Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary

Brief

A document used to submit a legal contention or argument to a court. A brief typically sets out the facts of the case and a party's legal arguments. These arguments must be supported by legal authority and precedent, such as statutes, regulations, and previous court decisions. Don't be fooled by the name -- briefs are usually anything but brief, as pointed out by writer Franz Kafka, who defined a lawyer as "a person who writes a 10,000-word decision and calls it a brief."
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