The Executive Committee shall consist of the officers of the Association.  The Executive Committee shall hold meetings as called by the President.  The Executive Committee shall have such authority as is delegated to it by the Board of Directors pursuant to VI(A) of these Bylaws including authority to make decisions concerning the day-to-day operation of the Association.  The Board may not delegate its policy-making authority.

Section VI(D) of the CWBA’s Bylaws (“The Public Policy Committee”) provides:

The Public Policy Committee shall monitor legislation, case law, administrative and constitutional developments, government policy statements and the press and broadcast media, as they affect the interests of women; report such developments to the Board of Directors; and propose such action as the Committee may deem appropriate.  It shall coordinate the lobbying and amicus activities of this Association.

Section V(B)(4) of the CWBA’s Bylaws (“Action by the Membership”) provides in part:

The Board of Directors may refer any question to the membership the Board of Directors determines has significant public impact.  Upon the vote of the membership, which vote shall be a majority of the active membership present at any membership meeting, such action shall be deemed to have been taken by, and shall be binding upon, the Board of Directors.

C. No amicus position may be taken on behalf of the CWBA unless specifically authorized pursuant to the procedure set forth in Section II below.

D. No amicus brief may be filed on behalf of the CWBA unless specifically approved pursuant to the procedure set forth in Section III.C. below.

II. AUTHORIZATION PROCEDURES

A. Any amicus position in the name of the CWBA must be specifically authorized by the Board of Directors or, if the Board cannot act in time, by the Executive Committee.

B. All amicus requests shall be submitted initially to the Public Policy Committee and accompanied by the following information:

1. The cation of the case, identification of the last court to render a decision in the case and the court in which the brief is proposed to be filed;

2. A copy of the decision appealed from and other relevant documents, including any relevant briefs filed in the lower court;

3. The date by which the proposed amicus brief must be filed and an estimate of any costs associated with its preparation and/or filing;

4. An explanation of the reasons why this controversy warrants CWBA participation; and,

5. An outline of the argument to be set forth in the brief or a draft of the brief to be filed.

C. The Public Policy Committee shall review the request guided by Section II.D. below, and recommend to the Board or the Executive Committee, as appropriate, whether the CWBA should participate as an amicus.

D. It is the policy of the CWBA to participate as an amicus only when (1) such participation will further the purposes of the CWBA; (2) the brief to be submitted will constitute a significant contribution to the consideration of the issue or issues involved and will not simply restate arguments advanced by the parties; and (3) the position to be advanced in the brief is a sound legal position.  Briefs will be authorized only at the appellate level except in extraordinary situations and generally only in the highest court in which the issue is likely to be finally determined.

III. AMICUS PROCEDURES

A. No amicus brief may be filed in the name of the CWBA without specific  authorization pursuant to the procedures set forth in Section II above.

B. If an amicus position is authorized, the Public Policy Committee will, if necessary, make all reasonable efforts to arrange for the preparation of an amicus brief.

C. Prior to filing, the Public Policy Committee will review the brief to be filed to see that, with any modifications suggested by the Committee, it satisfies the CWBA’s professional standards and fairly and accurately represents the policy position of the CWBA.

D. No amicus brief may be filed in the name of the CWBA without review and specific approval pursuant to Section III.C. above.

E. All rules of the court in which the brief is to be filed must be consulted and observed.

F. Rules of the court may impose the following additional requirements in connection with the filing of an amicus brief:

1. Colorado Appellate Rules presently require leave of the court to file an amicus brief.  The party preparing the amicus brief on behalf of the CWBA will prepare the appropriate motion for filing;

2. In the federal appellate courts, leave of the court is presently unnecessary if all parties consent to the filing.  If consent has been refused by a party, a motion for leave to file the brief must be filed by the party preparing the brief on behalf of the CWBA, and

3. Most appellate court rules presently require that a motion to file an amicus brief state the nature of the applicant’s interest and reasons why the filing of an amicus brief is desirable or will assist the court.  The motion, and if no motion is filed, the statement at the beginning of the brief, should accordingly explain that the CWBA has a special interest in the case for stated reasons and that its interest in some respect differs from that of the party supported.

G. The brief is to be signed by the attorney who prepared it as counsel for the CWBA.  The signature block should include a reference that the brief is filed on behalf of the CWBA, including the address and phone number of the CWBA.

H. The CWBA will pay no fee for the preparation or review of an amicus brief.  The necessary costs of printing and filing an approved brief shall be borne by the CWBA under the budget of the Public Policy Committee.



Colorado Women's Bar Association • P.O. Box 1918 • Denver, CO 80201
Telephone (303) 831-1040 • Email: execdir@cwba.org

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