Filing of Amicus Briefs

It is the policy of the Customs and International Trade Bar Association (“CITBA”) to file amicus briefs sparingly. Amicus briefs will typically only be authorized for cases appearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) and the U.S. Supreme Court. CITBA will consider filing an amicus brief only where the matter is considered to be in the broad interest of the public and the membership of CITBA as a whole. CITBA amicus briefs will not address arguments unlikely to affect the broad interests of the international trade community or factual issues. An amicus brief will be approved for filing only where CITBA has a unique and/or distinct interest and may provide a significant contribution to the court’s consideration of the customs or trade issues involved.

CITBA will only file an amicus brief if both the position asserted and final brief to be filed have been approved by a majority of the board members eligible to vote on the matter (government attorneys who are on the board or board members whose firms have an interest in the case are not eligible to vote, nor can they participate in deliberations with respect to the filing of such a brief). All amicus motions or briefs filed in matters in which the government is a party will indicate that while CITBA “includes U.S. Government lawyers, government attorneys did not participate in the decision to file or the preparation of this motion [or brief].”

The proponent of the requested brief bears the burden of persuading CITBA’s board of the importance of advocating the asserted position. Accordingly, to request an amicus brief, an e-mail request should be sent to a Chair of CITBA’s Trial and Appellate Practice Committee. The e-mail should include:

  1. The date on which the proposed brief is due and the relevant court. Absent extraordinary circumstances, no requests that are due in less than 30 days will be entertained by CITBA.
  2. The full caption of the case.
  3. A copy of the lower court’s decision.
  4. Disclosure of the relevant interests in the case. List each individual organization who has or had any personal or professional interest in the case, and the bases for that interest.
  5. Disclosure of the names, firm connections and contact information of those who represent the party requesting CITBA’s amicus participation.
  6. A brief summary of the relevant procedural history.
  7. A brief summary of the facts.
  8. The question to be presented by the party requesting CITBA’s amicus participation.
  9. A paragraph explaining why CITBA should participate as an amicus.
  10. Any other amicus that are participating or considering participating.
  11. A 1-2 page statement describing specifically what issues CITBA is being requested to provide an opinion regarding.
  12. Any related cases.

CITBA is also amenable to joining as an amicus in briefs by other organizations. However, the same material must be disclosed if the request is for CITBA to join another amicus’ brief.

For amicus briefs filed by CITBA, the association pays no legal fees for the preparation or review of an amicus brief; however, it will incur the cost of printing and filing the brief.

A CITBA amicus brief will normally be signed by CITBA’s President. However, if the President is ineligible to vote with respect to the brief in question, the brief will be signed by the President’s designee.

Finally, it should be noted that the filing of an amicus brief by CITBA before the Federal Circuit does not mean that CITBA is committed to filing an amicus brief in support of a Petition for Certiorari before the U.S. Supreme Court in the same matter.