Neonatology Assocs., P.A. v. Comm’r

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In Neonatology Assocs., P.A. v. Comm'r, 293 F.3d 128 (3rd Cir. 2002), then Judge Sam Alito of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit wrote a single-judge opinion for the motions panel that granted leave to file an amicus curiae brief.

This opinion by a future U.S. Supreme Court Justice is notable because it included a broad statement in favor of amicus curiae briefs:

I think that our court would be well advised to grant motions for leave to file amicus briefs unless it is obvious that the proposed briefs do not meet Rule 29’s criteria as broadly interpreted. I believe that this is consistent with the predominant practice in the courts of appeals.

293 F.3d at 133 (citing Micael E. Tigar and Jane B. Tigar, Federal Appeals -- Jurisdiction and Practice 181 (3d ed. 1999) and Robert L. Stern, Appellate Practice in the United States 306, 307-08 (2d ed. 1989)). Now-Justice Alito quoted the Tigar treatise favorably for the statement that "[e]ven when the other side refuses to consent to an amicus filing, most courts of appeals freely grant leave to file, provided the brief is timely and well-reasoned." 293 F.3d at 133. Justice Alito then granted leave to file the amicus brief.

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