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3. Contact of interested amici

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  • Alabama

    Because court decisions on public meetings issues may have far-reaching consequences, press groups and others may have an interest in filing a friend-of-the-court brief in these cases. The filing of amicus curiae briefs is permitted by Rule 29 of the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure only with leave of the appellate court. Typically, the amicus brief is filed conditionally with the motion for leave.

    Amicus briefs must follow the form prescribed for the brief of an appellee in Rule 28(b) of the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the brief must be filed within the time allowed to the party whose position on the appeal the amicus curiae brief will support. The motion for leave must identify the interest of the applicant and must state the reasons why the brief of an amicus curiae is desirable. Under Rule 29, an amicus curiae may participate in oral argument only upon motion and leave of the court and, unless additional time is granted, must share the time of the party whose position the amicus curiae supports.

    Amicus curiae participation at the appellate level has been permitted, to substantial benefit, in the following cases for access to meetings under Alabama's former open meetings law and federal constitutional law:

    a. Ex parte Consolidated Publishing Co., 601 So. 2d 423 (Ala.), cert. denied, 113 S. Ct. 665 (1992);

    b. Ex parte Birmingham News Co., 624 So. 2d 1117 (Ala. Crim. App. 1993);

    c. Ex parte Courtroom Television Network, No. 1920991 in the Supreme Court of Alabama, April 12, 1993, and April 13, 1993;

    d. Miglionico v. Birmingham News Co., 378 So. 2d 677 (Ala. 1979); and

    e. Bell v. Birmingham News Co., 576 So. 2d 669 (Ala. Civ. App. 1991 (challenge to attorneys' fee award).

    Press groups, members of the media and others interested in access to public meetings may also participate at the trial court level — either by moving to participate as amicus curiae or by moving to intervene. Unlike a party who intervenes, a party who participates as an amicus curiae cannot add parties, raise new issues, or otherwise control the litigation. State ex rel. Baxley v. Johnson, 293 Ala. 69, 74, 300 So. 2d 106, 111 (1974). "The amicus curiae may, with permission of the court[,] file briefs, argue the case and introduce evidence." Id.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Alaska

    It may be useful to contact news media or press or civic organizations to assist you by filing an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief in a particular case that would have general significance. Most organizations will have little or no interest or ability to come in as an amicus at the trial level, both for financial reasons and because usually at that stage the issues have not sorted themselves out to a point where it is clear the outcome of the case will have general significance as is the case with an appellate decision. However at the appellate level, any decision issued by the Supreme Court is almost by definition likely to have general impact, and therefore the Alaska Press Club, the Alaska Broadcasters Association, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, American or Alaska Civil Liberties Union, League of Women Voters or others may have some interest and may be willing to file something in support of your position. It never hurts to ask.

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  • Arizona

    If not already involved in the action, the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona Inc. may be interested in participating as an amicus.  The Coalition may be contacted through the authors of this outline.

    In addition, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Arkansas

    The following organizations have historically had a strong interest in the FOIA: Arkansas Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists, P.O. Box 1325, Little Rock, AR 72201; Arkansas Press Association, 411 S. Victory, Little Rock, AR 72201; Arkansas Press Women, c/o Brenda Blagg, 838 Birwin St., Fayetteville, AR 72703; Arkansas Associated Press Managing Editors Association and Arkansas Associated Press Broadcasters Association, c/o Associated Press, 10810 Executive Center Dr., Suite 308, Little Rock, AR 72211-4377; Arkansas Broadcasters Association, 2024 Arkansas Valley Dr., Suite 403, Little Rock, AR 72212. Also, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press files amicus briefs in cases involving significant press issues before a state’s highest court.

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  • California

    Amicus curiae ("friend of the court") briefs may be filed, with the permission of the court, by any person not a party to the appeal who wants to argue the merits of the case. California Rules of Court, Rule 14. It is advisable to give serious consideration to filing amicus briefs in appellate proceedings.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Colorado

    a. Leave of court required. Briefs by amicus curiae (friends of the court) may be file only with leave of the appellate court. C.A.R. 29. The standard procedure is for the amicus to tender the proposed brief along with the motion for leave to appear as amicus curiae.

    b. Interest of Amicus. A motion for leave must identify the interest of the amicus and state why an amicus brief is desirable.

    c. Briefs of amicus curiae must be filed within the time for filing briefs allowed the party with the position the amicus will support, unless the court grants leave for later filing. C.A.R. 29.

    Amicus curiae are generally restricted to the issues raised by the appealing parties, and any additional questions presented in a brief filed by an amicus curiae will not be considered by the appellate court. United States Nat'l Bank v. People ex rel Dunbar, 29 Colo. App. 93, 480 P.2d 849 (1970).

    d. Oral Argument. "A motion of an amicus curiae to participate in the oral argument will be granted only for extraordinary reasons." C.A.R. 29.

    e. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Connecticut

    See Records Outline at V.E.

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  • Delaware

    The Delaware Supreme Court has in the past permitted filing of a friend-of-the court brief on similar issues. Del. Supr. Ct. R. 28.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Florida

    Because court decisions on open records issues may have far-reaching consequences, press groups and others may have an interest in filing a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of your request for open records. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press frequently files friend-of-the-court briefs for open records issues being considered at the highest appeal level in the state.

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  • Georgia

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press files amicus briefs in important cases before the state's highest courts, as does the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, the Georgia Press Association, and various media entities in the state.

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  • Hawaii

    The OIP (contact: staff attorney (808) 585-1400), the ACLU (contact: (808) 522-5900), Common Cause Hawaii (contact: (808) 275-6275) and the Society of Professional Journalists (contact: spj@flex.com).

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Idaho

    Amicus appearances are generally liberally allowed by the Idaho appellate courts. Provisions for seeking leave to make such an appearance and procedures for amicus briefing and argument are also found in the Idaho Appellate Rules.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest Court.

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  • Illinois

    The appellant might consider notifying the Illinois Press Association, 900 Community Drive, Springfield, Illinois, 62703, which might be interested in appearing as amicus curiae. The Reporters Committee enters amicus briefs in important press cases before a state's highest court.

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  • Indiana

    Amicus briefs may be filed only by leave of court, granted on motion of the amicus or at the request of the court. App. R. 41. When moving for leave to file an amicus curiae brief, the movant must file an appearance form with the clerk that contains the information specified in App. R. 16(D); 41(A). Unless the court permits the belated filing on motion for good cause, the amicus brief must be filed within the time set for the party the amicus is supporting. App. R. 41(B)–(D). So if a party wants to contact interested amici, it must be done as soon as possible, but in any event no later than when the record is being prepared.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state’s highest court.

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  • Iowa

    Iowa Freedom of Information Council, 118 Meredith Hall, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa 50311.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Kansas

    Amicus briefs are allowed on application only. Sup. Ct. Rule 8.06. Amici are not permitted oral argument.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Kentucky

    Amicus curiae may not file briefs in Kentucky’s appellate courts unless they first obtain an order from the court permitting the filing of these briefs. See Ky. R. Civ. P. 76.12(7).

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Louisiana

    The Louisiana Press Association is keenly interested in enforcement of the Open Meeting Law. Address: 404 Europe St., Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70802. Telephone number: (225) 344-9309. Will Chapman is executive director and Mike Rood is general manager. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Maine

    The Maine Supreme Judicial Court will often allow amici to file briefs. M.R.App.P. 9(e).  The Maine Freedom of Information Coalition has appeared as amici in Freedom of Access Act appeals.

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  • Maryland

    Any parties interested in submitting amicus curiae briefs may contact the law firm of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP, 500 E. Pratt Street, Suite 800, Baltimore, Maryland 21202.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press frequently files friend-of-the-court briefs in open records cases being considered at the highest appeal level in the state.

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  • Massachusetts

    Amici curiae may file briefs with leave of court but are allowed to argue orally only in extraordinary circumstances. M.R. App. P. 17. Responsible press organizations are routinely granted leave to file briefs as amici. Most frequent such amici include the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association and the New England Press Association.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press may also be interested in joining as an amicus before the Supreme Judicial Court.

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  • Michigan

    The general rules for filing amicus briefs found in the Michigan Court Rules apply.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Minnesota

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Minnesota Newspaper Association and other professional organizations often file amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Mississippi

    The Society of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi, P. 0. Box 1024, Jackson, MS 39215, has filed an amicus brief in a Mississippi Open Meetings Act case in the past. Other interested organizations are listed in the records outline above.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Montana

    The State of Montana is sufficiently small in population that it is relatively easy to obtain assistance from other interested public or media groups, and the courts readily accept participation from those various groups. The Montana Newspaper Association, National Reporters Committee, National Student’s Rights organizations, Society of Professional Journalists, League of Women Voters, Montana Press Women, and various daily newspapers routinely participate in media litigation as amici.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Nebraska

    Neb. Court of Appeals may allow amici participation, at its discretion. See Neb. Sup. Ct. R. §§2-109 and 2-111. Persons seeking amici assistance should contact Nebraska Press Association and Nebraska Broadcasters Association. In addition, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Nevada

    Interested amici may be allowed to participate in an appeal. NRAP 29. A likely amicus in open meetings cases is the Nevada Press Association. The association, located in Carson City, may be reached at (702) 885-0866.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus curiae briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • New Hampshire

    See Supreme Court Rule 30.

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  • New Jersey

    Amicus briefs on important Sunshine Law issues are filed by the New Jersey Press Association and/or some of the major newspapers circulated in New Jersey, such as the Newark Star Ledger, The Trenton Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times and the Gannet group newspapers. In addition, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press frequently files amicus briefs when important Sunshine Law issues are before the New Jersey Supreme Court.

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  • New Mexico

    Amicus curiae briefs may be advisable.  The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, the New Mexico Press Association, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are potential amici with an ongoing interest in open meetings cases.

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  • New York

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1910, Arlington, Virginia 22209. (703) 807-2100. (800) 336-4243

    Committee on Media Law, New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, N.Y. 12207

    Communications Law Committee, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 42 W. 44th, New York, N.Y. 10036

    New York Newspaper Publishers Association Inc., 291 Hudson Avenue, Suite A, Albany, N.Y. 12210

    New York Press Association, 1681 Western Avenue, Albany, N.Y. 12203

    New York State Broadcasters Association Inc., 1805 Western Ave, Albany, N.Y. 12203

    New York State Society of Newspaper Editors, Newhouse Communications Center, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y. 13244

    Student Press Law Center Inc., 1101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1910, Arlington, Virginia 22209. (703) 807-1904

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  • North Carolina

    Media and public interest organizations, such as the North Carolina Press Association, the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press frequently support litigants in public access cases by filing amicus curiae briefs, sharing legal research, and the like.

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  • North Dakota

    In many cases, the State Broadcasters Association or the North Dakota Newspaper Association will assist with either an amicus curiae brief or with the financing of the suit.

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  • Ohio

    Amici briefs are not favored in common pleas court. Amici briefs are often filed in the court of appeals and in the Ohio Supreme Court. Usually, amici briefs are due on the same day that the brief for the party being supported is due.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Oklahoma

    Amicus briefs may be filed by consent of the parties or by leave of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The amicus curiae must file a statement not exceeding five pages disclosing the nature of the interest, the factual or legal questions which are not adequately addressed by the litigants and the relevancy of the factual or legal questions to the disposition of the case. Upon showing of extraordinary circumstances, the amicus curiae may be allowed to participate in oral arguments. 12 O.S. Ch. 15, App. 2, Rule 1.28a.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Oregon

    As indicated in the sections dealing with the Open Records Law, amici curiae are permitted in Oregon Appellate Court proceedings but must follow the appropriate procedure for obtaining amicus status.

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  • Pennsylvania

    Anyone “interested” in the questions involved in any appeal may file a brief amicus curiae without leave; oral argument by an amicus is permitted rarely and only at the court’s direction. Pa. R.A.P. 531.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state’s highest court.

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  • Rhode Island

    Briefs of amicus curiae may be filed with the written consent of all parties, or upon leave of the Supreme Court on motion which identified the interest of the applicant and the reasons for brief.  Rhode Island Supreme Court Rule of Appellate Procedure 16(f).

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

     

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  • South Carolina

    The Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court of South Carolina must grant leave for participation by amici. Rule 213, S.C. Rules of Appellate Procedure. The South Carolina Press Association often participates as amicus in cases arising under the act and provides notice to other groups that may be interested.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • South Dakota

    South Dakota Newspaper Association in Brookings South Dakota, or the Associated Press or Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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  • Tennessee

    Interested amici can apprise themselves of open meetings issues that might appear before the Tennessee Supreme Court by reviewing the decisions of the Tennessee Court of Appeals that appear in Tennessee Attorneys Memo, a weekly publication containing a synopsis of decisions of that court.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.  The Tennessee Press Association, Tennessee Association of Broadcasters, and the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government might also join as amici.

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  • Texas

    The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas Inc., is a statewide clearing house for FOI matters and will coordinate amicus curiae efforts. Interested people should contact the foundation's executive director, Kelley Shannon, at (512) 377-1575. The foundation's address is 3001 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 302, Austin, Texas 78705. The foundation may also be contacted through its e-mail address, foift@foift.org, and over the Internet, at www.foift.org.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

     

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  • Utah

    If you are filing an appeal with an appellate court, you should contact other interested groups who may want to file amicus briefs or assist with the legal research needed to support your arguments to the court. In Utah, the following groups have been actively involved in open meetings issues: (a) the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and local media representatives; (b) the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; (c) the American Civil Liberties Union; and (d) public interest groups such as Utah Common Cause, Utah Issues, Utah Legal Services, and Utah League of Women Voters.

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  • Vermont

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state’s highest court.

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  • Virginia

    The Virginia Press Association, 11529 Nuckols Road, Glen Allen, Virginia 23059, telephone (804) 521-7570.

    The Virginia Association of Broadcasters, 250 West Main Street, Suite 100, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902, telephone (434) 977-3716.

    The Virginia Coalition for Open Government, P.O. Box 2576, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187, telephone (540) 353-8264.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press on occasion participates in briefs amicus curiae in cases involving significant media law issues before Virginia’s highest court.

    Virginia First Amendment Hotline, operated by Christian & Barton, L.L.P., 909 East Main Street, Suite 1200, Richmond, Virginia 23219-3095. Attn: Craig T. Merritt. (804) 697-4128, David B. Lacy, (804) 697-4121.

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  • Washington

    Interested amici can learn of open meeting issues that may be pending before the state Supreme Court by consulting published lists at the beginning of each court term. The lists, available on the court’s website, will contain the names of cases to be heard and the basic issues in those cases.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state’s highest court.

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  • West Virginia

    Any person wishing to file an amicus brief in the West Virginia Supreme Court must file a motion making the request. Generally speaking, the current Supreme Court routinely grants such motions.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has a substantial interest in reporters' rights of access to government information and frequently files friend-of-the-court briefs for open meetings issues when they are being considered at the highest appeal level in the state. Other news organizations and associations within the state also may want to support your position by filing amicus briefs, and you should contact such potential supporters as soon as possible.

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  • Wisconsin

    Amicus briefs may be filed if a request is filed within 14 days after the respondent's brief is filed, i.e., within 80 days after the record is filed in the appellate court. Wis. Stat. § 809.19(7). The brief need not be filed with the request and may be filed thereafter within the time specified by the court if the request to file an amicus brief is granted.

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  • Wyoming

    Interest amici must first file a motion for leave with the appellate court identifying the applicant's interest and setting forth reasons why an amicus curiae brief is appropriate under the circumstances. Wyo. R. App. P. 7.12.

    The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press often files amicus briefs in cases involving significant media law issues before a state's highest court.

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