U.S. Supreme Court
Amicus Reporting Scaled Back
Posted Jul 18, 2007 7:24 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The U.S. Supreme Court has listened to the critics and scaled back a proposed rule that would have required groups filing amicus briefs to reveal whether parties in the case or their lawyers are members.
The proposal was aimed at preventing a "double-dipping" situation in which a party belonging to an amicus group would be able to essentially file two briefs on his or her own behalf — one personally written and financed, the other written and financed by the group. (See this prior ABAJournal.com post for details.) But critics complained that the proposal would have compromised privacy by requiring disclosure of membership rosters.
The rule adopted by the court yesterday still has a reporting provision, but it’s less onerous, Legal Times reports. The new rule, which takes effect on Oct. 1, requires parties or their lawyers to disclose whether they helped pay for preparation of the amicus brief. Membership dues do not need to be revealed.