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Amicus Curiae

Amicus curiae is a Latin term meaning a "friend of the court." An amicus curiae is not a party to the lawsuit but is a person or group that has a strong interest in the matter being litigated. The function of an amicus curiae is to bring to the court's attention law, facts, or circumstances in the pending lawsuit that might not otherwise be discussed by the parties to the lawsuit. An amicus curiae's intent is to influence the court's decision.

Influences Affecting Judicial Decision-Making

The independence of the judiciary is a central principle of a democracy. Judicial independence permits judges to make rulings based on legal principles instead of politics or public opinion. An independent court system allows fair and impartial decisions in legal cases. Political scientists have conducted research and studies to identify what factors influence a judge's decision-making.

State Appellate Procedural Process

If a litigant is dissatisfied with the trial court's judgment, the litigant can file an appeal. The party who files the appeal is called the appellant; the other party is called the appellee or respondent. This article discusses the steps in the state appellate procedural process.

State Administrative Law

State legislatures have passed laws setting up various state administrative agencies. Some examples of state administrative agencies include public utilities commissions, worker's compensation bureaus, motor vehicle bureaus, and natural resources departments. State agencies exercise powers delegated to them by the state legislature.

General Civil Litigation

Criminal litigation involves the government's prosecution of a person because of an alleged commission of a crime. Criminal behavior is punished by imposing a fine and/or imprisonment on the offender. All criminal proceedings are initiated by a government entity. General civil litigation, on the other hand, involves disputes between private parties. A civil lawsuit is initiated by one person against another person, business, or government entity. There can be multiple plaintiffs (person suing) and/or multiple defendan


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