DTCI Amicus Chairperson, Lucy Dollens comments

Before the day’s emails start filling her inbox or after her children are asleep, Lucy Dollens will use the quiet time to settle in front of her computer and write the arguments or offer a perspective she hopes will persuade an appellate court.  Dollens, managing partner of Quarles & Brady’s Indianapolis office, also chairs the Amicus Committee for the Defense Trial Counsel of Indiana. The organization often fields requests from defense attorneys to write a friend of the court brief in support of their client or position. While any one of the attorneys in a pool of volunteers can take the lead on writing, occasionally she will handle the job of putting the words on paper.  Usually Dollens begins by writing the most important point or strongest arguments that DTCI wants to make in a particular case. From there, she proceeds to get everything on paper, then goes back and looks for places to edit and cut.  However, the key to getting the work done is the quiet.  “My process,” Dollens replied when asked how she writes a brief, “is finding time when I’m free from distractions.”  Perhaps the nine justices of the country’s highest court were thinking about time, and the amount of it they spend reading briefs, when they did a little editing to the court’s rules.  In a change effective July 1, the U.S. Supreme Court reduced the number of words litigants and friends can use in their submissions. The word limit for briefs on the merits of the case was slashed by 2,000 to 13,000. Also, amicus briefs were slimmed down to 8,000 from 9,000, although briefs from some entities such as federal agencies and state attorneys general were exempted from the reduction.  CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

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