adj.1. lasting or taking a short time; of short duration: a brief walk; a brief stay in the country.2. using few words; concise; succinct: a brief report on weather conditions.3. abrupt or curt.4. scanty: a brief bathing suit.n.5. a short and concise statement or written item.6. an outline, the form of which is determined by set rules, of all the possible arguments and information on one side of a controversy: a debater's brief.7. Law.a. a writ summoning one to answer to any action.b. a memorandum of points of fact or of law for use in conducting a case.c. a written argument submitted to a court.d. (in England) the material relevant to a case, delivered by a solicitor to the barrister who tries the case.8. an outline, summary, or synopsis, as of a book.9. briefs, (used with a pl. v.) close-fitting, legless underpants with an elastic waistband.10. briefing.11. Rom. Cath. Ch. a papal letter less formal than a bull, sealed with the pope's signet ring or stamped with the device borne on this ring.12. Theat. Brit. a free ticket; pass.13. Obs. a letter.14. hold a brief for, to support or defend by argument; endorse.15. in brief, in a few words; in short: The supervisor outlined in brief the duties of the new assistant.v.t.16. to make an abstract or summary of.17. to instruct by a brief or briefing: They brief all the agents before assigning them.18. Law. to retain as advocate in a suit.[1250-1300; ME bref < AF, OF < L brevis short; see BREVE]Syn. 1. short-lived, fleeting, transitory, ephemeral, transient. See short. 2. terse, compact, pithy, condensed. 5. outline, précis, epitome, abstract. See summary. 16. summarize, outline.
* * *▪ lawin law, a document often in the form of a summary or abstract. The term is used primarily in common-law (common law) countries, and its exact meaning varies across jurisdictions.In the United States a brief is a written legal argument that is presented to a court to aid it in reaching a conclusion on the legal issues involved in the case. It is invariably employed in appellate courts and is of the utmost importance when no oral argument is made. A brief frequently is used in trials when complex legal issues are involved. The usual procedure requires that the party seeking the judicial remedy present its written argument to the court and send a copy to his opponent. The opponent then files and serves an answering brief. Usually, the first counsel will have an opportunity to file a reply brief. On unusual occasions the brief may include extensive economic and sociological data. Such a brief became known as a “Brandeis brief,” after the United States Supreme Court (Supreme Court of the United States) justice Louis Brandeis (Brandeis, Louis), who made effective use of it. When a court permits an outsider to file a brief in a case to which he is not a party, it is generally referred to as an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief.In England a brief is a document of instructions prepared by a solicitor for a barrister to follow in court. Only the barrister may appear before the high court, but he can act on behalf of a litigant only pursuant to instructions from a solicitor. In his brief the solicitor will report on the evidence and proof available and include statements and interviews of witnesses or summaries thereof.
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