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Last Modified: November 17, 2022


Black’s Law Dictionary defines brief generally as a “Written document; a letter; a writing in the form of a letter. A summary, abstract, or epitome. A condensed statement of some larger document, or of a series of papers, facts, or propositions. An epitome or condensed summary of the facts and circumstances, or propositions of law, constituting the case proposed to be set up by either party to an action about to be tried or argued”.

Your Dictionary defines a brief as “a written statement prepared by a lawyer and submitted to the court that outlines the pertinent facts of the case, the questions of law to be decided, the position of the lawyer’s client as to those questions, and the legal arguments and authorities (for example, statutes and appellate court decisions) that support that position”.

Example Sentence

The young lawyer wrote a brief that contains his client’s answers to the accusation, similar decided cases, and  the law supports his claim of innocence.

Case Study

A brief usually contains four basic sections. The first section of a brief is the question presented wherein the lawyer is asking about the legality of an action committed against his client. The second section of a brief is the statement of the case which is the narrative of the event that transpired involving the client and the other party. The third section is the argument that mentions specific laws, statutes, and court opinions that back up the claims or points being raised by the lawyer. The fourth section of the brief is the conclusion wherein the lawyer is urging the court to do certain action in favor of his client. The brief is then duly signed by the lawyer who prepared it and identifies himself as either lawyer, defendant, or plaintiff. For some examples of a brief, see here.

Other Important Information

The types of brief are:

For the case to be successful, briefs must be well-written and submitted on time. Read here the deadlines for filing of brief. For the length and form of briefs, see here.