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A brief is a written argument submitted to the court. Lawyers often prepare briefs which highlight and clarify certain information or provide legal comparisons in an attempt to persuade the courtroom to rule in favor of that lawyer’s client. 

While briefs are primarily prepared by the lawyers working on any given case, high profile supreme court or appellate court cases may inspire third parties to submit amicus briefs. Amicus briefs are briefs prepared by people with strong interests in the outcome of the decision and function similar to trial briefs. 

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]